• The Heart of Recruiting: Your Best Hire May Be at an Industry Event

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    December 11, 2013

    by Sue Keever Watts

    Sue Keever Watts

    I recently served as interim global events manager for a large corporation and attended conferences all over the world. It was a fascinating experience and what struck me was how many qualified students were in attendance. Many of them had been sent by a company they had interned with or had received a scholarship from a student organization so that they could attend. And, the overwhelming majority were highly qualified, diverse students with undergraduate degrees, master’s, or Ph.Ds. They were all interested in finding a job.

    Organizations spend millions of dollars each year at industry conferences. If yours is already planning to set up a booth, I strongly suggest that you consider sending a few university relations team members to staff it. Here’s why:

    Why industry events?

    • ROI—Opportunity to leverage your organization’s current participation in industry events, resulting in enhanced ROI.
    • Marketing—Opportunity to announce to a global audience of highly targeted, industry professionals that your organization is a viable, successful company that is hiring.
    • Expanded presence at the booth—Opportunity to field career inquiries that would otherwise tie up technical and sales staff.
    • Name generation—Opportunity to capture names of highly qualified graduates (for use post-event) via badge-scanning technology.
    • Career discussions—Opportunity to market to and network with potential candidates before, during, and after the event.

    Ways to participate:

    • Staffing the stand—Recruiters (and possibly hiring managers) staff the exhibit stand throughout the conference to field questions.
    • Collecting names—Recruiters collect names from participant lists and/or badge scanners (or similar technology) to build a list of potential candidates for follow up post-event.
    • Marketing openings—Use event marketing opportunities prior to and during the event to drive candidates to the stand for career discussions or to your organization’s career website for further information.
    • Preselecting candidates—Market to attendees prior to the event and set up interviews during the conference.

    Getting started:

    • Reach out to your business to discuss participation:
      • Staffing the exhibit stand
      • Marketing
      • Sponsorship
      • Graphics, handouts, and giveaways
    • Reach out to conference representatives to identify opportunities and restrictions:
      • Badge scanners
      • Recruiting restrictions
      • Marketing and sponsorship opportunities
    • Establish goals and budget
    • Determine marketing strategy (before, during, and after event)
    • Select team (recruiters and hiring managers)

    Why should your organization consider you consider sending university relations team members to staff your booth at an industry conference? The heart of recruiting lies in creating a strategy that balances tried and true recruiting methods with less-traditional techniques.

    Sue Keever Watts is founder and president of the Keever Group.


The Heart of Recruiting: Your Best Hire May Be at an Industry Event