Video Job Fair: Case Study
Jobnob, Inc. helps job seekers and companies connect through in-person events as well as with a community website boasting more than 10,000 members.
Jobnob has held more than 20 job fairs across the country and works with the nation's top universities and tech organizations to help their alumni and members find jobs. Participants include Harvard University, Stanford University, and MIT. The Jobnob community includes professionals from top universities (90% of the job seekers are alums of Ivy Plus schools)as well as employers that span the gamut from bootstrapped startups to public companies.
Now Jobnob is pioneering a new way of recruiting with live, interactive virtual job fairs that connect both employers and job seekers via video online.
Many startups and tech companies find it hard to recruit young talent in general, and they find it especially difficult to attract graduating students from top universities.
On-campus job fairs are expensive, providing a less than ideal option for many companies, especially startups with limited recruiting budgets. And online job boards such as craigslist and Monster lack the interpersonal connection that is essential for students and employers alike.
In addition, students and recent graduates are faced with the challenge of how to best discover, assess, and pursue job opportunities that cater to their specific skills and interests.
To address these challenges, Jobnob set out to create an online environment where recruiters can represent their companies in a more meaningful way and interact with students in real time through online video and chat capabilities.
Jobnob decided to harness the latest in digital video technology to enable startups and tech companies to effectively compete in a virtual environment for students' attention.
Taking advantage of the capabilities of the Kyte platform, Jobnob added video functionality to its website and launched a "Virtual Job Fair" called the Ivy Plus Job Fair in the fall of 2010. Ten of the top colleges
in the U.S. agreed to participate, including Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Cornell University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, The University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, and New York University.
On the company side, more than 40 different startups and leading brands jumped on the opportunity and signed up to pitch jobs from the comfort of their offices. Using webcams, companies held virtual office hours with representatives who gave office tours and made themselves available to talk directly with participants. Students were able to ask questions via chat, as well as submit their resumes online.
The Ivy Plus Job Fair was treated as an official job fair at each of the respective universities and was promoted by the career centers in the same way as on-campus job fairs. Participation cost $1,000 per company, considerably less than the cost of on-campus job recruiting at the 10 schools, which tends to run about $30,000 for most companies.
Jobnob held the Ivy Plus Job Fair Nov. 8-19, 2010, with an overwhelming turnout. More than 1,000 computer science and engineering students participated. On average, 130 resumes were received per company, with about 40 students participating live during the respective sessions. Furthermore, a resounding 80% of students visited the virtual office hours for 2 or more days out of 7 days.
Taking advantage of the latest in video technology, Jobnob succeeded in its goal to push the boundaries of virtual job fairs. Prospective employers were able to truly connect with job seekers via live video sessions combined with interactive chat functionality. This allowed them to show off their work environment and give participating students a visual sense of what it would be like to work at their company, all while interacting in real time.
Immediately following the job fair, a survey was conducted regarding the students' overall experience and their reaction to this new way of recruiting. Based on the responses, 70% of the students preferred a virtual job fair or had no preference between an in-person or a virtual fair. Almost three-quarters of the students (73%) rated the virtual office hours with positive feedback of either "Good" or "Excellent." Some feedback that particularly stood out was from students who "liked the ability to re-watch on-demand presentations"; several participants suggested "adding virtual job fairs for other industries besides computer science and engineering."
When asked what they liked best about the virtual job fair, representatives from participating companies responded enthusiastically with comments such as, "It's convenient and nice to be able to walk the computer around the office and show the students what our work environment is like. You can't do that at a traditional job fair."
Participating companies also appreciated the significant cost savings the $1,000 fee represented over on-campus recruiting expenses in the $30,000 range, and they especially liked that presenting employees didn't have to leave their desks. As a result, the Ivy Plus Job Fair provided a much more cost-effective and efficient way for companies to connect with young talent and to augment their teams.
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