Career fairs have been a go-to tool for HR managers for decades. Though they are a great way to expand recruiting beyond job postings, career fairs have many limitations. Today, HR departments are thinking outside the box in order to scout top talent. One of the most effective ways to do so is by holding recruitment open houses.
Particularly popular in the tech industry, open houses provide an open invitation to anyone interested in working for your company. It’s a soft approach that pulls talent in and gives them a glimpse of the world that is your company. Open houses offer many benefits for the company and would-be employees alike, including:
- Friendly one-on-one contact gives better insight into employer and employee personalities.
- Insight into company culture and whether the employee could be a fit.
- Tours provide the opportunity to get a feel for the working environment.
- Ability to plan ahead weeks in advance.
- Great networking to fill the hiring pipeline today and down the road.
- Star employees can present and serve as brand ambassadors.
- Opportunity to interview top talent onsite.
Expect the trend of open houses to expand in 2016 and beyond as this HR outreach effort gains popularity. Think open houses are just for large companies? Think again. SMBs will find these types of hiring efforts incredibly insightful while providing the opportunity to connect and build a stellar reputation with the local workforce.
If you are thinking of planning your first open house, follow these basic steps and you’ll be well on your way toward a successful hiring event.
Time: There are many different strategies for selecting the right time for your event. If you want to attract current professionals, an event in early evening might be better than something early in the morning. This prevents them from having to miss work. Two to four hours should suffice, depending on how many people you expect and how many you need to hire.
Atmosphere: Think of the open house as an onsite networking event. The atmosphere should be professional yet casual. You will want to allow plenty of time for informal conversations between prospects and company ambassadors, but also include structured periods for things like tours or presentations. Make sure to have a formal check-in process and ask everyone wear name tags. Finally, offering snacks and drinks is a nice touch.
Promotion: To ensure you get plenty of attendees, you need to proactively promote your event. Besides posting on your website’s careers page, make sure to promote the open house on all social media platforms. Reach out to your network of recruiters so they can promote the open house to their contacts. Job forums, career websites and industry groups are also worthwhile outreach targets. If you need to gauge numbers, set up an RSVP option for attendees.
Keep in mind, the first open house you plan will take some additional effort, but subsequent events will come together more quickly and efficiently.