Job Recruiting at Conferences


IEEE sponsors conferences in support of our mission. Job recruiting (sometimes a part of job fairs, career fairs, etc.) at any IEEE event can be considered an opportunity for many IEEE conference participants. This is a way to meet with potential employers face-to-face that the attendees may not otherwise have access to. It is also a way to further engage the IEEE with potential employers, such as Industry. What is appropriate for a conference/workshop/symposium and other events (as defined in IEEE Policy 10.0) will vary and is best decided by the particular conference or community.

For many years the IEEE Policies discouraged/did not allow such activities at conferences, but many felt this was too limiting. This has now changed to let the decision to offer such activities be left up to the conference and their IEEE sponsors. This decision does need careful consideration as it may have some unintended consequences such as potential interference with the technical program, other conflicts with the purpose of the event, or concern from employers that they are sending their employees to an event to be recruited. There are many options and formats for such job recruiting activities and no one approach is best for all events. However, at technical conferences, it is generally preferred for there to be a clear separation from the recruiting event.

Job recruiting is a planned event by the conference organizers where hiring entities’ representatives are available to meet with interested parties. As to not disrupt the primary intent of the conference, it should be up to the attendees to decide how they engage with a potential employer/recruiter. Note traditional informal professional networking between colleagues or contacts initiated by an attendee is outside the scope of this IEEE Policy. These should be done in a way not to be disruptive to the event.

IEEE Policy 10.1.25 (Updated Feb 2022)

“Each conference shall have a publicly stated policy concerning recruiting prior to any recruiting being permitted.  The policy should address when and where during the event recruiting is allowed, to which group of attendees (Students, unemployed, …, all) it may be directed, what manner of outreach used by recruiting entities is allowed and other factors deemed important by the conference organizers.   This policy is not intended to encourage or discourage recruiting but leave that decision to the conference and its sponsors.”

Key Elements

  1. This policy is not intended to encourage or discourage recruiting but leave that decision to the conference and its sponsors
  2. The default is no recruiting, a conference recruiting statement is required prior to any recruiting occurring
  3. Prior to having any recruiting activities, the conference-specific recruitment activities policy must be publicly posted and clearly outline the conditions for recruiting during the event
  4. The conference recruiting statement must address
    1. When this activity can occur
    2. Where it can occur
    3. To which attendees this can be directed
    4. The manner of outreach allowed by the potential employers
  5. Other restrictions can be imposed by the conference organizers 

Sample Conference Recruiting Statements

The following are just potential examples of conference recruiting statements and are not intended to suggest these are the only allowed situations. Further examples will be added as we gain experience.

Sample Conference Recruiting Statements


Job Recruiting Not Allowed (This is the default, but an explicit statement may be useful)

The IEEE Conference on ABC does not allow job recruiting.


Physical/Electronic Bulletin Board

The IEEE Conference on ABC does not allow in-person job recruiting. However, posting notices of job opportunities by employers and notices of jobs sought by conference attendees are permitted on a (physical/electronic) bulletin board to be provided by the conference. No other job recruiting will be permitted at the conference.


Posting Notices of Job Opportunities

The IEEE Conference on ABC will provide a means for posting notices of job opportunities by employers and notices of jobs sought by conference attendees. Discussion arrangements should be made privately and away from the conference. No other job recruiting will be permitted at the conference.


Career Fair for Full-Time Students

The IEEE Conference on ABC will arrange a Career Fair for full-time students during the conference. This will be in Ballroom XXX on Tuesday afternoon. Those potential employers wishing to participate should sign-up at (link).  Student attendees will be notified of the opportunity. No other job recruiting will be permitted at the conference.


Career Fair for All Attendees

The IEEE Conference on ABC will arrange a Career Fair for all attendees during the conference. This will be in Meeting Room XYZ each day during the lunch break. Those potential employers wishing to participate should sign-up at (link). The job fair will be announced to attendees in advance and posted at the conference. No other job recruiting will be permitted at the conference.


Discrete Announcements at Exhibit Booths

The IEEE Conference on ABC will permit a discrete announcement of job opportunities in potential employers’ exhibit booths. Interested attendees can then make arrangements for further discussion with the exhibitor. Exhibitors who are interested in participating need to contact the conference organizers in advance (link) and provide an image of their proposed announcement for the conference organizer’s review. No other job recruiting will be permitted at the conference.

Financial Tracking Requirements

Featuring job recruiting at your conference may carry financial implications. Job recruiting activity will typically fall into 1 of 3 categories, each with different requirements:

  1. Recruitment activities are incidental to the event
    • No reporting requirements or tax considerations
  2. Recruitment activities are the primary reason for the event
    • The event in its entirety is likely subject to reporting and any profit/surplus is taxable as unrelated business income
  3. Recruitment activities are prominently featured but not the primary reason for the event. 
    • Reporting and tax filing will be required, and revenues/expenses for the recruitment activity will need to be segregated from other event activities.  Please contact CEE for additional support and information.

If you have questions about the financial implications of job recruiting for your event, please reach out to CEE.

Best Practices

  • While job recruiting is the focus of this revised policy, a more general Career Fair may have a broader interest for attendees. A Career Fair could include emerging opportunities, hot jobs, employment trends in sectors, panels/workshops on career/skills development, resume development, building a personal network, etc.
  • Have a clear/public process for potential recruiting entities to participate in the event

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about job recruiting at IEEE conferences.

While sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably, many see career fairs as more comprehensive, multi-faceted events. They may include talks/workshops on career development/planning, hot jobs, resume writing, interview skills, developing a network, and an opportunity to meet with potential employers. Career fairs could be standalone events. Job recruiting for the purpose of this policy relates just to the outreach or meeting with potential employers to discuss future job opportunities at an IEEE conference.

The revised IEEE Policy is now in place BUT you must first develop a brief Conference Recruiting Statement to determine the extent of these activities for your event.  There needs to be a discussion with the conference organizing team and its IEEE (financial) sponsors to determine what is best for the event. The statement then needs to be posted publicly – such as on the conference website.

No. That decision is left to the conference organizer and their IEEE sponsors for what is best for their event and community. 

Yes, you need to spell out in the statement clearly who is eligible or who is not.

If you have a registration type that matches the eligible groups, that would probably be the easiest approach.  If not, you may need to use the honor system.

This is probably a good idea as it is best you know who is participating in your event.  You could create a separate registration category, but that could complicate your registration and people flow around the event.  Reduced registration for students and the unemployed is common.

This can get tricky. You must avoid inappropriate favoritism or discrimination and need to be aware of local regulations/laws. However, you should be able to restrict participation to those with a role in your community, such as your sponsoring/patron entities, exhibitors, etc.

There are mixed opinions about headhunters, so this will depend on the conference and community culture.  This would be a part of the overall decision of who is eligible to participate.  Do they need to have an established role in the conference?  This decision should be focused on what the conference attendee would feel is appropriate.

Yes, and this is recommended.  You may have a special registration type. Some form of pre-registration is recommended.

This can be a tricky area and one needs to be cautious.  Announcing an activity on your conference website is probably the best approach.  Due to privacy issues, GDPR, and dislike of being spammed, you should not release attendee information to the recruiting entities. Leafleting, posters, and announcements in exhibitor booths could occur without a clear statement of what is or is not allowed. You need to consider the potentially disruptive effect of any recruiting entity outreach.

This policy shall only apply to an event with IEEE in the event name.

The policy and suggestions fully apply to physical, in-person events, and virtual events. The implementation may vary in a virtual event, but the basic concepts apply.

Questions and Feedback

If you have questions or feedback about implementing job recruiting at your conference, please reach out to the CEE team

We Are Here to Help

If you need additional guidance regarding job recruiting at conferences, please contact the CEE team.