Recruitment has changed significantly over the last years with professionals constantly changing the game and enabling the industry to flourish further. Job ads have changed, hiring processes have become more innovative, even contracts’ drafting seems to be heading to a whole new direction! Recruitment events cannot stay out of the party, right?

If you are in the IT industry, forget about the typical open evenings, where you spent your budget on catering rather than on the actual cause. Don’t bother about the balloons or the finger food; to tell you the truth: no one cares! Go above and beyond and consider other ways to host such events, use means that will attract qualified candidates instead of the curious ones that are just passing by.

So, here is a list of some of the most innovative events you can have:

VIRTUAL OPEN DAY

As the words say, this is a virtual event. You can host in online either by phone or through a social media platform (i.e. live streaming – Facebook) or even use a professional agency to do all the work for you. You save the cost of the giveaways and you get better candidates than you would have in an actual event. You also use technology (!) and attract the relevant passive candidates easier.

You can even host this event within working hours, as candidates may just use a headset and attend, even if they are working. Make sure that you will enable their comments and also ask beforehand for their contact details.

If you need an even simpler answer to an open day or to drive extra attendees for both online and offline events, look no further than live chat for employers with Meet and Engage

“You can use Meet & Engage live chat throughout the recruitment process – from attraction to onboarding. Live group Q&A sessions before assessment events help applicants to feel prepared and perform their best on the day. (Our data shows they increase attendance rates too.)”

COMPETITION

Not all things come for free, so a competition can create much buzz around your brand and get the talented candidates engaged. I recently read about a startup who was looking for a QA Engineer and they created a competition: 1-hour, 1-bug, $100! They run it for a month and had one winner per day. At the end of the campaign, they not only hired the person they were looking for but a few others as well.

GCHQ also launched an online treasure hunt with a great success. The puzzle was only solved by 1% of the 400K people who attempted it!

Identify your needs and create a puzzle, a riddle or a task. Run it as a competition where apart from an interview, the winners will also earn something. Again, this is an online event, so no need for a physical presence of your team.

If you’re interested in gamification there are plenty of suppliers who can support you with the idea and implementation and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

TARGETED GIFTS

Let’s say that you are looking for a candidate with niche skills. Approaching that person through the usual social media platforms or sending them emails will not give you the result you are looking for. Try something different instead. Red5Studios identified the best 100 profiles that matched their vacancy and send each and every one an iPod with a recorded personalized message from the CEO Mark Kern. The outcome? Out of the 100, 90 of them responded and 3 actually accepted a job offer!

The cost is relatively low comparing to the end result and you get to stand out from the crowd! The hardest work that needs to be done is to actually identify the perfect matches and also convincing a Manager or someone with a great influence to record 100 (or any other number you chose) messages.

ROAD TRIP

No, you will not offer a road trip to your candidates. Instead, you will have one! When you are hiring for a Senior and pretty technical role, you will most probably need to source in different locations. Maybe even outside your country. So, what you actually need to do is go on a targeted road trip, visit the places where you know these candidates live and work at and have a coffee with them! Atlassian really aced this type of campaign, as the Australian company visited different European countries, hosting meetups and interviews in an attempt to relocate the candidates to Australia!

You may advertise the road trip as a unique opportunity to get to know each other in a friendlier and cozier environment than your conference room. You may simply choose your style: have a coffee with the candidates at the hotel you are staying or at a café; set a meet-up and engage their interest with a hot topic.

SECRET/VIP EVENT

Let’s say that you attend a career fair or a conference. Spot the best candidates that will visit your booth and invite them over to a Secret or VIP event at a later hour or day! Play with the giveaways, print eye-catching entrance tickets and host an amazing event for the selected candidates.

You may also use media and tools of your brand to engage them and create a fully interactive environment. Yes, you will go big with this type of event and you might need to put your hand deep in your pocket, but the best is hard to find… and even harder to attract!

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY EVENT

If you are targeting the local market and you are using the common sources available in the market, then you are pretty sure already known. But you may go the extra mile and create a better brand name so as to be in the employers of choice list! How can you do that? Simply by caring for the society! Create a CSR event; a beach cleaning, charity event, fundraising etc.

These types of events are mainly for branding purposes, but you may easily integrate it with recruitment too! Try advertising it on the social media and invite people over to take action alongside by you. Use your own employees to welcome them and spend time with them while they are also providing for the society. Put your business-face to one side and showcase your human face for a while. You are targeting humans after all.

HACKATHON

If we were to describe what a Hackathon is and how to better organize it, we would most probably need one full article! Since we are addressing these tips to Recruitment IT experts though, we will consider you are already familiar with Hackathons (if not, this is a great post).

A Hackathon can be the best tech event to attract skilled professionals and engage them with your team. Create test cases, provide expertise from your people, set talks from bright professionals, even arrange for mentorship booths! And yes, giveaways are a must on this type of event. You want the people to have memorabilia from your event and use them for quite some time! So, think of something smart, useful and different!

TALK TO AN EXPERT CAMPAIGN

In IT industry, people tend to discuss with each other for issues they face, bugs, problems with the code; they ask for tips related to new technologies; they are frequently looking for help! And not only from within the team or the company they are working at. They usually go online in platforms like GitHub and check with other professionals.

You can create also a community of experts and allow them to share their expertise with others. You cannot really measure results with this campaign, but you will most certainly create a good name for your brand. Considering that people will talk to the John Smith that works in your company and is a really great guy who is more than eager to assist, in their minds they will consider how cool this place is and how the environment is like “sharing is caring”! Use the brightest minds that you have in your company and make them Brand Ambassadors (it is a win-win situation after all).

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that the people involved in the process are fully on board and share the same passion as you. If you arrange an amazing event and spend lots of hours and big bucks over it, it will be a total failure if your team does not participate with excitement and true engagement.

Talk to your team, exchange ideas and then weight the pros and cons of each approach; the best recruitment event is always the one that fits your needs and your pocket too 😉