Following my last post on the use of web 2.0 for recruitment, and one reader's comment on the low take-up of other recruitment technologies, I thought it would be fun to explore the use of virtual careers fairs.
So I've just been visiting Top Consultant's fair for management consulting candidates (not that I'm seriously looking for a job - but never say never).
And I have to say I found it a bit flat, perhaps because I had a virtual conference I participated in last year at the back of my mind as a comparison - and because I had found this one so much fun. But there's a lot of differences between the two events - firstly for me, I was speaking at the last one, which always raises my adrenalin, whereas this time I was lurking in the background (not having got the opportunity to attend as a recruiter).
And more importantly, the conference was largely about networking so there was loads of interaction with exhibitors, speakers and attendees. In contrast, Top-Consultant note that whole idea of a virtual careers fair is that:
"Going virtual addresses one of the biggest concerns that candidates have about attending a physical fair - that they'll be spotted by the current employer."
So by design, it's quite hush hush. But I did think there could have been more to give it a bit more focus and energy - perhaps some seminars providing tips on CV writing, interviewing etc, rather than just cheesy recruitment videos.
But even then, I'm not sure that I'd have found it that useful - or whether it would have provided that much more value than other sources of information on employment opportunities eg Top Consultant's existing jobs board.
Also see posts about virtual careers fairs on Fortify your Oasis and McArthur's Rant (this one didn't use virtual world technology eg Second Life, but I think this would have been good - even if just as an option to chat with the recruiters on the exhibition stands).