Are virtual recruitment events the future of tech recruitment?

14 September 2021

Tech recruitment is changing rapidly. Now, people need tech talent more than ever before, and for many scaling businesses, there are more roles than there are people to fill them. This presents a problem for HR and TA teams as there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to dedicate to these roles. As a result, they’re stretched to their limits.

Tech businesses are growing rapidly, and many have to hire more than ever before to keep up with a surge in demand.  

So, when you have hiring managers that need to hire dozens, if not hundreds of people who have no capacity for interviewing, how do you solve that problem?

Some companies, like Moderna, have opted for a virtual recruitment event. Adopting these digital technologies increases the capacity of candidates hiring managers can interview hugely, helping solve talent acquisition problems in a competitive market. 

The event allowed Moderna to run 80 interviews in one day and also assess their skills before the interview with a small test. Rather than scheduling 80 individual interviews over Zoom, which would have been time-consuming, the event allowed them to speak to many candidates in bulk. It also allowed Moderna to teach candidates more about their employer brand, their values and their mission. Speakers were able to present more about the company so that candidates could judge whether they’d be an excellent fit for the business.

It seems like a win-win situation. But is it? We’re assessing the advantages and disadvantages of virtual recruitment events to determine whether they are the future of hiring.

The Advantages of Virtual Recruitment Events

Seamless Candidate Experience

You often need multiple interviews and even skills-based assessments for complex tech roles to determine whether candidates are up to the challenge. This can often need to long, drawn-out candidate experiences and can cause frustrations amongst the workforce. In such a competitive market, a frustrating candidate experience will cause many to drop out of the application process and apply elsewhere. This is where virtual events can have the upper hand. Candidates get a seamless experience, learn about the business they hope to work for, and interview and complete the necessary assessments in one sitting. Also, as hiring managers can review all candidates in one go, they can respond a lot more quickly to both successful and unsuccessful candidates.

Relieves HR Capacity

Of course, the main advantage of running a virtual recruitment event is that it relieves your HR capacity. Imagine having to schedule and conduct 80 individual interviews. It would be a logistical nightmare, especially if you’re trying to scale other areas of the business too. If you need to hire hundreds of roles quickly, your recruiters are bound to be stretched to their limits, which is why this tactic can save the day. It will allow you to interview and assess hundreds of candidates in one sitting easily, so time traditionally spent scheduling and interviewing is replaced by reviewing. This means you can hire at scale incredibly quickly, and you aren’t leaving candidates waiting while you complete another 75 interviews.

Involve more people in the decision-making process

With recorded interviews, you can involve more than just a few people in the decision-making process. While normally a select panel would have the final decision, you can involve more people within the business and therefore will benefit from more viewpoints and opinions. This will only enhance the diversity of hires and ensure that your leadership teams agree with any hiring decisions, making sure you have the right people on your side to scale your business.

Candidates can learn about your business

Virtual events can be used to communicate your employer brand to every candidate your way, rather than sitting back and letting them do their own research. This means you can share the messaging you wish and give them a great idea of what it’s like to work at your business. This allows them to self-select and determine whether they are a good fit for you just as quickly as you can decide if they’re a good match for the role. This means you’ll be able to recruit people who are more in line with your values and mission, which will lead to a better quality of hire and higher retention rates. In addition, with a better understanding of your employer brand, candidates will be more prepared for working for you and have a greater idea of what to expect, thus reducing the risk of initial turnover caused by surprises in company culture.

The Disadvantages of Recruitment Events

You can’t truly get to know candidates

With time limits or set interview questions, you’re really restricted in what you can learn about a candidate, which could prevent you from diversifying your organisation and finding those “non-typical” candidates. Engaging in conversation with candidates and understanding their background and experiences personally is key in gaining alternative viewpoints in your organisation. As we’ve discussed many times before, getting to know candidates and their individual situations can open your eyes to those who have reskilled, haven’t got a traditional educational background or wouldn’t meet your original criteria. It allows you to assess more on attitude and potential rather than facts. 

Candidates can’t get to know your workplace personally

One of the perks of an in-person interview that we’ve missed with the rise of Zoom interviews is that candidates can get a real feel for your business and employer brand. In coming into the office, they can see people at work, which helps them to picture themselves working for you and helps candidates see their team and identify people who are similar to them. This can help diversity but also just put them at ease. They’ll have that gut feeling about whether they’re a good fit or not. 

They need to be promoted to the right people

You can’t just arrange a recruitment event and expect people to turn up. You have to have a strategy that ensures candidates know about the event and turn up to interview. This may mean a lot of screening of CVs to invite qualified candidates or another paid media style strategy that can ensure you’re only attracting the relevant, skilled candidates. All of this, of course, takes time, effort and money but the alternative is attracting a lot of unsuitable candidates to your recruitment event. 

It requires some investment

Recruitment events aren’t cheap. For a startup trying to scale, even if you need to hire at capacity, you will need to seriously consider whether it’s worth the investment. From the initial software to all of the time and dedication that goes into organising and promoting the events, there’s more effort in it than meets the eye. There could be more cost-effective solutions like outsourcing to a flexible RPO provider who can relieve the pressure from HR teams. It really depends on the volume in which you intend to hire and the budget you have to do so. 

So, are virtual hiring events the future of tech recruitment?

Virtual hiring events have some huge advantages but some equally significant disadvantages. They certainly have a place within the future of tech recruiting. That’s undeniable. However, it depends entirely on the demand, speed and the number of roles you need to hire. It’s important to remember that other alternatives to relieve HR pressures may be more cost-effective, such as outsourcing your tech recruitment to a flexible RPO provider who can take on the burden for you. Virtual hiring should never replace engaging and having a conversation with candidates personally, as this is how you ensure more diverse and better-quality candidates who fit your organisation perfectly. However, this provides an alternative for those situations where you need to hire 100 people incredibly quickly and should not be discounted. 

Contact us, to talk to us about our flexible RPO solution and how it can help relieve the pressure from your HR teams and help you attract tech talent in a competitive market.

Talent Works agile approach to RPO is ideally suited to tech businesses trying to scale. With experience in employer branding, direct sourcing and digital talent attraction, our recruitment partners can combine our services for a strategic approach to hiring. In addition, the flexible nature of our RPO solution means it can be scaled up and down to suit demand, making it risk-free and cost-effective. 

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