Hosting an online networking event for your alumni or students? In addition to helping them meet their peers, this is an opportunity to bring recruiters into the picture and give your participants a better shot at landing that next great job. Here’s how to convince recruiters to attend your next online networking event.
Online networking events can be a great opportunity for alumni or students to connect with one another, which often opens the door to new career opportunities.
But know what your participants might appreciate even more than getting to know their peers? Developing an “in” with a recruiter. That’s why universities that use the Brazen platform for mobile networking often invite recruiters and hiring managers to their events.
But what if you discover recruiters are hesitant to attend, especially if they haven’t participated in an online networking event before?
Here are a few things to share with recruiters so they understand the value of participating in online networking events: (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. It’s easy and convenient
Recruiters are busy and often spend their entire day stuck on the phone screening prospective candidates. They struggle to find the time to leave the office for even just a few hours to network with prospective candidates.
Online networking events are a far more efficient way to connect with job candidates, without wasting precious time. There’s no booking travel, schlepping boxes of swag and getting mediocre sleep on hotel mattresses. What recruiter wouldn’t love the chance to connect with candidates without ever leaving their office?
2. It’s the best way to meet qualified candidates
For many recruiters, the traditional ways of connecting with high-quality candidates are no longer effective. Workers in in-demand fields often ignore LinkedIn direct messages (because they get so many!), and they certainly aren’t scanning job boards. In fact, in many cases, it’s the passive job-seekers that recruiters truly want — and online networking is an effective way to reach them.
Why? Because it’s different. It’s innovative. It’s also fun. When you create a low-pressure environment for candidates to learn about your company — rather than force them to take a day off and visit your office to get the details about a position — you’ll be amazed at how many smart people take advantage of the offer. With that in mind…
3. It’s easy to access candidates
Online networking puts qualified candidates right at a recruiter’s fingertips. Recruiters often find they have access to a wider range of candidates during an online fair than via normal recruiting platforms — including candidates who usually can’t sneak out of their current jobs to meet or attend an in-person info session.
When a recruiter and candidate hit it off, the candidate may be more willing to find an excuse to leave the office to start the formal job interview process. But it’s the online icebreaker that gets them in the door.
4. They’ll meet more candidates without spending all day on their feet
At online networking events, recruiters sometimes get stuck chatting with a candidate who just doesn’t fit their company’s culture or the role they’re looking to fill. At an in-person event, it can be challenging to escape those situations.
That’s why we offer a timed structure for our online networking events, so both recruiters and candidates are forced to get down to business quickly, which helps recruiter fill open positions more efficiently.
5. Online networking events can promote the recruiter’s brand
Alumni groups often choose to offer a sponsored career fair, which means the recruiter’s company’s visual branding can be front and center.
That means candidates can get a better taste of what the recruiter’s company is all about, maybe even engaging in deeper conversations than what usually occurs at career fairs. It’s also easier for recruiters to remember which candidates they liked, and more easily call them back for a more formal interview.
6. Candidates will be more at ease
Job fairs and recruiting events can be nerve-wracking at best for potential candidates (and social anxiety nightmares at worst). Online networking takes the pressure off attendees, who can then focus on what matters most: their qualifications and experiences.
Once the candidate is assured the recruiter likes what they see in both the candidate’s personality and background, they’ll be more at ease if a recruiter asks them to come in for an interview.
7. It shows off recruiters’ innovative side
Using the latest technology to reach potential employees through the Web is a good thing. It shows a recruiter knows the power of the old-fashioned meet-and-greet, but they’re willing to embrace new methods as well, which represents the company’s culture and attitude, too.
If this is important to the candidate, they will appreciate the willingness to experiment with advanced technology and new means of communication, indicating that just by using an online networking event, this would likely be a good cultural fit for everyone involved.
Could an online networking event be right for your university or alumni group? Find out here.
If you’ve hosted an online networking event, how did you convince recruiters to attend?
Ryan Healy is the Founder and President of Brazen, a Washington, D.C.-based real-time chat technology platform that enables organizations to engage their target audience. Ryan has been named one of the 20 Entrepreneurs to Watch, One of D.C.’s Top Entrepreneurs Under 40 and one of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting. In his free time he enjoys running, reading, binge-watching Netflix and pretending to be a weekend tourist in Washington D.C.