When it comes time to recruit new team members for your company, virtual hiring fairs are all the rage. Not only do hiring fairs held virtually expand your audience, but due to COVID-19, many people feel virtual hiring events are safer, more accessible, and just as effective. In fact, there are many benefits to a virtual career fair that go beyond accessibility – for the staffers and employees. If you’re considering holding a virtual event for hiring, there are a few things you should take note of before starting.
Even though virtual hiring events are often easier to pull off than in-person fairs, there is still a long list of things you need to make sure to do for the event to be a success. First, you’ll need to figure out when you’re hosting the event and who you’re hosting it with. Then, you’ll need to decide what platforms to host the event on, dates that will work for everyone, and how you’ll inform people of the virtual hiring event. But before we get into our tips for hosting a successful virtual hiring event, let’s talk a bit more about what you can expect.
What is a virtual hiring event?
Virtual hiring events, or virtual career fairs, are events where staffers and recruiters look to hire new team members for their company. They can be done on a small scale, using just your company or they can be done on a larger scale with your company and others.
Is hosting a virtual hiring event worth it?
Many companies are turning to virtual hiring events thanks to the benefits they come with. Not only can your company connect with more individuals in record time, but you can also get a feel for how everyone works in a remote environment. Another benefit is you can hold the event over a few days, allowing you to spend more time with each candidate.
Perhaps the most beneficial part of virtual hiring events for the employer is that it is incredibly cost-effective. Holding in-person events are expensive, and there’s a lot more to coordinate between finding a building to host it at, putting together events, assigning meetings, and setting up individual interviews. Currently, virtual hiring events are much safer than the alternative as well, so it’s truly a win no matter how you look at it.
How do you host a virtual career fair?
Hosting virtual career fairs or hiring events may seem difficult, but it’s actually fairly easy. We’ll go into more detail below, but to host a virtual career fair, you need:
- A virtual platform to hold it on
- An effective strategy to ensure it’s not a waste
- A marketing plan to promote it
- A way to follow up with the attendees
10 Ways To Ensure You Have A Successful Virtual Hiring Event
If you want the best virtual hiring event, follow our 10 tips below with advice on things to do to ensure your event goes off without a hitch!
1. Pick the right virtual hiring platform
One of the most important things you can do when hosting a virtual hiring fair is to make sure you have the right platform. There are lots of virtual hiring platforms to choose from, and the best one for you will depend on your overall goals and what you need to get done. Sometimes, if your virtual hiring event is small enough, people have success doing it over Zoom or Google Meet.
However, if you plan to host a larger virtual fair, then you’d probably be better off with a platform that is designed with the intent to host many people without flaws. There are plenty of platforms that will allow you to group people off into specific areas and more, which is useful when you’re dealing with dozens of potential hires.
A few virtual hiring platforms that have been suggested are Brandlive, Brazen, 6Connex, and EasyVirtualFair. However, be sure to look at their packages from the perspective of your company as each of these platforms has different features.
2. Plan everything out
When creating a virtual event, you need to plan everything out. First, start with a session with your recruiters and define what your overarching goals are as a company. You need to have a clear idea of what type of hire you’re looking for, but you also need plans as to how you’ll interview, get to know, and interact with each individual.
With in-person events, there are people who mingle and stay occupied that way. With virtual events, that’s not really an option. So if you don’t have a seamless plan, you may end up with awkward pauses and candidates waiting in random virtual meeting rooms, which looks disorganized as a company.
3. Don’t go over budget
Virtual hiring events are cost-effective, but you may spend more money on marketing than you would have with an in-person event. This is why it’s imperative to start with a budget. You need to know how much your platform will cost, where you’ll recruit from, and how you’re going to get the word out.
Your budget will depend on the size of your event, but you should expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000+ depending on the platform you choose as well as your marketing budget. That being said, this is much more affordable than holding the event in person.
4. Put some effort into looks
Depending on the virtual hiring event software you go with, you may have the opportunity to build out your booths or fair to make it look like an in-person hiring event. If you’re working with other companies, be sure you have strict guidelines on what they can and can’t include in their booths.
If you’re working alone, be sure your virtual hiring event looks professional. You don’t want to skimp on the platform or how it looks – remember, those attending are getting their first impression of you and your company from this event.
5. Hire someone to help if you can
Virtual events are different than in-person events–immensely so. If your team isn’t experienced in virtual events, hiring an expert may be beneficial. They can create a step-by-step plan to ensure that the event goes smoothly.
6. Start a couple of months in advance
This is not an event that you can just throw together last minute. It requires a lot of planning and promotion to make this work, so you’ll need to start ahead of time. Make sure you choose a date that is at least eight weeks in the future so you can strategize for your marketing plan.
7. Craft a marketing plan
Ideally, you’ll need at least a month to market your hiring event, if not more. The larger the event will be, the longer you should promote it. One of the most important aspects of marketing is to ensure you’re spending your marketing budget well. You need enough time to do some simple a/b testing to look at how your ads are performing and where they are performing.
Depending on your niche, you may be running ads on Facebook, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Instagram, and more. Each business performs best on different platforms, so really look at who your target audience is. If you haven’t worked in marketing before, or you don’t have a marketing team member, you’ll definitely want to hire someone for this. Marketing your virtual hiring event is going to determine whether or not it’s a success, so this is not something to skimp on.
8. Run a test
Chances are, you’re going to be working on a brand new platform that you aren’t too familiar with. Because of this, you must run tests beforehand. Have your current employees sign up for accounts and go through a mock virtual hiring event.
9. Stick to the schedule
Now, when you have your virtual hiring event, make sure you’re sticking to the schedule. Since this is a virtual event, it’s easy to lose track of time when talking to certain candidates. Most people have things to do outside of this event, so keep in mind that they won’t be able to spend hours beyond what the schedule stated in the ads.
Be respectful of others’ time. That’s why it’s important to make a schedule ahead of time and do the mock hiring event to ensure you gave yourself enough time with the schedule you have laid out.
10. Follow up with your candidates
Finally, after your successful virtual hiring event, you have to follow up with your candidates, even the ones you aren’t hiring. It’s important to let those know they won’t be going through to the next step in the hiring process so that they aren’t left waiting for a response.
Hosting your own virtual hiring event may sound like a long process, but it’s incredibly rewarding! Virtual hiring events will allow you to interview a diverse group of candidates in a cost-effective manner. With these tips at the forefront of your operation, there’s no doubt your virtual hiring fair will be a success!
Related: How to Give Your Candidate Interview Feedback (Positive or negative)
Recruit Successfully With Help From 4 Corner Resources
Virtual hiring is new territory for most businesses, so if you need help navigating this uncharted area, we would be happy to assist!
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