There are many ways a company can gain talent.
Head-hunting and recruiting are currently the largest pathways into a job – which is great if you are looking for experience and have a couple of years in the industry under your belt.
However, if you are looking for someone who has a willingness to learn off of those who are currently employed and will bring a new found enthusiasm, then careers fairs should be your go to events.
It’s important to remember that university isn’t considered by everyone, and those that don’t want to go actually want a job. They may be highly skilled in software development or be a great mechanic and just because they have not attended university doesn’t mean that they should be off the radar by any extent.
Take it from someone who hasn’t been to university – we want to know about your company and what you have to offer!
Careers fairs are run by high schools, colleges/sixth forms and universities alike and having attended quite a few – as a student and as a promoter – I’ve learnt a few things about making sure your stall is successful:
- Brightly coloured banners – students see banners first so make sure yours is eye catching!
- Less paper, more freebies – this drives students towards your stall to see what you have, even if they weren’t interested in your company to begin with, they might leave having learnt something!
However, if you’re promoting for the likes of the police, fire and ambulance or army, definitely have more paperwork as the students will want all information possible!
- Don’t sugarcoat what it is like working for the company, but don’t undersell it – honesty is the best policy and the students will appreciate the reality of working there.
- Be happy and upbeat!
- If you are promoting apprenticeships or graduate schemes, send those who have experienced it! There’s no one better to talk about the scheme than them!
Careers fairs are about showcasing what opportunities are available in your local area and finding out how much engagement your sector has amongst young people. So get rid of the jargon, for example, instead of saying I was a software developer, I said I made websites. This makes it less off putting for students to engage to you.
Get the students interested in the first few sentences! Yes there will be those that only want the freebies, but chat to them, see what they are studying and see if any of it aligns with what your company does and see if you can get them interested!
At the end of the day the point of a careers fair is spread awareness of different jobs and trying to get someone interest in it.
It’s important to remember thatyou are not trying to get applications off of them. Even if just one person walks away from the day realising what career path they want to take – then that is a success!