Withe’s guide to hosting successful in-person hiring events

by The Withe Team
April 23, 20247 min read
A smiling candidate sitting across a recruiter holding a resume

Fact: most recruiting efforts and hiring events went virtual over the pandemic, and a lot of companies have since kept and refined this approach.

Another fact: for some industries — particularly the hospitality and retail sectors — in-person hiring events make more sense. This is partly because hosting interviews in person makes it easier for recruiters to guarantee that the candidate is in fact able to work at a specific location, as well as assess how they interact with other people.

That said, in-person hiring events can take a lot of work to put together, and even more to make them truly effective hiring strategies. With that in mind, we’re sharing five strategies for making the best of your in-person hiring events.

How does an in-person hiring event work?

The structure of an in-person hiring event is fairly simple.

  1. Recruiters plan the event and promote it on various channels.
  2. Candidates register for the event and submit their details and a resume if needed.
  3. Candidates attend the event and interview with a recruiter.
  4. Recruiters determine whether or not the candidate moves on to the next stage.

In some cases, like a high-volume hiring event, candidates may be offered a second round interview or even the role on the spot if they are deemed qualified.

Benefits of in-person hiring events

The teams that are running in-person hiring events are either doing all of their recruiting in person, or leveraging this approach as part of a hybrid recruiting strategy. In both cases, there are a number of benefits to in-person events:

  • They offer a chance to meet candidates face-to-face and foster interpersonal relationships
  • They provide confirmation that the applicant is available locally and has commuted to the location for an in-person role
  • They allow candidates to get a better sense of the workplace and its culture
  • They give recruiters a better sense of non-verbal cues and body language that might impact a candidate’s performance in a given role

For these events to be most effective, it’s important to think through how they are planned and executed.

Withe's hiring event platform helps recruiters set up integrated, seamless, and effective hiring events in just a few clicks.

5 best practices for running successful in-person hiring events

While in-person hiring events can vary in format depending on the industry or geographical region, here are five best practices that are universal.

1. Be proactive

No matter how many in-person hiring events your team has run in the past, they will still need to take the time to plan every detail in advance. Candidates will notice if something has been thrown together at the last minute — and that could make or break their decision to work with you. In the weeks leading up to the event, you’ll need to make decisions on a variety of elements including:

  • Location (e.g. where in the office or retail store the hiring event will take place, or if there’s a need for a third-party location)
  • Timing
  • The registration process
  • The number of interviewers working the event
  • The maximum number of applicants attending the event

Each time you plan a new in-person hiring event is also an opportunity to implement any learning you have from past experiences. Did you have trouble getting people to attend a past event during work hours? Do you have specific feedback from past candidates that you can address this time around? Is there any way to make the event more accessible to people with different disabilities?

On that note…

2. Make the event accessible to as many people as possible

In the US, 13.5% of the population has some form of disability. As such, if you don’t make your in-person hiring events accessible and inclusive, you’ll be missing out on interviewing a significant portion of qualified candidates. What does this look like in practice?

  • Pick the location for your hiring event with access in mind. Make sure the space is easy to navigate and that there are accessible amenities.
  • Allow candidates to request accommodations when they apply or register. This could include a request for an ASL interpreter, more time allocated during the interview, and others. You should also be prepared to fulfill those requests as needed.
  • Make sure your registration process is designed with accessibility in mind. For example, the registration site should be easily readable and navigable with screen readers.

3. Make a good first impression

Remember, candidates are evaluating you just as much as you are evaluating them. An in-person hiring event is a great opportunity to showcase what it could be like to work at your company. Show off the cool office with intentional branded design choices, have a small swag gift available, consider having snacks available for people as they wait for their interview. Small, intentional touches like these can help solidify your employer brand in your candidate’s mind.

Your interviewers will also have to play a role here. One of the great benefits of in-person events is that they allow for candidates to create interpersonal connections. Recruiters should make every effort to form relationships with the top talent they meet, so that they’re more likely to accept an offer down the line.

4. Leverage the right technology

Just because you’re hosting an in-person hiring event doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support your team with the right technology. Consider leveraging a hiring event platform that manages candidate registration, automatically schedules interview slots, AND lets you write notes on each candidate — all while seamlessly integrating with your ATS. (More on what that looks like below.)

5. Ask candidates for feedback

Even recruitment teams that are well-oiled machines can find ways to do things better. Give your candidates a chance to provide feedback on the event either with a physical survey card at the event or via email later in the day. You should also be regrouping with your team regularly to touch base on what’s working and what isn’t, and use that information as you plan your next event.

How Withe makes in-person hiring events simple and effective

Withe’s hiring event platform connects the dots for recruiters hosting in-person events. Recruiters can use Withe to:

  • Seamlessly create hiring events and job postings in just a few clicks
  • Automatically manage candidate registration and scheduling — candidates can self serve rather than going back and forth with recruiters
  • Track candidate sources
  • Automatically sync all candidate interview data with the ATS — no more paper resumes and manual entry!

Withe eliminates a significant portion of the administrative burden from recruiters as they plan in-person hiring events. Plus, the platform provides much more clarity around where candidates are coming from, allowing teams to make informed decisions as they map out their sourcing strategy.

Effective in-person hiring events don’t have to be challenging

In-person hiring events can take a lot of work to get right — but they don’t have to be a burden on your team. With thoughtful planning, a focus on the candidate experience, and the right technology in place, recruiters can be better positioned to execute a successful event.

Withe’s hiring event platform helps recruiters set up integrated, seamless, and effective hiring events in just a few clicks. Try Withe today.

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Author Bio

Picture of The Withe Team

The Withe Team

Meet the team behind the revolutionary on-demand video interview software that connects great companies with top talent. Their user-friendly solution streamlines the hiring process and helps people find the right opportunities. With a customer-centric approach, this team of experts is dedicated to helping you find the perfect match.

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