Job fairs are an excellent way to meet new potential candidates for your company in a more personal and intimate way. It also creates a prime opportunity for you to represent and show off your business in the best light. There is however a lot of work that goes into preparing for a job fair than you might expect. Here are 5 helpful tips when preparing and being apart of a job fair and an employer.

1. Research: It’s important that when you first decide on participating in a job fair, you think about why you’re making this decision. Have you thought about how many people you are looking to hire? What qualifications and key skills are you looking for in a potential hire? It also helps to investigate the demographics of the job fair you plan on attending. Is the fair geared more towards younger students, but you’re looking for young professionals in their 20s or 30s? Save yourself some time and make sure that the job fair is in your right demographic.

2. Organization is key: Ahead of time, think about how the resume process will take place. Will applicants be able to drop off a resume at your booth? Will you have blank application forms for them to fill in or will they be able to apply online? It’s also critical to book your spot in advanced and arrive for the job fair early so you have enough time to setup and prepare. You don’t want to be scrambling around getting things together while candidates walk by. Remember, in some ways even though candidates are trying hard to impress you, you also need to be impressing them as well. Don’t forget to promote the job fair in advance and that you’re hiring. Post on social media and on your website about the job positions available and let people know if they’re interested to meet you at the job fair.

3. Time management: For many businesses attending their first job fair, this one is often overlooked. Do you plan on interviewing any candidates on the spot or scheduling interviews with candidates? Create a time table in advanced so you can properly schedule sit-down interviews with people and if you’re doing same-day interviews, give yourself a certain timeframe so you’re not going over on time. Even if you don’t plan on interviewing during the event, allow some extra time anyways just in case you meet a highly qualified candidate you would like to sit down with.

4. First Impressions: As mentioned earlier, you need to impress your candidate and start off on the right foot. Be organized and be prepared before hand. It’s a great idea to have promotional materials and information displayed in an eye-catching way so jobseekers passing by are more enticed to stop and find out more about your business and what type of job openings you have available. Have signs posted that will promote who you are and what you’re looking for, so your message is clear and simple. More important than anything, have the right person representing your company. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your business and welcoming to people who are looking for a job and want to find out more about why they should work for you. It’s intimidating as someone who is attending a job fair looking for a job, so one helpful tip is to stand in front of your booth and invite people in. It takes a little bit of the intimidation factor out of the approach and makes you more personable.

5. Set yourself apart: At a job fair, you’re competing with a lot of different businesses around you who may or may not be looking for similar candidates as you. That is why having eye-catching promotional materials and signs is so important when you attend job fairs. However, try to find other ways to differentiate yourself from the pack. Have some cool giveaways or “swag-bags” to hand out to potential candidates who stop by your booth. Include some key information about your business and contact information so they can reach out to you. Be creative and don’t be afraid to show-off.

Want to learn more about how to promote job openings and hiring new candidates for your company? At FOCUS Employment services, we can do more than just that. With our knowledgeable staff and innovative tools, we can help you find the right person to join your team. Find out more by contacting us or stop by one of our awesome locations in Alliston or Angus today and let’s get started on finding the employees to help your business succeed.