In today’s world of video interviews, recruiting chatbots and Snapchat job applications, you may find yourself thinking, “Do candidates even go to recruiting events anymore?” I’m here to tell you: Yes, yes they do! In a highly digital talent acquisition landscape, in-person recruiting events are a pivotal way to establish, and/or reinforce, your employer brand and start relationships with potential employees in the most meaningful and memorable way—face to face (funny how we have to rethink how to connect with people in person!).
Recruiting events don’t come together on their own. For an event to be successful, you have to put in the legwork up front. So, please, promise me you’ll never host a recruiting event and just hope that people will stop by your booth … you must promote it before you get there! Here’s how:
Put on your marketing hat
Okay, it’s time to think like a marketer: email campaigns are your best friend. Always ask for an attendee list before your event. You should be able to get names and email addresses at a minimum. If you can’t get all the contact information you want, see if you can at least get a list of names. This way, you can reach out to people on LinkedIn before you arrive. Whether you’re able send an email to the attendee list or do some digging to find more about people on LinkedIn, having an idea of who’s attending up front enables you to boost awareness and schedule conversations or interviews before you’re even onsite.
Make some noise
73 percent of millennials found their last position on a social media site, so taking advantage of social is a must before your event. When it comes to social, the more interesting, fun and different you are, the better. So, don’t just tweet your open jobs! Encourage conversation — ask questions that prompt responses like, “Who will be at today’s Boston University hiring fair?” Include your regional and searchable hashtags, like #coloradoevents or #denvercareerfairs. Mention your company’s career handles. Give a call to action: “Stop by our booth!,” “Come say hi,” “The more authentic, creative and useful you are, the more likely you are to attract and engage candidates.
Your events are an extension of your employer brand, so put some thought into what you take with you (yes, gifts and takeaways can be memorable!). Are you specifically looking for new grads at this event? Pack some collateral that speaks to your management training program. Does everyone in the office where a branded t-shirt to work? Bring some T-shirts to give away to highlight your casual work environment. The key here is authenticity. Items that truly represent who you are will go the furthest with right-fit candidates.
Amazing recruiting events aren’t created overnight. But, if you put in the time, craft a foolproof strategy and do your homework, you’ll be well on your way to success. You’ve got this!