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Question from ASA Central: What is the Best Way to Promote a Job Fair?

Planning for a Successful Job Fair | Haley Marketing Group
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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a recruitment marketing podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] Measuring the Response from Your Marketing


Brad Bialy: Matt, I want to take this time to talk about a recent thread that was started on ASA Central by Angel Larchick of Essential Personnel Inc. Her question was great. I really want to use the time here to talk about and actually walk through it from a marketing standpoint. Her question was, “Does anyone have any tips for an in-office job fair as far as recruiting, advertising, promoting signs, freebies, et cetera.”.

How to Promote a Successful Job Fair

Matt Lozar: I want to go back to another principle that because this is a tactic. We’re going to use tactics to promote the job fair, and obviously I think that the thought that came to my head when we saw this post was go where your audiences is. Because you need… The first goal of this entire thing is to think about this segment two. We need impressions. We need reach. We need billboards. We need people to see that we’re having a job fair.

Brad Bialy: Right. It goes back to middle school when you started a lemonade stand on the side of the street, right? If there are no other supporting resources for it, no one knows that you’re sitting there selling lemonade.

Matt Lozar: Right. It’s where do you have to go? Where is your audience and there’s a laundry list of things. And it’s going to be different for a healthcare job fair in New York City versus an industrial job fair in Topeka, Kansas. It’s going to be… Let’s think about where your people are. Will they be some similarities? Sure. It’s going to think of your website. Probably the first place I would put it is post an event, somehow a blog post, and share the heck out of that post. If it’s social, email your recruiters sending it out, printing out flyers. Just think about that. So post it on your website and then look at it digitally and then look at it… I think also that grassroots level.

Start by Identifying Your Goal

Brad Bialy: And I actually want to take it a step back for a second. What is the goal of the job fair? Is it 100 people to walk through the door? Is it 10 people to walk through the door? Do you have a benchmark for that? From there, how many applications are you actually trying to generate from the individuals that come in? Are you trying to pre-qualify those individuals or is everybody that walks through a lead? Actually quantify what you’re trying to get out of the job fair and then exactly what Matt’s saying here. Think about your target audience and where they’re going to be. If we get tactical and we understand our quantifiable, SMART goals, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. We have a time-bound stamp. We have a SMART goal for the job. Now we get into strategies and tactics.

Related InSights Episode: [InSights] Why do you need SMART goals?

Content Marketing

Matt made a great point. Identify where your target audience is already residing and then take your message to them. Publishing that content on the blog, great first step. Let’s publish it on the blog so that people can see it when they come to your content page. From there, I would jump right to social media, and I know that I’m the social media guy and that’s kind of where my brain always goes. But let’s run a sponsored ad within a geographic location of your office. So let’s run a very targeted ad building out a target persona on Facebook within a 15 to 20-mile radius of your office to let people know that you have this job fair happening.

Social Advertising

Matt Lozar: And the tactic I would use, we want to be careful with targeting because we have to follow employment law or legal disclaimer, but create an event. That’d be my biggest suggestion coming from a paid social standpoint is creating an event on Facebook. And once you do that, just essentially Facebook will make it pretty easy for you to boost it to your audience and then just share it. It’s an event on Facebook is when you see your other contacts in your timeline say they’re interested in an event essentially. They kind of changed away from going I think for safety reasons, but Matt is interested in the job fair in Buffalo, New York this week. Brad is interested in the job fair in Rochester, New York this week, and use that to reach a bigger audience.

Social Media Marketing

Brad Bialy: And encourage your team to share that with their networks, their personal networks on Facebook so that more people can see it. Take that event and share it into local groups. So search for groups like Buffalo, New York jobs and see any other variation of the job. Think about where you are specifically, search for groups in your geographic location, and share the event and very specifically say that we’re hosting this onsite job fair event. We have x number of jobs available. We’d love to get to know you specifically though. And if one of these jobs isn’t right for you, get to know our teams so that we can go to work on your behalf. We might not have the perfect job for you today, but come in, meet us, get to know us, become comfortable with us so that you understand when you are looking for your next opportunity or when you’re looking for the right opportunity that we can find for you, we’ll go to work on your behalf.

Email Marketing

Matt Lozar: Let’s look at some other tactics. I think outside social, let’s leverage that email list you have. All the people that are in your database, what can you do to email them? An easy way to alert them about an event going on. If you have texting capabilities, that’s a great way. If there’s a way that you could really… A little next level if you have some, a way to get sign-ups. And then also if you can text out reminders to the event, that’s just going to increase the likelihood of somebody attending an event because open rates on texts are 95% plus. So they’re going to read your texts even if they don’t click. So what can you do to leverage those different tactics with the contact information your team has already collected?

Related InSights Episode: How can you get more candidates to open your email newsletter?

Referral Program

Brad Bialy: What about setting up a referral system? So if you have associates out on assignment right now offering some sort of referral incentive, maybe it’s a $5 gas card for every individual that they bring to the job fair. Maybe it’s a $10 gas card just collectively, but incentivize individuals to want to bring other individuals. Show up with a friend and we’ll give you both x. Show up with somebody from your work site who can convert from staffing firm A to our firm, and we’ll double that. Think through how you can use the associates that you’re working with now to influence the likelihood that other individuals can work with you in the future.

Traditional Marketing Tactics

Matt Lozar: And then I think just take it offline as well. It’s a look at where are your audience spending time out. When they leave work and hate their job, is it restaurant? Is it the gym? Is it a bar? Is it a church? Is it any those a local locations? Find out where you can just print out a flyer, tack it up on the wall so someone sees it, and then maybe they go to your website or they see your posts on social media. So it’s the right content at the right time for the right people on how you can share that information about your job fair.

Brad Bialy: At times, I think this seems like an outdated approach, but put it in the newspaper. We have the Buffalo Job Finder in Buffalo, New York where I think it’s every week they share the top jobs or whoever takes out an ad in that specific section of the Buffalo News. But put it in that job finder section and advertise why someone should want to come. That it’s not just an opportunity to come and be hounded by recruiters or staffing specialists, but it’s an opportunity to get to know your team so that individuals can become more comfortable with you. So that when they are looking for their next opportunity, they feel like they can trust you and can work with you specifically.

Matt Lozar: So I think to summarize the segment here, it’s you have your job fair event. Think about where your audience is spending its time. Obviously put on your website and then look at different social areas, look at an email, look at texting, look at offline places. Take a step back and don’t even think about your job fair. Just observe where people, your audience is spending time in that Facebook capacity, Twitter, LinkedIn capacity, in your local community. Just look around when you’re shopping or out on errands or whatever you’re doing and when you’re driving around the local meetings, think about where information is and put your job fair information in those locations.

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