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Are Virtual Job Fairs the Way of the Future?

There’s not a lot of charm to the traditional job fair. It’s a crowded conference space, filled with job seekers and recruiters dancing around tight booths filled with free pens. Job seekers are herded in and out of booths in a traditional job fair, and the overall experience can leave job seekers feeling overwhelmed and a little exhausted. Instead of the old, tired job fair, the Michigan Development Corp. joined forces with Canadian breakfast chain Tim Horton’s to offer a virtual career fair. Given the increasingly mobile and online nature of the modern search, are virtual job fairs the way of the future?

The state of Michigan certainly seems to believe they are. They have set up a series of virtual job fairs for job seekers featuring a number of top companies in the state. The virtual job fairs held by Pure Michigan’s Talent Connect provides the same things as in-person job fairs (well except maybe the free pens) with less cost to job seekers and companies. Job seekers can do on the spot (video) interviews, submit resumes for open positions, hear more about the company and its openings, connect with other job seekers attending the event, and even integrate social media into the process.

In addition to offering job seekers just an online portal for searching for jobs and interacting with potential employers, the campaign has teamed up with the aforementioned Tim Horton’s to provide a physical space for job seekers to get interview tips, technical support, and a cup of coffee while there.

The new concept with Tim Horton’s creates a hybrid model for the job fair of the future. It’s a unique approach and one I would be surprised if it isn’t copied by others in the future. The hybrid model saves companies money sending out multiple recruiters, and uses relatively inexpensive video interview technology instead, to create a less chaotic, more efficient job fair model.

What do you think of the virtual and hybrid job fairs being offered by Pure Michigan Talent Connect? Spark a conversation below.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by City of Marietta, GA

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Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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