Answers to common questions about Handshake's virtual career fair platform, set to launch in July 2020.
This post will be updated with additional answers to frequently asked questions over the coming weeks. You can also learn more about our virtual career fair plans.
- General Questions
- Fair Administration
- Student Experience
- Trust & Safety
- Technical Requirements
Please refer to our dedicated article on Virtual Fairs Pricing for more details.
What are you doing to test and ensure virtual fairs will have high quality?
- Because of the rapid timeline for production (a product of the similarly rapid requirements put in motion by COVID-19), there will be no official beta release in advance of a regular release for virtual fairs; however, since the feature is free partners are welcome to test a virtual fair as soon as it is launched in late July.
- If you’d like to talk through how to use the feature in order to become familiar with functionality in the summer, please be in touch with your Relationship Manager.
- Additionally, we ran an internal virtual fair across the entire company on July 22nd, and we’re excited to share that we’ll be partnering with the Big East group on their virtual fair July 30, 2020. These will be great opportunities for us to ensure our solution is ready to go and will drive successful outcomes for all.
What happens if employers don’t get many student participants? What if their qualifications are too high and limit that?
- We’ll be monitoring for this and exploring solutions in the coming weeks and months
- We also recommend you designate a staff member to monitor employer activity and contact students to suggest sessions for them
What happens if students don’t have any or few sessions they can participate in? What if their qualifications don’t meet employer criteria?
- We'll be monitoring this and exploring solutions in the coming weeks and months
- We also recommend you designate a staff member to monitor student engagement, help them find sessions they can attend (group sessions don’t have any qualifications!) and contact employers to adjust their qualifications as needed
How will you minimise bias? Especially for video? And what will you do for students that don’t have video?
- Text based chat will be an option for students that don’t have access to video. Minimising bias will be accomplished using existing best practices and educating employers.
- We’ve put together a virtual recruiting and diversity and inclusion guide for best practices. Our employer team also works closely with employer partners to educate and advise on best practices. Lastly, we’re forming a council to ensure we enhance opportunity and the experience for all students and students from underrepresented backgrounds.
- For virtual fairs, Employers will have the opportunity to set preferences on their 1:1 meetings to efficiently use virtual interaction time. Specifically, employers will be able to qualify students by course and graduation date. Our product research has shown that 1:1 virtual meetings are far more effective when they are more focused, which is more likely when preferences are shared in advance.
- That said, we also strongly believe in the power of technology to democratise opportunity, so group options are also available for general networking and conversation. We will also be monitoring this feature for concerns regarding limitations to any student groups.
- At the end of each session we will ask participants to complete a brief survey sharing how their experience was and we’ll be monitoring use of video, mic, and chat to understand and uncover concerns regarding limitations to any student groups.
How will we transition existing employer fair registrations to virtual fair registrations?
- Please refer to Career Fairs: Change an Existing Fair to a Virtual Fair for details on this process!
How will students check into the virtual career fair?
- When students launch a session, this will register as a checkin for reporting purposes.
Will this feature still work with your payment integrations (Stripe, Touchnet, Cashnet)? Will we need to do anything differently for payments and invoicing?
- All existing payment integrations will be supported and payments in general will function the same as they do in career fairs today.
Will these new features be connected into Handshake Analytics?
- Data on virtual fair success will be available to universities. Our first priority for reports will be usage, so that will mean reports on the number of sessions (1:1 and group) and the number of students registered for those sessions.
Will people from the University town/city be able to attend virtual career fairs, even if they aren’t students of the University?
- Students will be required to have a Handshake account to participate in virtual fairs. Handshake Open students will have access to all career fairs marked as ‘Public’.
Can we support graduate school, volunteer opportunities, and student organisations through your virtual fair solution?
- If these types of organisations have Handshake profiles and job postings then yes, you can support these types of events in Handshake. Keep in mind that the language will be the same for fairs and we will not be creating specific fair types for graduate school, volunteer or student organisations.
Please refer to our dedicated article Virtual Fairs: Accessibility for more information!
Can all employers attend my virtual fair?
- All employers can attend and engage with students at a virtual fair when invited by a university, subject to university attendance fees. There will be no Handshake charge to attend a university event and we will not gate any employers from access to an institution.
- There will still be an ability for you as a university to charge employers for fairs via Handshake, as before with physical fairs.
- For our premium employers, we may provide additional tools to help them manage their own virtual events across many institutions at once, tie event attendance into their workflows, and for better ways for them to engage their employee population beyond recruiters. All of that is still under discussion.
- That said, our premium employer tools have always been built around a few core principles: (a) never charge for job postings or event attendance, (b) never charge for access to an individual institution. So, we would never charge for basic attendance at a university event or access to an institution.
Other vendors cap the number of employers who can sign up for a career fair—will Handshake have a maximum number of employers that you can support?
- Handshake doesn’t have plans to cap the number of employers in attendance at this time, but universities will have the option to control the number of employers that are approved as registrants.
Has Handshake thought of how the virtual fair features will accommodate needs of small local employers as well as larger employers?
- Scheduling will honour employer preferences. For smaller and local employers we will recommend group sessions to reach as many students as possible. A large employer may have the resources to send multiple representatives that can create 1:1 availability throughout the day.
Do all employers need to set up the time slots for 1:1 appointments with students?
- Handshake provides templates for employer schedules, but each employer will have the opportunity to adjust this based on their preferences.
- Employers can select up to 15 representatives to participate in the fair via group and/or 1:1 sessions.
Can employers customise the way their booth looks with logos, etc?
- Employers will eventually be able to customise their registrations (booths) similarly to how they customise their Handshake profiles today. We are considering pre-recorded videos as another branding mechanism for employers registrations.
Will there be an opportunity for a company to host something on the departmental level? For example, a company that may hire engineers primarily, but also might have a marketing department booth, and an HR booth, and a business analyst booth, etc.
- Yes, employers will be able to set schedules per representative and connect those schedules to relevant positions and preferences.
Other companies who provide this platform limit the number of fairs they will hold per day, so the platform isn’t overloaded. Will you be doing this, and if so, do I need to make a reservation with you?
- There will be no limit on the number of concurrent fairs that can be run based on platform capacity.
For additional help supporting employers, please see Virtual Fairs: Supporting Employers.
Will interview days be integrated into the virtual career fair experience?
- Scheduling will be a part of virtual fairs! These schedules will support 1:1 and group interactions.
Will your virtual fair have the option to do an interview day with pre-selects?
- Pre-select interviews on the day after the fair will not be built into the virtual fair feature. However, you will be able to create a pre-select interview separate from the virtual fair, just like you can do with in-person fairs today.
How will interviews with employers work? Should employers still use the separate interview scheduling module?
- Employers should use the interview schedule section of Handshake to host interviews with students that occur outside of a career fair.
- Premium Employer Partners will be able to use Handshake Video to host interviews in Handshake.
Please refer to our dedicated article Handshake's Guide to Attending a Virtual Fair for more details.
Please refer to our dedicated article Virtual Fairs: Proactive & Day-of Support for more details.
Trust & Safety
Please refer to our dedicated article Virtual Fairs: Trust & Safety for more details.
Please refer to our dedicated article Virtual Fairs: Technical Requirements for more details.
Please check out our blog post for more information on Virtual Fair Office Hours!