Open House hiring events have long proven to be an effective option for recruiting. The goal of an Open House is to provide a memorable, productive candidate experience. They allow you to tell your story in person and make a real connection with candidates. It all begins with strategy. What are your goals? What is your budget? Which marketing channels are you using to promote the event?
Candidates have a choice.
As the employment climate continues to shift to a job seeker’s market, candidates have increasingly more choices in where they work. They also have a vast network of friends and colleagues in their communication pipeline. And people talk. What are they saying about your company? Is it positive? Or worse, are you nowhere on their radar?
Everything you do communicates your brand and company culture.
Emerging trends in crowdsourcing, social media and mobile technology are invaluable in their ability to reach a large audience in an instant. As we consider job seekers’ ever-evolving methods of connecting to their world, it is vital to engage them at every phase and leave a lasting impression.
Marketing is key.
Marketing can cover such channels as print, radio, a landing page promoting the event (video testimonials lend authenticity and credibility), event calendar and a banner on your career site, CRM database contacts (text message campaign), talent network, employee referrals (offer incentives such as cash reward), e-blasts, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign, direct mail, personalized voicemail messaging and social media. Other important steps to take:
- Create marketing materials including a theme and hashtag for the event.
- Focus your content messaging not on how great you are, but what’s important to the candidate. Use images of people that define the culture, not a pic of your business.
- Build your strategy around your target audience. For example, if you have a push to hire nurses, post content on the best nurse-specific recruiting sites.
- Establish a realistic marketing timeline. Don’t send out an invite three days before the event.
- Encourage employee participation. Remember, your best ambassadors already work for you.
- Promote through your website and social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Glassdoor) to create buzz and excitement.
- Get creative: place table tents or tray liners in the lobby or cafeteria to promote the event.
- Consider an industry professional/speaker for your event.
- Be sure to secure details such as food, snacks and giveaways at the event. Starbucks gift cards are one of the most popular items, and raffles are always a hit.
During and after.
- Make sure that you have adequate signage to identify your company.
- Bring a welcome greeter.
- Be approachable. Don’t hide behind the table. Stand in front, shake hands…engage.
“How did you hear about us?”
- Have a sign-in sheet and fish bowl for business cards. You want to capture attendee contact information for current hiring goals and future hiring needs.
- Utilize technology to collect information. There are several vendors, including LinkedIn, who can help capture information from candidates who visit your booth.
- Bring staff/an ambassador/face of the company, not just HR reps.
- Post live content/photos of the event via social media channels.
- Use your attendee contact information to send a follow-up communication after the event (“thank you” email).
Remember, your Open House is a reflection of your organization. A great event can seal the deal with candidates – you may even be able to make some hires on the spot! Contact NAS if you’d like one of our experts to help you launch your next Open House event.