Recruitment Marketing

5 Candidate Experience Mistakes You’re Making at Recruiting Events – and How to Fix Them!

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Written by Holland McCue
5 Candidate Experience Mistakes You’re Making at Recruiting Events – and How to Fix Them!
5 (100%) 2 votes

Choosing the right Recruitment Marketing strategy and tech tools for your recruiting events is critical in today’s competitive hiring market.

The right approach – and the correct tools to support this approach – will influence whether people decide to attend your recruiting event and whether they consider joining your team afterward.

As you likely know though, getting recruiting events right isn’t easy. At a typical recruiting fair, for instance, there’s often a ton of activity going on that makes it hard to create memorable one-on-one connections with candidates. All the hustle and bustle can also make it difficult to track and record all of the interested “leads” who visit your booth.

In my experience, one way to overcome some of the candidate experience challenges presented by recruiting events is to avoid a few common mistakes.

Here are the top mistakes I’ve observed that you can avoid to improve your event candidate experience:

Mistake #1: Letting your tech tools decide your event candidate experience for you.

In my experience, from a tech standpoint, the mistake that’s easiest to fall into is letting a tool or vendor dictate the flow that candidates will experience with your recruiting event presence.

A more effective approach is to start the other way around. Map out what you want your candidate experience to look like at every stage of their interaction with you: before an event, during the event and after the event. Bonus points if you map this out for different candidate persona types too!

Once you’ve determined what kind of experience you’re set on providing to candidates, you can then search out solutions that will be able to deliver on the process for you. This could end up being a Recruitment Marketing or Candidate Relationship Management Platform that delivers on all your needs, or maybe you rely on individual marketing or Recruitment Marketing solutions that bridge together to create a seamless experience.

Either way, if you know what your candidate experience goals are, you can be a lot more purposeful about the tech you pick.

Mistake #2: Getting ‘analysis paralysis’ and sticking with the status quo for too long. 

You know that you need some tools to help elevate and modernize the recruiting event experience you’re providing to candidates. However, it can be hard to find the time to narrow down and pick between all the great options that are out there.

If you aren’t able to select a Recruitment Marketing specific solution to support you, either because you haven’t had capacity to do all the research or because you can’t lock down the full budget, there are a number of cheap and cheerful tools intended for regular event marketing that you might be able to repurpose instead.

A few marketing tools that I’ve used in the past for events include Instapage for event landing pages, iCapture for collecting candidate information to upload into your ATS and MailChimp or Constant Contact for post-event follow-up via email.

These tools are great because they operate on a low monthly cost subscription basis, so can be a good approach to tide you over in the short (or even long-term) depending on the experience you’re looking to provide. They’re also easy to use and don’t require a lot of technical knowledge.

Mistake #3: Not giving your candidates enough opportunity to express their interest at the event.

Because there’s so much hustle and bustle at recruiting events, prospective candidates sometimes don’t get the chance to engage with organizations they’d like to learn more about.

If you put yourself in your candidate’s shoes, would you stand in line for 20 minutes to speak with someone about a company’s culture and opportunities? Likely not! Instead you’d keep roaming until you find a booth where there are fewer people queued up to speak with hiring managers and recruiters.

Consider ways you might solve for this issue. For instance, you could have a video playing that lets people in line get insight into the questions they have without having to have a full conversation.

Something I’ve also found effective in the past is setting up a “self-service” area at a booth where candidates can enter their contact details on an iPad attached to a stand. This way interested candidates can receive more information by email without having to wait to speak with someone.

Bonus points if you can automate your approach so they get the email only a few minutes after entering their information!

Mistake #4: Failing to create a pre- and post-event candidate engagement plan

Creating a pre-event action plan to attract the attention of interested attendees and to encourage people to become attendees can help maximize the ROI of your event participation.

Consider what kind of path you might create to draw people in and get them to express their interest in attending even before the event occurs.

For instance, if you’re holding an open house recruiting event at your office, you might launch a social media campaign 2-3 weeks before the event. The social media content in this campaign would spotlight the “what’s in it for me?” factor: why should people want to attend?

The campaign could then link out to a landing page that collects attendee information so that you can add leads to your talent community (even if they end up not being able to attend) and also send candidates an email a few days before the event to keep them interested.

Rally note: If you want to learn more about what landing pages are, why they work and how to create them, you can check out our new Rally How To Guide: 5 Landing Pages That Drive Candidates to Action.

Similarly, engaging with candidates after the event is super important – otherwise all the hard work you’ve done to improve the candidate experience before and during the event could be for nothing!

A good basic post-event action plan is to send out an automated email to everyone who submits their email right away, and then to send a second follow-up email a few days later to invite them to take action: to submit their resumes and explore open positions.

Mistake #5: Forgetting to build out a recruiter enablement approach to support new behaviors and tools.

Last but not least, as you consider ways to improve your event candidate experience, make sure to keep your recruiters success in mind! As a Recruitment Marketer, part of your role should be to enable the success of your recruiting team by helping them to adopt tactics and approaches that generate more candidate leads.

This is more important than ever when it comes to recruiting events, since your recruiters will be the ones on the ground. The success of any event implementation or plan will require their full engagement and execution.

How do you enable your recruiting team?

  • Provide proper onboarding and training for any new tool
  • Keep recruiters closely involved in the process of testing and implementing a new tool or approach
  • Build excitement by showing your recruiters the type of outcome any change will have (ie. how it will make their lives easier!).

Rally note: You can learn more about recruiter enablement approaches in the Rally blog, Recruiters as Marketers: 3 Ways to Help Build Marketing Capabilities in Your Recruiting Teams, by Jill Shabelman from Deloitte.

I hope identifying these common mistakes and fixes for you provides some inspiration to upgrade your event candidate experience. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know how you’re setting out to improve your recruiting events in 2019 and beyond!

Want to hear more from Holland?

Learn how Holland and her team laid out their Recruitment Marketing plan for 2019 by watching our on-demand webinar, Build Your 2019 Recruitment Marketing Plan, Build Your Future.

5 Candidate Experience Mistakes You’re Making at Recruiting Events – and How to Fix Them!
5 (100%) 2 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Holland McCue

Holland McCue

Head of Employer Branding & Recruitment Marketing Programs at Delta Air Lines and RallyRM Mentor.