from the wall street journal online.
As companies find themselves swarmed with applicants, struggling to match workers with the right skills to job openings, many are turning to virtual career fairs. Employers say these online forums—accessed by companies and job seekers from anywhere in the world—can save them time and money, as well as broaden the candidate pool.
Companies are turning to virtual career fairs as they find themselves swarmed with applicants and struggling to match workers to job openings.
When participants log into a virtual fair, they can access a variety of “booths” organized by company name or job field. In the booths, they find information about the company and positions available. Sometimes there are videos or live, one-on-one chats with recruiters or even high-level executives.
Candidates learn about fairs through the company’s website, social-networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, or word of mouth.
Procter & Gamble Co. and Citigroup Inc. customize their own company-specific virtual career fairs. Other firms, such as Boeing Co. and insurer Progressive Corp., join broad-based virtual career fairs hosted by companies like jobs sites Monster.com, which is owned by Monster Worldwide Inc., and Brazen Careerist Inc. The group fairs host anywhere from a handful to hundreds of companies.
As companies find themselves swarmed with applicants, struggling to match workers with the right skills to job openings, many are turning to virtual career fairs. WSJ‘s Emily Glazer has the story on Digits.
The fairs, which may last from several hours to a few days, are less about landing a job offer, say HR experts, and more about generating interest among candidates. Good candidates can be invited back for deeper, in-person interviews, while candidates who are not a great fit will be weeded out early on, they say.
At a P&G European virtual career fair last October, about 900 attendees logged in from countries throughout western Europe, as well as Turkey, Russia and Romania. Candidates had access to about 20 booths to learn about job types—finance, business development or product supply, for example—or local P&G offices. P&G representatives communicated in French, Spanish, German, Italian and English.
Lourdes Fuentes, a Geneva-based marketing executive with P&G, says the virtual fair is cost- and time-efficient because she can access it from her office and doesn’t have to spend a full day traveling. She tries to explain to potential candidates what P&G’s culture is like and which qualities are important for marketing. She says she has “met” some people with promise.
One candidate, Ioannis Boukas, heard about the P&G career fair on LinkedIn and logged in from work in Athens, Greece. At the fair, he learned about the firm’s international opportunities and got application advice from some P&G marketing managers and recruiters.
Mr. Boukas, 25, later decided it was worth taking a day off from work to attend an in-person P&G career fair. About six months and three in-person interviews later, he was hired as an assistant brand manager in Geneva.
Virtual career fairs serve as a “starting point” for many younger candidates, says Amy Ng, senior vice president of human resources at Citigroup.
Events like these are especially useful for what Ms. Ng calls “passive job seekers” or the large part of the population not actively seeking a job but interested in learning what is out there. This way, when they are ready to look or if they are laid off, they’ll “think Citi sounds like a great place to work, see how we interact with people,” she said.
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