Text Messaging for Job Fairs

In Person or Virtual Career Fair Guidelines

Using text messaging for job fairs (whether in person or virtual) is an excellent way for employers to communicate with prospective students and candidates. 

But first you’ll need to promote the event and convince them to attend. To do this you’ll need to send persistent reminders over text and email to reinforce the date and time and keep that candidate engaged. What’s great about texting though is the ROI it gives you. Typical event reminders have a 98% open rates and 30% click-through rates (CTR).

Let’s take a look at a few strategies for how to maximize your texting outreach for job fairs.

Grab Their Attention

You may need to text the candidate multiple times in order to convert them into a registered attendee. We’d recommend sending an invite about once per week for 3-4 weeks in advance of the event. Timing is also important. Send these text invites during normal business hours. Texting them too early in the morning or late at night might turn them off and make them unsubscribe. 

Get Them Excited

Many job seekers have trepidation about going to a job fair. So it’s your job as the employer to make them feel welcome and keep the conversation casual, fun and engaging. Once they’ve registered, a few messages about who they will meet and what to expect will help them feel more comfortable. Be sure to mention how they can learn and advance their careers while at your company. Learning and advancement opportunities are highly important to job seekers, especially recent college grads. Use texting to highlight that messaging.

Be Authentic But Brief

When it comes to using text messaging as an event promotional tool, it’s important to be authentic and speak in the same tone as you do in your email communications. That will give job seekers a sense of familiarity they already have with your company. But you will also need to be brief in your messaging.

The best text outreach messages get straight to the point. In any initial contact, you must answer three key questions in order to get the best possible response: who/what/when. If you give this information in a straightforward manner, there’s no room for confusion. Setting their expectations up front goes a long way to ensure they will attend. Be sure to also send a few event reminders once they have signed up. Perhaps a text seven days out, three days out and one more the day of so they don’t forget.

Going Live

One of our clients, a large national retailer using text messaging for hiring events at specific store locations. They typically hold a series of job fairs at conference rooms near store locations as part of a mass recruiting effort. They used texting to send reminders of the events with a link to the landing page along with directions. 

If your event is in person the other great tactic to implement is a short code. You can promote it via signage at your booth or table. For example: Text ‘jobs’ to 34555 is a quick way for candidates to grab some quick information if your recruiters are busy with others. The response could send them a link to your career site, FAQs or other specialized landing page. A short code solution will also help you collect more phone numbers so you can follow up with them at a later date.

To sum it all up: Short codes eliminate friction, create instant candidate engagement and facilitate seamless data capture.

Follow Up by Text Message

Once the event is over you should also employ a follow up strategy. Gather candidates feedback 1-2 days after the event. Send them a link to an online survey (create one on Google Forms for free) asking them how they were treated, if all their questions were addressed and the overall impression they have of your company after speaking with your recruiters. 

Virtual or in person job fairs are a great forum to introduce your career opportunities to a group of students or local candidates efficiently. The more you plan for this event the better. Planning equates to a better experience for your recruiters and those attending. In the end you’ll want them to leave with a great first impression of your company.