While social media and other digital recruiting methods are becoming more and more popular in the digital era, recruitment events are becoming much rarer outside of campus hiring. This is a mistake as a recruitment event is actually a great way to hire and pipeline talent for your business regardless of level. Recruiting events are a great way to get to know potential applicants and promote your organisation as an employer of choice. However, when most people think of a career event, what they normally think of is a traditional career fair. There is a booth and you talk to people, again, this is usually on campus somewhere. But there are several other ways to use recruiting events to really stand out as a brand and make great hires while doing it.
Organise a networking event
One of the easiest ways to promote your brand, is to host an industry networking event. This could be at your office, or at an alternative venue and it is a great way to get the best talent from an industry in one place at the same time. There are industry bodies for pretty much every profession, and they are always looking to partner with businesses to host events. So, partnering with say the HR institute to run an event for HR professionals, or Insurance industry forum is quite easy to arrange. You can arrange for some short speaking slots while at the event to share some stories about the firm and have a box where attendees can leave a business card if they want to be alerted to future opportunities. Likewise, you could flash a list of open vacancies on a screen somewhere, where folks can refer friends from the industry or apply themselves. Its important this is done in a subtle way, to not detract from the networking, but it will always deliver an ROI.
Host an Open House
This is one of my personal favourites. If you are confident that your workplace is an awesome place to work, invite your competitors to come and check it out. I did this a lot when I worked in consulting. We would host a regular event where all of our competitors would come after work and be able to walk around our office, have drinks and food and speak with our staff and be shown all of the cool things we were working on. We would consistently hire 50+ people after each of the events because employees at our competitors saw first-hand that we were doing things, their company was not. They left with a positive feeling and told all their colleagues about it the following day as well. Every event was bigger than the last, and it did wonders for our employer brand too.
Run a competition
Do you want a way to solve your own business problems, and identify awesome talent within your industry at the same time? Host a competition for your industry. Identify an area in your business that needs to be improved, for example maybe you are not delivering enough digital sales, and run this as an open competition for your industry, for folks to come up with the next big ideas. You can partner with an industry body if necessary and make sure that you offer an extremely attractive set of prizes. Top performers love a chance to showcase their ability and unique insights and will jump at the chance to win an industry prize and be recognised by their peers. By the time the competition is done, you will have several potential solutions to a business problem, as well as a clear idea who in the industry you should be trying to hire from your competitors.