What does every successful hiring event have in common and how can you ensure you meet your recruitment goals and achieve an ROI from your job recruitment budget? In this article, we’ll explore how to plan and host recruiting events like the pros and deliver an experience to remember.
1. Make sure you attract the right people
Virtual recruiting events have become an integral component of the corporate hiring mix. Gone are traditional boundaries, such as event size and location, which means your hiring events can attract more candidates, showcase your company’s unique personality, and enable you to exert more control over the candidate experience.
But none of this matters if you haven’t attracted the right candidates to your hiring event in the first place. This means you need to reach out to your ideal candidates early and often and make sure event registration is easy no matter what device your candidate is using. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Execute an integrated campaign using email, social media, online advertising, college/university/industry e-newsletters, and press releases. If you’re using recruiters, work with them to jointly promote your event. Depending on your promotion period, send out at least two to three invitation emails for your event.
- Consider using a tool such as Handshake, which connects you to universities and allows you to message students and invite them to your recruiting event.
- Create a clean, mobile-friendly registration site to capture candidates’ details. Allow participants to register with their social media credentials (Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+) and include calendar reminders for registrants.
- Implement a social media strategy using tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your recruiting event. Find LinkedIn groups relevant to your company and its open positions. Schedule regular tweets to create a cadence of interest before the event. Don’t forget to create a #hashtag for your event so people can find and reference it as they tweet.
- Share content pre-event such as a company overview video or employee testimonials to attract candidates.
- Send reminders to all registrants a minimum of one week before, one day before, and the day of the event.
- As with any marketing program, you’ll want to track the progress of different campaigns/promotion vehicles by embedding a “promo code” to the event URL link. This way, you can monitor the progress and gauge the effectiveness of each vehicle.
2. Create a great first impression
The key to getting virtual recruiting events right is to approach the event with one overarching goal: make a great impression. You want to connect the candidates to your employer brand. Fortunately, the pace of virtual event technology innovation and its complementary apps is so fast, the ways in which you can achieve these connections seem to continually double. And by partnering with the right technology vendor, you’ll be able to take advantage of all virtual event technology has to offer: matchmaking tools, live Q&As, in-event advertising, and more. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Carry a consistent look-and-feel throughout all elements of your virtual hiring event, including the pre-event promotion/messaging as well as post-event follow-up.
- Ask an executive to record a two-minute welcome message to enhance the user experience.
- Include pop-up instructions or a recorded message on how to navigate the virtual environment, download collateral, visit networking lounges, etc.
- Use your corporate branding guide as a reference during the environment creation process.
- Identify company ambassadors and make them available throughout the environment, so candidates can interact with both the hiring managers and the ambassadors to ask questions, etc.
- Consider sending out “welcome packages” to all candidates with t-shirts, coffee mugs, and collateral. Or pre-populate a virtual briefcase in the environment with one to three pieces of your most relevant collateral: benefits overviews, branded videos, recorded interviews with executives, or news links.
- Record employees at all levels of the organization answering questions such as, “What is your favorite thing about working here?” or “Why did you choose to work here?” and make the videos available throughout the environment.
3. Keep candidates engaged
Avoid downtime between recruiting activities. Remember, leaving the event is as easy as logging out of the virtual environment, so give people a reason to stay. Proper use of engagement tools can help you create a “sticky” environment and help you find creative ways to make employee story videos, testimonials, Glassdoor reviews, and FAQs readily available. For consideration:
- If you’re hosting a panel discussion, allow candidates to ask questions and share feedback in real-time with your speakers. Give the candidates the opportunity to learn more about benefits programs, company culture, or career paths. Encourage your panelists to answer openly to establish trust and demonstrate your company’s communication style and commitment to transparency.
- Invite candidates to join a live or pre-recorded virtual office tour. Show them your meeting rooms, break rooms, and if you’re in a multi-tenant building, shared facilities such as gyms and food courts.
- Schedule a fireside chat. These could take the form of an executive interview or customer case study.
- Maintain communication with candidates throughout your recruiting event. Apps such as Eventory by 6Connex make this easy, sending notifications and alerts that direct candidates to activities. The app will also allow candidates to interact and network with other event participants.
- Formalize networking opportunities by creating a virtual networking lounge for candidates to visit. Networking opportunities can increase the appeal of your hiring event and allow candidates to connect with people with similar career goals and mindsets.
- Activate the Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook features within your virtual recruiting environment. This allows candidates to share thoughts and insights live with their communities in real-time. Social media creates and extends buzz inside and outside your hiring event and may produce viral applicants during the live day.
4. Analyze your recruiting event data
One of the benefits of hosting a virtual recruiting event is that it’s easy to aggregate and analyze attendee data to understand what worked well. For example, you can assess:
- Targeting and outreach effectiveness
- Demographic information: data such as location, age, and gender can help you better understand your audience
- Event feedback and ratings: data such as attendee satisfaction, content relevance, etc.
- Qualified candidates: number of right-fit potential hires generated by the event
- Connections: data such as the number of people who attended networking events, exchanged contact information at networking events, engaged in 1:1 chats, etc.
5. Don’t overlook post-event communication
The post-event period is usually characterized by a sense of achievement, satisfaction, and sometimes relief — but don’t give in to this yet! The truth is, you’ll be managing your recruiting event long after the event is over, in the form of candidate qualification, follow-up activity, and ideally, job offers.
While engaging with candidates is important during the event, you must now look for ways to continue the conversation. Below are some ideas.
- Send out both a “thank you” and/or a “sorry we missed you” email a day or two after the recruiting event. Summarize next steps in the hiring process. You can also use an app such as Eventory by 6Connex to facilitate this communication.
- If you hosted a live Q&A, have your Human Resources team follow-up on any candidate questions that were not answered during the event.
- Continue the dialogue about the recruiting event on your company blog, Twitter, or other social media sites; encourage candidates to get involved by asking questions and initiating conversation.
Within 1–2 weeks after the recruiting event date, launch a short survey. Keep the survey friendly and to the point. Use survey data to augment or enhance your next virtual hiring event. For even better results, consider including the survey in the thank you email.
Leverage the best technology to create memorable virtual recruiting experiences
When you start looking at in-person, hybrid, and virtual event products, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But the right technology will be instrumental in getting the most out of your recruitment events. Platforms that seamlessly integrate with mobile apps and offer sophisticated analytics will enable you to easily promote and host your hiring event, establish long-term relationships with your pool of candidates, build your employer brand, and report on your event’s success.
See what’s possible with virtual recruiting events. Request a virtual event platform demo.