Job Search Advice

Tips for Planning a Successful Hiring Event

Looking to fill open positions at your company with qualified candidates? A recruiting event is a great place to source employees! Learn more here.

Michael Yan Leila Le
Published: (Updated: ) - 7 min read
Michael Yan is the co-founder & CEO of Simplify. Previously a software engineer at Meta, Michael dropped out of Stanford to found Simplify. He is a part-time career coach & Y Combinator alum.

Photo by Scott Graham / Unsplash

Hiring events can be beneficial for both recruitment agencies and HR departments in a variety of ways. Through hiring events, both parties can reach out to potential hires and potential candidates in different ways, allowing for a more comprehensive hiring process.

One of the best ways for recruitment agencies and HR departments to prospective employees is by running hiring events. These events can be in-person or remote and are highly effective at reaching candidates you may have otherwise missed. Read more for all our tips on how to run a successful hiring event, from start to finish:

How to Run a Successful Recruiting Event

Since the intention of a hiring event is to attract talent, there needs to be a plan in place on how an agency or HR department can hook their desired candidates’ attention. Teams need to brainstorm on how best to represent their company culture, brand identity, and what they can offer interested employees.

For recruitment agencies, it’s about showing off the connections they can build for candidates and the support they can offer in a job hunt. Deciding how best to present this takes careful planning. You won’t have people’s attention for long, so make it count. It’s also important to consider in this planning phase who exactly the event needs to attract and what kind of events have been successful at doing so in the past. You may find useful inspiration from what other companies have done before, or what’s already been successful for you in the past.

Wondering what Gen-Z looks for in an employer? Read more about it in our piece here

Brainstorm a Plan Well in Advance

This one is simple: start early, rather than later. Brainstorming your plan well in advance of the hiring event means that you’ll be more prepared and more able to enact the desired vision. Objectives should be set right away, in order to create a timeline around the event. It’s also important to give yourself timelines to work on key tasks. This will make it easier to visualize goals and make sure that everyone involved is aware of the timeline.

Thinking ahead and preparing in advance are essential for any successful event, but are especially important for a hiring event. This is because the success of the event depends on attracting and retaining the right kinds of candidates. Having a solid plan in place ensures that you can make the most of the event, and that you’re well prepared to maximize the chance of finding your desired candidate. It also gives you a better understanding of the kind of resources and support you need to put in before, during, and after the event.

Establish a Budget

Hiring events can be pricy so before you run it, establish a budget to limit overspending. Deciding on a budget also forces the planning team to determine exactly what value the event holds for the company and how much time, as well as money, is worth putting into it.

Make sure to factor in costs such as event venue rentals, catering, staff and travel expenses, and any other costs associated with running the event. It’s also important to consider any promotional costs such as advertising, as well as budget any prize giveaways that may be involved. You should also budget for the post-event follow-up process. This includes costs related to contacting prospective employers and scheduling interviews, as well as any follow-up activities that may be necessary.

Explore Different Venue Options

When you run a hiring event, the venue that you choose not only sets the tone, it also determines who will be able to attend it. If, for example, you’re wanting to hire a global, remote team, an online event is probably the best choice. On the other hand, if it’s specifically college graduates that you’d like to target, holding the event near or at a college would likely yield the best results.

The most important aspect to consider as you look at venue options is what would be most attractive and convenient for the kind of person you’re trying to recruit. Would these people be more impressed by something, or more casual? These aspects are determined by the setting and style of the event you throw.

Here are some common recruiting event types to look to as you decide how you’d like to run your own:

  • Networking events that are either held by the company or even co-hosted with others.
  • Sponsored events which allow agencies and companies to piggyback on another brand’s network or set of values.
  • Hosting drinks after bigger industry conferences.
  • Educational events such as hackathons or general workshops – while you’re recruiting, you’re also seeing people’s skills displays.
  • Joining job fairs and campus events that go directly into the community you’re wanting to hire from.

Whatever option you decide is best for your hiring event, it’s important that it’s one that best suits the recruits you’re most after.

Set a Time and Date

Once you’ve found the best venue for your event, you’ll need to pick the time and date. Set your event for a day that’s convenient for your target recruits, as this will help you to reach the maximum number of attendees. You should also factor in the type of event you’re running and the best time for it to go well. If it’s a networking or a recruitment event, for instance, you’d want to hold it in the evening so that people can attend after work. Consider the region and country in which you’ll be holding the event too. If a majority of your target audience is scattered around different areas, you should opt for a virtual event as this will be more accessible to a wider audience.

Scheduling your hiring event in advance with a sense of when your target audience would be most available is crucial. In doing so, there needs to be ample warning given to potential attendees so that they can make time for the event. It can’t be too last minute, or you risk losing out on people just because they didn’t know about it early enough to schedule the event in.

Setting a time and date early on also allows the teams planning the event to construct something that feels relevant. If you’d like to run a summer hiring event, for example, it will likely require different planning than a winter one.

Tip: Look through your options and pick the date and time that will work best for your target audience. It’s also wise to plan against any potential risks or issues that could arise on the day.

Plan for Every Detail, Big and Small

Will there be gift bags and promotional material? Will it be an event with food and drinks, and if so, what is best to serve? All these questions need to be answered well before you start the recruiting event.

Everything down to the exact setup of the recruitment agency or company’s branding needs to be planned for. Who will answer questions from candidates? How many people will be required to work the event and will there be a speaker? Details both big and small are important to have cleared up beforehand so that people attending the hiring event have a seamless experience. It is ultimately a marketing occasion and missing a step might accidentally make things seem unprofessional and in turn, the jobs on offer, unattractive.

Candidates need to walk away from the event with a positive idea of what is on offer and the identity of the company or recruitment agency hosting it. 

Spread the Word and Promote Your Event

Promoting a hiring event can occur through broader actions, such as handing out fliers, setting up posters, and online advertisement, as well as more targeted arrangements. For HR departments, this can include seeking out specific recruitment agencies and the like to target specific candidates for the event.

Personal invites can be sent on LinkedIn to people who seem to meet the recruitment requirements, as well as to general people in the relevant industries who might be well-positioned to spread the word about the event. It's worth noting that for in-house HR departments running these events, spreading the word within the company can be a highly effective way to get existing employees to bring possible candidates in.

As with every part of a recruiting event, the most important aspect to consider is whom you’re targeting and what the best avenues are in order to reach them. Younger people for example might respond better to online advertising, whereas an event that’s targeting more experienced, corporate employees may benefit from emailing personal invites. It’s all about tailoring the marketing of the event to the person that you’d most like to attend it.

Follow Up with Candidates Afterwards

After the event has come and gone, it’s important to follow up with interested candidates. After all, a successful recruitment event is one where the candidates who attended it go on to become successful members of the company. This can take place through contacting those who attended your event with a thank-you note, following up on any questions they may have had about the job, or even inviting them for a virtual meeting or coffee. Doing this will show them that you value their interest and that you are genuinely interested in bringing them on board.

If your event was successful and you weren’t able to follow up on everyone, it’s a good idea to use social media or other forms of traditional recruiting to get in contact with those you weren’t able to reach out to. This is an especially good way to keep up with those who showed a lot of interest and couldn’t attend your event. No matter the approach, it’s important to be organized and thoughtful about your follow-up

Photos and videos from the event can be shared online and be another way to reel attention back in from attendees. There just needs to be some effort to remind people of the event, their experience, and the opportunities on offer to ensure that candidates return with interest and even job applications.

Planning is key

The best tip we have for you on running a hiring event is to keep all these aspects that we’ve mentioned in mind well in advance of the event. In order to attract the right talent and leave them with a positive impression of your company or agency, things need to run smoothly. Leave nothing to chance and no detail unattended.

To bring in the best candidates, it’s worth showing off your own best qualities too. Good luck!

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