Finding the right staff is often a real headache for many employers. Recruitment currently stands at the top of the list of problem areas for over 50% of the UK’s leading companies. So how does a large company set about recruiting such numbers in an innovative, cost effective manner, whilst maintaining a strong position with the market and most importantly, find quality candidates in volume? Your answer, recruitment events. Pepler Lee are experts in the marketing, advertising and event management of recruitment events.
Traditional methods of recruiting large numbers of people via agencies poses various issues; expense, delivering the right message to the market and gaining volume without lowering hiring standards. Few organisations utilise the alternative, recruitment events. Companies that do, often fail to gain the results required to make these events cost effective; falling short of delivering a positive hiring experience befitting of their business or brand.
Recruitment events are there to make an impact with your prospective employees, and you can do this if you really pull out all the stops to showcase your company ethos and the benefits of working with you. They are a perfect opportunity to not only show professional prowess, but also creativity within the company. Think of this event as a one hit wonder, a one off event to hire quality staff rather than months of arduous calls and headhunting.
There are other benefits to recruitment events, aside from efficiently sourcing the staff you need. When produced with innovative strategic focus and planning, these events will be able to deliver cost savings with added benefits for marketing and brand. The PR value in holding a recruitment event at a prestigious or exciting venue with a professional and positive experience is worth the cost of the event in itself.
How to deliver the perfect recruitment event
Delivering successful recruitment in a changing commercial environment requires creative professional thinking. Trust is key when planning recruitment events. You need to be able to trust that your agency will deliver on-brand marketing and provide the candidates that meet your standard. At Pepler Lee we have been able to deliver consistent quality candidates across many different pay grades and skill sets to clients without breaking the bank.
Understanding who the client is often provides the first hurdle for employers and the agency organising the event. A recruitment event must be driven from the candidates’ perspective and not the employers. The candidate needs to feel valued from the start, not patronised or left with a feeling they are receiving a favour from the employer, an easy error to make in an economic downturn. In this current climate quality employees are well aware of their value and won’t buy into an organisation if they feel their offer of employment is being given as a favour. The message should be about ensuring they feel their added value will be appreciated in an organisation, with a future for both parties.
It is key to get the ball rolling with a PR campaign in the lead up to the event. Make the event worth attending by creating anticipation with adverts on the radio, in magazines and on signs that are informative and fun. From the candidates perspective it needs to be all about the best experience you can offer. Taking a full day from the office to attend an event is a tall order for any candidate, so it’s important to ensure the event is marketed as impressive, enlightening and loaded with opportunities in order to justify the day out. Remember that advertisements are not only seen by candidates. If your marketing campaign is creative and promotes the best qualities of your company it will garner attention from prospective clients.
The first sight or sound delivered to the candidate is crucial. How you drive the candidates to an event, manage them when they attend and communicate with them throughout, right up until the offer or rejection letter, is of the upmost importance. In the many years that we have been running these events we have identified a few fundamental errors; advertising with inappropriate messages, in inappropriate media. For example companies who advertise the same role on a job board for months on end or companies recruiting people in faceless chains of hotels are extremely unlikely to achieve what they need. One FTS 100 organisation even held interviews in a car park!
Where and how you execute your event says a lot about how the company views its staff and what they are prepared to give them in the future. Organisations will spend a fortune on advertising and then provide venues that your senior staff would never be prepared to spend time in. Remember these events are meant to save you both time and money; so spending a little more on an impressive and dynamic venue that attracts the candidate you want may save you bundles on recruitment in the future.
All forms of communication, whether face to face or through printed media, should be an extension of your brand. The experience that the candidate undergoes must be a positive reflection of the company they are wishing to join. This process starts at the earliest stages of communication and should be observed throughout the entire process. The first point of contact will often be the medium chosen to deliver the recruitment message. This is followed by the venue you choose to host the recruitment event. The content of marketing collateral and display, the pre event communications. The experience at the event. The people they meet and the messages they receive at the event. What is often overlooked is the follow up experience the candidate receives. If a candidate is told that you will contact them within forty eight hours, then make sure you do so.
Integral to an event is the ability to ensure the candidate is relaxed and enjoys the experience.
Key aspects of a great event are:
* Clear communications before the event about location
* Signage at the event
* A welcoming face on the front desk
* Relaxed seating environment
* Food and drink available
* People to talk to and the right people to interview them
* Corporate marketing collateral easily available
* Sharp timings and a clear understanding of the process time frames
Create an open and frank environment, one that resembles your own ethos and an atmosphere that people would want to work in.