Representatives from the district’s Human Resources department shared with the Board of Education Tuesday that they found success in a recent virtual job fair, bringing in more than 1,200 interested individuals from around the world.
Director of Human Resources Dr. Beth Hebert said this was the first time the district has held a job fair virtually, and they chose to use vFairs, a company offering virtual event platforms, to host it.
While planning for the fair in September 2020, Coordinator of Alternative Certification and Induction Michele Dugan said the department worked with the district’s communications team to spread the word about the virtual job fair as far as they could, especially with the format being unfamiliar this year.
They held the job fair online in February, giving interested parties a chance to navigate a virtual conference hall. Users could watch videos from HR leaders, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden and Board of Education Chair Kristin Morrissey as they navigated through the first virtual space. It provided information not just on the school system, but also on the Forsyth County community since many also came from other areas of the world.
From there, they could navigate to an exhibit hall where they could click on booths for each school and meet with administrators virtually.
Hebert said the department received plenty of feedback from the event, hearing especially that many applicants were impressed with the system’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion booth where representatives answered questions about how they are working to create a more diverse workforce.
Administrators felt the platform was easy to use and enjoyed the format. While they said the event took up too much time, they agreed that the virtual landscape also let them meet a more diverse population of applicants.
Dugan said they have now had applicants this year from most U.S. states and Canada, but they have also seen applicants from Dubai, Malaysia, India and more.
“One of the things that we said was think about all of those people around the country who might want to come and interview with us, but they can’t hop on a plane, get here and do that,” Hebert said. “So this is a good way to do at least a first connection, but with the video chats, you can do a full interview.”
With feedback from both applicants and administrators, Hebert said the department is thinking of continuing with a virtual event in the future to possibly coincide with an in-person job fair.
So far, Dugan said the district has hired at least 81 new staff members from this year’s fair. By the end of August last year, they had hired about 112 applicants.