Recruitment events: the personal touch to sourcing

Last updated:
August 31, 2021
October 4, 2022
min read
Sim Samra
recruitment events
Table of contents

It’s hard to connect with so many candidates without being physically present. Including recruitment events in your talent attraction toolkit will help you can breathe life into your employer brand.

Job boards and social media are recruitment essentials. But every once in a while, it’s a great idea to rediscover just how valuable in-person interactions are.

Like you, candidates are first and foremost people, and sometimes we overlook this vital fact while recruiting.

Despite time pressures and deadlines, making time for face-to-face contact with potential candidates can also improve the quality of your future hires.

Recruitment events are a great way of securing face time. There are many ways that you can include event recruitment in your hiring process, even if you’re a small business.

With everything being automated and most business communication happening online, people generally appreciate a personal, humane touch.

What is a recruitment event?

A recruitment event is like an open day with a focus on hiring. It’s also known as a job fair, career expo, or career fair.

A recruitment event gives companies the opportunity to bring candidates together and host various activities to allow the candidates an insight into your workplace.

Generally speaking, recruitment events are held at convention centers, hotels, or in-office.

Recruitment events combines marketing and hiring

Previously events were all about marketing products and services to boost sales. Event-based recruitment was limited to career fairs- but not anymore.

Today, you can easily combine sales and marketing events with talent sourcing. There’s no end to the mix if you apply some creative thinking.

Depending on your type of business and the type of candidates you want to attract, you can either host or sponsor events.

Listed below are six excellent event recruitment ideas.

6 recruitment events ideas to improve talent attraction

1. Competitions

Running a competition to attract talent isn’t like an ordinary contest where people buy a ticket, and the winner is announced in a  lucky draw. Instead, you need to create a competition theme that will appeal to the type of people you want to attract.


Useful tip:

Useful tip:

If you’re looking for designers, offer a prize for the best design submitted. If you’re looking for innovation, give an award for the best solution to a problem.

You can determine the timeframe for entries and how entries can be submitted, and the leading recruitment event will be when the prizes are handed out. Ask participants if they would like to be included in your talent pool.

By running a skills-based competition, you’re going to attract people with an interest in your line of business.

2. Hackathons

Hackathons are also competitions but aimed at development and IT competencies. They usually take place within a few hours or over a few days at a venue where all entrants meet up. Entrants compete against each other to resolve or create something.

To run a hackathon, you’ll have to have a suitable place as well as refreshments for all entrants for the duration of the competition. Afterward, you’ll have to have a prize-giving event.

Hackathons are great fun as entrants battle it out to come up with solutions. Equally, they’re also a great showcase of entrants skill and experience in practice.

Hackathons are often informal and can allow for teamwork. This makes them a great opportunity to see potential talent in action.

Event recruitment hackathon
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Want to find other ways of sourcing software engineers? Find the 50 best job boards for this

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3. Expos

Expos are an excellent opportunity to combine sales and marketing with recruiting through events. There are many ways that you can include talent search and expos.

Organizers always encourage exhibitors to run competitions so you can run a skills-based contest or even a mini-hackathon from your stand. Or you can dedicate a corner of your stand to a virtual tour of your company, products, and services, and your goals.

Engage with people who express interest in your industry. This allows you to find out what they’re all about as an individual and how they match up to your talent needs.

4. Recruitment fairs

Although career fairs are still a viable idea, think of ways to spice up your presence so that you can stand out among the rows of stalls and tables.

You don’t want to blend in with the crowd, so consider things like offering a company tour or job shadowing to suitable candidates. Handing out pamphlets or brochures simply isn’t enough.

Event recruitment is all about creativity, engagement, and understanding the type of candidate you want to draw to your stand and, eventually your team.

So, don’t be afraid to get creative. You want your company to be the one that stands out, giving prospects an experience to remember for all the right reasons.

5. Open day

An open day can be hosted on your business premises or as a roadshow where you take your business to people.

Open days at colleges or universities are excellent if you’re looking for graduate talent. If you’re looking for skilled talent, you can exhibit at functions that attract people with the skills you want.

Conferences and conventions, in particular, are outstanding places to showcase your company. Most conferences and conventions are related to specific industries, so find those for your industry, then set up a mini-expo within the facility.

6. Public speaking

Offer your time to speak at expos, conferences, and conventions. Public speaking as event-based recruitment is a wonderful way to give your business a voice. Most expos have guest speakers throughout the event, and conferences and conventions are all about speaking.

Find a topic of interest for the type of talent you want to attract and offer your time. Many people would like to chat with the speakers afterward, so ensure that you avail yourself.

Useful tip:

Take questions, make notes and give out your email address and social media contacts.

It’s fundamental to be genuine and make sure that you reply to every message you get after the event.

Anyone who engages with you after a talk is interested in what you had to say and could be a great future hire.

Localize your event recruitment

Small and medium businesses especially can incorporate recruiting through events with local activities. Local sporting competitions, business networks, and even schools and colleges can yield talent.

These are ideal opportunities to combine product and service promotion with talent attraction through sponsorships or public speaking.

The critical factor for recruitment events is engagement. There’s little value in offering a sponsorship with a few prizes and displaying your company banners.


Useful tip:

Useful tip:

To attract talent, you must be out there speaking to people and listening to what they have to say. How else can you identify potential?

Event recruitment is a team effort

Today, hiring the best talent has become a collaborative effort throughout any business. Hiring managers need to work closely with the sales and marketing departments to incorporate product and service promotions with talent sourcing.

After all, talent sourcing needs strong marketing skills to attract candidates and sales skills to then get candidates to accept offers.

Many passive candidates are interested in your products and services, and to find them, you have to get the message out that your business is always on the lookout for top talent.

You have to take your business to candidates just as much as you expect candidates to respond to your job advertising. That means that product and service brochures aren’t all you should be handing out at events anymore.

Instead, event recruitment involves engaging with visitors, taking their details, and inviting them to connect on social media or directly with recruiters.

Useful tip:

Remember to ensure that you get individual consent from everyone you meet to process their details in your ATS.  

Also, make sure to share details of how to reach you, find out more about your company, and apply for jobs.

By entering all communication on your ATS, you can keep track of your records.

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) also allows you to tag each entry with details of where you met the candidate. This is vital info to manage ROI on events.

Recruitment events help you attract top talent, build a solid talent pool and improve the quality of your hires through in-person engagement.

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