Careers fairs are a recruitment tool Britain’s biggest employers have been using for years to attract the best and brightest talent from universities and schools. Every year students are inundated with flyers and brochures from the Big Four, banks, engineering companies, law firms, news organisations and the like in attempt to persuade them to apply for graduate schemes and work placements. Each company professes to offer the best career paths, the most exciting opportunities for personal development and the most attract compensation packages.
However, the latest generation of graduates no longer strive to work for multinational corporations and are far less inclined to sign their soles away to the corporate machine. Today graduates are interested in start-ups, small firms or even going it alone in an attempt to be part of the next Facebook, Snapchat or AirBnB.
This is where you small business comes into play. There is a gap at these careers fairs and your company could fill. Unsure how to go about setting up a careers fair stand? Here are some tips to set you on your way.
1. Prepare your material
You’ll need to prepare the material to take to the fair with you well in advance of the event. This should include flyers, brochures and leaflets with all the information you want to provide to the students about your firm and what you can do for them.
Brochures should include things like the size of your company, what it is your company does, how you differentiate yourselves from others in the industry and why students should want to come work for you. Interesting stories about how you are leading your field are great for getting students excited about the work you do.
2. Provide an education
At a careers fair you are essential competing with dozens of other companies for the attention of the students who have decided to visit. You could sit behind your stand all day or you could go out and attract the attention of the students. After all, you want the very best to come and listen to what you have to say.
One way to do this is to provide them with something no other company is able to; an informative talk about your industry or a lesson in something interesting that your company does. It will give students something to remember you by over and above the countless leaflets and brochures they are likely to pick up on the day.
3. Design an effective stand
Designing how to position and decorate your stand and display boards is another important part of hosting a successful careers stand that will attract plenty of visitors. The stand should be bright, eye catch yet simple enough to deliver a clear message about your firm.
An interactive stand is a great way to encourage visitors, as are competitions or games that students can get involved with. Be creative to ensure you set yourself apart from other companies.
4. Interact with the students
Attracting students over to your stand is just the first part; once they are in front of you it is essential to interact. This is not just about delivering the hard sell; students need to understand who you are, what you do and why you are different. Students today are demanding and will expect you to be able to confidently and clearly interact and deliver your message.
Moreover, interacting with students gives you a chance to understand exactly what students are expecting from potential employers. You’ll be able to find out what other employers are offering and how well your company appeals to graduates.
Create a mailing list of students who seem interested in your firm. You’ll be able to reach out to them later in the year to keep them informed about your recruiting process and what’s going on at your company.
5. Have something for students to takeaway
Finally, having something to give to students for them to takeaway is a simple but effective way of ensuring your name is not forgotten. At any career fair you’ll see dozens of pens, stationery equipment and other bits with corporate logos emblazoned across them. Try and give away something useful that a student may not otherwise have picked up.
Remember, students love free stuff – this could be your chance to make yourself extremely popular!