Today’s top recruiters tend to be proactive in finding new talent. Rather than waiting for applicants to reach out, they are constantly scanning the main networking and job sites, building relationships with prospective candidates, and even hosting recruiting events to expand the candidate pool.
Of course, there are several types of events, so it’s important to know which ones will attract the talent you need and which are best at facilitating real connections. Is there a way to attract mainly remote workers or experienced professionals who need a job now?
Lucky for you, this guide will help you organize recruiting events that deliver just what you need.
What Are Recruiting Events?
Recruiting events can range from traditional job fairs to Instagram live sessions, but they all have the same goal: to establish connections and attract new talent.
Though events take time and effort to plan and organize, the payoff should make it worth your while.
At a successful event, your recruiting team should be able to meet dozens of talented candidates within a few hours. Suddenly, you’ve started conversations with a wave of promising job-seekers who, from their perspective, have a chance to get a feel for your company and their potential fit.
To attract remote or hybrid workers, you might turn to virtual recruiting events. Some events transfer easily from in-person to online, while others do not. Remote-focused recruiters may need to get creative to attract quality candidates, and we have some ideas to help them.
In-Person vs. Virtual Recruiting
A decade or two ago, a company with a distributed workforce, also known as a virtual or remote staff, had real difficulty finding and attracting top talent. These days, it still helps to have some creativity, but it’s absolutely doable thanks to the rise of virtual recruiting events.
Such events offer three major advantages. The first is that they are easy to organize. There’s no need to reserve the main conference room in advance or rent out a big space for the afternoon; just craft an agenda and send out the evites and you’re good to go.
Second, they are very cost-efficient, which means you can organize many more of them with little risk.
Finally, the candidate pool is not defined by distance or commute. With the help of technology, you can host a virtual recruiting event and attract candidates worldwide. Suddenly the list of possible attendees is not only potential applicants in the San Jose area, for instance, but candidates from around the world!
Nowadays, even companies looking to hire only in-office workers regularly organize online recruiting events because they understand and appreciate their benefits.
Another advantage of online events is increased accessibility. A 2021 study from early career network Handshake found that diverse candidates preferred virtual events because they were easier to attend and sometimes less intimidating than traditional recruiting events.
Educational Opportunity Recruiting Events
An increasingly popular type of recruiting event is one that adds an educational element, such as workplace training on diversity and inclusion or the latest CRM tools. It’s a great way to bring together like-minded professionals and connect with talented job seekers.
Another advantage is that, apart from hands-on training events, educational recruiting events can be held online, making them inexpensive and highly accessible.
Training and Professional Development
Talented professionals are constantly looking to improve their skills and expand their knowledge. As a result, they find free training sessions and development opportunities highly appealing.
This means that online events offering free leadership coaching or customer service training, for example, would likely attract a promising crowd of potential applicants.
Countless job-seekers today value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, which are key to combating workplace discrimination. Holding DEI training events and educational opportunities sends a positive message about your company culture that will appeal to a diverse candidate pool.
You could organize a panel discussion between knowledgeable employees, a guest lecture, or interactive workshops on improving DEI in the workplace. Such events usually provide valuable education, initiate insightful conversations, and boost your firm’s brand as an employer.
Attend a Conference
A conference need not be focused on hiring to provide opportunities to meet and begin to recruit talented professionals in your field. Attending conferences is a great way to network, expand awareness of your company, and identify new talent in a low-stress setting.
Recruiting Events to Streamline Hiring
Even if you have plenty of qualified applicants, actually making the hire can take so long that it drives some candidates away. These recruiting event ideas focus on streamlining the process, from identifying talent to sealing the deal and growing your workforce.
Attend Career Fairs
Career fairs are the most common type of recruiting event – and for good reason. Everybody knows why they’re there, and both employers and job-seekers get straight down to business, seeking out candidates/opportunities and making connections.
Especially since they often target recent graduates, career fairs are an efficient way to attract talented candidates and spread awareness about your company and its available positions.
We advise staffing your booth with friendly employees, branded merchandise, and informative handouts to keep attendees interested.
Hold a Group Hiring Event
A group hiring event is when a hiring manager, rather than struggling to schedule a dozen or more interviews of all the qualified candidates for an open position, sets up interviews with all the top applicants on the same day in the hopes of finding the best fit.
These events save time and hassle and can easily be held virtually or in person. In addition, when candidates are interviewed one after another, it’s easier to compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses as the impressions remain fresh.
One downside to this approach is that some candidates may be unable to attend, leaving them on the outside looking in. But this may be a necessary sacrifice if you’re looking to fill a post quickly.
Invite Candidates to Participate in a Contest
Recruiting contest events, such as a hackathon for tech developers, are increasingly popular, as they add a sense of competition to the hiring process — and a bit of fun.
Holding a contest that’s open to the public can be a great way to attract top talent and bring attention to your business and its available positions. In a hackathon, participants generally work to solve a tech challenge to prove their coding skills.
But contests can prioritize an array of skills. One company looking for the world’s greatest salesperson invited contestants to deliver a sales pitch for a brick.
With some creativity, you can design a hiring contest for almost any role. With a bit of luck, you’ll find your next rising star! And even if you don’t, you’ll likely have fun and meet a lot of talented job-seekers who might come into play down the line.
Recruiting Events to Build Professional Relationships
Relationships are essential to business success, so consider attracting candidates through social events, such as mixers and happy hours. Such events encourage the type of open-minded networking that leads to lasting professional relationships.
1. Plan a Hiring or Networking Mixer
Everyone loves a party! Professional mixers are a great way to meet people in your industry, build connections, and identify talented potential job candidates. While a hiring mixer is planned to boost hiring, networking mixers are just about making connections.
To avoid confusion, be sure to specify which kind of event you’re organizing.
2. Host an Open House
Pick a date and time to open up your business to the public and allow visitors to wander around, chatting with employees and executives. This demonstrates openness and transparency and helps potential candidates get a feel for your company culture and potential fit.
You may choose to combine an open house with another event, such as a mixer or training.
3. Host an “Ask Me Anything” Session
“Ask Me Anything,” or AMA events, are often popular with applicants as they offer an informal opportunity to familiarize themselves with the company and its culture.
These events can be held in person or online, as participants can submit questions through chat or directly participate in a call. Generally, the hiring manager organizes and hosts the event and spends a few hours answering relevant questions from vetted attendees.
Other employees can host or attend AMAs and provide insight into their particular position.
4. Virtual Information Sessions
Most candidates have questions for their potential employer about salary, company culture, benefits, and more. Holding a few online informational sessions a year can attract candidates who may be less familiar with your field but interested in learning more.
5. Invest in Your Community with Recruiting Events
Building a strong employer brand can organically draw talented applicants. Committing to DEI and internal recruitment over the long term can boost employee diversity and morale, improving your company’s reputation among potential employees.
6. Engage With Your Community
To boost local awareness of your business, it helps establish a positive community presence. You might sponsor a Little League team, set up a recruitment booth at a local street fair, or offer educational programs.
7. Mental Health Resources
The stigma surrounding mental health issues has largely disappeared in recent years, so it’s a great idea to offer resources for your staff, potential job candidates, and the broader community seeking help with mental and emotional difficulties.
This demonstrates your company’s commitment to the health of its employees and the broader community and will only reflect well on your employer brand. Especially for mainly remote businesses, offering mental health resources can have an extremely positive impact.
Recruiting is a constant challenge for all businesses, but scheduling the right events at the right time can work wonders for your hiring process. Recruiting is far from a one-size-fits-all proposition, so it’s best to take the time to examine the best options and your company’s needs before starting to make plans.
But with a bit of preparation and planning, you could soon be hosting enjoyable, lively events that attract waves of impressively talented candidates and put your company on the road to long-term success.