Once you’ve decided to host a candidate hiring event, the next step is to determine what type of hiring event will work best for you and your company. Whether you set up a booth at a university event or hold your own open houses for candidates, the type of event is typically based on your open roles, industry, and candidate persona. You’ll want an event that gives you and your team the optimal face-to-face engagement with job seekers so you can sell your positions and your company, as well as one that fits into your recruitment marketing budget.
Different Types of Hiring Events for Recruitment and Staffing
On-site job fair. This is ideal for companies with large and impressive work spaces, as you’ll want to show candidates exactly what they’ll be showing up to every day. If the top talent you want to recruit can literally picture themselves at a desk or in a cubicle with their new coworkers, it eliminates the need for you and your hiring managers to sell candidates on your location. Another advantage of on-site open houses is that it’s convenient for your hiring managers to attend and other staff members to coordinate collecting information.
On-site job fairs work well in industries like tech, call centers, financial services, and others with job openings in multiple verticals. You can integrate office tours during the event, have on-site Q&As with recruiters and hiring managers, and make it as casual as you’d like.
On-site open houses. These work more like meet and greet networking events for job seekers. I spoke at one of my favorite open houses in DC several years ago for Cision, the PR company. This was a way to showcase their location, meet with job seekers, and allow job seekers to connect with career experts like me, other job seekers, and the company recruiting and leadership team. It’s also a good opportunity to have an on-site application submission process, face-to-face interviews on the spot, as well as extending job offers during the event.
On-site networking event. Another option for an on-site open house is in the form of a networking group that meets at your location on a regular basis. These are usually industry-specific and offer candidates the opportunity to network within their industry. During these events, strategically placed recruiters are present to casually talk with and answer questions from job seekers. These are effective in cities like Austin, Texas to drive more traffic to your corporate office and build relationships with the sought-after technical candidate community.
Hiring event at an outside venue. These work well for companies that don’t have open space plans and want to have events with a large attendance. It does add cost of venue to your spend, but it allows you to get very creative with event planning. These hiring events can be typical meet and greets, or you can have themed activities (think bowling, breweries, baseball) that give candidates the opportunity to interact casually with hiring managers and team members. Another advantage of holding your event at an outside venue is that you’re paying the venue for event planning services rather than having someone on your team take this on.
Competitive events (on or off-site). For skilled tech or sales positions, competitive events can be an effective way to not only attract qualified candidates, but to screen them at the same time.
For example, Ogilvy's “Search for the World's Greatest Salesperson ” asked sales candidates to submit a video of themselves selling a brick. While Ogilvy created a digital experience for candidates, this is also something you can do during an event. In the tech sector, hackathons have been popular events for years and are often held by companies looking to hire top talent. Hackathons require developers to either create something or solve a problem during the event, and they are a great way to see how candidates collaborate within a team to solve real-world problems. You can motivate participation in the challenge with prizes, job offers and of course, food.
Campus career fairs. If you’re hiring high-volume for entry-level positions like retail and hospitality, campus career fairs can give you great ROI. Having your best team members and hiring managers at a table or booth alongside many other employers gives you the opportunity to showcase your company’s perks and benefits, as well as educate students who may not know your company or what you do. Because your team isn’t tasked with planning and executing the event, campus events can be a great way to introduce your company to a large number of potential candidates without a lot of up-front effort.
The Key to Any Hiring Event is Creating a Qualified Candidate Funnel
Finally, no matter what type of hiring event you choose, make sure that you have a method of collecting candidate information - through a registration landing page or check in on an iPad when they arrive. Skipping this step means losing out on a huge number of potential candidates that may not be ready to apply now, but would be interested in the future or for different roles at your company.