Your Foolproof Virtual Recruitment Event Planning Timeline
Jul 21, 2022 10:45:00 AM
Hosting a virtual hiring event is new territory for many. Naturally, you want your event to go off without a hitch, be memorable, and attract the right candidates to your company. But organizing any event is, in general, a very demanding task. Fortunately, with the right strategy and state-of-the-art virtual event solutions, planning a virtual recruitment event doesn’t have to be intimidating.
The event planning process usually follows a pretty logical path. It starts the minute you think, “Hey! Maybe I should organize a recruiting event…” and from there, you start to define what you want to achieve and how the event can help you meet your goals. But if you’re thinking about “going virtual” for the first time, the sheer number of options a virtual event presents may feel overwhelming. Not to worry! Many of our customers find their way to us because they’re “paralyzed by possibility,” and we’ve created this virtual hiring event timeline to help ensure success.
Here’s what a successful recruiting event timeline looks like.
From the very beginning, you and your team need to know what you want your recruitment event to achieve. Ask yourself, “What are the objectives of this event?” and “What metrics will we use to measure the results or define success?” Don’t forget, it’s not just about your company. You also want to set goals for the attendee experience. Be sure to challenge your internal stakeholders to articulate what they want people to take away from attending the virtual recruiting event.
Aligning all participants towards a common goal(s) will ensure the time and energy you’re spending on your event planning yields an ROI. Examples of goals include:
Determine how much money you can spend on your event, and whether your budget can support the outcomes you want to achieve. Fortunately, hosting your recruiting event using a virtual venue is more cost-effective than an in-person event, so there’s a good chance you can stretch your budget farther. Furthermore, sophisticated event tech integrations can more effectively engage your attendees, so you won’t be sacrificing event quality.
A good practice is to prepare different budget plans for possible scenarios. For example, create an ideal budget for a virtual event and an ideal budget for a hybrid one. Or create an ideal budget for an event with a small number of attendees and an ideal budget for a more expanded audience.
Consider using sponsorships to offset costs. By offering opportunities such as banner ads and video commercials, virtual events create more opportunities to draw in sponsorship dollars. In our experience, this is where event planners can get really inventive.
Keep in mind too that virtual events are more sustainable, so you’re reducing environmental costs in addition to financial ones. Added bonus: sustainable events are also great for your employer brand.
According to Inc., millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they’re looking for socially responsible employers.
At this point, you need to make a decision on the virtual event platform that will host your event. In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of virtual event solution providers in the marketplace has increased. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for event planners to know how to choose between opposing platforms. Here’s some advice:
Finally, be sure to identify any collateral, swag, etc. you want to give your attendees and start to create it. You’ll likely want to pre-populate a virtual briefcase in your event environment with one to three pieces of your most relevant hiring collateral, i.e., benefits overviews, employer profiles, recorded executive welcomes, etc.
If your company lacks the necessary creative resources to expertly brand your virtual recruiting event, seek an outside contractor, third-party marketing vendor, or agency. A clear, creative vision for your virtual hiring event elevates the user experience. Here are some key elements to remember:
Carry a consistent look-and-feel (theme) throughout all elements of your virtual event, including the pre-event promotion/messaging as well as post-event follow-up.
Create a stylized, event-specific logo and incorporate your company’s branding; do not hyperlink the event logo to ensure attendees remain inside your virtual event once logged in.
Create a two-minute welcome message to enhance the user experience. Welcome messages should be “instructional” on where to locate collateral, meet an interviewer, etc.
Do a quick inventory of your company’s creative assets by searching for existing stock images, photos, graphics, logos, etc. This can save time and money in creating your virtual environment.
Use your corporate branding guide (if available) as a reference during the environment creation process.
You should start spreading the word about your event, choosing the right channels, the tone of the communication, and its frequency. Also, make sure registration is easy no matter which device your registrant is using. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Execute an integrated campaign using email, social media, online advertising, e-newsletters, and press releases. Depending on your promotion period, send out at least two to three invitation emails for your event.
Create a clean, mobile-friendly registration site to capture attendee 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, and Facebook to promote your event. Find LinkedIn groups relevant to your ideal hiring candidate profiles. 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.
As with any marketing program, you’ll want to track the progress of different campaigns/marketing 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.
Make sure everyone is properly educated on the event day-of agenda and is trained on the event technology and any applicable apps. Preparation matters, so have stakeholders demo the technology and practice dry runs. Go so far as to anticipate where potential hiccups could occur and have plans in place to recover.
Make sure too that you don’t just prepare your event planning team, but also the team members conducting interviews. Communicate that a virtual interview may likely feel different than an in-person one. For example, it might be difficult to determine whether there’s good chemistry without cues such as body language. There may also be technical obstacles, such as internet speed. Encourage your interviewers to be patient and publish and distribute a list of virtual interview best practices.
If your registrants are new to virtual recruiting 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 recruiting event.
You can also invite attendees to experience the virtual event platform before the hiring event takes place. Allow them to familiarize themselves with the format ahead of time so they understand how to navigate the platform. You may even want to offer some virtual content prior to the event itself to increase the likelihood registrants will attend.
Plan to capture metrics to prove event success and identify hiring opportunities. The following metrics are a great place to start:
Approximately 20 minutes before your hiring event begins, make sure one of your team members logs in to the virtual environment as an attendee to test your audio and video.
If all your event planners are physically located in one location on the live day, create a “mission control room.” In a large conference room, your event planners can assist each other with questions/issues. Alternatively, they can use a web conference or other shared communication to stay in close contact throughout the course of the event.
Like physical events, many elements during the live-day virtual event can be unpredictable. With virtual events, however, you have the flexibility to control and act swiftly when issues arise. You must have immediate access to your key team members to address or escalate issues. Keep all lines of communication open, regularly monitor all locations in your environment, and prepare a contingency plan with your staff before the live day to ensure program success.
Traditional recruiting processes alone are no longer efficient or effective at attracting top talent to your company. Fortunately, virtual event platforms and event planning technology can help you plan and run recruitment events that deliver results.
Learn more about how 6Connex can help you manage your virtual and hybrid recruitment events from start to finish. Request a virtual event platform demo today.