On a recent webinar on “Virtualization in Recruitment: How TA Leaders are Navigating COVID-19 & the Impact to Recruitment Marketing” I helped host a panel of virtual recruiting experts that shared insights and information on how they are navigating challenges of COVID-19. During this webinar, a number of questions came up generally around virtual recruiting and more specifically around virtual hiring events and career fairs.
In this post, I am diving deeper into these questions from actual webinar attendees. Here you go:
Q: “What are best practices using a chat-based virtual hiring event platform?”
A: Great question! I’ve recently shared a few best practices to get your started with virtual hiring events here.
Q: “With virtual career fairs are you guys seeing a higher demand for video or text-based interaction? Would video help with the human component?”
A: Since we traditionally have positioned ourselves at the top of the funnel, text-based chat has always been preferred. This is the stage where both the recruiter and the candidate are trying to learn more about the other person, but it hasn’t gotten so serious that they are ready to see each other face-to-face. The other reason why text-based chat has been so important at this stage is because you can engage in multiple text conversations, but you can’t with multiple video conversations. With that being said, video is something that we see clients requesting more often as they want to use one platform to move candidates through the process, which is why we’ve recently built video into the platform. Right now we have a feature that allows employers to live video broadcast during an event which can certainly help with the video component. And we also have plans for one-to-one video as early as late May which would allow a recruiter to turn a text-based chat into a video chat. Lastly, I would note that we have a Skype integration that allows you to take a text-based chat and turn it into a video chat via Skype.
Q: “How to handle virtual candidates that were rejected, and candidates with zero qualifications that join the virtual hiring events.”
A: I think that recruiting basics apply to virtual career fairs just as much as they do to any other channel. For rejected candidates, you must follow up with them to let them know. Now the nice thing about virtual career fairs is that you can catch unqualified candidates at the registration stage and set minimum qualifications to join the event. This helps to maximize your time with the right candidates.
Q: “How to best address technical difficulties during virtual hiring fairs or interviews?”
A: With text-based chats, there are very few hiccups that occur. Since most people are used to using text-based chats in other parts of their life (text messaging, Facebook messenger, Whatsapp) there are very few people that run into trouble. For your recruiters or those that are managing the platform, it is important to get training. While most of the platform is intuitive, training on the platform will give your team ideas about how to get the most out of the virtual career fair. And lastly, if there is a candidate or someone on your team who does experience a technical difficulty, it is nice to have a technology partner that provides support for both your team and the candidates. I can only speak to Brazen, and this is something that we offer.
Q: “What creative ways are you using virtual tools, if any, other than the primary or original intent?”
A: This is a great question. We have seen plenty of creative use cases for virtual hiring events. Most recently, we’ve had some clients use virtual events as a way for their employees to connect with HR about how the company is facing COVID-19. In the past we’ve seen companies use it for internal mobility, D&I hiring events, and veteran hiring events. Lastly, we see a lot of internal use cases like benefits fairs, employee engagement, and onboarding new hires.
Q: “Does it make more sense to develop a company's own internally produced virtual hiring event or to participate in a third party’s virtual career fair event?”
A: The benefit of hosting your own virtual hiring event is that you don’t have to compete with the dozens of other companies that are also participating in the multi-company event. And since most virtual career fair platforms are subscription-based with unlimited usage, you can create virtual hiring fairs for specific groups that you are trying to hire. So a hospital system might host a virtual hiring event for RNs one day and then customer service roles the next. There is no limit to the number of targeted events you can host.
Q: “What do you define as success for a particular event?”
A: Great question! We just wrote about this topic in depth. Check it out here: 5 Key Metrics You Should Be Tracking for a Successful Virtual Hiring Event
Q: “What are the biggest requests for metrics you have received from attending employers?”
A: Here are a handful of the top ones we get asked about:
- Number of sign ups, number of registrants, and number of attendees
- How many chats moved to the next stage (Schedule for Interview, Pipeline, Not Qualified)
- The percent of chats that lead to hire (this typically ranges between 10-20%)
Q: “Are there data points that exist indicating how successful virtual career fairs are in comparison to in-person job fairs?”
A: I think there are some obvious cost savings due to the elimination of travel and hotel costs. There is also no need for expensive booths, swag, or other printed marketing materials. But we also see much higher attendance rates to virtual career fairs because of the convenience factor (right now, our clients are experiencing 75% attendance rates which you’d be lucky to get 40% for in-person). And lastly, because you can have multiple conversations during a virtual career fair, recruiters can be much more efficient at moving the top candidates through your hiring funnel.
Q: “What is the most cost-effective way an organization can host a virtual career fair?”
A: The first thing I’ll mention here is that trying to host a virtual career fair with video conferencing tools is not going to work. First, you miss out on all the promotional tools built into a native virtual career fair platform which means it will be harder to get people to show up. Secondly, video conferencing tools don’t have any of the candidate management features that are built in to a virtual career fair platform so you are going to have to spend additional time scheduling calls, routing candidates to the appropriate recruiters or hiring managers, and manually following up. All this can add up. With that being said, I think the best way to host a virtual career fair is by investing in a native virtual career fair platform like what Brazen offers.
Q: “I'm specifically interested in setting up a recruiting event for multiple employers. How would I do that?”
A: This is a common use case that we see where an association, a workforce agency, or a University wants to host their own virtual career fair and invite employers. Most virtual career fair platforms will allow your employers to purchase a “booth” within the virtual space. Each employer can then staff their virtual booth with their own recruiters. These employers can also add additional content and information about their jobs, culture, or benefits. And just like an in-person event, you can sell different sponsorship levels.
I hope you found these helpful.
Learn more about “How to Host a Virtual Hiring Event Without Leaving Your Desk” here. The Brazen Blog also has tons of other great resources about virtual hiring events.
Additionally, you can get access to the full webinar recording here, or you can watch the section of the webinar on Virtual Hiring Events below.