Having experienced steady growth during the past year, Sun Design, in Burke, Va., needed to fill several sales and design positions. Company president Bob Gallagher had found that running classified ads in the local paper and online yielded disappointing results, providing neither the quantity nor quality of applicants needed, so he decided to host a career fair.

Getting the Word Out

In 2005 and 2006, Sun Design had successfully used fairs to find new hires, some of whom still work at the company. But this time around it used social media rather than radio ads to promote the event — as Gallagher notes, “[these days] no one is listening to the radio.” The company posted information about the fair on LinkedIn, Facebook, Craig’s List, and in online job listings and a local newspaper.

The job fair took place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on a Saturday amidst a lively atmosphere with food and music.

Attendees filled out applications, and then Gallagher addressed them in small groups, describing the company culture and trying to gauge their reaction to see if they might be a good fit.

Gallagher and the company’s sales director and production director each also conducted formal interviews with every applicant attending the fair.

Results were good: The company hired a salesperson, a specialty designer, and a carpenter from the pool of applicants, and it is still reviewing applications from two other potential sales reps. “Now I see that it was the thing we really needed to bring out the folks who are really good,” Gallagher says. “It was a great use of our time.”

Partner Power: Sun Design has strategic partnerships with several remodeling-related companies in the area. An interior decorator and a closet-organization company co-sponsored the job fair — their names were on all the marketing materials and ads, and they notified their contact lists about the Sun Design event.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING

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