The first-ever national diversity virtual career fair, hosted by INSIGHT Into Diversity via virtual recruiting platform CareerEco on February 23, attracted nearly 60 employers and 2,000 registered job seekers.
Employers of all sizes and types, from all over the world and across multiple industries — from education to technology — participated in the one-day online event. Companies sought qualified diverse candidates for a plethora of positions, from internships to part- and full-time employment. Notable recruiters included Apple, Lockheed Martin, Fidelity Investments, GlaxoSmithKline, AT&T, The PhD Project, Procter & Gamble, MasterCard, and more.
Diverse students and alumni from 41 colleges and universities across the U.S. participated in the career fair, which provided them exposure to employers that value diversity. Participants were able to upload résumés, as well as indicate their interest in participating employers, prior to the actual event. During the career fair, students could chat directly with representatives from companies in which they were interested, and employers could reach out directly to students who met their qualifications.
“This event was really helpful for students across the U.S. who need support in their career choices and their future. It is also online, and that makes it easier,” said Aref Jadallah, a Webster University international MBA student who participated in the event. “I hope there will be more virtual fairs so that [I] … can take advantage of available opportunities [with] such good companies.”
Gayle Oliver-Plath, founder and CEO of CareerEco, says that virtual recruiting events such as this place less pressure on students than traditional career fairs and offer a convenient way for students to connect with employers. “They feel more comfortable asking in-depth questions, allowing them to better understand the company, and they don’t feel pressure that their time is limited with each employer,” she says.
Another student participant said, “It was really helpful to chat with someone from the company and ask a lot of questions that I may not normally get time for at a career fair. Also, I really liked getting one-on-one time with someone from a company.”
In addition, Oliver-Plath says this event provided an efficient and affordable way for employers to connect with diverse job seekers across the country.
“Trying to recruit diverse talent is challenging in general, but particularly if you have to get to different locations to do it,” she says. “… [Employers] want to get to that talent but aren’t sure how to do it without it being price prohibitive. So, this gives them a really good tool to recruit diverse talent that’s time- and cost-efficient.”
Costing less than an airline ticket, according to Oliver-Plath, participation in these events makes it easier for multiple recruiters from a single company to attend.
“[The virtual event] is a tremendous benefit in comparison to going offsite for a career fair,” one employer said. “Two of us were participating from different work locations, without leaving our offices.”
INSIGHT Into Diversity and CareerEco will host a second online fair April 20, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, to recruit students interested in health professions schools. The Diversity Healthcare Recruitment Career Fair will connect health professions schools with potential diverse graduate students. To register as a recruiter, visit bit.ly/1RiKLPh.