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When looking for new talent, companies often wait for the talent to come to them; however, often the most effective plan is to seek them out. With school back in session, companies can now focus their efforts on recruiting from their local college campuses, where eager, creative individuals are looking to make their mark.

But in order to impress, companies will have to take a few steps to ensure they stand out from other businesses looking to hire the best. To help, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer their top tips for making an impression at college job fairs this year and explain how following these tips can help any company find the best talent.

1. Showcase What Makes Your Company Exciting

Featuring your perks and benefits and career growth opportunities is essential, but many companies can have very similar and competitive offerings. To stand out, show students why growing and learning at your organization will be fun and unique. Is it your unique and diverse clients or your company retreats? Use that “secret sauce” of your company to attract college graduates. – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled

2. Emphasize Opportunities For Accelerated Growth

Traditional jobs offer linear career progression. However, in the current environment, candidates want more than just steady growth. They want to be promoted based on their merits more so than just seniority or time invested. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

3. Incorporate Virtual Or Augmented Reality

To impress the next generation, you have to come up with a smart and contemporary way to upgrade outdated processes. Everyone else will probably be recruiting the old-fashioned way. So, having interactive sessions with potential candidates and organizing virtual office tours would give them a different feeling about your company. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Offer Company Swag And Freebies

Companies can give away freebies such as T-shirts or pens with their company logo to attract attention and interest. This is an effective way to get students to remember your company and come talk to you at the job fair. It’s also a good way to start a conversation and get to know the students. By taking this step, companies can find the best talent at college job fairs. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

5. Maintain A Friendly, Approachable Attitude

One step companies should take if they want to impress potential hires at college job fairs is to focus on being friendly and approachable. Be clear about an honest interest in finding the best talent, not simply filling a rank-and-file position. Provide plenty of time when talking to each student who visits your booth, focusing on really listening to what their concerns and dreams are. – Richard Fong, Disability Help


6. Highlight Your Company Values

Focus on company values and why you chose those values. As a criminal defense law firm, we explain that integrity is one of our values because it takes years to build a good reputation and only minutes to ruin it. Law students appreciate that and want to uphold their ethics early on in their careers. Giving real-life examples of how your values come into play in the work field makes you stand out. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

7. Encourage Younger Team Members To Attend

Have some of your younger team members who are fresh out of college attend. They’ll be much more relatable to the talent you’re trying to recruit. This will earn the trust of potential recruits and give them a better idea of what life could be like one to two years after college if they join your company. – Andy Karuza, NachoNacho

8. Speak To Their Wants

Understanding what students are looking for in their careers and personal lives can go a long way. I believe that the world of work has shifted and graduating students want more than a fancy job title and salary. They want work-life balance, to do work that positively impacts the world and to work with other smart and passionate people. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly

9. Discuss Your Benefits Package

The key to impressing and recruiting students at job fairs is to offer them an attractive benefits package. Potential benefits include paid time off, annual bonuses, healthcare and resources they can use to further their education. Students coming out of school want more than a simple job; many are looking to start their careers. A robust benefits package acts as a fantastic selling point. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

10. Include A Multimedia Presentation

In addition to the basic elements like having a nice, organized display and people on hand to take resumes, a company that has a multimedia presentation will attract college students. It doesn’t have to blow the room out, but it should include some video and sound to show off the company. You may want to also include some skills tests with gamification for students to try. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

11. Get To Know The Students

The best way to win over potential recruits is to ask them questions about themselves. Far too many people at these events push the idea of working for their brand without understanding who they are talking to. If you get to know the people interested in your job offers, you can better determine if they are a good fit for your company. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC


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