The covid-19 pandemic brought a drastic strain on employment with widespread loss of jobs and employment opportunities. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, young workers between the ages of 16-24 were affected the most with unemployment rates which rose from 8.4% to 24.4% in 2020. This group of young workers have faced severe unemployment and underemployment as they are least likely to secure new jobs, be able to work from home or receive any support from federal bodies during the recession. At the same time, Recruitment and the hiring process continues to evolve. Tapping into the power of technology is improving the recruitment process by making it easier to find the right candidates, conduct interviews and share job offers. Virtual job fairs bridge the gap between recruiters and job seekers by introducing technology through a remote setting.
What are virtual job fairs?
A Virtual job fair is a remote platform where recruiters and job seekers meet at a designated time. The virtual space allows them to share information about job opportunities and connect through chat, conference rooms and webcasts. Instead of reviewing resumes and going through the lateral process of sourcing candidates, hiring managers can meet with potential candidates face to face, conduct interviews and roll out offers on the spot. Virtual job fairs simplify the recruitment process by eliminating many rounds of qualification, the time consumption and expense. Virtual career fairs provide a venue for companies to source a large number of candidates and allows candidates to access job opportunities.
A report by Gartner showed that 74% of companies are planning to shift permanently to remote working conditions.
A report by Gartner showed that 74% of companies are planning to shift permanently to remote working conditions. Virtual hiring opens up opportunities to candidates from all over the world removing the limitation of travel, visa and other requirements. This also helps candidates work with companies and understand different cultures by being a part of a truly global team.
How does it work?
Virtual fairs may be hosted specifically for certain domains like technology or for certain groups of people like recent graduates. It could also be set up based on a geographical location which would make it easier to manage potential employees. Organizations will have a dedicated ‘booth’ where they can exhibit their job openings, company culture, opportunities for advancements, compensation, etc. Each booth will have representatives from the company or hiring managers present and will receive an opportunity to interact with potential candidates through the virtual fair.
Similar to a non virtual fair, you may receive a list of participating companies prior to the event. Based on the jobs posted or advertised, you could fill out an application form and register. Companies may also choose to conduct a pre-screening round where they analyze resumes and decide to invite candidates who fit their requirements. Alternatively, it could be more unstructured where you could go up to the booth and strike up a conversation with the representatives.
A simple google search with a few terms like ‘virtual career fairs near me’ or ‘virtual career fairs’ along with your geographical area will yield opportunities which are present locally.
Where to find virtual job fairs?
Look at local fairs – A simple google search with a few terms like ‘virtual career fairs near me’ or ‘virtual career fairs’ along with your geographical area will yield opportunities which are present locally. These are often hosted by universities or companies who are looking for candidates to start remotely and possibly transition back to their offices over time.
Sync up with your dream companies – Follow your favorite companies on LinkedIn and subscribe to their recruitment newsletters. This will give you a heads up with they are hosting virtual fairs which you can register for and attend.
Check out event pages & third party platforms – Platforms like Eventbrite and Global careers fair have dedicated pages for virtual events which are hosted all over the world. In addition, Handshake hosts virtual career fairs which you can receive access to by simply signing up as a student on the platform.
How to prepare and stand out at a virtual job fair?
Research employers before meeting with them – It is extremely important to research the company before you meet the hiring managers. Start by understanding the company’s business model by sweeping through the website. Identify the core skills and experience valued by the company and tailor your answers accordingly. Deep dive into the company culture, recent developments and news within the industry along with their key products and services. If you’re meeting with startups, look at their profiles on Crunchbase or Angel to gather more information on funding, etc.
Set up your technology & background – A couple of things you can do to ensure that you don’t have any difficulties with the technology are:
Find a clear background without many distractions. A plan or a few wall hangings will help to cosy it up without drawing attention to itself.
Ensure that you find a spot without any noise, it might also help to close the door to limit sounds from the background.
Set up your webcam at your eyelevel to make it look as natural as possible. You also need to make sure that your surroundings are well lit and it is easy for the recruiters to see you.
Arrive on time – If you have meetings scheduled with particular companies on the day of the event, ensure that you arrive on the meeting link a few minutes prior to the designated time. This will give you a few minutes to test out the technology and collect your thoughts before the meeting begins.
Dress professionally – Choose to go with neutral colors without busy patterns. Pick an outfit that you are comfortable in and limit the amount of jewelry. It’s important that your personality shines through and your outfit does not limit you. If you are unsure about the company culture, it may be better to over-dress with a nice blouse/dress or shirt and a tie.
Answer questions to the point – Try to keep your answers clear and concise when speaking with the recruiters. Stick to the point and only add relevant information to give structure and depth to your answers. It is always best to keep your answers under 3 minutes during interviews. You can also use this opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about the role or the company.
Share your resume & cover letter – You may need to share your resume prior to meeting with companies or during the interview. Structure your resume with the best practices and create a compelling cover letter. If possible, try to tailor your resume/cover letter based on the company and job description before you share it.
Follow up with a thank you note – After the interview and the virtual fair, follow up with the recruiters and thank them for their time. Try to include a specific point from your conversation and reiterate your interest in the position.
How can Qureos help you?
Platforms like Qureos will give you an opportunity to work with corporates from all over the world through remote apprenticeships. As students and young professionals trying to navigate through the workplace, Qureos can help:
Equip you with the in-demand skills required by employers
Collaborate with like-minded peers who are keen to grow and learn
Mentorship from industry professionals who are willing to mould you
Access to simulated projects and paid apprenticeships to help build your portfolio, gain experience and meet with our corporate partners from all over the world
If you would like to join our growing community, sign up to be a Qureos apprentice. If you’d like to learn more about all the buzz at Qureos, contact us or check out our socials!