Connecting with Candidates
As a recruiter, you are the face of your company to the attendees. Their interaction with you will determine their impression of your business. The Leighton School and the Career Services Office hope these tips will help you as you plan for the Career and Internship Fair.
Arrive early…but not too early. Doors open at noon. We advise you to arrive around 11 a.m.—that is not a rule, it is a suggestion. Do not arrive earlier than 10:00 a.m., as IU South Bend staff may be conducting final set up for the event.
When considering arrival time, ask yourself how long will it take to drop your materials off, park, get into the Student Activities Center (SAC) and set up so that you are ready at noon? Add 20 minutes so you have extra time to cope with any unforeseen delay.
Your display should fit on or in front of a six-foot table. The Career and Internship Fair will have a lot of employers and students, so there will not be a lot of room to spread out.
We will have staff on hand to help you move your materials into the SAC. Even so, we encourage employers to keep the amount of and weight of materials manageable. Can two or people get all these items into and out of a building in a single trip?
IU South Bend will make every effort to ensure your needs are met. Even so, consider bringing extra supplies just in case. For example, having an extra extension cord with you could be helpful. Bring a phone/device charger with you. Having scissors and tape on hand can be a life saver in a crunch.
Give-aways get students’ attention. T-shirts and bags are very popular items. Individually wrapped candies (such as mini-Snickers) can also be a draw.
Attendees are trained to ask for business cards, so bringing multiple copies of them is a good idea. Information about your company, job descriptions, descriptions of your hiring processes, etc. are ideal for a career fair. As most attendees are technology savvy, providing literature with a link to a Web site with such information is another good option (and may reduce your printing cost).
Your display may get people’s attention, but the people from your company will be what ultimately sells attendees on your company. Staff should be knowledgeable about positions available. Friendly, outgoing and patient representatives can leave a lasting positive impression on attendees.
Stand in front of your table so there is no barrier between you and the attendees. Attendees can be intimidated at a fair and being in front of your table makes you seem more welcoming. Also, wearing a name tag helps attendees identify who, in a crowded room, to approach with questions. Employers who have at least one person staff their table at all times increase their odds of finding outstanding candidates.
We coach attendees to talk about their academic background and work experience with you. However, having questions about such topics at the ready can help draw such information from a nervous attendee.
Why Job-Seekers Attend
Job-seekers attend career fairs to interact with employers in meaningful ways. They want to learn things they cannot find out on-line via authentic conversations. Job-seekers report that their interest in employers is enhanced when the company representatives take the time to connect on a personal level.
Be Prepared to Talk to All Students
Many freshmen and sophomores will attend the Career and Internship Fair. Interacting with these students is a long-term investment in your recruiting process. Taking time to explain career opportunities to these students now may produce dividends in the future when the student is seeking their first internship or job. They will remember the employer with whom they connected as a younger student.
Questions from Attendees
Don't wait for visitors to approach you - be assertive, friendly and sincere.
Ask passers-by friendly, open-ended, yet specific questions such as: "Are you interested a career in finance?" or "Do you want to put your communications skills to work in a great career?" Based on the response, you can separate leads from those who are simply curious.
After the Fair
You will be given a survey to assess how the fair went. Please be sure to complete it. The more candid the answer the better able we will be able to improve our next career and internship fair.
Be sure to follow up with visitors who have expressed interest in your company. Employers who follow up with exceptional candidates early and often usually recruit the very best IU South Bend has to offer.