In the normal course of my life I am a buyer. I buy groceries, gadgets on Amazon and occasionally a new car or furniture. In all these cases I select the seller and go to their marketplace, electronic or physical, to search for the exact product I want. This system works well for me, it's efficient and doesn't waste my time.
Then there are the others, like the door-to-door salesperson, hoping to find that I have carpet in my house so I will submit to a demonstration of their multi-thousand dollar amazing carpet cleaner and high-pressure me into buying one. Sadly they see hardware flooring and trudge away. But it's still a waste of time to answer the door and say no. And there are the alternate electric and natural gas suppliers, various religious groups and magazine sales people. Sellers seeking buyers is very annoying, even more so when they use my email inbox to get my attention that way. Even with spam filters and blacklists they get through on a routine basis.
Perhaps this is why the job seeker is in such a bad position. They are a seller of services trying to find a buyer. This should be very inefficient, if not downright annoying, to the buyer. And it is. Digging through dozens or even hundreds of resumes per job posting, hoping to find some keywords that differentiate a few applicants that deserve a first interview. To make matters worse, the job seeker usually doesn’t find the hiring manager directly, at least not until the first interview, if then. So we end up with a seller dealing with an agent (HR) of the buyer. Or even worse, a seller dealing with an agent (recruiting firm) of the agent (HR) of the buyer. Not surprising this situation is horribly inefficient and terribly frustrating.
Solving this situation is the purpose of a reverse job fair. A typical job fair has the buyer occupying a booth with the sellers wandering around trying to figure out who to talk to. The reverse job fair flips this. The seller occupies the booth and the buyer seeks the type of seller they need. This makes the marketing of the seller at the forefront. If it was me, my booth would clearly display my talents, experiences and the types of positions that interest me. A buyer would immediately know if I’m the type of seller they are looking for, and not waste their time, nor mine. A short, face-to-face conversation between the buyer and seller will quickly determine if there is mutual interest in taking the next step.
So at first blush a reverse job fair might seem like a strange idea. But applying the rule that buyer’s seeking seller’s is the proper direction, you can quickly understand why a reverse job fair is not just a great idea, it’s simply following the same path that you, the consumer, know is the right way to approach any purchasing decision.