So you’re thinking of exhibiting at a job fair or maybe you’ve already signed up to one.

We’ve pulled together a three-part blog series Job Fair Hiring Success in which we look at the three key ingredients for recruitment success when it comes to exhibiting at a job fair.

As a Company, we’ve been organising medical, nursing and generalist healthcare recruitment events around the world for almost twenty years and along the way we’ve met some employers who swear by them and others that won’t touch them.

But why? Why do job fairs work for some employers and not for others?

Without doubt the biggest single reason is preparedness and in particular, having realistic expectations.

As an employer, exhibiting at a job fair is just another form of recruitment advertising, an opportunity for you to build your own internal talent pool directly, which in turn feeds your recruitment pipeline.

But when it comes to success, what return on investment would you expect from print, radio or online recruitment advertising and how does this compare to exhibiting at a job fair compare?

If we consider the average cost of exhibiting at a job fair circa £3,500 and there’s an additional £1,500 for travel and marketing materials, then how many doctors or nurses for example, would you need to recruit to recoup your initial investment £5,000?

Does one or two nurses sound about right, what about hiring ten nurses at £500 per hire.

Should you really expect to hire five registered nurses from a single job fair for £5,000 when the same five nurses will cost at least £50,000 to recruit from India or the Philippines when the cost of visas and flights are included.

When it comes to exhibiting at a job fair, there is no guaranteed minimum number of candidates you should expect to recruit from a job fair.

We have seen some NHS Trusts recruit as many as ten nurses from one of our job fairs, while others have recruited just one. However, when that single nurses turns out to be a specialist in mental health or critical care, their recruitment value can outweigh ten staff nurses.

Our advice is that you need to plan properly before exhibiting at a job fair and we strongly recommend that you consider holding interviews on the day as this can have a significant impact on your hiring outcomes.

Remember. Before you exhibit at any job fair ask yourself what does success look like for you.