Virtual Job Fairs vs. Physical Job Fairs

Recruiter and candidate speaking at a physical job fair

More of the business world seems to move online every day and more choice is being given to how people want to interact. Today’s job seekers and students can expect to balance their future careers between the virtual and physical worlds. Now that virtual job fairs are becoming increasingly popular, what are the main differences between the traditional physical job fair? There are pros and cons to each event; let’s dive into the main benefits and pain points. 

Pros of Physical Job Fairs

A physical job fair enables candidates and organizations to meet in person and discuss opportunities, exchange information, see their mannerism in person and network. 

Meeting Face-to-Face

The major benefit of a physical event is being able to meeting each other face to face, allowing assessments and recommendations to be made after an initial conversation.

For decades, physical job fairs have allowed students and prospective hires to discover new job opportunities. The best part about an online job fair is having face-to-face access to a recruiter. A positive interaction could catapult recruits further in the hiring process, potentially being immediately linked up with a hiring manager. 

Getting to know candidates face-to-face is an integral part of the screening process. While reading a candidate’s resume offers you insight into their education and experience, it doesn’t accurately depict their work ethic, communication skills, or personality.

Cons of Physical Job Fairs

Logistically Difficult

One main con of physical job fairs is logistics. Many students, parents, and full-time employees cannot always take the time to travel to a job fair in person. This can significantly reduce the number of people recruiters can meet, and you might be missing out on great candidates.

Costly to Host & Attend

Another major con of hosting a physical job fair is the cost. Renting a booth or hosting a private job fair can add up. Physical events require much more manpower, travel and food expenses, marketing collateral, and more. Hosting and attending a physical job fair as an employee or a candidate can quickly add up. Not to mention physical job fairs demand a lot more of a hiring team’s time. The amount of time, effort and coordination needed for in-person events equate to a very high cost. 

Pros of Virtual Job Fairs

Virtual job fairs are the same concept as physical, but both candidates and employers join remotely from a desktop or mobile phone, instead of in person. From a desktop, laptop, or tablet, everyone can join and still have access to face-to-face meetings with one another. There are many perks to hosting an online job fair, including:

Easier Coordination

An online job fair offers many advantages to the candidate and recruiters. When using virtual hiring event software, organizations can plan their job fair without major disruptions to the schedules of their recruiting teams and reducing the efforts around planning and attending an event. A virtual job fair allows everyone to join from home or the office with ease. You are more likely to engage with a higher number of attendees with an online job fair because it’s easier for an applicant to join an online conversation versus traveling to a centralized location.

Virtually Face-to-Face

An additional benefit of an online job fair is that recruits can still get face-to-face with recruiters. This is always one of the top benefits of any job fair. Employers can meet with different prospects and have one-to-one conversations, allowing them to discover their professional communication skills and other attributes. This is also an excellent opportunity to learn how these candidates communicate and are able to answer qualifying questions in the moment. 


Using virtual hiring event software allows organizations to conduct online job fairs for a fraction of the cost compared to attending or hosting physical events. Saving on costs will enable organizations to host multiple online job fairs per month, which can be extremely valuable in many seasonal or high-volume hiring industries. Using a SaaS platform for screening candidates through a job fair and for additional interviews down the road will allow your HR team to scale their hiring efforts without extra investment into the logistics and coordination of physical events. 


The shortened time frame of planning a virtual event is significant. The convenience and flexibility of adding extra time, extra dates, and expanding or reducing the number of recruiters needed is much easier for virtual events. Online job fairs allow for easier coordination for both recruiters and candidates. This leads to a more diverse pool of candidates attending; with no need for extra planning around other jobs, parenting duties, or other personal responsibilities. Going virtual makes it a more accessible way to reach a wide array of people, further improving the screening and hiring process.


When you host a virtual job fair, you can gather valuable data to offer your organization insights about attendees. With better talent pipeline tracking and a ready-to-access candidate database, virtual events help recruiting teams illustrate their needs and outcomes in a clear way. This information can help guide the promotion of your job fairs and align messaging to ensure you’re reaching the right attendees with your marketing efforts. With physical job fairs, you can try to capture and track attendees, but it is often a lot more complex and offers less information.

Additional Perks

In addition to all of the above perks, Hellohire allows hiring teams to add notes to candidates’ accounts. Hiring teams can rank candidates during the screening call and even recommend they move forward in the hiring process. These options are great for when not every hiring team member can participate in the screening call. Our platform is designed to make screening candidates more effortless and more efficient!

Cons of Virtual Job Fairs

A top con of using a virtual job fair is that not everyone will feel technically savvy enough to attend comfortably. If you’re hiring for roles that require no computer interaction and more physical work, this might be something that you could encounter. Recruiters should keep this in mind and ensure they use an easy-to-use virtual hiring event software. 

Online Job Fairs Made Easy

Recruiting and screening top applicants can be faster and easier when using virtual hiring event software like Hellohire. Our platform offers live video and pre-recorded video options, allowing recruiters and applicants to get face-to-face while automating the questions and answers that are standard to a role. Hellohire is also jam-packed full of useful features such as speed interviews, candidate profiles, and a ranking and qualifying system.

If you are hiring for high-volume positions this year or want to host your own online job fair, Hellohire is perfect for you! Screen more candidates in less time while ensuring your hiring process is effective and efficient. Get in touch with us today to start your free trial. There’s a faster hiring process and it start’s with Hellohire. Let us show you how.