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Three-Day Virtual Career Fair Kicks Off May 6

By Kathy Gurchiek  5/3/2013
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Goodwill Industries is hosting its second annual Virtual Career Fair May 6-8, 2013.

Job seekers register at the Goodwill website, post their resume and then visit the online employer booths of their choice. Attendees can log in to the Virtual Career Fair anytime.

It’s a cost-effective and efficient method for both employers and job seekers “to find that great culture fit,” said Brad Turner-Little, director of mission strategy at Goodwill Industries International, during a May 1 online press conference.

The event is free for job seekers; employers pay a fee for a virtual booth. Visitors to the online job fair will see a large coliseum, where, with a click, they can go to an information booth where an avatar will welcome them, and then visit employer booths featuring companies such as Sprint, Dell and Cintas.

“Employers can post available positions in their booths and link to their job-listing pages on their websites,” Turner-Little told SHRM Online in an e-mail. “If there are a lot of jobs available in a lot of markets. The HR representative can answer questions about them via chat or e-mail exchange.”

The Virtual Career Fair site will link to a Facebook page, have videos about participating employers and offer real-time online chats with recruiters. Employers schedule the chat times, and up to five people can chat at any time in individual conversations, Turner-Little noted.

“These conversations tend to be exploratory and can lead to follow-up conversations and/or interviews scheduled at a later time,” he added. Outlining the fair’s schedule, he said, “Goodwill will offer Google Plus Hangouts for three demographics of job seekers on each day. May 6 is set aside for veterans, May 7 for youth and May 8 for women. Participants will receive career and job-search advice tailored to their needs from “subject-matter experts familiar with the issues and challenges they face regarding employment.”

Goodwill’s first Virtual Career Fair, held in conjunction with, attracted six companies and more than 7,500 job seekers. Goodwill did not know how many hires resulted from last year’s event, but it plans to track that information for 2013. It expects to attract more than 10,000 candidates applying for jobs in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to this year’s Virtual Career Fair, dozens of community-based Goodwill agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada are hosting in-person career fairs and hiring events, which drew more than 11,400 job seekers and 647 participating employers in 2012. This year 28 Goodwill locations will host in-person hiring fairs.

The HTML version of the Virtual Career Fair, including the Google Plus Hangouts, is accessible by smartphones and tablets.

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor of HR News.

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