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Your Utility Can Light Up a Job Fair

image credit: Photo 52773601 © Caroline17 |
Andy Gotlieb's picture
Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner, Freelancer

I hold 34 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too.  The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various...

  • Member since 2016
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  • Apr 6, 2021

Anyone who’s wandered around a job or career fair can be simultaneously captivated by eye-catching booths and bored senseless by uninspiring offerings, too.

How often have you seen dull booths staffed by unenthusiastic recruiters with bland promotional materials? It’s no coincidence about who draws a crowd and who doesn’t.

So, how can your utility’s booth be a stand out, especially as in-person events become a thing again? Remember, your primary goal may be to recruit employees, but you’re also putting your utility’s image on display for all who attend.

Think about why a trade show booth is successful. The end results can be similar, even if the purposes are somewhat different.

Millennials and especially the younger Gen Z are visually oriented to an extreme, so you must provide something unique to attract their attention.

Bold branding materials are a start. Catchy displays are, too – stuff like huge poster boards depicting your utility’s employees in action. Videos are even better.

Thankfully, utilities provide good visuals, so take full advantage. Even if you’re looking for office workers, shots of line crews in action, transmission towers, solar panel farms, wind turbines and so on can all be effective.

Don’t forget your swag. It’s human nature to want something for free, no matter how trivial it is.

For example, each year pre-COVID, Rita’s Italian Ice offered a free sample of its signature product on the first day of spring. In its hometown Philadelphia area, people lined up to wait for lengthy periods just to get essentially 25 cents worth of product. For Rita’s, it was great publicity.

Branded items are always popular and can keep your utility top of mind. Standby giveaways include key chains, pens, magnets and drink koozies, but don’t forget to offer a bag to hold the swag. Make sure your logo is emblazoned boldly on the bag, which should be larger than bags from other booths, so yours gets used to hold your stuff and anything else collected.

In addition, a raffle for a couple more valuable trinkets might be worthwhile.

For the time being, don’t offer any food, wrapped or otherwise. Normally, things like Hershey Kisses or mints are a hit, but until the pandemic ends, steer clear.

When it comes to handouts, all of them should be branded and colorful. Folders should contain an annual report, recent marketing documents and a pamphlet about career opportunities and why your utility is a great place to work.

All documents should be rich with color, graphics and bold text, while being light on copy. Avoid using industry jargon and big words.

As for those staffing your booth, recruiters must relate to potential candidates, so they should be on the younger side.

Job fair candidates may be nervous or overwhelmed, so recruiters should put them at ease with a soft-sell approach. Start a conversation and let the candidates talk about themselves. Transition the discussion into talking your utility’s job opportunities. Give out contact information and follow through with the most promising candidates.

Of course, it goes without saying that you must follow pandemic safety protocols at all times.


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Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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