Last week, Chris offered some advice for overcoming recruiting challenges during a pandemic, including engagement with potential recruits. In this blog, I’m following up with some specific tips to maximize your recruitment efforts through virtual events.
For some of our clients, we’re trying to overcome the fact that nearly all of national and local recruiting (and other) events for the year have been canceled. For example, for our work with the Coast Guard, we’ve been exploring partnerships and opportunities to offset the challenge of getting our clients in front of their prospects—such as webinars, platforms for lead engagement, and sponsored virtual events that our clients can sponsor or attend. We created an event model that allows the Coast Guard Recruiting Command to host and help lead career fairs, hiring events, and even regularly scheduled chats with a recruiter.
As we developed the event model to get us through the next year, we came up with ideas for hosting virtual events and asked ourselves the following five questions that will help us hold successful events. If you’re thinking about virtual events, the answers will be helpful to you.
- What should our event look like? Map out your event so that it mimics its in-person counterpart as much as possible, making the experience beneficial and enjoyable for attendees. Identify the must-have elements. Will there be planned presentations? Individual breakout sessions? What information do you need to provide your presenters? Also, consider how you can incorporate your existing materials (digital and video) into your presentations.
- Which hosting platform should we use? Finding the right product for hosting virtual events is critical. There are many products available, but some services and features you’ll want to consider include:
User-friendly: Can both you and your attendees easily use the product? You don’t want technical glitches ruining your event.
Full-service: Can you plan and manage all aspects of an event from planning to execution to post-event follow-up?
Customizable: Can the events be tailored to your organization’s specific needs?
Engagement: Can you engage with your attendees in multiple ways—for example, live broadcasts, text, and video chats?
Branding: Can you easily incorporate your branding into planned events?
ROI: Can you easily track the benefits and ROI of your event?
- Who should we invite? As with your in-person events, make sure you’re reaching out to the right audiences. One benefit of a virtual event is that you don’t have geographical constraints and can reach more people. Do you have a built-in network of people you want to include? If not, determine the people who are going to be most likely to take an action after attending the events, and build your invitee list from that foundation.
- How should I approach advertising and marketing? The best way to get your event in front of specific audiences may be via a paid marketing effort. If so, what’s the best channel to get this message out—and what’s your budget for paid advertising?
- Assess the event/track ROI. Establishing success metrics for virtual events is critical. By keeping track of event metrics such as attendance, lead quality, and conversions, we can rate and benchmark our performance for each event.
With careful planning and evaluation, your virtual recruiting events can help you identify your most qualified candidates and meet your organization’s recruiting goals. To learn more about how to execute virtual events, contact LMD.