Following our newsletter yesterday, which covered my Six Steps To Sourcing Great Candidates Via Events (link at the bottom of page), I wanted to share a blog based on Episode 80 of Talent & Growth with Michael Carter.

Michael gave his take on events and experience from utilising this effective means of generating new talent pools.

I hope you enjoy it and if anybody has any questions about events or anything else, drop me a note.

How Events can Attract Talent to your Business

Running events can be a great way to attract new talent and get fresh eyes on your business and product if done correctly. We asked Michael for his insights into the process ahead of our live event, which is happening at the Warner Brothers Discovery offices where Michael works.

Learn more about utilising events to attract talent to your business or recruitment pool.

How effective do you find events are when it comes to attracting new talent to your brand?

I think it’s very effective. For the talent acquisition team, it’s an enjoyable and engaging way for your teams to grow. I believe there are three main points where its effectiveness can be measured. One element of events is that you can bring in a diverse range of talent, not just from geography or a coaching perspective but from a neurodiversity perspective. You can get people working on different products and in various pockets of the world with other goals and bring them together. You can target separate areas and work across them.

 The second point of effectiveness is that you can test a lot of the stuff you’re doing within the events. So, for example, there are three ways in which you can source these events. One, you can run a recruitment event where the goal is to hire people at the end of it. Two, you can host a meet-up that gives you a sourcing map afterwards. Three, you attend events yourself, try to spread like oil in those, and network as much as possible. In the second one, if you’re doing an event specific to recruitment and hiring, you can A-B test many strategies, change things up, try different interview teams or panels, and test structures – it’s pretty cool. The third way is helpful if you’re trying to scale up a specific team quickly and need to reach more talent. Those are the three main effective ways to utilise events to find or attract talent.

How can teams use events to leverage engagement with potential new candidates?

There are a couple of ways. One is when the marketing of the event is purely down to recruitment. You lean on a comms, marketing, and branding team to create the assets and content you’re pushing out, as you do with any recruitment project. The actual marketing and the gathering of an audience are done by recruitment, though, because we have the LinkedIn licences, we have the reach, so that’s a principal reason you’re involved. We all do LinkedIn messaging, multi-messenger threads, and follow-up, which can build a different strategy.

If you have two sources in one region, one source has tapped out engineers in Budapest; for example, you can lean on the other’s LinkedIn to send messages to a similar group about an event for a change. It gives you a rejuvenated avenue of search and conversation so you can talk about this event. You want to market it as an engineering-focused event with a recruitment advantage; that is generally the whole point of these things. It just gives you a different discussion point, and more importantly, it gives you something to provide these engineers and the people you’re speaking with. You’re not just knocking on the door and going, ‘Hey, look, work for us again. You’re offering them value and saying, ‘Hey, this is what we do. What do you reckon if we have a chat after you’ve been to the event?’ Often, people already looking for work will shortcut it and ask you straight away, but they like having that asset and some reflection of what the job is like.

The other way to leverage engagement is with attendees for generic meetups. You can search their companies, which gives you a whole market map to see where they’ve come from and where they’ve gone without much interaction. It gives you a complete matrix of sourcing materials. We’ve found that from one person who comes to an event, four companies they will have worked for or interacted with becoming part of our broader, more comprehensive matrix, so you can tap into that as you go.

Follow-up is critical, so how do we make that work?

That depends on your tools. If you’re using Eventbrite, for example, you have a signup page which asks people to tell you their first name, last name, job title and current company, which you can set up to give you an excel sheet at the end. That gives all your people or companies’ emails, contact details, or whatever they want to add. That gives you a list for messaging and networking afterwards. One note I would say on this is when you do the signup, make sure the sheet reflects who attends because I have done it before where I’ve run an event, then you’ve messaged everyone and said, ‘Hey, thanks for coming and I got replies saying ‘I didn’t come, what are we talking about?’ Otherwise, the follow-up is pretty simple. From a recruitment perspective, that follow-up message is just about giving people access to knowledge about what’s happening and access to you. As long as it’s fast (within 48 hours), it’s relevant. Follow-options in terms of whoever spoke on this topic, you can find their LinkedIn here, or you can contact them on their email. You can give them full follow-sources and then erase at the end, ‘Hey, obviously, as you heard, we’re recruiting. Give me a shout if you can’.

What advice would you give to somebody who’ing to start using events for sourcing talent?

Just have fun with it. We all have ideas and stuff that we want to try. Doing it in one project with bookends on either side and a goal can sound quite restrictive. Still, there’s so much freedom and interconnection with the group you’re recruiting for that you need to dig deep to give an idea of the culture you’re bringing people into. It gives you access to employer branding, marketing, columns, relocation… It’s enjoyable, and I think as long as you have the support of the leadership, it can’t go wrong.

To hear more of Michael’s insights on how to create significant events and on running successful recruitment campaigns at them, listen to the full episode of The Talent & Growth Podcast here:

And here’s the link to yesterday’s newsletter: