Nearshore Americas
career fair tips

6 Essential Steps for Hosting a Successful Nearshore Career Fair

As the nearshore services industry grows at a breakneck pace, the amount of available jobs is increasing alongside it, so companies and national governments based in the region need efficient, effective ways to attract people for those vacant roles.

Career fairs are a great way to achieve this, giving stakeholders a chance to share information about available jobs, address the needs of the market, and give jobseekers a chance to apply and interview for lots of roles at one event.

Nearshore Americas and Invest Saint Lucia hosted the first ever BPO career fair in the country this month, so we wanted to share what we learnt and provide tips to make sure your next job fair is a success.

1 – Decide on your target audience

The first step to planning a career fair is understanding who you are trying to attract. Are you looking for young, inexperienced workers to fill basic, transactional roles, or do you want to attract well-educated mangers and technical experts? It’s important to know this to ensure you target the right people. You may also want to throw a wide net and see what you catch; you never know who’s looking to switch careers.

Once you know who you are targeting, think about where to reach them through advertising and marketing. Approach schools and universities and ask to put flyers up. Request help from recruitment agencies. Reach out on social media, or advertise in local newspapers and magazines. Also, invite journalists to come and report on the event, as they can provide follow-up publicity for other job seekers who couldn’t make it.

2 – Engage and coach job-seekers

Getting the attention of the job seekers is one thing, but ensuring they are fully prepared is another.

We suggest holding a ‘pre-prep’ meeting that provides job seekers with specific tips on optimizing their CVs, what topics to hit on during the meetings, and the kinds of questions employers will be asking.

It is vital that job-seekers recognize that employers are partly evaluating candidates based on those persons with real passion for ICT- or BPO-related careers.

3 – Invite other local stakeholders to participate

Whether you’re a BPO, a software company, or a governmental agency, it’s important for your nearshore ecosystem to include other stakeholders in the event, as it promotes the idea of a strong industry that jobseekers can have confidence in.

When seeking to invite other companies to your career fair, explain to them the benefits of attending, providing details about the audience you are targeting, the expected attendance rate, and the kind of skills or qualifications that attendees will be bringing. You can even offer sponsorship opportunities to cover some of the costs and give stakeholders more exposure.

4 – Create an engaging agenda

To keep the event dynamic and valuable, consider having a staged area for panels and presentations with industry speakers, and create some closed spaces for topic-driven workshops that give candidates a chance to learn about the industry or the art of job seeking.

Use these platforms to provide employers and employees with helpful information on important topics, such as hiring and retaining employees, adhering to local labor laws, advice on CV writing, interviewing techniques, call center etiquette, or in-demand technological skills. Even so, don’t overload people with hour-long sessions. Get people engaged and moving around the event.

Whether it’s a one-day or a week-long event, people need to know what will be happening every step of the way, so provide all attendees with a detailed agenda, scheduling all talks and workshops, lunch and coffee breaks, and block out time for networking.

5 – Prepare the venue

Deciding where to locate the event is also critical. Consider convenience, parking, and overall setting when making the selection.

On the day of the event, set up the room to comfortably accommodate your participants and also provide for some level of privacy for employers to do the interviews. In addition, prepare staff supporting the event by rehearsing the proceedings, preparing a ‘flow report’ – which breaks down the entire program and anticipating what career seekers will ask staff.

6 – Get Feedback after the Event

If your first career fair is a success, you’ll probably want to host another one. Once the event is over, reach out to both employers and employees to see what they thought of the day and use that feedback to make improvements.

Collect success stories and case studies from people who successfully found jobs, thank people for coming, and ask what they think could have been better. You can use those case studies to advertise your next event, and the gratitude you show people for attending will encourage them to return next time.

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Matt Kendall

During his 2+ years as Chief Editor at Nearshore Americas, Matt Kendall operated at the heart of both the Nearshore BPO and IT services industries, reporting on the most impactful stories and trends in the sector.

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