A Recruiter’s Guide to Maximizing Hiring Event Success
10/26/2017 // HIRING EVENTS
At high-pressure recruiting events, it’s important to set your company apart to recruit more efficiently and maximize your organization’s ROI. Position your recruiting team for hiring event success by measuring key metrics throughout the lifecycle of a career fair, ensuring every team member is prepared and establishing a measurable candidate communication plan. Use these guidelines to maximize hiring event success.
Align with the team’s strategic plan
When establishing hiring event metrics, align with the team’s strategic plan. Prior to each event, ensure every team member is working towards the same goals and is focused on the same results. Follow the below steps to align individual events with the team’s overall goals:
- Establish a strategic goal (i.e. Reduce overall sourcing time)
- Create an execution strategy (i.e. Build candidate pipeline by attending career fairs, building a recruitment marketing brand and nurturing a talent community)
- Focus on a measurable metric (i.e. Increase passive candidate pipeline by 60% by end of the year)
Review both team and individual goals prior to every event. Ensure every team member attending the events understands key metrics that will achieve these goals. Below are suggested metrics to ensure team members stay focused.
- Interviews scheduled to offers accepted ratio. Track the candidate journey all the way through — from interviews scheduled to offers accepted — and identify the events that result in the most qualified candidates. Set event-specific benchmark success ratios that align with your team’s recruiting goals.
- Offers made to offers accepted ratio. If the candidates you meet at hiring events make it through the interview process and aren’t accepting offers, determine if your company’s interview process is too long or if you need to provide your team with additional interview training. Use that insight to continually improve.
- Number of new candidates in your talent community post-event. Not everyone you meet will be an immediate match with your company, but they may be in the future. Hiring events are an opportunity to grow a passive talent pipeline, so establish growth goals to be prepared for future hiring needs.
Hold individuals accountable
Every team member attending the events should be accountable for the results. Set individual goals that tie to the overall department goals to keep each recruiter accountable and focused on reaching the department’s goals.
If your team doesn’t have goals in place, use this as an opportunity to set goals for the year ahead. The foundation of a successful plan includes: assessing historical data to establish new recruitment event goals; creating a tactical plan to accomplish each goal; and identifying the resources needed, such as talent acquisition software, to execute these tactics.
While major event logistics—travel arrangements, booth locations, event assignments—are likely finalized well in advance, meet with your team prior to individual events to tie up any remaining loose ends. This may include confirming travel logistics, reviewing company expense policies and ensuring everyone is familiar with the company’s talent acquisition software.
Check and recheck team logistics
Communicate upcoming travel schedules, ensure out-of-office calendar invites are sent and confirm all gaps in coverage at the office are filled during busy travel periods.
Review event software
If new team members have joined the talent acquisition department, make sure they are fully versed on the department’s talent acquisition software. Every team member needs to be able to navigate the software seamlessly, to recruit top talent before, during and after events. At the event, every team member should be able to upload resumes, create a record of event attendance and track all recruiter and candidate actions in the platform.
Discuss booth mock-ups
Review all booth mock-ups with the team lead assigned to each event. Now is the time to adjust the layout, signage position or collateral placement at the booth before it’s time to ship the materials to the event.
Confirm final attendance details
Particularly if you have new team members, review event dress codes, the company’s travel and expense policy and event behavior. Eliminate any housekeeping questions that may arise prior to the events, so every team member can focus on representing the company in the best light.
While it’s easy to focus on the number of qualified candidates the team will meet at the event, it’s equally as important to have a plan in place to communicate with these candidates pre and post-event. A pre-planned candidate communication strategy will keep candidates engaged with the company, long after the events are over.
Create a candidate communication plan
Share your upcoming event schedule with talent community members through newsletters and targeted emails. If you have implemented talent acquisition software, provide candidates the option to self-schedule meeting slots with your team at the events they will be attending. This will prioritize scheduling in-person meetings with top candidates and prevent the chaos of events getting in the the way of team members meeting high-potential recruits.
Prepare to engage with your talent pipeline
Your team will meet with numerous qualified candidates to fill only a handful of open positions. Capture every candidate in the talent community, so your company can stay top-of-mind until a relevant open position surfaces. Communicate regularly with these candidates on topics that might include updates on company awards or accolades, open positions, industry events or networking opportunities. Track the engagement rates of all communication sent to candidates, so you can adjust your engagement plan accordingly.
Communicate the process
Every candidate who interacts with your team should have a solid grasp of the next steps in the hiring process. Work with your team to communicate the high-level next steps for the open positions (i.e. Can candidates expect a video interview or a phone screen? Are in-person interviews a final step, or in the near future? Will the company provide updates along the way, or at the end of the process?) to facilitate transparency and build trust.
Make your hiring protocol crystal clear
Because the number of candidates attending hiring events can be large, it can be tempting to blur lines and allow exceptions to your normal hiring procedures to accommodate the volume of potential applicants. It’s important to adhere to your organization’s standard hiring practices at events. The type of applicant you are looking for, how positions are pitched to prospective employees, what application procedures and resumes will be accepted at the event and when people can expect to hear back from you should be crystal clear.
Review interview training best practices
With all the great candidates your team will engage at career fairs, it’s important they have a stellar interview experience with your company. Hold trainings with new and seasoned employees to ensure they understand the company’s candidate selection qualifications and interview process. Send an all-company email with interviewing best practices, the company mission and refreshers on dos and don’ts for interviewing. This reminder will help ensure every candidate’s interview experience remains consistent and aligned with the organization’s mission and goals.
Maintaining a low time-to-fill means moving candidates quickly through the interview, evaluation, offer and acceptance stages to prevent losing great talent to competitors. While the candidate is partially responsible for impacting the acceptance time, the recruiting team strive to keep this metric as low as possible.
Measure candidate satisfaction
After the interview process is complete, automate a survey that is sent to every candidate who interviewed with your company post-event. Use these findings to ensure your candidate experience reflects your organization’s recruitment brand and overall strategic hiring goals.
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