Bring Back the January Job Fair in 2017

Job FairWhat are you doing January Fourth? If you’re like many Americans, you’ll be thinking about finding a new job and possibly attending a job fair. According to, job searches spiked by more than 70 percent on the first Wednesday of January, 2016. Previous years have seen similar jumps in employment searches. This annual phenomenon represents a phenomenal opportunity for recruiters and other human resource professionals.

The big day will fall on January Fourth in 2017, so hosting a hiring event at this time does make perfect sense—or it did. The January Job Fair, once a staple of the employee recruitment season, seems to be on the decline at some companies. One reason might be that a New Year’s Career Fair often requires planning during the holidays when many human resource departments are short-staffed. Making arrangements for a January Job Fair now, however, can ensure a successful event when HR staff members return to work after the holidays.

A Strong Start for the New Year

A well-publicized January Job Fair can bring recruiters face-to-face with hundreds of potential new hires. To make sure you capture information from prospective candidates, set up a designated web page where people can RSVP and pre-apply for positions. The resulting candidate pool can make sourcing qualified applicants much easier during the rest of the year.

Promoting the Event

Many human resource professionals remember when print advertising was a major driving force behind January Job Fairs, and it still can be. Additional media choices include outdoor advertising, radio and television. A lower-priced option is social media. Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer cost-effective and highly targeted promoted posts that can reach thousands of candidates in a specific market.  

Internal flyers and eblasts to current employees can also help get the word out, especially if your company offers recruitment bonuses to employees who refer candidates that go on to be hired. This is especially effective in late December when many people are already wondering how they’ll pay off holiday bills. If your company does choose the employee referral approach, be sure to give your employees a way of both inviting qualified friends and receiving credit for the invitation/referral.

Don’t Wait

It’s never too early to get a jump on what could be your most successful recruitment initiative of the year. Start planning your company’s January Job Fair now to reap the benefits throughout 2017!

Also published on Medium.