Recruitment Events: Creative Ways to Host Your Hiring Event and Engage Your Candidates

Let’s face it. The recruiting process is often a time-consuming experience. To increase the chances of hiring more right-fit candidates who want to work for your company, you can organize a recruitment event. The question is: what type of job recruitment event should you host? Job fairs aren’t your only option, and some formats are better at meeting certain business goals than others.  Read on to find out:

  • The pros and cons of each type of hiring event

  • How to plan a recruiting event

  • Pitfalls to avoid when hosting recruiting events

  • When to use recruiting events in the hiring process

  • How you can maximize your recruiting event ROI with hybrid events or virtual events

Most people, at some point, find themselves in the middle of a job recruitment process. And regardless of whether you’re a candidate browsing through job descriptions or an employer looking for the perfect candidate fit – the experience can be exhausting. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Virtual event solutions help you streamline recruitment and fill your open positions with more qualified candidates. And the right virtual event platform will significantly increase your chances of identifying dream candidates while building your employer brand.

When you decide you want to incorporate virtual events into your recruitment process, the question arises: how best to proceed? You have some options:
  • Open house recruitment events
  • College and university recruiting events
  • Networking parties
  • Competitions

The choice is yours, and your virtual event format should align with your recruiting goals. Follow these steps to achieve success.


How to Host an Open House Recruitment Event

One of the most traditional options is to host an open house recruitment event. This is exactly like it sounds. For a couple of hours or days you open your office and invite candidates to visit and learn more about your company, your employees, and your open positions. What’s the benefit of this method? Candidates get the experience of a physical open house without the travel. It’s one less barrier to getting candidates into your hiring pipeline. Your virtual open house can include:

  • A virtual tour of your organization
  • Video content that showcases your company culture
  • 1-1 chats with Human Resources, recruiters, and hiring managers 
  • Tools to upload resumes and apply to open positions online 

Tips for Success

There are multiple steps you can take to ensure your virtual open house is a success. Consider:

  • Advertising your virtual open house through job boards, social media, and other online channels.
  • Allowing candidates to attend virtual meetings as observers. Have someone assigned to engage with the candidates, welcome them, and to whatever extent possible integrate them into the meeting.
  • Leveraging virtual engagement tools to personalize the open house experience by facilitating networking, providing relevant content, and sending in-event alerts to make the whole experience more meaningful.
  • Hosting a virtual live chat event with current employees to answer candidates’ questions.
  • Promoting your employer brand. For example, carry a consistent, on-brand look-and-feel throughout all elements of your virtual open house, including the pre-event promotion/messaging as well as post-event follow-up.
  • Creating a virtual host for the main “hall” with a two-minute welcome message to enhance the user experience. The host can introduce your company and provide instructions on where to locate collateral, view webcasts, etc.

How to Virtually Recruit College and University Students

If you’re looking for young, ambitious candidates, recruiting at colleges and universities can deliver the best results.

Tips for success

Most colleges and universities hold virtual campus career fairs and recruiting events that enable employers to show off their brand and interact with students, without requiring the students to travel. Ideas for successfully leveraging a virtual campus recruiting event include:

  • Hosting an information session to introduce students to your organization, your industry, and any open positions.
  • Scheduling online coffee chats to meet informally with small groups of students and introduce them to your company, the hiring process, career paths, work culture, etc.
  • Holding a virtual professional development workshop to teach students new skills specific to your industry.
  • Hosting a virtual alumni panel discussion, where students can ask questions of alumni who now work for your organization.
  • Having an executive present on an industry-specific topic.  

How to Host a Virtual Networking Event

A virtual networking event is another great way to meet potential candidates.

Tips for success

Without physical boundaries, virtual networking events will allow you to invite a large number of guests and are a useful way to kick-start relationships with potential candidates, introduce your products and services, and present your company as an employer of choice. Here are some ideas for creating a memorable virtual networking event: 

  • Use social media channels such as LinkedIn to promote your virtual networking event. If your budget allows, leverage LinkedIn tools such as Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Dynamic Ads to drive awareness and registrations.
  • Create a welcoming environment that incorporates your employer brand. Leverage advertising panels, logo banners, environment-wide announcements, media walls (to categorize and display content visually against a “wall”), and green-screen videos of networking event hosts (ideally your company leadership) to generate a feeling of “live” excitement. 
  • Invite your registrants to attend a VIP speaker presentation, followed by a live Q&A. Then, to facilitate networking, create breakout rooms and ask your attendees to join different discussions.
  • Host a virtual round table discussion and invite attendees to join. Make sure you have a moderator in place to encourage engagement, facilitate icebreakers, etc. 
  • Schedule a virtual speed networking event. Place attendees into breakout rooms for 5-10 minutes and then switch them to another room. 
  • Launch real-time, environment-wide announcements throughout the event to inform (i.e., scheduled webcasts), engage (i.e., last chance to enter a contest), or drive attendees to different locations (i.e., a moderated chat in a designated networking lounge).
  • Hold contests and prize giveaways. Include the incentive as part of your pre-event promotional campaign. For example,  promote a “scavenger hunt,” in which attendees need to visit various locations within the virtual environment to meet specific people. Keep the challenges simple to understand, fun to do, and scattered throughout the live day. Be sure to create a “Prize Booth” for the event and activate the “prize” tab in the environment to prominently display giveaways.
  • Offer a quick tech tutorial. If your registrants are new to virtual networking events, provide them with an Attendee Guide early in the promotional period. For example, including the guide as part of your email campaign gives your audience a chance to review it and know what to expect during a virtual networking event. You can also invite attendees to experience the virtual event platform before the networking event takes place.  Allow them to familiarize themselves with the format ahead of time so they understand how to navigate the platform and take advantage of different experiences.  You may even want to offer some virtual content prior to the event itself to increase the likelihood registrants will attend and encourage colleagues to join.    

How to Host a Virtual Hiring Event Competition

What is the best way to select top talent among a sea of well-qualified candidates? Let them show off their skills in real-time challenges. 

Organizing friendly contests works great either as a standalone virtual event or as an additional attraction during other hiring events. 

Tips for success

A great example of how to incorporate elements of competition into the talent recruitment process is Spotify. While looking for new programmers, the company decided to organize a hackathon, where attendees could demonstrate their skills. In addition, to attract a more diverse pool of candidates, they iterated on their hackathon concept and organized a DiversiFIGHT hackathon, where half of the participants were women. Not only did Spotify manage to fill its recruiting pipeline, but the event was also great for its employer brand.

Here are some ideas to create virtual competitions for hiring:

  • Be clear that you’re hiring, but don’t make your event too serious. This is an opportunity to observe candidates’ skills, but more importantly, it  allows you to show off your company’s spirit and present your organization as a fun, modern, and unique place to work. 
  • Promote your event ahead of time. Use social media and leverage online communities to generate buzz. If budget permits, you can also use ads or contract with industry influencers to promote your hiring competition.
  • Make sure your virtual event platform includes chat features. If people are competing as part of a team, they’ll need to be able to quickly and easily communicate with each other.
  • Provide attendees with digital collaboration tools. Sometimes people want to show, not tell, so be sure your virtual event technology allows them to upload files, participate via video, screenshare, etc.
  • Build a central resource hub for your competition. Attendees should be able to easily access information such as rules, schedules, and FAQs. You can also include promotional content such as brand videos and executive interviews about the event.
  • Plan non-competition activities. For example, include an executive welcome before your competition begins or host a virtual happy hour after the competition is over to give attendees a chance to network and ask questions.
  • Send competitors a digital swag bag. This could include everything from company benefits brochures to phone and desktop wallpapers featuring company- or industry-specific imagery. 

Curious About Virtual Event Technology? 

We hope we’ve piqued your curiosity about virtual events and shown you just how effective they can be as recruitment tools. Learn more and request a virtual event platform demo.

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