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8 Ways to Make Your Virtual Recruiting Event Feel Less Virtual

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we say the world of recruiting has completely changed since COVID-19. It’s forced the industry as a whole to adapt to new technologies and change processes they have grown accustomed to. While the transition hasn’t been easy and at times a bit rocky, talent professionals still need to meet their recruiting goals and keep their funnels moving.

Enter: Virtual recruiting events. 

Love them or hate them, virtual recruiting events are here to stay. And we get it, doing things virtually comes with a price. It doesn't always have that same personal touch and you fear you’ll lose the relationship-building component that will help attract great talent. And not to mention technical difficulties. There’s nothing more heart-sinking than realizing you’re frozen in front of a live audience.  

Now onto the good stuff. Virtual recruiting events have opened up a lot of new opportunities for talent professionals. And for those who are skeptical, these benefits should have you reconsider. 

Virtual recruiting event benefits:

  • - Help you broaden your talent pool—and create a more diverse pool.
  • - Offer greater efficiency than in-person recruiting events. 
  • - Cost-effective and generate ROI.
  • - Often have high attendance rates and draw higher-quality candidates.
  • - Speeds up the hiring process. 

Sold yet? We are. 

But the question still remains on how to put the personal back into the virtual. If you want your virtual recruiting event to stand out, making a personal connection is key with candidates. And that’s why we’ve put together our expert tips on how to make your next virtual recruiting event feel less virtual. 

8 Things You Can Do To Make Your Virtual Event Feel More Personal 

1. Get personal with your communication 

Sure, automation is nice. But there’s a time and place for that. When it comes to virtual recruiting events, personalization goes a long way. Consider going the extra mile when inviting candidates to your next event. 

Why not send them a handwritten invitation or follow-up note? A handwritten note may feel a little outdated in this digital world, but personalization and going above and beyond never go out of style. Another option is to send a personalized Loom video, so each attendee gets a little extra special attention. 

2. Consider intimate and smaller-scale events 

Bigger doesn’t always mean better. In fact, hosting an intimate coffee chat session can allow for more meaningful discussions, with an added personal touch. Candidates won’t feel like one of many and you’ll be more likely to better connect with each individual. 

By having smaller-scale events and concentrating on quality over quantity, it allows you to focus on high-potential candidates. While you will still have your big virtual events, such as job fairs, it’s valuable to mix in those more intimate virtual sessions, like professional development events. Spend a little more time developing relationships with those high-quality candidates and your company will see the payoff. 

3. Focus on what candidates want to hear about versus what your company wants to showcase 

Of course, it’s nice to showcase the incredible things your company has to offer. Yes, you probably want to highlight the awards your company has won, different initiatives that you’ve launched, and more. These are all really important aspects to feature, but only if candidates are eager to hear it. 

Get a sense of what potential candidates are interested in learning. Not sure what those topics are? Send out an email survey to your pipeline or post a poll on your social media channels. Have your event participants send in questions they want to be answered prior to joining. Or even better, ask your newest employees what they would have liked to know. 

Your potential future employees may want to know more about how you are tackling diversity and inclusion in your workplace. Or, maybe your candidate pool wants more information on how your company takes career advancement seriously.  

4. Prep, prep, prep

There’s nothing that screams virtual in a virtual recruiting event like a technical difficulty. Things can go wrong no matter what. But when you’re relying on technology, you’ve got to make sure you’ve done your prep work. 

Plan ahead and sign on early to make sure everything is going to run smoothly. If you’re presenting a deck, do a dry run to confirm everything you need is there. Double check, better yet, triple check your sound before joining. 

Doing all of this pre-work will make a world of difference and you’ll be less likely to run into those terrible, horrible, no good technical difficulties. 

5. Send attendees company swag afterward 

It’s one thing to get people excited about your organization, but it’s another to develop brand enthusiasts. We think we can all agree on one thing—everybody loves company swag. And you know who loves company swag even more? A candidate who is hoping to join your company.

Don’t let a virtual event stop you from sending cool swag afterward. And, don’t just send any swag. Be creative with your company products. Is there company swag that would feel specific and personal to your organization? Here is where being imaginative and original are key. 

6. Use live polls during your virtual event 

Personalize your next virtual event by using live polls. This will help you better interact with your attendees and make them feel that their opinions and voices are being heard.  You want your audience to be engaged and involved in the conversations being had. Live polls help you get a pulse on the topics your audience wants you to cover and offer more insights into your attendees. It’s the modern-day version of asking the audience. 

7. Engage on social media with your attendees before and after 

Communication is key. And over-communication is even better. By engaging with your candidate pool before and after your virtual recruiting event, you’ll leave a lasting impression. 

A virtual event doesn’t end when the event is over. You need to keep your attendees enticed. 

Yes, emails after events are nice. But go the extra mile by engaging with them on social media channels as well. Find them on Linkedin, connect, and then send a personalized message. Candidates don’t want to feel like one of many. Make them feel connected to your organization by reaching out in a new way. 

8. Think outside the box with your events 

We’ve seen them all—virtual job fairs, info sessions, coffee chats, and panels. These are all effective ways to attract top talent, but can we get more creative? Think about what’s important to your future employees and do a virtual event around those topics. Is mental health a hot topic and something your company values? Hold a mindfulness event. Is networking important? You can allow the option to break out into 1:1 sessions after an event. 

Another idea is doing ‘A day in the life’ event. You could have an employee at your company host a walkthrough of what he or she does in a day. Make it fun by doing a play on Vogue's 73 questions. 

How are other successful companies thinking about virtual events?

Our friends over at Gusto wanted to provide students with opportunities to alleviate stress and fatigue. They created "Mindfulness in a Remote World" and took participants through a journey of Setting Daily Mindful Intentions, Finding a Mindful Balance in Work and Life and Staying Connected Mindfully.

When asked how Gusto makes their virtual events feel personal, they stated:

“At Gusto, we are on a mission to create a world where work empowers a better life and we do that through three pillars: Peace of Mind, Great Place to Work and Personal Prosperity. These pillars represent the problems we are trying to solve for our customers and the way that we look at fostering well-being for our employees internally. When thinking about how we wanted to connect with students this fall, we knew that we wanted our events to reflect our mission and values. This led us to create the Mindfulness Monday series where we promoted and encouraged peace of mind to students during a really busy and stressful time.”

Humanize your next virtual event to make an impression

Humans long for connection—and so does your talent pool. By using these simple enhancements, you’ll be sure to make a bigger impact with your next virtual recruiting event. Don’t fear the virtual world. Lean into it and make it better. 

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