Webinars aren’t just great tools for learning more about today’s recruitment best practices. They can also play an important role in your company’s recruitment strategy—when they’re used correctly.
Take the example of the Oracle Applications Sales team, which needed to attract sales and finance professionals in competitive Nordic markets. Recognizing that activating candidates who weren’t necessarily looking for jobs would be crucial to successful recruiting, the team decided to host a candidate webinar with company leaders.
In an article on HR Open Source, the team described the outcome of their webinar initiative, stating that, “The webinar not only allowed us to expose our culture and jobs to a group of potential candidates at once, but it also provided candidates a safe environment (possibly anonymous for other users) to interact with another employer.”
After advertising their webinar to 30,000+ LinkedIn professionals, the team at Oracle wound up with 20 webinar participants—four of whom went on to be considered as final candidates.
Oracle’s success can be at least partially attributed to two trends. First, low unemployment rates make this a candidate’s market—not a recruiter’s market. As a result, more and more companies find themselves proactively seeking out potential candidates, rather than waiting for top talent to apply to open positions.
The second is increased interest around company culture. According to the 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study produced by JobVite, “46% of candidates believe culture is very important in the application process, with a grand total of 88% of job seekers citing it as at least of relative importance.” Communicating culture can be challenging, but webinars offer would-be candidates a low-risk opportunity to take a closer look at a company.
Ready to run your first recruitment webinar? Keep the following tips in mind:
Selecting the right topic can make or break your webinar’s success, as candidates simply won’t show up if your subject matter isn’t compelling. Oracle, for example, opted to focus their webinar on the insights of business leaders—not recruiters.
As Paul Hewlett, the company’s Sales VP EPM for Western Europe, notes, “Prospects are typically more likely to be interested in discussing opportunities with their future colleagues or managers than a recruiter. This is how they get first-hand insights into their future role, the ups and downs of the job, as well as a direct glimpse of the company’s culture.”
You don’t necessarily need to rope your leadership team into your recruitment webinars, but do invest time into identifying topics that are likely to be interesting to potential candidates—without coming across as sales pitches for your company.
Beyond a topic, you’ll need to invest time in preparing your webinar setup. If you haven’t conducted a webinar before, this includes:
A well-developed presentation with compelling visuals
A registration mechanism for interested attendees
A video conferencing tool with webinar functionality
The ability to record your session for future sharing
Take the time to think through the specifics of how you want your webinar to operate. Will you allow participants to ask questions? Would you like to be able to poll them during the webinar? If so, you’ll need to choose a communication platform that offers these types of engagement features.
Once your technical system is in place, practice with it. If possible, have a second person on-hand to run the webinar and its practice sessions so that your presenter(s) can focus on delivery. Running through your session in advance will help you identify potential technical issues, as well as minimize jitters when it’s time to run your event.
Even if recruiters aren’t directly involved in giving the webinar, they should be kept closely in the loop throughout the process. As soon as the webinar is complete, they’ll want to begin following up with registrants and attendees using a CRM tool.
This might include:
Reaching out to any attendees whose webinar engagement suggests that they may be strong candidates.
Connecting with those who registered for the event but didn’t attend in order to qualify them further.
Sharing the webinar with your company’s marketing team so that they can push it to the appropriate channels.
When planned and executed in a thoughtful manner, your webinars can become tools that not only surface new candidates, but that support your company’s long-term recruitment initiatives by promoting your company’s insight, thought leadership, and corporate culture.
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