Virtual Job Fairs Becoming More of a Reality

By Stern, Gary M. | Workforce Management, February 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Virtual Job Fairs Becoming More of a Reality

Stern, Gary M., Workforce Management

After failing to find a supply-chain or purchasing-agent job through networking and career websites, Antonio Beasley turned to the Big East Virtual Career Fair last November.

The 30-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, resident was pleasantly surprised to find roughly 30 firms there, and he contacted all of the recruiters online by writing a pithy introductory letter. About 10 to 12 answered with automated e-mail respon-ses, and five recruiters even wrote a personal note. He obtained e-mail addresses from the recruiters and stayed in touch with several who said more supply-chain jobs could open up in the first quarter.

For job seekers, virtual career fairs are appealing because they're a way to get your foot in the door without having to walk out the door. Similarly, virtual fairs are growing in popularity with employers because they can significantly expand their reach nationally and internationally at minimal expense. The Virtual Edge Institute, an organization in Pleasanton, California, whose member firms build online platforms for job fairs, says the number of fairs jumped 31 percent from 2009 to 2010, and its members expect 40 percent growth in 2011. The group declined to release the total number of fairs.

Wes Reel, a military recruiter for Houston-based Waste Management Inc., tested out three virtual job fairs last year, including Milicruit, which targets former military personnel, and Unicruit, which is aimed at college students. He sought to fill about 1,000 positions, including management trainees, maintenance directors, mechanics and accountants.

Virtual fairs usually last about five hours, though recruiters can receive résumés online for as long as a week after the event. In its virtual "booth," Waste Management provided links to its online career site, obtained résumés from candidates and interacted with applicants in a live chat room. Reel prepared a brief written statement that he sent to applicants online, describing available jobs. After he reviewed résumés, he sent a personal note to promising applicants.

Reel and other recruiters have found that traditional job fairs don't always pay off. In addition to the time and expense of attending them in person, recruiters often find them inefficient because many people stop by their booth who don't possess the right skills.

What's more, Reel points out, transcribing e-mail addresses from lists after a job fair is time consuming. At virtual fairs on the other hand, recruiters pre-screen résumés, contact candidates who are a potential fit and store e-mail addresses automatically in their company's computer system.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Virtual Job Fairs Becoming More of a Reality


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?