More Digital Recruiting Companies Offer In-Person Services

Job Fair

Digital recruiting technology providers are going to ground. Literally.

Recently, Indeed introduced a service to organize and promote hiring events so that employers can “focus on hiring and not on event management.” Beamery’s added a similar feature. So has LinkedIn. So has Talroo.

These aren’t job fairs carrying the provider’s name. Instead, they’re solutions designed to help employers plan, publicize, produce and follow up on events where candidates show up, in person, to pass out their resumes and have an initial conversation with talent acquisition staff and hiring managers.

Digital recruiting firms are introducing services to organize and promote in-person events so that employers can “focus on hiring," not event management. #HR #HRTech #HRTribe Click To Tweet

Each company’s offering has a slightly different flavor. Indeed Hiring Events promotes a customer’s job fairs online, texts and emails reminders to candidates, and helps hiring teams prepare for events based on estimated turnout. On-site, the service tracks and qualifies candidates as soon as they sign in, then provides customers with information to follow up later with promising job seekers.

Beamery’s Events module offers end-to-end workflows for events ranging from campus career fairs to meetups to hackathons. The platform offers customizable event templates, generates lists of potential guests by searching available candidate data, and automates and personalizes communication both before and after game day. 

Similarly, Talroo Events leverages automation in the name of increased efficiency for both advertising and candidate messaging. And LinkedIn Events, which isn’t intended to serve recruiters alone, offers features similar to the other services, including notifications, search filters and, of course, access to LinkedIn’s 650 million users. It’s also free.

“I think there is a massive whitespace for events today,” Ajay Datta, head of product for LinkedIn India, told TechCrunch. “People don’t have a single place to organize [work-related] offline meetups specific to an industry or a neighborhood. People want to find other people.” Although LinkedIn Events was developed in India, TechCrunch reports it’s initially being rolled out in English-speaking markets.

Digital Recruiting’s Offline Play

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So many digital brands moving to support in-person events seems like more than a quirk. Both vendors and recruiting experts say that it’s all about demand. For now, at least, a respectable number of candidates and employers still want to look each other in the eye.

Often, that’s because of an ironic wrinkle in the market. “Since the advent of online recruiting, offline recruiting has fallen in popularity,” said Jeff Dickey-Chasins, principal of JobBoardDoctor LLC, a consultant to job board providers.“ But conversely, “those who utilize offline methods tend to meet with decent success, possibly because there’s less competition.” If a job board can demonstrate to employers that its tools can get candidates to show up offline, and convince them to pay for them, “they should do it,” he said.

Succeeding with such services “is a question of resources and employer demand,” said Dickey-Chasins. “Some sites, such as ClearedJobs.net, have been successful in running offline events that include multiple employers.” However, he added, “running offline events for single employers can be a bit trickier.”

For one thing, vendors and their customers need access to a sufficient number of users if they’re going to cost-effectively attract enough candidates to make an event worthwhile. “Putting together in-person events is very different from running a job board,” Dickey-Chasins observed. “A very large company like Indeed can probably pull it off by hiring specialized staff to manage these services. It would be harder for a smaller site.”

Everything Old is New Again

If the idea of staging events seems retro, it is, said Chad Sowash, principal of Catch 22 Consulting and co-host of Chad & Cheese – HR’s Most Dangerous Podcast. Despite the advantages technology offers, vendors are simply responding to customers who can’t, or won’t, give up on old-fashioned approaches. “It goes back to what we’ve always heard and always hate,” he said. “‘This is how we do business. This is how we’ve always done it.’”

For vendors, supporting events is “logical because the market hasn’t evolved,” Sowash believes.  “The problem that we’re reacting to is that talent acquisition doesn’t treat recruiting like a business. They treat it like a job.” As a function, he said, talent acquisition is still reactive when it should be proactive. “Technology has advanced. Sales has advanced. Marketing has advanced. HR and recruiting, they have not advanced.”

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