Work Matters Column by Cathy Williamson
At the Kentucky Career Center - Lincoln Trail (KCC-LT), our work is all about building a robust regional talent pipeline. To connect employers with job seekers, it’s important to help ensure the recruiting process is as accessible as possible for all parties involved.
That’s why we have launched a new virtual job fair event series known as Let’s Talk Tuesdays. Utilizing the virtual recruitment platform Premier Virtual, these events allow employers to access a broad candidate pool at no cost while helping job seekers explore a variety of opportunities.
The Let’s Talk Tuesdays series kicked off on Jan. 17 with an event focused on advanced manufacturing. The event offered a variety of positions for job seekers, including production technician, CNC machinist, machine operator, electrical machine technician, program launch/PPAP specialist and tool and die technician.
Events in the Let’s Talk Tuesdays series will take place on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. EST. Each job fair in the series will focus on a specific industry, including construction on Feb. 7, transportation and logistics on Feb. 21, business and IT services on March 7 and healthcare on March 21.
After the healthcare event, the series will continue in the second quarter of the year with the same order of industry-specific events. Additionally, a general virtual job fair event will be held each quarter, open to employers in any business sector. Companies that participated in an industry-specific event are welcome to join the general event if they still have a need for employees. The first general virtual job fair is scheduled for March 1.
During the virtual job fairs, employers will host virtual booths for job seekers to explore, featuring job postings and information about the company. Job seekers can then submit their résumé to the employers of their choice. From there, employers and job seekers can interact through a chat feature or teleconferencing feature.
Essentially, these events allow users to access all the benefits of a traditional job fair on their computer, phone or tablet. As many people prefer to be online rather than in a physical line these days, we at KCC-LT believe this new initiative will be a valuable resource. Job seekers can also visit one of our four offices throughout our service region during virtual job fair events, where they can use our computers and receive assistance from our staff as needed. Community partners such Goodwill Works in Elizabethtown plan to make the virtual job fair available to their job seekers.
Job seekers can utilize the virtual job fair platform regardless of their employment history, educational background or income. This flexibility extends to employers: whether you’re a small business looking to fill one position or a large company looking to hire several new employees, all employers are welcome to participate. And best of all, these events are offered at no cost to job seekers or employers.
KCC-LT will also offer the virtual job fair platform as an “on call” service to any individual company on a case-by-case basis for companies that have a need for a large number of employees across several business sectors, such as in the case of a new branch location.
Before participating in a virtual job fair, job seekers are encouraged to dress in business casual or business professional attire, prepare questions to ask employers, have an effective method of taking notes and come prepared with their availability for interviews or employment and internship offers, including start and end dates. Participants must upload an updated electronic PDF version of their résumé (no other format will be accepted) before taking part in the event. Job seekers may also take advantage of a free résumé review 24 hours prior to a virtual job fair event.
Businesses participating in any of the virtual job fair events are responsible for learning how to use the platform, staffing their virtual booth and troubleshooting during the event. There are educational videos hosted by Premier Virtual that can be shared and technical support personnel stand ready to assist businesses with becoming acclimated with the platform. KCC-LT will also host monthly informational sessions explaining how to participate in virtual job fair events on the Thursday prior to the first Tuesday of each month.
At KCC-LT, we acknowledge that traditional job fairs offer the valuable opportunity for face-to-face interactions, and we will continue to host these events throughout our region. However, we are excited to offer this new avenue of engagement between job seekers and employers. This new virtual job fair platform not only provides convenience, but also a way for employers to reach a new generation of digital natives.
To learn more about virtual job fair events offered by KCC-LT, visit ltcareercenter.org/events.
Cathy Williamson serves as Business Solutions Team Lead for the Kentucky Career Center - Lincoln Trail (KCC-LT). She can be reached at email@example.com or 270-300-2360.