Nearly every aspect of life is now online. Booking doctor’s appointments, consuming news, dating – even grocery shopping and buying cars can be done via the internet. And of course, this digital transformation has made its way to the recruitment and hiring process. Candidates can now complete every step of their journey digitally.
But even though job seekers are relying so heavily on the internet to find the next step in their careers, there is still one offline element of the candidate experience that can’t be replicated online. It is in-person recruiting events.
With in-person events, you’re able to physically demonstrate your company’s culture. You’re able to appeal to and capture those more “intangible” elements that help build connections that candidates want – and that they can’t always get online.
But to communicate that culture, it’s important for Recruitment Marketing practitioners to ensure they are creating a consistent experience across all of their events and across all touchpoints of the candidate journey, whether on or offline.
At Discover, we’re a people-powered company, and this is reflected in our EVP. While we’re known as a financial institution, we don’t have as many physical locations as some of our competitors. So we had to think of a way to effectively demonstrate our culture, and in-person events have given us a way to do that.
We’ve launched an events plan that focuses on providing consistent communications across all of the teams involved, developed roles that bring business representatives out from behind the table, created quality checks for branded collateral and giveaways, and did this all with the candidates in mind, at every point in their interactions with us. This approach has given us a way to create valuable and long-lasting relationships with job seekers before they even apply to any of our open positions.
I’d like to share what I’ve learned on our journey so far and how you can develop an events strategy that complements – and even strengthens – your online Recruitment Marketing strategy.
Note: Joseph was a speaker at our RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference on May 1. You can watch his recorded presentation to learn what your events strategy might be missing. Check out his session on demand!
“Guide” Your Team on the Right Path
Before you launch an events strategy and communicate the plan to your teams, you’ll first need to make sure you’ve got a guide that provides everyone with clear insight and that focuses on consistency for candidates.
At Discover, I created what I call a “toolkit” for our sourcing strategists and recruiters. The goal of this toolkit was to ensure that the experience that candidates see or have at any of our events remains the same through the rest of their journey with us. I developed this guide out of a need I saw for a more cohesive candidate experience. A disjointed or varying journey can possibly break those valuable connections that you need to build with job seekers.
Getting our team members on board and following this guide has been somewhat of a challenge, simply because the sourcing strategists and recruiters were not officially part of our team. At that time, we hoped that passing the “tookit” would encourage them to follow and use the information within it. But now, our sourcing strategists have joined our team, making it easier to demonstrate the importance of using the framework.
What is included in this guide will differ from business to business based on your events strategy, your hiring needs and your goals. For example, Discover’s guide includes information on 5 different elements: communications, role clarity, quality, experience and research. We also include traffic management diagrams, use of technology, potential scripts and diversified brand collateral to help our sourcing strategists and recruiters provide the consistency we are aiming for.
Creating Your Events Plan
Here are 4 steps you can use to develop an events strategy that provides both you and candidates with the ideal experience:
- Take yourself out of it: Don’t think like a employer. Instead, put yourself in the candidate’s mindset. What are they seeing or experiencing at events? What information can you provide them in person? Assess every step of a candidate’s journey at an event. This approach allows you to “walk” with them through every stage to construct a great events experience.
- Package your culture: To physically demonstrate your company culture at events, you should package various aspects of it and ship it to your events. This includes apparel, members of the management team, typical responsibilities of your open roles and other details that help candidates get a better understanding of what their potential experience would be like at your company.
- Steer clear of “transactions”: By nature, recruiting events tend to be transactional. Usually the equation includes the number of attendees or candidates, how many you spoke with and how many applied. But you’re unlikely to get applications from talent if they don’t have a relationship with you first. Focus on building that trust and engagement at the start before moving on to the application or another action.
- Open your doors: To further demonstrate your culture before an application, have candidates come onsite to your physical locations. Of course, clear it with your legal and security departments first. But doing this gives potential employees a glimpse into what their work environment and colleagues will be like and helps to further solidify your relationship with them.
Standing out from the digital “noise” becomes easier when you host in-person events. And consistency is key at encouraging candidates to go through each step of the journey with you and apply for open jobs. To further propel your hiring efforts, include an events plan that reflects the rest of your candidate experience so you can continue to attract top talent.
Note: To learn more about recruiting events and how you can improve your strategy, check out RallyFwd On Demand to watch Joseph’s session!