Planning Makes Perfect: 4 Best Practices for Planning Recruiting Events

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Being a part of the hiring team for your organization is an exciting and daunting experience. It’s rewarding to have a hand in molding the future of your company, but making a hire is also a major decision with a lot riding on it.

If you’re also planning, attending, or hosting a recruiting event, the stress can be even greater. A lot goes into getting a recruiting event off the ground and running smoothly. You need to attract the right crowd, market the event and your organization effectively, and make sure the event goes off without a hitch.

But don’t let that dissuade you. Recruitment events are one of the best ways to show future employees what your company can do and why it is a great place to work. You just need to make sure you plan your event carefully and leverage the right event management tools to oversee the effort.

If you’re feeling a little lost, or just want to make sure your team is on the right track with your event, here are a few tips to help:

1. Choose an Effective and Relevant Event Type

Of course, you want to host an event that attracts a good amount of attendees. That way, you have a large pool to select from, increasing the chances that you’ll find the right people. A broader talent pool also allows you to interact with more kinds of candidates, which will help you determine what kind of talent is right for you.

When you set out to host a recruiting event, you need to design an event that reflects what your organization stands for while appealing to a variety of candidates who might be good matches. No event is universally appealing. For example, an event targeted toward the newly employable Generation Z crowd  will probably look different from one aimed at more seasoned professionals.

Here are a few ideas for recruiting event types to get you started:

  1. Host a competition. Base this on a skill set your organization is seeking. That way, you can evaluate candidates’ abilities while watching the competition.
  2. Invite an expert panel. Host a speaker or panel of speakers whose expertise relates to your organization.
  3. Host an event at a local university or high school. This way, when the students graduate, you will be fresh in their minds.

The bottom line is: Don’t come up with your event idea all on your own. Instead, use your target audience as a starting point. What would get them to come out and participate?

2. Spread the Word With a Marketing Strategy

In order to get people to actually attend your recruiting event, you need to market it well. You’re likely trying to target a specific group, so start planning your marketing strategy by thinking about the messaging that will appeal most to that group. By analyzing how your target group behaves and communicates, you can find the best way to market your event.

One of the key factors you have to identify is what channels are most likely to reach your target audience. What do they read? What websites do they visit? What videos do they watch? No matter how great your messaging is, it won’t achieve much if it doesn’t get in front of the right eyes.

After you’ve identified your target audience’s preferred communication networks, follow these other general tips to stand out to top talent :

  1. Use a variety of media, like photos and videos, to showcase what your team members do together and highlight your brand and values.
  2. Participate in relevant communities on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Don’t be afraid to actively engage with people on these platforms, and be sure to respond to any questions you receive!
  3. Optimize your marketing for mobile. According to the Pew Research Center, about 81 percent of Americans own smartphones, and one in five American adults only access the internet through their smartphones. Don’t miss out on all those job seekers who are searching for new opportunities primarily on their phones!
  4. Invest in automated-communication tools. Marketing involves a lot of outreach, but it can be tedious to send out each event reminder or update manually. Find event registration software with automated communication capabilities to take care of this for you. You can schedule emails in advance, and you can set up messages to send automatically based on certain triggers.

Ultimately, the best marketing strategy depends on what your audience wants and what your company needs. Find the tools and tactics that meet your needs and reach your candidates where they are.

For more expert recruiting insights, check out the latest issue of Magazine:

3. Optimize Your Event Registration Process

The next step is considering how to best facilitate registration. If your marketing strategy is successful, you should have a significant inflow of interested candidates. You’ll need some kind of system for tracking all those candidates and keeping in touch as the event nears.

You may think a dedicated registration tool isn’t necessary, but without one, you could lose out on some important data. Interested attendees may also slip through the cracks. Furthermore, you could be accidentally putting barriers in place that prevent candidates from attending.

Appealing to the modern workforce means meeting candidates where they already are: online. Look into event registration tools or event management systems that let you set up a customizable online registration page. You should be able to:

  1. Embed your registration form on your company’s or event’s website
  2. Allow attendees to register right from your site
  3. Communicate with registrants easily
  4. Create and automate discounts

Many organizations use popular tools like Eventbrite to manage this process, but there are many other options out there  as well. Do your research to find a solution that is suited for your specific needs.

4. Follow Up After the Event

A successful recruiting event will result in an identified group of prospects your hiring team wants to pursue. Make sure you quickly follow up with these attendees after the event. This way, you can gauge how well your event did while also vetting who is truly interested and qualified.

To help guide your follow-up outreach, you may want to invest in an event registration or management tool that has robust data analyzing and reporting features. That way, your team can filter attendees based on relevant metrics, like:

  1. Engagement and communication. Take note of those who attended multiple activities or networked with multiple staff members during your event. This can be a good way to gauge who is really interested.
  2. Attendance. You can get a clear sense of how competitive the hiring process will be by looking at how many people actually attended. You can also do further filtering based on who registered ahead of time and who was a walk-in.
  3. Registration form data. Depending on the information you collected during registration, you can filter candidates based on criteria like current job, age, or more.

Another good idea for follow-up is to send out a post-event survey. This allows you to gather immediate reactions to your events. You can use the survey to gather feedback on the event to help you improve for next time. You can also use it to gather information about candidate interest (e.g., “How likely would you be to accept a job at this company?”) and candidate background (e.g., “What were your last three roles?”).

Recruiting events are a great way to highlight your business and attract eager candidates. Use the above tips to help you plan and execute your next recruiting event with minimal stress and maximum success.

Asaf Darash is founder and CEO of Regpack.

By Asaf Darash