Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing and social media firm. She's written three business books, and blogs about small business on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz.
You know that hosting a job fair does great things for bringing in top-notch employees and candidates, but you have to get people to the event for that concept to work. It's the whole "chicken and egg" dynamic. You can't have one without the other.
To ensure your next job fair is filled with the right people, use the following marketing strategies:
1. Plan Far Out
You can't start marketing your job fair the week before. If it's a statewide or national event, you'll need to start a year in advance, since people need time to make travel plans, as well as plan their schedules around your event. Your marketing activities will change the closer you get.
- One year out: Create a landing page for your job fair and don't forget social accounts/hashtags
- Six months out: Get more active on social media; share schedule details
- Three months out: Offer early-bird discounts and special offers, if you're charging a price for admission
- One month out: Use "time is ticking" verbiage in all communications to create a sense of urgency
2. Enlist the Help of Influencers
Your reach is only so wide. You'll need others to help you spread the word about your event. Turn to other local businesses and loyal brand supporters to do the job. Send an email about two months before the job fair, asking if they would be willing to help you promote the fair in exchange for a booth or other perk, and if they are okay being on your mailing list for the job fair.
This isn't the generic mailing list; it's an exclusive VIP list, so make it feel that way. Every week or two, send prewritten social media updates they can easily copy and paste (or use a tool like Click to Tweet to automatically populate fields on Twitter), along with content they can use via email or publish on their blog.
If you'd like, you can set up an affiliate program so your network gets compensated for every ticket sale they foster.
3. Create Excitement
If you're attending a job fair as a company seeking new hires, why should job-seekers stop by your booth? Learning about your company and open positions isn't always enticing enough. Try promotional giveaways to not only drive traffic to your booth but to also help you capture contact info of top-notch candidates.
4. Create or Use Hashtags
If you're hosting the job fair, set up a hashtag to be used on social media to draw attention to it. Anyone who wants to be a part of the conversation about the fair can use that hashtag.
5. Give Away Tickets
To boost attendance (which makes your job fair look rock-star), if you plan to charge for admission, consider giving away tickets in the weeks leading up to the event. Consider giving away two at a time so the winners can bring friends.
Job fairs are great for capturing leads for new hires in real time, but to get those leads, you have to make them thirst for what you're offering. With some planning and preparation, you can make sure your next fair is well attended by the best in the job-seeking world.
Interesting in getting even more visibility for your company? Contact us to see how we can help you find the best hires.