You’ve browsed through job listings on your favourite career portal or social media network and sent out dozens of CVs, but failed to get some feedback. You’ve tried to pop into career fairs but were unable to gain entry. In a job market where expatriate employment opportunities can be hard to come by, it can be frustrating to be a jobseeker.
But despair not. There are other ways to find work outside search engines, social networking sites and physical job expos. Companies across the region are increasingly turning to the Internet to connect and interact with potential candidates in real time.
Welcome to the world of virtual career fairs, where job hunters – regardless of their nationality – can search for new vacancies, learn about companies that are hiring, make positive first impressions and appear for interviews in the comfort and privacy of their homes. Yes, applicants don’t need to leave the house to do a job interview.
Online career events work like the actual job fairs, where applicants can view job postings, drop their CVs and meet employers through an online booth. Applicants can wait in a queue and get the chance to speak to employers which can be impossible when merely submitting a CV online.
“In a virtual job fair, employers can virtually carry open vacancies. [Candidates] can instantly see fresh and exciting jobs, submit their CV and apply directly for several jobs. [Companies and applicants] can also interact via text, audio and video chat, both one-on-one and in a group setting,” explains Muhammad Younas, general manager of vFairs.com.
Each year, a number of online job fairs are hosted for UAE residents. Bayt.com, for example, is planning to open at least three online events in the UAE and at least six across the Middle East.
A study by the online job portal showed that virtual career fairs are gaining popularity in the region, with more than a quarter of respondents confirming they participate in such online events.
Satisfaction levels among these participants are also very high. About six in ten (61.1 per cent) of those who are from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa region said they are satisfied with their online job fair experience, while about a quarter (23.4 per cent) are “extremely” satisfied with the results.
“Virtual job fairs are a great way for expats to get in touch with employers all around the region, as you can partake in them from the comfort of your own home without having to travel and incur additional logistical expenses,” Muhammad Younas, general manager of vFairs.com, told Gulf News.
“Virtual job fairs cater to an increasingly internet-based job market, enabling easy job hunting and hiring for both sides of the employment process,” said Bayt.com.
Besides, the event is accessible to everyone, not just to some candidates from a certain location or nationality.
Online job fairs also attract a number of companies, from small and medium enterprises to institutions and government offices.
“Due to the benefits that are reaped from the virtual fairs platform, such as reduced costs, larger talent pools, and higher [return on investment], many organisations and businesses in the UAE and across the region have chosen to [join virtual job fairs] for their hiring needs,“ Younas said.
Jadea Abolahrari, careers brand manager at Nestle Purina, shared her experience with online job events. “ We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome,” she told Gulf News, adding that the entire process was seamless.
“During the event, vFairs supported us technically from start to finish, though thankfully, we never really needed it. At the conclusion of the event, [they] sent us a thorough report of the visits, views, and downloads from the booths. Their customer service is top notch from start to finish – it was an enjoyable experience.”