Sourcing with Virtual Events

How to Build a Sourcing and Virtual Event Strategy

Nov 30, 2021 - Cat DiStasio

To be truly successful at sourcing talent, you need a documented talent sourcing strategy. Right now, there are more open positions than available candidates—by a margin of a million or so—and this means candidates have more leverage in the talent market. To compete for top talent, employers need to get creative with talent sourcing.

Your talent sourcing strategy, especially when built alongside a virtual event strategy, will help you engage with more qualified candidates for your open positions, giving you a better chance at hiring the best people for your organization.

Investing in a talent sourcing strategy has long-term benefits, too. A benchmarking survey by Lever found that sourced candidates are more than two times as efficient as candidates who apply.

Virtual events strengthen talent sourcing by offering more information and variety to candidates. Specifically, virtual events offer a more engaging call to action than a simple online application.

Indeed recommends that job seekers who are ‘unhappily employed’ spend eight to 10 hours a week on job applications, and apply to 10-15 jobs each week—and the time commitment is higher for unemployed people and soon-to-be college graduates. That’s a hefty time investment per application, especially when you may never hear back from the employer. Virtual events allow candidates to connect almost immediately with a recruiter or hiring manager, and candidates who participate in virtual hiring events are more likely to stay engaged throughout the recruiting process.

Here are the steps to creating a sourcing and virtual event strategy that helps you engage with more qualified candidates and continue to compete for the attention of top talent.

Identify Your Talent Sourcing Goals

The first step of creating a talent sourcing strategy is to identify your goals. Talking with your hiring managers can give you a good understanding of the skills and capabilities needed for different roles. Data can help as well. Review time-to-hire data for different positions, as longer hiring times can be an indication of a lack of quality candidates in the early stages of recruiting.

If you hire for seasonal roles, your talent sourcing goals may change throughout the course of the year. But sourcing isn’t something you should turn off when your hiring rush is over. A big part of talent sourcing is building your talent community so you can tap into that pipeline when you need it. For seasonal hiring, your off-season talent sourcing strategy is just as important as the ramp up to your hiring deadline.

Define your talent sourcing goals as narrowly as necessary to target the best candidates. You may be looking for candidates with hard-to-find skills, or perhaps you need to source a high volume of candidates within a short period of time (such as with many seasonal hiring situations). Whatever your specific talent needs, talent sourcing is all about adding candidates to your database and nurturing those relationships, which helps you speed up time to hire when you have open positions.

Essential Parts of a Sourcing and Virtual Event Strategy

As you build out your talent sourcing strategy, look for opportunities to use virtual events to complement and support your efforts. Virtual recruiting events are highly effective for expanding your reach, tapping into new talent markets, and diversifying your talent pipeline. Our most successful clients create a virtual event planning strategy, that they can duplicate and tailor for each event, rather than approaching each event as a one-off.

Here are some ideas to incorporate into your sourcing and virtual event strategy.

  • Create a compelling series of events. (This helps build engagement and trust with candidates over time.)
  • Create events targeting and supporting your sourcing goals. (For example, if a sourcing goal is to diversify your talent database, offer a series of events to appeal to these types of candidates.)
  • Use a variety of event types to appeal to candidates with different skillsets, experience levels, subject matter interest, etc. (Virtual information events, speakers with Q&A sessions, networking opportunities, etc.)
  • Use these events as a more compelling call to action to connect with your organization. (As we mentioned earlier, filling out an application may often be a much bigger commitment than popping into a recruiter chat session.)

Another key component of your talent sourcing strategy is about getting the word out. Promote your virtual hiring events to help source candidates on critical places, such as niche job boards, student and professional organizations, and social media platforms. Some sites to consider are Dice.com (for tech talent), DiversityJobs.com (for diverse candidates), and ExceptionalIndividuals.com (for job seekers with neurodiversity). A quick Google search will help you find niche job boards for whatever talent you’re seeking.

Creating a promotional strategy for your virtual recruiting events is also helpful. Include email and text messaging strategies, social media campaigns, and paid advertising to give you the best chance at connecting with your ideal candidates.

You can also use sourcing tools to help drive people to attend your virtual hiring events. Brazen’s Sourcing Marketplace is a great example, as it makes virtual event promotion easier and allows you to tap into new talent pools. Leveraging tools like the Sourcing Marketplace help you get a better ROI from your virtual events by boosting participation and attracting more qualified candidates into your recruiting funnel.

Plan for Reviewing and Revising Your Approach

Just like the rest of your talent acquisition strategies, your talent sourcing and virtual event strategy isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of thing. You’ll want to create a strategy that can grow and evolve over time, as the needs, preferences, and priorities of candidates change. Collect candidate feedback about virtual events, along with participation data. Brazen’s virtual event platform does this automatically, lightening the administrative load on your recruiting team. With that time freed up, you’ll have the bandwidth to regularly review the insights you’ve garnered, and use them to inform future events. Depending on the volume and frequency of virtual events you host, you may want to review this information after every event, once a month, or just quarterly. Regardless of your cadence, making data-informed decisions about your future events and sourcing strategies will help you stay aligned with what your ideal candidates want.

Virtual Recruiting Events Help You Compete

Finding qualified candidates is the top challenge for employers right now, and we expect this challenge to continue well into 2022. Creating a talent sourcing and virtual event strategy that speaks to your organization’s goals and values will help you compete for attention in a crowded talent market. Having flexibility strategies in place also allows you to experiment with creative ideas, and respond quickly to changing attitudes and conditions. Start 2022 off right with a documented talent sourcing strategy that makes the most of virtual hiring events and helps you hire the best candidates out there.

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