By Kelly Murray
When Linkedin arrived on the social media scene in 2003, many of those in the recruiting and staffing industry did not anticipate how much it would impact the way they recruited. A whole new way of networking had been introduced and candidates could quickly be found literally at one’s fingertips. Nearly a decade later, recruiters are taking advantage of another medium to meet job seekers and network with them: the virtual career fair.
Just last week, CBI Group’s team of recruiters attended a virtual career fair sponsored by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). I sat down with CBI Group’s Recruiting Guru Dave VanderDoes to discuss his experience with the recent fair and get some insight on what he foresees in the recruiting industry’s future.
Kelly: Thanks for sitting down to talk with me, Dave. Can you tell me a little bit about CBI Group’s experience with virtual career fairs?
Dave: Sure, no problem. This is the second career fair sponsored by RAPS, and the third virtual career fair overall for the team.
K: Tell me about this one in particular – the RAPS Virtual Career Fair.
D: Six other companies were in attendance including some healthcare and manufacturing companies. The fair lasted from 10am to 6pm. Three recruiters from our team, Colleen, Karesa, and myself, attended through out the day.
K: How many people came into your booth?
D: There were 800 people registered to attend the fair. Two-hundred people stopped by our booth. Attendees had the option to not go into the booth, but were able to just look at the jobs posted and could submit their resume if they were interested. Last time, they could “drive through” the booth without submitting any information – not the best feature. But this time we had the option of getting their information.
K: Wow, that’s a ton of people. Any luck with the resumes you received?
D: We already have one candidate submitted for Regulatory Affairs that [our client] is interested in speaking with. From the last Fair, we had a candidate hired within three weeks of contacting them at the fair for a position that had been open for a few months.
K: Any likes or dislikes?
D: Yea, the first thing I liked about the fair is that it allows you to brand the company by building an actual [virtual] booth. Attendees can come into the booth, see our logo, see videos, company literature, employee testimonials, look at all our openings, and apply directly through the fair. It’s a great way to see the company.
Because it is virtual, it allows individuals to come in from all over the country, and its something they can do from their desk at work, or their Iphone/Ipad. It’s a much easier way to get in. I had the ability to initiate some chat conversations, gauge interest, and schedule follow-up conversations.
K: How do you feel about this type of recruiting – the virtual aspect – do you embrace it?
D: This type of recruiting is good. In a chat session its hard to get a lot of depth but its a good way to make initial contact. Overall, its a great way to recruit.
K: How do you feel recruiting will change in the future?
D: I think there will be more recruiting events like this in the future. It’s another tool for recruiters and it will probably catch on quickly. The key is, if its sponsored by an association [such as RAPS], it will likely be more successful.
For more information on the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society and their upcoming events please visit www.raps.org.