8 Best Practices for Hosting Virtual Career Fairs

hosting virtual career fairs

Human connection has always been at the heart of talent acquisition. By getting in the same room with candidates at in-person events, recruiters could build relationships, discuss concerns, and demonstrate their company’s value. Face-to-face interactions were crucial to successful recruitment.

However, the pandemic, changing candidate expectations, and innovative technologies have pushed recruiters toward a new way to engage candidates: hosting virtual career fairs. These events allow recruiters and candidates to build meaningful connections from the comfort of home.

Moving forward, success will find recruitment teams that can host efficient and engaging virtual hiring events. Here are some best practices and expert advice for doing just that.

Before the Virtual Career Fair

Best Practice #1: Choose a Virtual Career Fair Partner Wisely

Choosing the right partner is the key to finding success. But to do that, you need to know what to look for in a platform and the right questions to ask when meeting with vendors. Let’s start with some features and qualities to look for:

  • Easy to use
  • Transparent pricing
  • White-glove service
  • Advanced reporting & analytics
  • Robust event promotion

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you’ll begin demos with vendors. Come with questions to keep in your back pocket:

  • How long does it take to set up a hiring event?
  • Who owns the candidate data?
  • Can I include hiring managers at my events?
  • How many events can I host per month?
  • Is your platform secure?

Best Practice #2: Spruce Up Your Employer Branding

In the wake of The Great Resignation, it’s more important than ever to impress candidates. Using your event registration page, showcase your organization’s identity, benefits, and culture. Here are a few tips for showing top talent why your organization is worthwhile:

  • Utilize informative but short videos that introduce candidates to real people who work at your organization
  • Include links to blogs and other content pieces that tell your employees’ stories, including their challenges and triumphs in the workplace
  • Empathize the parts of your organization’s culture that appeal to millennials. Many care about work autonomy, recognition for contributions, and opportunities for making an impact on the community

Best Practice #3: Develop an Omni-Channel Approach to Event Promotion

Think about hosting virtual career fairs (VCF) like a party. You need to send out invites if you want people to come. In other words, your hiring event requires a solid promotion strategy that’ll attract candidates. Here are some best practices:

  • Create some urgency for your event. Highlight that the VCF is fast approaching and that candidates need to sign up soon to be included
  • Make sure your call-to-action (CTA) is clear. If a candidate needs to register to join your event, the CTA button should say “Register”
  • When you hit three or more channels in a campaign, engagement rises by over 250%.1 Utilize multiple marketing channels, such as search, social media, direct mail, email, and programmatic advertising

Best Practice #4: Invite the Right Staff & Brief Them on the Roles

Imagine you’re a candidate at a VCF and you’ve been waiting over 15 minutes to speak to a recruiter. How would you react? If you want the job badly enough, you might wait it out. But most likely, you’ll bounce and move on with your day.

That’s exactly why you need enough recruiters staffing your virtual career fair. You don’t want candidates waiting more than a few minutes to speak to someone on your team.

But it’s not just about having enough staff, it’s also about having the right staff. Make sure the relevant hiring managers commit to attending your event. When using Live Recruit, you’ll be able to refer candidates to hiring managers within the platform, fast-tracking the recruiting process.

Lastly, make sure your team is educated and briefed on the roles you’re hiring for; this will enable recruiters to answer candidates’ questions efficiently.

During the Virtual Career Fair

Best Practice #5: Give Candidates a Meaningful Experience

Consider this: A positive candidate experience means that candidates will be 38% more likely to take a job offer.2 And what happens if they have a negative experience? Almost 70% of candidates will never work with your company again.3

So how do you provide a positive experience when hosting a virtual recruiting event? Here are some virtual career fair tips for employers:

  • Use the best medium to communicate with candidates. A candidate’s getting confused by your messages? Switch over to video chat
  • Figure out what the candidate is looking for and highlight how your organization fits the bill. Do they want greater financial stability? Talk about your company’s financial wellness benefits. After all, 54% of employees are more stressed about their finances than before the COVID-19 pandemic4
  • Around 25% of candidates say the hiring process takes too long. Speed up the recruiting process by answering candidate questions fully and efficiently, and then pass candidates along to hiring managers as soon as you determine they’re a good fit5

Best Practice #6: Create a Lasting Impression

While recruiters may be the face of your organization, candidates can benefit from meeting other employees on your team. For example, if you’re interviewing students for entry-level roles, offer to introduce them to recent graduates or interns. They don’t have the time? Send them a one-minute video that shows a “day in the life” of a current employee.

You should also emphasize how your organization fosters career growth for early talent. Tell them about recent graduates who have been moving up in your organization and what they’ve been accomplishing.

After the Virtual Career Fair

Best Practice #7: Create a Post-Event Follow-Up Strategy & Execute It

Just because the VCF is over, doesn’t mean the conversation should end. However, don’t always expect candidates to respond. 44% of salespeople give up after following up once, but 80% of sales require at least 5 follow-ups.6 This is often true with recruitment, as well.

A candidate may not apply for a role or speak to a hiring manager at your VCF, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. They may have been busy or distracted. Keep the conversation going by reaching out to qualified candidates a day after the hiring event. Ask them if they’re interested in connecting one-on-one and follow up regularly unless they explicitly say they aren’t interested.

When you’re following up with candidates, review their resumes and read over any notes you or your team took during the VCF. Personalize your communications with them and elaborate on questions they asked.

Best Practice #8: Analyze Data From the Event

Hosting a virtual career fair is just the beginning. When it’s over, it’s time to look at the data so you can optimize your future hiring events. A platform like Live Recruit will give you comprehensive analytics on everything from attendance rate to which event promotion channels worked best. However, glancing at the data isn’t enough; you need to analyze it, look for patterns, and ask the right questions.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you review the analytics:

  • Who’s attending my virtual career fair?
  • How many candidates are being passed along to hiring managers?
  • How many candidates are being hired?
  • How do I increase engagement from candidates?
  • Which channels should I invest more money in to boost attendance?

Final Thoughts: Hosting a Virtual Career Fair That Will Impress Candidates & Your Boss

As the talent acquisition space evolves, one thing remains consistent: candidates want to join organizations that care about them and their experience during the hiring process.

Every aspect of your virtual career fair, from the platform you choose to how you follow up with candidates, should reflect this reality. Set yourself apart and put your best foot forward with candidates. With that mindset, everything else will fall into place.


  1. Omnisend. (2020b, June 15). Marketing Automation Statistics 2019.
  2. 19 Must-Know Candidate Experience Statistics – Mya.com. (2020, March 2). AMEYA DESHMUKH. 
  3. Ibid. 
  4. Report: Employee Financial Wellness and the Future of Work. (2021). Betterment.
  5. 19 Must-Know Candidate Experience Statistics – Mya.com. (2020, March 2). AMEYA DESHMUKH.
  6. Pratt, S. (2017, September 26). 10 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics that will Help You Recruit Smarter. SocialTalent.

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