How can recruiters and hiring managers move job fairs online?

In our recent webinar about using virtual events to connect with candidates, healthcare recruitment manager Jenny Petru took us on a deep dive of what’s it like to pre-qualify hundreds of applicants – all online. (And, CareerBuilder’s Mike Hespen shared insight into the latest jobs report with data on the hiring landscape.) Jenny, as the Corporate Recruiting Manager for Regency Integrated Health Services, needed to hire dozens of healthcare workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Q&A is below, edited for clarity. This conversation was moderated by Liz Laurent, Client Advocacy Director at CareerBuilder. 

If you want to learn more about virtual events – hiring or an open house – visit

Creating virtual experiences to connect with great candidates – your questions answered 

A few questions that we didn’t have time for, answered rapid-fire style: 

  1. What platform did you use? CareerBuilder virtual events. 
  2. What did you (Regency) call your incentive/hazard pay? Hero pay! 
  3. Why did you choose to use a chat room over other methods? This step was similar to a phone screen, but unlike phone calls, you can juggle multiple conversations at the same time. With hundreds of applicants and a small (but mighty) staff, it was easy to keep moving down the list of candidates. 

Q&A recap:

Liz Laurent: You’re in the healthcare industry, and some of the folks on the line are not from that industry. So the question is: do you think this format would work with all job types? 

Jenny Petru: Absolutely, absolutely. I don't think this is healthcare specific. I think that if you are in an essential industry, if you are in oil and gas, if you're in some type of other industry, absolutely, this would work again. You just have to figure out what your target audiences are and your target location. 

Liz: Makes sense.  A lot of people are asking and want clarification – were these candidates all talked to through chat or did you have any verbal conversations? 

Jenny: There was no verbal conversation – everything was with chat. Think of like a Yahoo! chat room or Facebook Messenger. We only interviewed candidates after the event. For instance, we had several applicants that we channeled to a facility and from that point, it (went) to stage two with a phone interview. We then tried FaceTime, because again, we can't meet people in person. We prefer a FaceTime or Skype approach with the hiring manager. So yes, after the event, we would conduct an additional interview with hiring managers. 

Liz: This (virtual job fair) was a way for you to pre-qualify, really. 

Jenny: Exactly. Everyone that we fit to the facilities were more pre-qualified and ready to be hired. Perfect. 

Liz: And were these conversations private or with a group? 

Jenny: So if I'm chatting with you, it's a private chat. But you can always go back through once the event is over and look at all the chats from your team. It's a private chat when you're doing it, but afterwards, you can log back in and you have access to your micro landing site for one year after the virtual event. You can go back and look at those chats that were had between other members of your team, which I think is really neat. 

Liz: Did CareerBuilder help with the outreach and advertising, or was it your team doing that? 

Jenny: No, Career Builder was amazing. We had a project manager and we had a team, so it was a joint effort between what my team was doing and Career Builder. But I have to get kudos to the CareerBuilder team. They were amazing. And every step of posting through virtual day-of, including promotion.  

Liz: One last question. If you compare any onsite job fairs you did pre-pandemic, how would you say this went? 

Jenny: You know, I have attended hundreds of job fairs over my career. This by far was so successful. It was exciting. We had people, like I said, waiting in the lobby to be chatted with. I thought it was very successful, and even after the pandemic, this is a format I think that employers should continue to use. It makes it easy for people to log in, you don't have to get dressed up per se and drive across town, you can do it in home at home. I just think that the effectiveness of it made it successful. And I think this is something that we're definitely going to continue to do once the pandemic over. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Jenny and Regency’s experience with hiring via virtual events, check out this case study or watch the webinar here.

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