Most people are familiar with the standard job fair model. Businesses seeking new employees set up a table and fill it with information about their company. Then, job seekers make their way down the line, have short conversations at each table, hand over a resume and shake hands before moving on to the next booth.
This past June, Northcentral Technical College (NTC) took this concept and flipped the table, metaphorically speaking, by hosting its inaugural IT Reverse Job Fair.
At the event, seven IT students and recent graduates who were looking to secure employment set up interactive demonstration tables in order to display their work and the knowledge they had accumulated while at NTC. From software developers to network specialists, the students showcased their unique skill sets as employers floated from table to table, reviewing the work on display and asking detailed questions.
This highly targeted event paid dividends for both the students and employers, as they were able to spend valuable one-on-one time together to mutually determine if there was a good fit.
“The recent Reverse Job Fair was a much needed innovation to streamline the process of connecting students with employers,” said NTC student Seth Ficke. “I had more success there than at any other employment fair I have ever attended, even ones with many more potential opportunities.”
For Ficke, the IT Reverse Job Fair turned out to be more successful than even he initially realized, as shortly after the event, he accepted a job with one of the employers he had visited with on that day.
The employers in attendance also expressed their appreciation for the innovative approach to a job fair, as it gave them the chance to get to know the students in a relaxed setting, making the conversations more personal and in-depth.
“Not only was it great for those participating as students or recent graduates, it was also a perfect time for employers to pay attention to one potential applicant at a time and really understand all that that person has to offer,” said Liz Soczka, Aspirus Human Resources Representative. “I wish that when I was in college I could have had been given the same opportunity, as I think this type of job fair could be extremely beneficial to those entering the workforce in the next few years.”