How to Run a Successful Job Fair.

If you work in a place with low employee retention, it is okay. It is not your fault if you have done everything you could to keep them motivated. Sometimes it is the industry in which you work in, the average age of employees, things you can not control like salary, benefits, and hours. Eventually, the need to run a job fair will be evident when departments need to be filled with new hires or other factors that weren’t predictable.

I have compiled a small list of ideas that can be done to make sure you are finding the best talent when there are so many people to remember.

For example, a sponsored Facebook post could bring in 100’s of applicants. That is way too many to remember who stood out. You may only need 10-20 fresh new faces to onboard. Keep in mind, that 5-10% of newly onboarded employees, may not complete onboarding due to drug testing, background checks, salary, bonus structure, allotted hours, or other job offers.


-Job Fairs should always be done at the job site.

People who stand out should be documented.

Did they bring their resumes, list of references, or any other material needed?


  • What did they wear? Was it business casual, Sunday’s best, or Saturday night cocktail attire. SideBar: don’t like what someone is wearing? pull them aside, ask them to leave and come back to the next job fair. This will be a good learning lesson for them and may save an embarrassing moment for them in the future.


  • What are some of the issues and responsibilities the future employees may be handling? Put them through a scenario and create a playbook of questions about that scenario.
    • For example, let’s say you work at an ice rink. There are plenty of scenarios that could happen. Upset customers, rule-breakers, injuries, etc. Take one of these scenarios and run a series of questions that they can answer. Put them on the spot and see what they say.
  • This one is a biggie. Most people would never expect to be asked this question at a job fair or interview. “What are your deepest passions and why?”
  • Here is another question to find out how people handle life-work balance stress. You are scheduled to work in 1 hour. Your friend/ family member calls you and says their car broke down and need a ride. What do you do? If they follow through and pick up this unlucky soul, you follow up with another question. You successfully drop them off and have 15 minutes to be at work. You are 10 minutes away and your car breaks down. What do you do? This is an open-ended question with no right or wrong answer.
  • Humbling questions. If you have a job fair for a position that doesn’t require a lot of entry-level work, ask them questions that will make them think differently. For example, if all are there to apply for an admin job/ desk job, ask them if the janitorial cleaners were sick that day and you were done with your work, would you be willing to help clean bathrooms although not in the job description.
    • This will show you who stands out with productivity and getting the job done. Sidebar: just because someone says they will does not mean they would. Learn to see through that. Also, if you do hire them based off this alone. Don’t count on them to be your janitor.


  • Mission statement playback: depending on how big your company may be, show/give the mission statement, a video describing the company, or other materials and have them study it for 5-10 minutes. At random pick a few to recite the most important factors of the material given. You will find out who retains information and what they deem important.


  • Take them on a tour. Show them what your company is about. After showing them throughout your facility or building, department, ask them questions
    • What were 5 things you loved?
    • 5 things you would have changed?
    • What one thing did you notice about our current employees?
    • One thing would you change if you were in charge of them?



What are some of the ideas you use when handling a job fair? Feel free to post below.



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