Should job candidates pay to attend career fairs?
Today, I received an email from my alma mater announcing an alumni career fair. Here's an excerpt:
"This recruitment event will host over 70 employers actively seeking experienced job candidates. The event is exclusive to participating university alumni to ensure a high quality event. We expect this event to reach capacity."
The event costs $10, which organizers say includes entry and a name tag (score!). But, frankly, I don't think there should be a fee. If these businesses are trying to fill a need by looking for job candidates, shouldn't they pay for the privilege of attending? Human resources and recruitment staffs have budgets and generally must fork over some cash when it comes to attracting talent. So, why is the fee being pushed onto the attendees?
Sure, the employers are offering an "opportunity" to attendees and, yes, that's worth something. However, the event is attracting talented candidates and serving them up for companies to meet. That's of value, too!
Ok, sure, I know that there are other job fairs out there that charge an admittance fee. And, maybe, I'm disgruntled because if this is an event to benefit alumni, it think it should be free. However, in this economy, I think it stinks to pass on the cost to job seekers. A business that is stable enough to hire, easily has $100 to pay for a booth. An unemployed job seeker, especially in today's job market, is living hand to mouth.
Maybe if you're gainfully employed and haven't been affected by the recession, you think I'm being petty. What's a lousy ten bucks? Well, as with most things, it's the principle of the matter. And, if you don't have a steady paycheck coming in, $10 can be a lot of money. Sometimes the difference between keeping your utilities on or having enough to pay for medication.
So, what say you, cyber friends? Am I being cheap? Too overly concerned with the plight of the unemployed?
Let's hear it! Should people be charged to attend job fairs or should companies pay for booths out of their recruitment budgets?