Six tips for sourcing candidates at graduate fairs

It’s finally summer, and you know what that means? Graduate career fairs! The perfect place to scout for new ‘up and coming’ candidate talent with the potential to inject that extra hit of vitality into your clients company. Making the best impression is crucial at a careers fair, with competition for attention at an all-time high. Keep reading to discover our tips on getting the most out of careers fairs.

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1. Stand out from the crowd

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Shout about your clients, areas of expertise, and sector reach. Being able to say that you get the best graduates the best jobs within the best companies is more likely to secure you new candidates than meekly handing out business cards. Make sure your marketing clearly displays your name and the sector you work in, and prominently including the logos of big name clients on your stand will help grab attention no matter how busy the fair gets.

2. Location, location, location

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Where your stand is placed in a venue can make all the difference between capturing optimum footfall and being lost in the crowd. If you’ve yet to book your stands position scope out the venue using available floorplans, then select an area close to the entrance of the fair to get graduates at the start of their visit – before they’re grabbed by anyone else.

3. Collect data and take ALL of the CVs!

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So you spoke to hundreds of potential new recruits. Great. How many of them are you able to contact? Don’t just talk to people, make a connection by collecting their emails, names and career area of interest. Collecting this information gives you the opportunity to directly contact graduates about registering with your company rather than hoping they remember you after they leave the fair.

Set up a CV drop box for anyone who has come prepared with a printed CV to use. This is a quick and easy way of getting detailed information about potential candidates, and will give you need to following up on the best graduate CVs after the fair.

4. Arrive prepared

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Not only will you need up to date business cards and obligatory branded pens, you’ll also have to swot up on some key issues graduates are likely to ask, for example opportunities to work abroad in the shadow of Brexit, how much they could earn in certain roles, how they can make their CV stand out and how to get onto a highly competitive graduate scheme – particularly pressing for those looking to embark on a career in the financial sector. Being able to offer advice and support will help you lay the foundations of what could be a lucrative candidate relationship.

5. Make a good impression

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For many graduates this will be the first time they meet a recruiter. You’ll meet a mix of people at the fair, from those certain about their future to others still undecided and looking for advice – both deserve your full attention. Making a good impression early in a graduate’s transition into the world of work is a good way to build a relationship and ensure they think of you when applying for roles.

6. Work the room

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Last but not least, check out your competitors and what they have on offer. This will give you a good idea of what – if anything – you can improve on next time and help raise your graduate candidate sourcing game.

Discover more on how to attract fresh talent

“Millennial graduates” (or whatever people are calling themselves now) are more likely to be sourced on social media than anywhere else. So if you’re not up to scratch with social recruiting you’d better read our social media recruiting blog.

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