Hiring events, also known as career fairs, have been a go-to for high-volume hiring for decades. When we hold open houses for candidates, our goal is to get the maximum face-to-face engagement with qualified applicants. This starts with targeting the right candidates with an open house event campaign via digital display and social campaigns, through the logistics of planning the event, and creating a compelling strategy to attract a target audience of experienced candidates.
I’ve personally hosted career and hiring fairs during the busy retail hiring season where we interviewed and extended offers on site resulting in 50 or more hires for open positions I had for cashiers, sales personnel and freight unloaders. This is a great strategy for new locations and retail stores looking to hire seasonal workers, for high volume hiring across industries, and for optimizing engagement during the event to engage the right job seekers.
In this talent marketplace, on-site and online hiring events aren’t simply a matter of handing out some flyers, posting to social channels, and having some hiring managers available to meet with whoever shows up. Because candidates have so many options, planning for your open house is imperative, as are best practices for holding the event.
In this post, we’re going to go over best practices for promoting your hiring event. These tips can be used to engage at career fairs either at your company’s offices or virtually via webinar or other online meeting application.
Promoting Your Hiring Event
There are several important things to consider when you’re promoting your event. If you’re working your recruitment marketing strategy, you’ll want to focus on what’s worked in the past to attract the candidate persona you’d like to see at your event. You can market the event via multiple channels, including your previous applicant or previous attendee email segments, your social channels, targeted digital display, and anywhere your candidate persona spends time online.
Promoting your event on social media as well as geo targeted advertising on sites like Facebook and Instagram are a great way to let prospective candidates know when and where you will be. One easy way to get the most mileage out of event promotion is through creating a campaign for your event on a programmatic advertising platform like Talroo. This allows you to automate and optimize where your ads are shown and to whom, as well as get the most out of your ad spend. Programmatic allows you to feature your online landing page (see below) to capture attendee leads and conversions (registrations) for your event.
Announce your event with video
Using live video or prepared videos to share and introduce your company and hiring managers to prospective attendees is a great way to make an impression and build on those relationships. A quick live video on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn help put a face to a name and humanize your brand and recruiting process. This is also a great way to get engagement on your event registration landing page. Having a lead capture form with a video about your open house event increases the chance that a candidate who lands on your page will register, as video allows you to personalize your event invitation and talk more about what the event will include.
Having a landing page with more information about your company is useful information for potential candidates, but you can also use this as a lead capture so candidates provide an email address and other contact information so you have it whether or not they show up for the event. This is where your event announcement video can live, along with a form for registration. You can also include features like a chatbot so potential attendees can ask questions ahead of the event along with contact information to allow candidates to reach out to your recruiters in the event they will not be able to attend your open house. You can later segment the registration list to separate attendees from non-attendees and use your content marketing emails to engage both.
When you market your event, target groups on social media with an interest in jobs in your industry, your industry in general, and your competitors. You can use online ads and other tools to reach candidates with your event information. If you already have a robust and engaged audience on Facebook, that might be a great place to promote your event. As mentioned above, programmatic advertising targeting can be a very efficient and budget-friendly way to promote your event online, and you can identify your target audience before setting up your ad spend. Because this type of online advertising automatically adjusts delivery of ads based on engagement (or clicks, depending on which you have identified as success for the campaign) and maximizes your online ad budget.
You can increase awareness for your event by asking your current employees to share online invitations. This ranges from a recruiter reaching out to past prospects with an invite link to holding a contest to see how many invitations your employees can share via email or on their own social media platforms. With an event landing page, you can provide each employee with a personal unique invitation link so you’re able to track how many registrations each link gets and reward the employee with the most with a gift card, bonus, or additional PTO. This also helps personalize your event and reach an audience similar to what you would get from employee referrals.
Turning RSVPs into Attendees
Promoting your event is one thing – getting people to show up is another. Even if it’s for a career opportunity, people have busy lives, and need encouragement to attend. Make sure that once you have your RSVP list, that you keep in touch with your candidates as the event draws closer.
Talroo’s Events solution includes automated communication with candidates. When a candidate RSVPs, Talroo sends a confirmation via both email and text message. Then, the candidates are reminded of the event three days before, and one day before, both by email and text message. The candidates also receive a link through Talroo’s Google Maps integration, so they know exactly where to go. This is especially helpful on large campuses with multiple entrances that may be tough to navigate on a first visit. These steps set you up for success when you hold your events. There will always be RSVPs that don’t turn into attendees, and Talroo gives you the full contact info of these candidates, so you can follow up later or add them to your nurture programs.
Whether you choose Talroo Events to automate the process, or if you promote the event through your own channels, it’s always important to remember to make things as easy as possible for the candidate. Remove friction at every point possible and see your attendance rate increase.