During this time of shelter in place restrictions we are seeing a wide variety of activities move from in-person to virtual interactions. Since we are unable to hold traditional in-person job fairs to connect the unprecedented number of unemployed individuals with employers who do have jobs available, the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) is collaborating with a variety of regional and industry-specific groups to conduct and get experience with virtual job fair events. While the virtual job fair is more of a necessity right now until we can conduct in-person job fairs again, as we all gain more experience with this virtual option, we expect that VJFs will be added to the mix of in-person and online recruitment options in the “new normal” future.
So far, ESD has conducted 4 virtual job fairs and the results have been extremely positive for both employers and job seekers. In particular, the text chats between employers and job seekers have led to a higher than expected number of next step interviews with candidates as compared with past in-person job fairs. And employers have also been able to identify a large pipeline of candidates for future positions as well.
ESD is collaborating with a variety of workforce and economic development organizations to hold a manufacturing industry virtual job fair as follows:
Manufacturing Virtual Job Fair
Date TBD – end of July/early August—10am – 2pm
How To Sign Up
If you are interested in participating or have additional questions, email the ESD virtual job fair coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org who willcreate a virtual booth for you and send you information and resources to help you set up your virtual booth, and assign one or more recruiters to participate during the event.
About the Virtual Job Fair
ESD has contracted with Brazen Technology as the virtual job fair (VJF) software platform. Brazen is a “conversational recruitment platform” that allows recruiters to connect with multiple job seekers and conduct initial conversations using familiar instant messaging chat technology. It is an opportunity for employers to identify (aka screen) candidates who they may want to follow up with to conduct more formal interviews by phone or video.
How does it work?
Employers that are interested will work with us and technical support staff from Brazen to set up the their “virtual booth” at the event. This will include submitting general information about the company, YOUR job openings, and any other relevant information that you would typically have available at a job fair. Employers/recruiters will have the ability to specify the type(s) of candidates (experience, required certificates, etc.) they want in advance, and they’ll have the ability to live text chat with candidates during the event. At the end of the event, each employer will receive complete transcripts of each chat they had with job seekers as well as their resumes for follow up.
How much time do employers need to dedicate to this?
Preparation in advance of the event again depends on the number of positions the employer is looking to fill, but as soon as employers register and identify who the recruiters will be, they will get a link to training resources and technical support that is recommended for first time participants. Booth Owner Training Video + Guide
How much does it cost to participate?
There is no cost to participate in this pilot VJF. There may be a nominal cost for employers to participate in future VJF events but as we all explore this new option we will only ask that you respond to a post VJF survey to get your feedback on how it went and your ideas for improvement.
How do job seekers apply and how many job seekers do you anticipate will participate?
Job seekers register from a VJF landing page (URL) and must register in advance to participate. During registration, they will be able to upload their resumes and answer a few questions up front. Based on previous similar events, we expect 500-750 job seekers to attend the event.
Here are some additional materials for you to watch/review to get a better feel for how an actual VJF works: