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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at jasonblais.com. I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Aug 14, 2008

Have Career Fairs Lost their Value?

At JobsInTheUS, we are taking our web-based employment advertising resource from the net to the neighborhood. We've launched an initiative to host 4 career fairs in September- one each in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Alabama. In the spring, we'll be hosting 7, including those 4 states, plus Mississippi, Louisiana, and Vermont. These fairs are growing, and we're seeing participation from businesses from all sectors.

It's been our belief, since our site started in 1998, that effective internet resources of any kind, must have strong and consistent local presence and support. This belief has led us to provide in-person educational seminars to local employers across New England and NY; sponsor and attend local trade association events, HR Conferences, and business expos; provide outreach training to job seekers at career centers and colleges; and execute one-on-one training with recruiters to help them better understand how to maximize their presence on the web.

I can honestly admit that as a job seeker more than 4 1/2 years ago, I relied exclusively on the internet to find my next career opportunity. Clearly, that's how I found my way to JobsInTheUS. That being said, I still feel VERY strongly that in-person events such as career fairs are vitally important and beneficial to both employers and job seekers...

AM I CRAZY? AM I STUCK IN THE 90'S? AM I ON AN ISLAND?


Do employers really feel that meeting job seekers face to face is no longer important? As a hiring manager myself, I am always grateful to have a job fair to attend that coincides with hiring needs. Being able to shake a hand, make eye contact, and interact at that level for just 5 minutes is often more valuable than a 20 to 30 minute phone screen interview. And more often than not, interviews from career fair candidates reveal fewer surprises.

What are your thoughts? Are job fairs dead? If so... why?

3 comments:

RobertStanke.com Blog said...

I think there are a lot of things we need to bring back to our profession. With the rise in technology, our profession has lost a lot of the personal touch needed to formulate long-lasting relationships. Let's take job fairs as an example. During some recent research I was doing, most people were not interested in investing the time or money into participating in a job fair. I agree with you in the point that the face-to-face, on-the-spot interview is gone. But it is so important. Our industry leaders need to step up, put some skin in the game, and re-invent traditional models of talent acquisition.

Regards,

Robert Stanke
http://www.robertstanke.com

Jason said...

Mr. Stanke,

Thank you for your input. I sincerely appreciate your perspective, and am glad to see there are others out there who understand that while technology is great and vital and useful, you can't simply replace all human interaction with it.

It is truly sad for me to see both employers and job seekers losing the desire to make face to face connections, figuring their blog, or email, or website, or social networking site, is an adequate substitute.

By the way- I saw your blog, and think its great! I just finished reading a book by Garrison Keillor, Homegrown Democrat- and I actually tried to convince my wife to move to Minneapolis! (to no avail, though- however, we're now in "the nations best arts small town" in Northampton MA, and loving it)

g2bn2n said...

Well Jason, I would be curious to learn of the success employers and job seekers have at these job fairs. Many including myself and have written about the ill prepared job seekers attending in ragged jeans, a T-Shirt, baseball cap, nose ring... looking for $15 an hour. Fat Chance. Youth today don't do much face to face anymore. They are IMing, texting or using other communication methods to learn of or get their needs met. Internet job search sites and on line applications have also reduced the need for job seekers to attempt in-person visits. I am still of the mindset that someone who takes the time to dress appropriately and visit a potential employer is more likely to find success but is that the case? I don't know for sure anymore. I would hope so and would hope that job fairs would still achieve the intended outcomes for both employers and attendees.

While I am thinking about it, The Employment Times as you know has and continues to host job fairds throughout Maine and NH. Is it really necessary for jobsinme to host more? I guess we'll see. If I am being honest, I would like to see jobsinme begin a career advice section whereby visitors could post questions to a board with readers posting replies. I see this on monster.com and contribute quite frequently. Just another informal way to offer solutions for customers.

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