A very common complaint at job fairs is that after all the trouble of going to the event, standing in line and then talking to a recruiter, some
recruiters will say “go to the website”.
(Argh! as Charlie Brown would say.)
There are many reasons for this response. First, each company has many different recruiters and each has a certain set of requirements that they are looking to fill. If you happen to get
a recruiter who is not familiar with the position you are interested in, they
will refer you to their website, so your resume is forwarded to the recruiter
who handles that position. However, this may take some time.
Another reason for this response has to do with federal regulations and a new ruling called the Internet Applicant Rule from the OFCCP. OFCCP stands for Office of Federal
Contract Compliance Program and is responsible for
assuring that employers doing business with the Federal Government comply with
the equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action provisions of
In this ruling, employers have to maintain records of all applicants and the selection process for at least two years. Employers have to be able to show where they got the candidate
and the overall selection process. For some recruiters this means funneling
candidates through the website in order to maintain records of the candidate
Recruiters say they still see significant benefit from talking with a candidate at a job fair. They are very frustrated as well when they have to refer someone to the website when
they don’t have the right position for a candidate.