Setting up virtual career fairs is a pretty simple process, but that’s just one small piece of the puzzle. When it comes to creating events that will attract and engage your ideal candidates, you’ll have to leverage all the necessary tools.
There are so many reasons virtual hiring events should become part of your talent acquisition strategy. Now that you’re keen on the idea of taking your career fairs into the virtual realm, and you’re ready to start designing events, you still have some work ahead of you.
Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Many of our clients are running successful virtual hiring events on a regular basis, and we’ve come across some stellar examples to help inspire your next virtual career fair. Read on to learn how four top employers are using virtual hiring events to connect with candidates year round and across the country.
Aerospace and defense technology leader Northrop Grumman often recruits for hard-to-fill roles with specialized requirements. Their talent acquisition team uses live chat tools, such as Quickchat, to host virtual events and engage with candidates for a specific role. They invite a targeted list of job seekers from their database based on candidate profile criteria to participate in live, on-demand chat sessions with recruiters at specified dates and times. Designing a virtual hiring event using the Quickchat tool allows organizations to make the most of limited staff capacity, because recruiters can chat with multiple candidates at the same time. Northrop Grumman has used Quickchat events to increase response rates and reduce time to hire dramatically, compared to other methods.
High-volume employers have the most to gain from virtual hiring events. CVS Health recruits for more than 30,000 positions each year, and virtual career fairs are a central component of their TA strategy. Their TA team knew that hosting online events would streamline the recruiting process and save time, by eliminating the need for recruiters to review applicants’ resumes and schedule/hold phone screens. By engaging directly with candidates in chat sessions during a virtual career fair, recruiters can quickly evaluate each candidate and move them directly into interviews or other candidate journeys.
What CVS Health does exceptionally well is prepare candidates for virtual career fairs, with emails and videos that promote the event and educate job seekers about the purpose and format. They also focus on follow-up after virtual hiring events, reaching out to candidates who participated with next steps and touching base with those who did not attend, in an effort to re-engage those job seekers and boost responses for future events.
Hosting virtual career fairs and engaging with candidates directly means candidates no longer have to submit an application to start the hiring process, alleviating some of the burden of the job search. SSM Health began hosting virtual career fairs in 2016, and soon realized the value of connecting candidates around the country quickly with recruiters, hiring managers, and current employees. Virtual career fairs allow employers to answer job seekers’ questions and review resumes efficiently, without making job seekers fill out lengthy applications and wait around for a response that may never come.
By turning to virtual hiring events, Houston Methodist eliminated the geographic obstacles in their talent acquisition efforts while combating a talent shortage. Houston Methodist invited job seekers across the country to chat with recruiters through online events and scheduled chats. Virtual career fairs allow recruiters to chat with qualified candidates without the time and expense of travel, and move those candidates quickly through the hiring funnel. In 2018, Houston Methodist made 150 hires using Brazen and had an additional 20 offers outstanding in early 2019. That translates to a 19% chat to hire rate, an enviable metric for a virtual hiring event.
Virtual career fairs can look however you want them to. They can be a strategic response to a unique sourcing challenge, a feature of your candidate experience, or an arm of your employer branding strategy — or some combination of those things, and more. As you plan your virtual career fairs, consider your goals and create events using these examples as inspiration. And, of course, design virtual hiring events that fit your candidate personas and create the kind of candidate experience you want to offer.
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