As we embark upon a new year, at Highered, we have been overwhelmed with feedback from our EFMD school members as to the challenging year that we have left behind. While the obvious situation and circumstances have been trying to say the least, we are motivated to continue implementing initiatives to support Career Services, employers and most importantly, talent.
The 2020 experience saw a total of 21 fairs in a 3-day format, at which we hosted more than 1,200 recruiters from 200 companies and organisations. We appreciate the 131 EFMD network schools who chose to participate, enabling 140,000 of their students, as well as alumni, to interact with the recruiters during 1.33 million stand visits, leading to a total of 51,771 applications and a 35.3% application rate, which is outperforming any other initiative we have seen in the recruiting industry. Throughout the virtual fairs, the employers held live events and webinars to communicate at an unprecedented scale to larger talent groups, at which more than 29,000 participants attended.
In addition to the positive response to the employment opportunities, the talent showed up in force to the career educational offerings throughout the virtual fairs. More than 13,000 students joined live CV Clinics and virtual conferences with leading career speakers worldwide, who are references in their respective fields.
Following the experience of the virtual fairs in 2020, we held the “Future of Virtual Recruitment” roundtable for recruiters and Career Services professionals on 30 November, during which we literally created the roadmap for what lies ahead in 2021. From a Talent & Careers perspective, 81% of schools recognised that what their talent valued most from Career Services is “continued efforts to bring recruitment opportunities, including Virtual Fairs”. It was then no surprise to learn that in addition to joining the EFMD Global Virtual Fairs in 2021, 84% of schools confirmed plans to organise their own school’s virtual fairs or events. From a recruiter perspective, 82% indicated that the move to digital recruitment is irreversible and that a hybrid of on-campus and digital (including virtual fairs), will be their strategy in 2021.
This roadmap will soon be further developed by a dedicated Steering Committee of recruiters and Career Services professionals, in an effort to ensure that as a community we are effectively catering to the needs of the key stakeholders, while never losing sight of our mission at Highered to build a better future for students and talent all over the world.
Coming in 2021 – the largest virtual fair for talent ever organised
Key elements of what’s coming include the Global Virtual Fairs in a five-day format – Career Fest 1 from April 19-23 and Career Fest 2 in October (exact dates to be determined). We expect more than 200,000 students and alumni from 300 schools at the 2021 Career Fests, which are multiple sector, profile and geographic-specific fairs all on a single platform in a pavilion-style format. Furthermore, those schools registering prior to the 8 February Early Bird deadline will benefit from the ability to organise their own private virtual event for their school, included in the affordable, sole administrative fee of 490 €, with unlimited talent and company booths. In fact, the proprietary Highered virtual career fair platform is available for those schools interested in organising their private virtual events with ease throughout the year. We strongly encourage all EFMD schools to provide their students and alumni access to the 2021 Career Fest initiative, making this the largest recruitment event.
In summary, EFMD institutions will have the opportunity to further their talent’s employability by engaging in the EFMD Virtual Fairs by Highered 2021, attending events organised by companies and organisations globally on the Highered platform and organising school custom events. The custom events are school-branded, exclusive to that institution’s talent and with the ability to extend unlimited invitations to corporate partners, with whom it is more important than ever to continue strengthening ties and provide a platform to connect with talent at times when on-campus events are simply not feasible. With more than 500 companies and organisations already set-up on the virtual fair platform, and an estimated 2,500 by the end of 2021, this equates to a tremendous timesaver for both Career Services and the recruiters, while effectively facilitating the connection of talent with recruiters on Highered’s state-of-the-art platform.
There is so much more in store, from integrated video chat functionality to French-language localisation of the GetHighered.global platform, in addition to English and Chinese, with more languages to follow.
We have received reports from the Careers professionals in our network of talent struggling throughout the year, especially the international students, and how Highered’s regular events helped to keep them connected and engaged, including securing job and internship opportunities, providing them with hope and energy to stay positive and look ahead.
While many schools cite 2020 as having been chaotic for their talent, they focused on “making the best out of it, partly because of our membership with EFMD and Highered and the access we were able to give our students and alumni to global networking and job opportunities.”
It is precisely this feedback, coupled with the 2020 experience, which sets the foundation for the 2021 Highered EFMD roadmap strategy.
There is no end in sight to the possibilities. Connect with us at Highered to share your vision and we will work with you to find a solution.