Three Unconventional Places to Find Your Next Employee

468731483Attending a career fair is far from being any recruiter’s favorite activity. Yes, they provide an easy and convenient way to meet large numbers of candidates, but more often than not they waste valuable time and resources searching for that needle in the haystack. Instead of leaving with alist of potential star candidates, you just end up with a stack of resumes from candidates you know little to nothing about.

To combat the many downsides brought on by in-person career fairs, companies should consider alternatives such as hosting an online panel or networking night. Hiring managers should look for ways to connect with qualified, passionate candidates – not those just looking to land the first job that’s offered to them.

Here are some unconventional alternatives to career fairs that companies can use to attract top talent:

1. Go virtual. Virtual career fairs offer all of the amenities available at an in-person career fair at a fraction of the price and in a more convenient setting. A typical, in-person recruiting event for a group of 500 attendees averages $10,000 to $15,000. Since most companies don’t have an endless amount of resources, virtual career fairs provide a more affordable and realistic option. In fact, they have the potential to allow companies to reduce the time to hire by 60 percent, as well as lower the cost per hire by 70 percent and cost per career fair attendee to under $3.Virtual career fairs also allow for a more engaging experience for both attendees and recruiters, as they allow recruiters to utilize webcasts, webinars and even conduct video interviews in an accessible way. These are all things that can’t be done effectively during an in-person event. Hosting virtual career fairs also eliminates the geographic boundaries companies typically face when recruiting. No longer are companies limited to the surrounding area, but instead they’re able to reach potential candidates around the world.

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2. Host a networking night. One downside to career fairs is their formality. With candidates more concerned about touting their accomplishments and recruiters too focused on keeping track of their growing stack of resumes, very rarely do recruiters actually get to know candidates. Whether a person is a fit culturally or not is just as important as their skills, which is one benefit of networking nights. They allow recruiters to interact with candidates on a more personal level and get to know them beyond just what skills and experience they have to offer.Additionally, networking nights provide a great way for candidates to get to know the company and determine if it’s a fit for them. By having the opportunity to mingle with other employees within the company, candidates are able ask more in-depth questions about the company’s culture, work style, client base, etc. These are all key factors that go into candidates determining whether the company is as much of a fit for them as they are a fit for the company.

3. Host online forums. Interactive forums provide a great opportunity for industry professionals, current employees and potential job candidates to get together and talk about relevant industry topics. These events allow individuals to learn something new that’s going on in the industry, as well as get to know potential hires. While forum attendees might not initially be looking for work, they still provide the opportunity to inform potential recruits more about your company and why it might be a great fit for them. That way when they are ready to make a career move, they will come knocking on your door.

MORE: Recruiting: social media takes center stage

Eric Vidal

Eric Vidal
Eric Vidal is a director of product marketing at InterCall. He has more than 15 years of experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies.

Eric Vidal

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