Hybrid Recruiting

How Virtual Events Improve the Efficiency of In-person Events

Apr 19, 2022 - Cat DiStasio

We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again: you (still) don’t have to choose between virtual and in-person recruiting. For many organizations, an effective talent acquisition plan includes a hybrid recruiting approach that makes the most of online events and traditional recruiting events. Today, we’re focusing on the ways virtual recruiting events support and even improve the efficiency of your in-person, physical events.

AdventHealth—a healthcare company based in Altamonte Springs, Florida that employs over 65,000 team members at 50+ hospitals and healthcare sites across nine states—adopted virtual recruiting events early in the pandemic to provide a safe, convenient way for candidates to connect with job opportunities. Two years later, their hybrid events approach to recruiting continues to provide stellar results.

Virtual recruiting enables employers to speed up hiring, set an accessible event schedule, move candidates more quickly through the recruiting process, and ease the burden on recruiters. For AdventHealth, one of the other big advantages of virtual recruiting is offering more convenience to target talent. “Our biggest labor pool is nursing, which is an incredibly competitive area,” said Cathy Henesey, Executive Director of Talent Acquisition at AdventHealth. “Creating a hiring process that worked to meet their needs was an interesting challenge. We found that it was very difficult to ask nurses to take hours out of their day to drive to an in-person event. It just wasn’t very convenient for our target candidates, and that would cause us to miss out on a lot of great talent.”

Adding virtual recruiting in conjunction with in-person physical events helped AdventHealth improve their recruiting process, deliver a better attendee experience, and continue hiring top talent amid a global health crisis. Their success provides a shining example of how virtual recruiting can make your in-person events more efficient and effective.

Use Virtual Recruiting Events at the Top of the Funnel

AdventHealth uses virtual events to screen hundreds of applicants quickly and narrow them down to a pool of finalists. They invite those pre-qualified candidates to a small in-person group event, which typically includes a site tour (something of high importance to healthcare candidates).

“We have essentially replaced in-person events with virtual, with the exception of events where we have a very specific location that has a large volume, immediate need,” Henesey said. “We used a virtual hiring event to quickly pre-screen, target the most qualified candidates, invite them, and had 25 show up to a small in-person event. We hired 15 of them!”

Differentiate your Recruitment Marketing

Virtual recruiting events offer a more compelling call-to-action to candidates than an application alone. The opportunity to have a conversation with a recruiter before applying is an attractive quality in a potential employer, and we are seeing huge success with this in our sourcing marketing to events. Then after the online experience, candidates can apply, and then you can invite finalists to an in-person event, facility tour, onsite interview, or whatever type of social events that further support your recruiting process.

Use Virtual Recruiting Events to Build Your Talent Pipeline

Another key advantage of a hybrid recruiting approach is how virtual events help you create a talent community, so you’re better prepared when new requisitions come across your desk. AdventHealth created a two-minute contact form to collect candidate details, rather than defaulting to a lengthy application. Capturing more candidates into their talent database helps AdventHealth target candidates with invitations to appropriate virtual events and news of relevant job openings. This can also help drive the right candidates to the in-person events you host because you can nurture relationships with candidates and collect more information about them over time.

Host Smaller In-person Events with Pre-qualified Candidates

Most of the positions at AdventHealth require onsite work, so they needed to maintain in-person hiring throughout the pandemic. This hybrid recruiting model offered a safe way to do that.

After two years of using virtual events as part of a hybrid recruiting strategy, the talent acquisition team at AdventHealth has observed a host of other benefits. For instance, virtual recruiting events have made it more efficient to screen large pools of talent online. This enables more quality conversations during subsequent in-person and hybrid events, which can be smaller and easier to manage with a prequalified group of finalists.

AdventHealth isn’t looking back. “We are moving to a model where that will be at the final stage, the final interview, and that will also limit the number of candidates we are bringing in onsite as well. Our goal is for that in-person interview to be one and done,” Henesey said.

This Hybrid Strategy Helps You Compete for Top Talent

In a competitive, candidate-driven talent market, organizations that can hire quickly and efficiently will continue to come out on top. Taking advantage of the benefits of hybrid recruiting, strategically combining virtual event ideas and in-person events, helps employers reach a broader pool of candidates, evaluate candidates and make offers faster than competing organizations, and follow up with registrants who missed a virtual meeting or event. All of this results in a better experience for candidates and recruiters alike, and better hiring outcomes.

“We track 60 different metrics, so we can see exactly what’s going on, and we have seen our times drop by over 10 days since adopting virtual recruiting,” said Henesy. “When you add that up across the number of hires we do each year, that’s significant, and that’s 100% because of virtual.”

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