Give Your Virtual Hiring Events an Edge With Broadcast Video

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Give Your Virtual Hiring Events an Edge With Broadcast Video

The pandemic and the need for social distancing has accelerated the adoption of all things virtual. Zoom now takes the place of stand-up meetings. FaceTime has replaced countless lunches, and you’re probably using online tools to keep your family “close” these days.

The entire world is collectively trying to figure out video etiquette. Online hiring events and job fairs are no different.

In this post, I’ll share some observations I’ve made from watching hundreds of recruiters host online hiring events.

Let’s get our jargon straight before we dive in. When I refer to “broadcast video” I’m talking about one recruiter speaking to many candidates simultaneously, not to be confused with one-on-one video which is typically used for private interviews.

If you’ll be hosting a virtual hiring event and potentially using video of any sort, you should prepare in advance.

A lack of preparation is always obvious! Take care of the basics before you make larger plans:

  • Dress accordingly. Your “comfy shirt” may be great during remote work, but it’s not the best presentation to your candidates.
  • Make sure your camera and microphone are working with your hiring event platform.  Take the time to test them in advance so that you’re not scrambling the day of your event.
  • Clean and organize the background that will be captured by your camera. Mess on the countertop?  Clutter on your shelves?  Clear it all out and, if you have signage or other large brand assets, place them strategically behind you to better represent your firm.
  • Ideally, you will use a headset and dedicated microphone, and not just for your benefit.  Many headsets have more precise audio capture than the built-in mics included in PCs and laptops. These can greatly reduce background noise that might sneak into your broadcast.  I like to use Airpods, but there are many (and more affordable) options available.

With that house cleaning out of the way, let’s discuss the ways in which you can use broadcast video during your job fair.

Three Ways To Use Broadcast Video in Your Hiring Events

1) Scheduled & Structured Presentations

This is the most sophisticated use of broadcast video during hiring events, but also the one that requires the most planning and preparation. No pressure here!

Perhaps you already have a nice, “canned” presentation that you’ve rehearsed many times in the past that introduces jobseekers to your brand?  Maybe you have a number of different roles you’re hiring for and you’d like representatives from these departments to speak about their specific missions, culture, etc?

Here are a few tips for structured presentations, should this be of interest:

  • Keep them short! Job seekers have other demands on their time and may be attending while on break from their current job. Remember, this is not a conference, it’s a hiring event, so five to ten-minute presentations are ideal.
  • Make them relevant to the job seeker.  What is it like working at your firm and in that department?  What is the culture?  Are there specific pros and cons that are worth discussing in advance of them applying?
  • Prominently and clearly post a schedule of your presentations. Make sure that job seekers know exactly when they will start, the approximate length, and what will be covered.
  • Do not schedule them to begin at the very start of the hiring event.  It’s common to have a rush when the virtual “doors” open, so leave time for people to get their bearings, find your schedule and prepare for the broadcast.

2) Ad Hoc

As-needed broadcast video can be a lifeline, and you don’t need to have a clear or structured presentation to utilize video this way.

Here’s the most common scenario: you’re a recruiter who is solely manning a virtual booth at a hiring event. Or maybe you have a second recruiter assisting you, but they’ve run out to get lunch. Your event started early so traffic was light at first, but an hour in and your booth visitors and one-on-one chat requests are piling up.

Don’t run yourself ragged while simultaneously leaving job seekers hanging for far too long in your queue.  Drop the chat requests momentarily and begin a video broadcast where you can address all of your visitors simultaneously!

Most hiring event platforms will provide a way for your booth visitors to send questions to you privately, so those other job seekers cannot see them (and potentially insert trolling messages into your event). As the broadcaster, you can now pick and choose between these questions and rapidly answer them for the benefit of ALL of your current visitors.

If one job seeker has a question, it’s likely that many of them have the same question.  Ad hoc broadcast video will often allow you to rapidly clear out a long chat request queue.

3) Passive & Always-On (WHAT?!)

This is a potentially surprising way to use broadcast video during your hiring events, but one that I would strongly encourage you to try. First, what do we mean by passive broadcast video?  Basically, it means turning your camera on so that all your booth visitors see you immediately upon entering and then you continue on with your other work until you’re needed.

Passive broadcasting doesn’t preclude you from having structured presentations and can be a great way to fill in the gaps between those presentations. The first time I saw broadcast video used in this way the benefits became immediately apparent:

  • It more closely mimics the real-world behaviors and expectations of people (recruiters and job seekers). I’ll make the point with two examples… How do you feel when you walk into a business and there is literally no one in sight?  How do job seekers feel when they attend a physical job fair and only find an unstaffed table with some printed pamphlets?  It’s not very confidence-inspiring, is it?
  • A passive broadcast will give you an edge over the booths that have no broadcast video at all. In short, it’s one more differentiator of your firm and hiring efforts.
  • Passive broadcasting allows you to proactively address a rush on your booth, whereas ad hoc broadcasting only reacts to a rush of visitors.
  • It requires no scheduling and no preparation whatsoever, it’s simply an easy-to-use tactic that recognizes the reality of a busy recruiter’s schedule.

I hope that I’ve provided some ideas for your next hiring event, and I hope to see you there!