Hiring events 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. Before you jump into event planning, it’s important to first consider the return on investment for you and your team.
The Importance of Building a Candidate Funnel with Your Hiring Event
Recruiting events can pay off in building your talent pipeline and candidate funnel, making new hires and spreading your employer brand, but require time, planning and effort. Additionally, if you’re not prepared to collect information from candidates at the event, or haven’t thought through your strategy for targeting the right candidates, a hiring event can be a costly fail. Don’t discount the value of those candidates that are interested, but might not be able to attend the actual event. With the right preparation, you can create an event that not only reaches top talent in your market, but one that you can scale for future hiring efforts.
ASK: What roles are you hiring for and how quickly do you need to fill them?
Hiring events have always been great for seasonal positions, new location openings, and other fast changes in evergreen or the same type of positions you need to hire quickly and increase your reach. If your only goal is to raise the profile of your employer brand for positions that may open in the future, a digital campaign is going to have a higher return.
If you need to fill X number of positions in one or more departments in a set time frame, hosting a hiring event can be the right strategy for quickly moving qualified candidates into your talent pipeline.
ASK: Do we have the budget for a hiring event?
Depending on whether or not your office can be turned into an event space with minimal effort, consider the cost of an event space and food/beverage offerings based on the number of expected attendees, as well as the cost of promotional materials, printing, marketing and advertising, signage and branding, AV equipment, decorations, and staffing.
Depending on what roles you’re attempting to fill, even a simple $500 - $1,000 spend can be more than enough to cover food and drinks for a networking event for hiring for business roles or tech talks and hackathons to attract engineers. When promoting a hiring event, there’s a lot of room for experimentation, but leveraging local groups and running interesting events can attract people’s attention and result in better awareness of your company and potentially some really good candidates at low cost.
ASK: Are we prepared for event logistics?
This includes the capability to have online or on-site registration and candidate information capture, along with presentations, available hiring managers in attendance, on-site application platforms, and anything that will impact the candidate experience at your event. If you don’t have the capability to collect candidate data for post-event follow up or enough staff on-site to engage with attendees, it means wasted time and effort on your part.
ASK: Can we offer a stellar candidate experience?
Along with the items mentioned above, consider whether or not you have the bandwidth to optimize for candidate experience. This could mean a knockout presentation, giving candidates the opportunity to immediately interact with recruiters or hiring managers, making immediate job offers, and fast follow up.
For example, on-site portals can also perform quick assessment tests and any other functions that are part of your screening process. Consider your expected attendance, the length of your event, and how time-consuming it would be to have interested candidates apply on site, then give them the opportunity to do so.
Additionally, if you optimize the event experience for those you don’t hire, they’ll leave your process feeling like they got their fair shot, will likely think highly of your standards for hiring and will come away feeling good about your company as a whole. Now you’ve created advocates for your company that are more likely to refer their friends, especially if they think they’d be good fits for you. This can be the simplest way for companies to immediately increase quality candidate flow.
If You’ve Answered “Yes,” You’re on Your Way to Hiring Success
Recruitment marketing takes all forms and different strategies to reach a variety of job candidates. There are many ways a hiring event can increase candidate funnels and your reach within the community to drive qualified leads, as well as create an opportunity to scale your hiring and involve your team, leadership, and hiring managers in a new and different way.