Job Fairs Ineffective, But Gaining Popularity: Study

This isn't exactly a surprise, but a new study by local executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas confirms something that totally makes sense given the current economic climate: People are turning out in record numbers for job fairs.

What the volume, unfortunately, makes the job fairs far less effective. As a boss or an entrepreneur looking to expand your staff, though, it's still your call whether to participate in such events.

But consider this: In Challenger's new study, it refers back to a 2009 survey "in which human resources executives were asked to rate the effectiveness of various job-search methods on a scale of 1 (least effective) to 5 (most effective), job fairs ranked as the least effective job-search method, scoring an average rating of 1.6."

In a way, job fairs are like really long-winded games of musical chairs: You've only got so many seats to fill, and only so many hours to give people a crack at them. Is it worth your time sending one of your people to a job fair, having them sit and speak with hundreds of interested applicants, bringing back a stack of resumes, and then sifting through those?

This new study depicts two job fairs: a four-hour job fair in Park Ridge where 1,000 people came to speak with 63 employers, and another in Honolulu where 5,000 showed up -- and many of them were "military veterans hoping to find positions at one of the employers specifically looking to hire former military personnel." 

Overall, this just paints job fairs as antiquated but necessary evils. But only you know whether it's worth your time. What will take far less time, for sure, is reading the study here first before deciding.

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