Create an Amazing Candidate Experience in a Virtual Event: Tips from Brazen’s Experts
It’s no secret that TA professionals strive to deliver a positive and memorable experience for the candidates participating in their hiring events. They work hard to make a great impression and to stay on good terms with prospective employees all throughout the candidate lifecycle. Why? Because a bad experience could not only scare potential candidates away from a particular role, but it might also cause them to steer clear from the parent company altogether and no longer see them as a desirable employer — or even a brand to do business with!
While different organizations have unique ways to achieve a great candidate experience, the best practices behind many of these are universal. And we should know! After helping organize and host literally thousands of virtual events on the Brazen platform, our talented team has acquired extensive knowledge about what works and what doesn’t.
So, we talked with our very own virtual candidate experience subject matter experts on the Brazen team to bring you their best tips and practices for crafting an amazing candidate experience:
How to Create a Great Candidate Experience in Your Virtual Events
Tip 1: Prepare Candidates Beforehand
As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect.’ Software solutions like Brazen are no exception, so giving new users a way to feel confident and with a new digital tool is a great start. As Charlotte Peyton, Brazen Account Executive can attest, “colleges and universities want the platform experience for their students to be easy and intuitive. For this reason, we encourage virtual event admins to create a short, custom how-to video showcasing the ins-and-outs of their specific event, making sure any important information is also posted on their website and LLMS to help avoid confusion on the day of the virtual career fair or other event.”
Offering candidates information like videos, emails, or pdfs that answer frequently asked questions about the platform or event itself can help you set the tone as a thoughtful, candidate-focused employer — even before you have a chance to meet attendees on the day of the event.
Tip 2: Let Candidates Know What To Expect
"My tip for creating a great candidate experience is to set expectations!” says Rachael Gardner, Brazen Account Manager. "From your marketing materials, to event content, to follow up communications - these should all clearly outline what the candidate can expect next.” Think about all of the questions a candidate might have in general about the hiring process for your organization, and proactively provide insights about these. Not only what activities or meetings will be available for them on the day of the event (such as live webinars, Q&As, 1:1 opportunities to meet with a recruiter, etc), but also what each candidate can expect as follow up communications after the event has concluded, what stage the application or interview process might be, and other opportunities to participate in your talent community.
Communicating more holistically about your recruiting process — not just focusing on one singular event — gives applicants more agency and control over their part of the process, helps reduce uncertainty (nobody likes landing in a “resume black hole”), and increases confidence in the process as a whole.
When candidates have a better understanding of your process and you effectively communicate with them every step of the way, they’re much more likely to have a good experience (whether they land the job or not!)
Tip 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Go All In
In the experience of our experts, fortune definitely favors the bold when it comes to creating virtual hiring events. As Max Kraus, Brazen Account Executive puts it, “the most successful of our new clients are the ones that are willing to jump in with two feet and not just dip their toes. In other words, they are committed to putting in the maximum amount of effort into their event setup from the start. Several of my clients have set themselves apart by doing things such as creating beautiful landing pages or by putting in a lot of work into making those initial experiences unique for candidates from the very first event.”
As a highly customizable virtual event platform with advanced marketing and branding features, Brazen offers its clients the opportunity to spend as much — or as little — time as they want into planning their hiring events. But the recommendation here is to use more of the features rather than less, since a bigger initial effort can translate into time savings later on. For instance, a robust first event can be used again when you use that event to create a clonable template that can be quickly used to set up future events, giving you more time to focus on the creative, programming, and other aspects of future events so you can continue evolving and leveling up your virtual events strategy.
Tip 4: Leverage One Platform Across the Entire Organization
This is a particular pain point for larger or more international organizations that have several human resources groups or TA teams distributed across the globe. If different parts of the organization are using different virtual event platforms, sharing and reusing existing materials, templates, best practices, and organizational learnings across the company becomes difficult. "There are so many advantages to offering a singular brand experience across different countries through one platform,” Max Kraus says. Chief among them are time, budget, resource, and training savings, all of which are accessible simply by making sure that everyone is using the same software, just in their own way.
With these actionable insights and takeaways in hand you can boost your virtual event candidate experience. So go forth, prepare your candidates, communicate next-steps, be bold in your event planning, and get everyone on the same platform so you can enhance your candidate experience and help set the interactions with your organization apart as a great place to work, interact with, and do business with.