09/21/2017  //  By tracy kelly  //  hiring events

You spent countless hours preparing for the career fair, set up your booth and checked every item off your list, but as you wait for the fair to begin, there’s one question remaining: will you meet qualified candidates? Pre-event registration can help eliminate unknown outcomes by sending advance sign-up forms to candidates prior to the event. Review candidate qualifications and begin moving talent through the hiring process—all before you step foot on the job fair floor. Here are the top ways pre-event registration benefits your recruitment team.

Cultivate brand awareness

You promote your attendance at the career fair on social media, send email campaigns to high-potential candidates and purchase an ad in the event program, but will these recruitment marketing efforts be enough to drive candidates to your booth? With event pre-registration, arrive at the the career fair with a list of registered candidates. Before the event, increase brand awareness by posting event registration links on social media, on your career site and emailing top candidates sourced from your talent relationship management system. Post the full event schedule on your career site to let candidates sign up for upcoming job fairs, and ask the sponsoring organization to include a registration link on their website or in emails. Track which recruitment marketing efforts result in the most candidate sign-ups. Target these channels in the future to continue to cultivate brand awareness.

Secure high-potential candidates before the competition

Speed matters in talent acquisition. Reach top talent before the competition by advancing the hiring pipeline before the event begins. Prior to the career fair, review registered attendees’ resumes to identify high-potential candidates. Reach out to best-fit prospects to thank them for registering, share information about your organization and schedule an interview at the career fair. Speed the pipeline by heading to the career fair with a full schedule of interviews and a pool of pre-vetted, highly-qualified candidates, before the competition meets a single prospect.

Refine your booth strategy

If you wonder what compels some candidates to step up to your booth and others to pass you by, use pre-event registration to find out. Post-event, send a survey to candidates who registered but never checked in at the booth, to understand their change of plans. Find out if no-show candidates passed by your booth due to factors like size, location, signage or number of staff present, or if they simply ran out of time at the career fair. Use the survey data to refine your booth strategy for future events.

Focus on the candidate experience

Rushing through a conversation with a candidate to collect the next prospects’s resume can lead to a poor candidate experience. Digitally collect resumes before the event to ensure you have time to provide each prospect the best experience with your company. Give each candidate information on your organization and potential opportunities. Ask about their interests, background and what they’re looking for in new positions, and answer their questions authentically and honestly. The experience you provide a candidate at the career fair impacts their decision to pursue an opportunity with your company, so focus on engaging candidates and learning about their interests—not collecting and organizing resumes.

Conduct thorough interviews

Interviews at career fairs can be stressful—not only for the candidate, but for recruiters, too. Candidate interviews may feel rushed as you review the candidate’s resume, all while asking questions, taking notes and keeping an eye on the time. Leverage pre-event registration to arrive at the event with resumes reviewed and interviews scheduled, to conduct more thoughtful, thorough candidate evaluations. Don’t delay the hiring pipeline due to a lack of clarity on candidate qualifications. Leave each interview with an understanding of the candidate’s skills and culture fit, to confidently make a decision about next steps in the hiring process.

Get a head start on extending offers

With a long list of candidate follow-up, not to mention tracking down contact information, returning to the office post-event may not provide any relief from the whirlwind of the career fair. Pre-event registration enables you to get a head start on follow-up communications while you’re still at the event. With all candidate contact information digitally stored in the platform, provide hiring process updates, ask candidates to self-schedule next-round interviews and extend offers to top candidates. Instead of spending time combing through resumes or checking in candidates, use this time to keep candidates informed and engaged after the career fair.

Get ahead of your competitors with pre-event registration. Review candidate qualifications and schedule interviews before every hiring event, to accelerate the hiring process and extend offers before the competition.

Watch: Enterprise Holdings uses event management software to track every candidate from applicant to hire.

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