Job Fair Success

You need the right tools for any job. You can’t change a flat tire with a screwdriver. The same holds true when engaging and attracting quality candidates. You need to use the right tools to attract the right people, especially when you are looking to hire a lot of people and need to ensure job fair success. Recently a major construction company contacted me at Mitton Media and asked for our help in promoting an upcoming hiring fair for skilled trades and craft positions. Here’s what happened:

Case Study: Skilled Trades Hiring Fair

The Situation:

AmecFosterWheeler needed to hire hundreds of skilled workers for a major construction project in a rural area east of Houston, Texas. The competition for these workers is fierce. There are always more open positions in East Texas than there are available workers. The employer’s “Traditional” process was not generating response from enough candidates, and by “Traditional” I mean: Newspaper job ads, LinkedIn, and cold calls by recruiters.

I met with the HR group, including the hiring managers, and learned they needed experienced Welders, Ironworkers, Riggers, and Pipefitters….all of which are in short supply in East Texas. Working with their team, Mitton Media determined the “Points-of-Difference” AmecFosterWheeler needed to highlight: benefits, wages and workplace amenities prospective applicants could only find at AmecFosterWheeler.

To give the employer even more leverage with candidate attraction and engagement, members of the Mitton Media creative team visited the actual job site where we recorded audio interviews with several current employees. “Why I love working at AmecFosterWheeler” sound bites from these interviews were then included in the radio commercials. This allowed the listener to get the message straight from the current employees’ perspective, giving the message more weight and credibility.

The Solution:

Mitton Media’s extensive research on worker demographics and media usage habits indicated that the specific skilled trade workers being sought by AmecFosterWheeler were, for the most part, big listeners of radio. Using demographic-specific behavioral tools, our trained media planners and buyers were able to identify, quantitatively and qualitatively, which radio stations in the area would do the most effective, cost-efficient job of reaching, engaging, and attracting the greatest numbers of skilled trade workers.

Remember those sound bites we collected from current employees at the job site? We designed and produced a series of sixty-second radio recruitment commercials using the current employees own words to communicate a “What’s In It for Me” message, establishing the critical emotional connection of why an applicant’s life will be better by going to work for AmecFosterWheeler.

Creating a killer recruitment commercial is one thing. Making sure the target audience hears it and hears it often enough to generate a response makes or breaks an employer’s recruitment campaign. Mitton Media understands the distinct differences between placing an effective retail media schedule and placing an effective recruitment media schedule. (Not understanding these differences causes employers to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.)

In this case, having done our homework, Mitton Media’s media buyers knew exactly where and when to place the recruitment commercials throughout the day to grab to reach these workers, get their attention and generate immediate awareness of the AmecFosterWheeler opportunity.

Jobspipeline website – AmecFosterWheeler Hiring Fair

To facilitate even greater response by prospective applicants, Mitton Media designed and created an online landing page with a URL address that was easy to remember: Each radio recruitment commercial referred listeners to that specific landing page.

After arriving on the page visitors would find a comprehensive description of the job fair event, including a map to help them find the location. Also included was an “Apply Now” feature which took candidates directly to the online AmecFosterWheeler application page.

Before moving to The Results section of this blog posting I want to point out something you may find quite surprising. Contrary to current industry Best Practices or those “The Hottest Trends in Recruitment” blog postings you’ve been reading, our Mitton Media recruitment campaign DID NOT include a single newspaper job ad, online job board posting, or social media activity.

The Results:

As soon as the two-week radio campaign started, a tremendous amount of site traffic was recorded and tracked on, with a strong correlation between site visits and air times of the radio commercials. In fact, over 100 hires were made through the site before the actual hiring fair took place!

Hiring fair Crowd

1500 Candidates lined up before Amec Hiring Fair opened due to Mitton Media Advertising

The morning of the hiring event, over 1,500 candidates were lined up waiting for the doors to open at 8 am. By 9 am, over 2000 candidates were in line.

Many of the candidates had travelled as much as 300 miles to come to the event, a fact attributed to the Hidden Recruitment Network element of the Mitton Media campaign. This attendance number far exceeded AmecFosterWheeler’s expectations.

Almost 1,000 candidates were processed by 2pm with 200 offers tendered. The rest of the candidates were met in line and given handouts explaining the options of applying online or going to the AmecFosterWheeler hiring office starting on Monday morning.

Explaining the Job Fair Success:

A few reasons contributing to the success of this job fair promotion include:

  • “Best Practices” and “industry trends” will sometimes lead employers in the wrong direction.
    1. For example, our research showed the majority of skilled workers in the area do not read the newspaper. Therefore running employment classifieds would have been a waste of recruitment dollars.
  • Don’t assume!
  • Do the research.
  • Run away from cookie-cutter solutions.
  • Tell stories that create an emotional connection for the potential candidate.
  • Pick media platforms that do the best job of reaching and telling your story to target audiences.
  • Make it easy for applicants to respond.
Hiring Fair Crowd

Hundreds of Candidates packing the Amec Hiring Fair due to Mitton Media ad campaign

Do you need to hire NOW?

AmecFosterWheeler retained the services of Mitton Media based on our experience, knowledge, and resources. They recognized our track record for generating immediate and significant results for our clients, saving them tens of thousands of dollars in recruitment costs and project delay costs.

Regardless of industry, Mitton Media can create custom programs for you that will generate immediate results. For a free assessment of your recruitment programs and learn how Mitton Media can help take the pain out of the process, contact me at 713-594-1947 or drop me an email at

Mitton Media. We do the work. You get the credit®


David Foster
Senior Client Consultant


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