Job Fair Recruitment: Top 8 Tactics for Employers

Want to excel at job fair recruitment? Discover top 8 creative tactics to boost your employer brand and attract top talent at job fairs! Remember that the best talent will undoubtedly get multiple offers, so you need be ready to edge out competitors in any way you can.


How to attract top candidates at the job fair?

According to a report from McKinsey, top talent is vital to an organization’s success in large part because it boosts efficiency. The data shows that high performers are 400 percent more productive than average ones and, as a result, teams with high-performing employees are more efficient in terms of output and budget.

For this reason, it quite literally pays to put a little bit more time and spend into your recruitment efforts, especially career fairs, to entice top-tier candidates. Remember that the best talent will undoubtedly get multiple offers, so you need be ready to edge out competitors in any way you can. 

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When heading into your next job fair, focus on making your employer brand desirable to the top of the class with a few creative, new recruitment marketing tactics. In this blog post, you’ll discover some of the best ways to do it.

How to promote your employer brand on a job fair?

Here are the top 8 tactics employers use to promote their employer brand on job fairs and attract the attention of the best candidates:


Recruitment tactic #1: Host a contest

How can gamification help you attract the best talent in job fairs? Everyone loves a good contest or game, especially in an environment like a job fair where attendees expect strict professionalism and maybe even stuffiness. Hosting a contest is a good way to lighten up the mood while drawing interested candidates to your booth. 

Invite people to submit a copy of their resume in exchange for an entry to a drawing, but make sure it’s a freebie that people actually want. Contests encourage visitors to come by your booth not once but twice to enter and then to find out whether or not they won at the end of the day.

Recruitment tactic #2: Advertise your presence

You already have a large pool of people who engage with your company, and they surely have a broader community that may include a top-tier candidate or two. 

Announce that you’ll be at a given career fair via social media and your email marketing lists, with specific information on the location of your booth and messaging that hints at whatever will be special about your display. Offer an exclusive swag item to those who show up due to your pre-fair hype.

Recruitment tactic #3: Pick unique swag

Go into any job fair with a realist’s attitude - even the most enthusiastic fair-goers come simply for the free promotional items, so you’ve got to make them count. Tailor your job fair giveaways to your industry and audience above all else. 

For example, if you’re in the travel industry, consider handing out branded charging banks or luggage tags. Remember that millennials, college students and younger crowds will always appreciate tech giveaways, but anything that’s original and useful will be a big hit among fair attendees.

Recruitment tactic #4: Digitize your booth

You don’t want to have to deal with a messy paper trail during or after the fair, so use your best to digitize things like collecting resumes and filling out applications. Digitization of the hiring process is just one of the many benefits of modern recruitment software.  

If you’re able to connect to the venue’s Wifi or wired internet, take advantage with laptops or tablets displaying your recruitment videos, demonstrations and valuable presentations that paint a positive picture of your employer brand. This also helps signal to younger applicants that your company isn’t afraid to embrace the very thing that excites them the most - tech.

Recruitment tactic #5: Know your roles

Don’t go into any recruitment activity without clearly defining the roles you need to fill. Do your best to gather information on exactly what will be required in each position, including daily tasks and job requirements

Make sure that all of your job descriptions and open positions are not only posted online but printed on literature that you can hand out at your booth and be sure that they are totally transparent. Apply job advertisement best practices and promote your roles as a mutually beneficial relationship and be forthcoming about salary, benefits and bonuses.

Recruitment tactic #6: Pick the best reps

Don’t simply send your human resources team to promote your brand at a job fair. You’ll want to send people who will actually be working with your new hires on a day-to-day basis. Invite your most positive, energetic, and enthusiastic employees to represent your company. This does two things simultaneously. 

First, it puts departments in direct contact with potential talent, helping to narrow down the pool to find the best options. Second, it allows potential applicants to interact with your company on a more personal, first-hand level with the people who are actually in the throes of it. 

Recruitment tactic #7: Provide sustenance

In addition to creative freebies, you might want to consider enticing passersby to your booth with something they can munch on post-fair. Popular options include candy, coffee, pizza, and snacks.

Get as creative as you’d like, but it’s probably a good idea to stick to items that are sealed and labeled. If you plan to give away edible extras, also offer something branded so that visitors can take something home with them that reminds them of your company after the fair has wrapped.

Recruitment tactic #8: Leverage your wins

Has your company been named one of the best places to work in your area? Is it listed on the Inc. 5000 list? Do you have a referral from a fellow employee that’s positively glowing? Put it all on your banners, literature and backdrops.

The fact of the matter is that potential talent will look at your booth as biased no matter how authentic your reps, so it’s important to emphasize props given from others

Takeaway: The key to a successful career fair strategy

The key to creating a successful career fair strategy is to stand out to top talent by speaking their language and understanding what they want out of a company. 

By using some powerful giveaways and shamelessly promoting the strengths of your workplace, you’ll undoubtedly catch the attention of top-tier applicants looking for a solid launchpad for a fruitful career. 

About the author

Lee Becknell serves as the Senior Digital Marketing Manager for Pinnacle Promotions. Lee oversees digital marketing from the Atlanta, GA headquarters. Lee has been with Pinnacle for over six years. Lee enjoys spending time with her husband, son and golden retriever, running and taking naps.

Frequently asked questions

How can hosting a contest at a job fair attract top talent? 

Hosting a contest adds a fun element, encouraging attendees to engage with your booth, especially if the prize is desirable.

Why is advertising your presence at a job fair important? 

Pre-fair promotion through social media and emails can create anticipation, attracting more attendees to your booth.

What makes unique swag effective at job fairs? 

Customized, industry-relevant giveaways can make your booth memorable and attract relevant attendees.

How does digitizing your booth improve the recruitment process? 

Using digital tools for resume collection and demonstrations streamlines the process and appeals to tech-savvy candidates.

What is the advantage of picking the best representatives for your booth? 

Having enthusiastic, knowledgeable employees at your booth provides a genuine insight into your company culture and attracts potential candidates.

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