Virtual Hiring Events: Can They Work for Your Company?

Anything you do in person to recruit and hire talent can be done virtually with a bit of foresight.

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The upfront investment in time you put into virtual events may be a benefit that keeps paying dividends into the future

Here's what you need to know about virtual hiring events:

  • You can accomplish nearly everything at a virtual job fair that you can at one that is in-person.
  • Virtual job fairs allow you to attract candidates you might otherwise miss.
  • Virtual job fairs let you show off your facility which is not as easy at an in-person job fair.
  • Virtual job fairs don't limit you to the luck of the draw of your booth location.
  • You can extend your virtual job fair over time as opposed to being limited to one or two days on-site.

Virtual hiring events are gaining momentum in recruitment. Based on the same logic that makes virtual interviews easy and accessible for candidates and hiring authorities, virtual events take that convenience a step further. Companies can duplicate recruitment efforts like open house events, career fairs, and hiring events online with a bit of pre-planning.

They can be used to hire groups of people for multiple, similar roles; or for many discrete positions within an organization. Setting up a virtual event can be as easy as establishing an online meeting and publishing access codes. There’s even software to help separate interviewers and candidates into their own ‘meeting rooms, ’ allowing you to include multiple hiring managers for many different positions.

Anything you do in-person to recruit and hire talent can be done virtually with a bit of foresight. You may find that the upfront investment in time you put into virtual events is a benefit that keeps paying dividends into the future.

Virtual tours

A sign on the door that says ‘help wanted — apply within’ is a good way to snag local talent. Unfortunately, it’s really only good for local talent — those who walk past or drive by slowly enough to read it. When someone does walk in, they may not be qualified for the position you’re filling. You may not have the ability to give them the full tour of the facility or the time to sit down for an interview on the spot. That ‘open door’ hiring policy has its limits.

Virtual tours are similar to open door/apply within hiring strategies, but they’re open 24/7. To be successful, you’ll need to create a virtual tour of your company – a walk-through with your smartphone camera works to get you started. As you’re filming, talk about the facility and the position(s) you’re hiring for.

  • If you’re a restaurant or retail location, show potential hires the front and back of the house facilities.
  • Manufacturers can highlight production lines and equipment. A quick tour of the lunch/breakrooms can round out the tour.
  • If you’re always hiring servers or customer-care staff, mention the positions throughout the tour.
  • If you’re hiring for several positions or those that require more detail, make a separate video or attach more details at the end of the facility tour video that outlines the specifics of what you need.
  • Ask hiring managers to speak about their openings — all you need is a five-minute talk on what the job entails and the required qualifications.

Finalize the virtual tour with instructions on how to apply. Make sure your website application page is easy to use for the best possible candidate experience. Now your virtual tour is working to recruit anyone from anywhere, at any time.

Virtual career fairs

The same career fair booth you set up at local events or at colleges and universities can be done remotely. When you join a larger career fair, the traffic you enjoy often depends on where your booth is located. At a virtual fair, you’re on the same footing as everyone else.

You have several options; you can:

  • Create a ‘career fair’ booth on your own website
  • Join virtual career fairs set up by vendors
  • Develop a career fair with other SMBs (small-to-medium-sized businesses) in your area.

The same materials you would bring to a campus or career event are easily adapted for online use. Include short videos from hiring managers on what they need and look for, as well as how great it is to work for your company.

Add the virtual tour of your facility and links to your application page. The only thing you can’t bring is the typical swag (t-shirts, tote bags, pens) that you would bring to an in-person event — so improvise.

Offer a 10% off coupon to use in your store or a coupon to entice them to come in and pick up a t-shirt if they’ll stop by to check on the status of their application.

Virtual career fairs can even help you attract a wider, more diverse range of talent. Not everyone can take time off work or school to go to the fair on campus or in their area. These candidates are just as talented as those available during traditional hours but are also busy. Virtual fairs are available to them any time from anywhere, broadening your search capabilities to a talent pool that may not have considered you in the past.

Virtual hiring event

Creating a virtual hiring event as a stand-alone is another option. The same things you’d do at a physical event can work online. Use the same information on the vacancies you need to fill as an opening to the event. Once job seekers have viewed the video(s) and want to proceed, provide a link to an online group interview meeting. Let them know they’ll be hearing more about the job(s) available and then moving on to an interview.

Group interviews essentially allow candidates to self-select whether they want to move on to apply. Once you have enough people in the group, discuss what the job seekers will need to know:

  • ‘If you can work nights and weekends, please remain in the group’ can be a good way to start.
  • ‘If you have a valid CDL license, please remain in the group’ can help thin out candidates who aren’t qualified.

Start with the most basic needs/requirements of the job. Then break out job seekers who remain in the group into private conversations or give them a link to video chat with a hiring manager.

If you have more complex needs or want a more streamlined process, there are virtual hiring platforms that can help. These offer everything from the most basic events to highly choreographed happenings, with dozens of hiring authorities in separate rooms available to inform and interview.

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

Answer to see the results

Spread the word

Promote virtual hiring events widely on your website, social media pages, and even in advertisements.

Whenever you’re hiring, place a banner at the top of your website and social media pages with links to virtual tours and fairs.

Link virtual events as widely on home and social media pages as you do to your online career pages and applications.

After your event(s), assess what worked and what didn’t:

  • Check your online metrics to see if traffic to your career pages increased.
  • Review which managers got the most conversions based on the way they promoted their positions or departments, then translate that energy to all your videos.
  • If you only got a meager response, don’t give up — ask a staff member to have a friend review your content to let you know what was a draw and what was a yawn, then adjust.

Everything you can do to draw candidates is worthwhile in today’s market.

Job seekers are highly interested in virtual events. Indeed found 45% of those polled enjoyed being able to interview from anywhere, and 37% felt less intimidated interviewing when doing so remotely.

Virtual hiring events can be your path to staffing success

Virtual interviews add comfort and convenience to an otherwise stressful process. Taking advantage of virtual hiring events gets the ball rolling. Now you’re set to build on that sentiment to attract and retain talent — from anywhere at any time.

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