Are Job Fairs Worth it For Your Company?

In today’s job market, it seems as though a job fair brings thousands upon thousands of job seekers that flock to the venue in hopes of snagging a job. Last year in August more than 3,000 job seekers attended a job fair held by the Congressional Black Caucus. There were only 90 employers, but they had jobs to fill and the thousands of job seekers were anxious for an opportunity. Another job fair in Park Ridge, IL brought 1,000 attendees for only a four-hour fair with 63 employers. It’s clear that job seekers place importance on job fairs, but how beneficial are they to your company? Are job fairs really worth it for employers?

In 2009, America’s premiere outplacement service Challenger, Gray and Christmas conducted a survey where human resource executives were asked to rate the effectiveness of different job-search methods on a scale of 1 to 5 with one being the least effective. The results showed that job fairs were the least effective job-search method with a score of 1.6. So why are they even still being utilized?

Even though job fairs are considered very ineffective, they can still be beneficial to your company. If thousands upon thousands of job seekers attend just one job fair you figure there has to be a plethora of talent circling around there somewhere, right? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits job fairs offer employers.

Economical

When you think about it, job fairs save companies time and money in the hiring process. Of course, conducting online video interviews is the probably the most economical, but sometimes you want to get out there and see what kind of candidates you have. When you hire the traditional way, you usually have to spend a lot of money posting your open positions on job boards and your website. This also takes a lot of time. After all, the average time is takes to hire a new employee is 65 days. With a job fair, there is a fee but it’s not comparable to the money you would spend on lost productivity due to hiring. Plus, it’s a one and done fair where you can meet tons of qualified candidates. There’s certainly plenty of benefits to that.

Qualified Candidates
After hearing that 3,000 job seekers attended one job fair that had only 90 employers you can imagine how many qualified candidates are at a job fair. Most often, career fairs are geared towards specific markets. That gives you a whole pool of talent to sift through.

Young Talent
Universities and colleges are usually the top venues for career fairs. They have thousands of educated students that are eager and ready to get out into the job market. If employers attend these university job fairs, they can get in contact with young talent before they graduate and get scooped up by another company. Even if you are just offering an internship, you can hire young talent and build strong relationships that may later form into a great employee-employer contract later down the road. Young job seekers are usually very eager to get their foot in the door and may have more of an open mind than an experienced job seeker set in their ways.

So as you can see, even though job fairs are regarded as the least effective job-search method, they can still be very beneficial to employers and companies. The key is finding a targeted job fair specific to your industry so you can get in contact with a pool of qualified candidates.

SOURCE: Chron Small Business, Challenger, Gray and Christmas
IMAGE: Courtesy of Piek