When attending a careers fair as an employer, it’s essential to try and make the most out of the day by talking to plenty of candidates and creating a positive, welcoming atmosphere.

Before the fair, you want to make sure prospective apprentices know you will be there. This will allow them to prepare any questions they might have and allocate time to come and speak to you. You can achieve this by:

  1. Ensuring the organiser of the fair knows you are attending so they can advertise you as going. This will encourage more people to come to the fair and prompt additional interactions on the day.
  2. Use your social media – it’s free advertising! In advance, publish your intent to attend that careers fair. Anybody interested in your business now knows of a time and a place to have a chat with you. Update these channels throughout the day to remind people you are there.
  3. Make sure everyone who works in your business knows you are attending the apprentice fair. Many people find out about events by talking to the people they know, so the more people with all the information about the event, the more people they can encourage to come.

Once at the fair, you don’t want to spend the day standing around trying to get people to talk to you. It’s important to prepare and know your audience; here are some tips for attracting apprentices to your stall:

  • Your stall’s appearance

    You want your stall to stand out with attractive colours and images, whilst maintaining a clear focus on what your business is and what kind of apprenticeships you are offering. It’s a good idea to print information in a large clear font on your signs, so they can be seen across the room, encouraging people to approach you.

  • Avoid queues

    Even though queues show interest in your apprenticeships, they do put people off, and you may lose out on meeting a great candidate. Try to shorten the time you talk to candidates if queues are building up. If you can see other people are waiting, don’t keep in a long conversation with one person. Everybody deserves the opportunity to meet you and find out what you have to offer. Equally, an empty stall can be unattractive and intimidating, so try to keep a few people chatting at all times.

  • Come prepared

    One great way to get future apprentices over to your stall is by handing out freebies. Many businesses choose to bring items with their name and logo to promote their brand, such as pens or notebooks. This can be an excellent way to make sure apprentices don’t forget who you are when they leave the hall.

    To stand out against the crowd, get as creative as you like with what you bring; free reusable water bottles or colouring pads are great innovative options, whilst serving as cheap advertising! As well as the fun freebies, it’s useful to bring leaflets or booklets containing all your key information for apprentices to take away with them. Careers fairs can be overwhelming for students, and so they often choose to digest the information when they get home from the leaflets collected throughout the day.

  • Choose your best team

    On the day, you want the right people representing your business that are going to be able to create the best environment for future apprentices. Pick your staff who are relaxed, confident, and know a lot about your business to attend so that students can approach your stall with confidence. Another good tip is to take staff members who might have things in common with future apprentices, such as staff who did an apprenticeship themselves or people who went to a particular school or university. This is a great way to relate to students and show them what it would look like to work for you. Remember: just as you want candidates who will suit your company culture, candidates want to work for people that relate to them.

    For more information about hiring an apprentice, visit our dedicated guide.