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Pointers for a successful job fair

Sarah Dahl, HR Manager

May 17, 2016

2 Min Read
Pointers for a successful job fair

If you are planning an expansion of your location or service offerings, or just need a fresh influx of applicants, a job fair is a proven way to get a lot of applicants processed quickly. If you’re willing to give this recruitment effort a try, here are a few tips to get you started and moving in the right direction.


Before the job fair

Like most large events, this one will take a good deal of up front planning. Not only the logistics of the space—ensuring it is on a date, time and at a location applicants can access—but also ensuring the people you bring are all trained in how to do short assessments and are clear on their roles at the event. Advertising is absolutely vital to ensuring a successful job fair.

Consider posting at your location on social media as well as on other free avenues such as Craigslist or your local Department of Workforce Development. Be sure to note that interviews will take place on site and how many positions of what type you plan to fill as a result.

Who to bring

You will want the hiring managers there to do the assessments, as well as a department representative who can explain the jobs being hired for, answer questions, and assist with interview scheduling and breaks for the hiring manager. Additional staff can be used to talk about benefits and assist with applications. Consider either having an information desk/greeter position or a floater who can be available to help with any unforeseen issues or things like getting lunch set up for the workers.

What to bring

Obviously you will need applications if you are using paper or laptop stations if your applications are online. Don’t forget to bring marketing materials about your business as well as information about benefits. Each interviewing station should have job descriptions for the positions being hired for, and a means for the hiring manager to quickly sort applicants they process. Some lesser thought-of items include a camera for any later PR use and any swag you may want to give to applicants. It also helps to have everyone working the event identified as a member of your company, such as with a nametag. Last but not least, remember caffeine and snacks for those working the event or even attendees.

Playing host to a job fair for the first time can seem daunting, but with some good preparation, you could actually enjoy the process, especially when you realize all of the time it saves in trying to fill multiple positions at once.

About the Author(s)

Sarah Dahl

HR Manager, CDS Consulting Co-op

Sarah Dahl spent 12 years as an HR Manager for a large, natural foods Co-op, and has 10+ years of project management experience. Her areas of expertise include labor law, conflict resolution and management coaching. Sarah received her SPHR certification in 2008 and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sarah is part of Human Resources Team of CDS Consulting Co-op. The goal of the Human Resources Team of CDS Consulting Co-op is to help our clients become employers of choice in their communities, by cultivating a culture of empowerment, engagement and accountability.

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