6 Online Event Ideas To Boost Recruiting Results

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Use these event ideas as inspiration to enhance your hiring and recruiting efforts. Forging new connections with potential employees through digital channels may be more challenging than in-person events. However, it is more than possible when you use proven event formats. 

Online event ideas for hiring are increasingly important due to the state of the job market. Reuters reported that US job openings were near a record high. There were 1.8 open jobs for every unemployed person in January. In this environment, employers need to think creatively about ways to attract talent.

6 Online Events Ideas for Recruiting

In this article you will find:

  1. Sponsor A Virtual Hackathon
  2. Virtual Coffee Chats
  3. Virtual Meet and Greet With CEO And Executives
  4. Sponsor A Virtual Business Competition
  5. Diversity and Inclusion Online Recruiting Events
  6. Virtual Office Tours To Attract New Employees

1. Sponsor A Virtual Hackathon Online Event

Technical professionals like software engineers and web developers are in high demand. These technical experts receive countless LinkedIn messages from recruiters and managers every month. Competing directly against other recruiters is not your only option – that’s where hackathons come in.

A hackathon is typically a one- or two-day event where participants create an app or software to solve a problem. The short time frame and camaraderie have made these events popular. To make the event more compelling, offer support from subject matter experts in your company to provide data and advice to participants.

You can either run your hackathon event or sponsor an existing event. For instance, you could join companies like IBM, Salesforce, Amazon, and KPMG, previously sponsored hackathon events

For more tips on planning a hackathon event, see Joshua Tauberer’s guide on how to run a successful hackathon.

2. Virtual Coffee Chats

Grabbing a coffee with an experienced professional is one of the best ways to create a connection. The downside to these informal interactions is that they can be challenging to scale up. Organizing a virtual coffee chat event, on the other hand, is an excellent way to bring together a small group of 5-10 people in the morning.

There are two popular ways to structure a virtual coffee chat: structured and unstructured. 

Structured Coffee Chat

A structured coffee chat requires more planning effort. You will invite specific employees to speak with potential hires and support the matchmaking process with this approach. This guided approach is an excellent idea if you have sufficient time to plan it. 

Unstructured Coffee Chat

An unstructured coffee chat format works well when you add this event to another online event. For example, you might have a virtual panel discussion of employees sharing their experiences about working at the company. Following the panel, you might invite attendees to arrange one-on-one coffee chats.

To make your virtual coffee chat more memorable, consider sending coffee gift cards to participants in advance. Sending a $10 gift card to each attendee is a cost-effective way to encourage people to remember to attend your event.

Boeing and Princeton University are using a virtual coffee chat event to help students discuss career opportunities at the aerospace firm. Note how Princeton presents the event as an informal way for students to learn more about Boeing. Virtual coffee chats are an excellent informal way to spark interest in your company.

3. Virtual Meet and Greet With CEO And Executives Online Event

Is your leadership team passionate about recruiting new employees? If the answer is yes, then shine a spotlight on your leaders by hosting a virtual meet and greet event. This event format is particularly compelling in larger organizations where junior employees are less likely to have opportunities to meet senior executives.

The Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio offered a virtual meet & greet event with Chris Gessner, President, and CEO of the hospital. The one-hour virtual event was offered three times: once at 12pm and twice at 6 pm. Offering virtual events at different times makes it easier to connect with more candidates. 

4. Sponsor A Virtual Business Competition

Are you looking to build relationships with students? Sponsoring a virtual business competition is one way to go. AT&T, Intuit, Marriott, and Walgreens partner with DECA, a Virginia organization that runs competitions for high school and college students. 

The DECA approach to running a virtual business challenge is helpful to review if you want to plan your virtual competition. DECA offers competitions focused on different themes such as finance, hotel management, restaurants, fashion, retail, sports, and personal finance. Giving participants a clearly defined problem to solve is a great way to spot high potential employees.

5. Diversity and Inclusion Online Recruiting Events

Diversity and inclusion in hiring is a significant priority for human resources leaders. Traditional recruiting events and methods have underperformed when attracting more diverse applicants. That’s why it is important to leverage virtual events aimed at crucial groups. 

Recent research from Handshake shows that virtual events can play an essential role in sharing opportunities: 

Our study finds that women, students of color, and neurodiverse students find virtual career events and interviews to be less anxiety-inducing, easier to balance, and more accessible when compared to meeting with prospective employers in person.

Chipotle, Verizon, and Kimberly-Clark executives recently came together in a virtual event to celebrate International Women’s Day. The virtual career development event allowed attendees to connect with highly successful female executives and learn how to advance their careers.

6. Virtual Office Tours To Attract New Employees

Many employees are curious to see your offices to understand your organization’s culture. A LinkedIn survey of 14,000 professionals found that office visits are the number one way job candidates prefer to learn about a company’s culture. Offering a virtual office visit is one way to make your organization more relatable to potential hires. 

There are a few ways you can plan a virtual office visit. The real-time approach offers authenticity and interaction, such as having an employee explore your office with a phone or tablet. To make your virtual office tour more engaging, take time to create a virtual event script

What To Do After You Choose Your Online Hiring Event 

Selecting an online hiring event format is the first step of the planning process. You also need to think through the technology, content, and interactive elements of the experience to engage applicants. To help you plan your online hiring event, use Arena’s free ebook to improve your live events.

Free ebook download: boost engagement in your virtual events.

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