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The Pros and Cons of Virtual Job Fairs

Best Practices

Virtual job fairs are now considered part of the new normal. Employers have been resorting to remote opportunities to meet with hopeful talents that they may or may not deem best fit to fill in their job vacancies. Fortunately, the online setting has made for a more cost-effective and efficient avenue for accommodating these companies’ talent acquisition endeavors. Notwithstanding, candidates may still have to consider some disadvantages of job fairs in the online setting.

Networking vs. Higher Competition

Networking is one of the most prominent advantages of job fairs. Employees get to meet the employers of their preferred and prospective companies, and even collect their contact details for future reference. However, with this advantage also comes a con: higher competition. These actions of networking and keeping in touch with future employers are not only done by a single, hopeful candidate; all other candidates in the job fair are interested in doing the same. In this light, the competition is fierce and quite difficult to grapple with, especially in online events wherein the number of attendees are even higher due to convenience and accessibility. Such provides an even worse case for candidates who are not well-versed in the workings of the online setting, leaving them rather uncomfortable in the process.

Company Knowledge vs. Time & Trouble

Apart from building a wider network, people in job fairs also get to know the nature of the company through such interactions. As they acquaint themselves with the employers of different companies, they also acquaint themselves with the nature of the company itself. They are offered a convenient platform wherein they can know the answers to any questions they have in mind. This is also beneficial for companies, as they have the chance to promote their brand to a wide audience, eventually leading to an increase in brand awareness. On the flipside, this comes with a negative complementary: time & trouble. In job fairs, candidates take time to go through the trouble of dressing up professionally for an online call. Because of this, they run the risk of losing time to focus more on actual job fair practices such as networking and inquiring. Furthermore, it is important to note that the online setting has also offered other avenues for the same processes. If candidates already have the option to learn more about the nature of the same companies via email inquiries or through mere research, do they really need to dress up and prepare for a process they can already do at their own pace?

Faster Process vs. Remote Setting Limitations

Indeed, virtual job fairs offer speedy and efficient avenues for hiring. This is illustrated by on-the-spot interviews, direct conversations, as well as an overall expedited process of hiring. However, a notable downside to this is the extent to which the employers can truly get to know the candidates before hiring them. This is a challenge for both the employers and candidates. In the new setting, candidates now have an even greater pressure to stand out in a way that would really do justice to their entire, holistic character. In other words, the remote setting hinders candidates from completely introducing themselves and their competencies to employers, compared to how interviews went onsite. Conversely, companies do not get to have a complete overview of the candidates. Moreover, gestures such as handshakes that are usually considered in the hiring process have no direct equivalent in the online setting. Taking these into account, it is then apparent that such limitation may potentially make companies miss out on the chance to hire competent candidates they would have known better in an onsite interview.

In sum, it is clear that virtual job fairs have advantages and disadvantages for both the candidates and the companies. These stem from both the general nature of a job fair, as well as its nature in the context of the new setting. Notwithstanding the limitations  of the latter, however, video interviews are now considered to be the next best possible option for companies to create meaningful engagements with potential candidates amidst the new normal.

Ultimately, it is still important to note that job fairs, although they may have their cons, are reflective of efforts made by companies to offer jobs in the midst of an ongoing crisis. Above everything, they are still meaningful opportunities for job-seekers. On that note, perhaps there is really no grave harm in taking a chance on them.