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5 benefits of hosting a virtual career fair to recruit nurses

BY: Tammy Pennington on September 20, 2017

Learn how to get the most out of your online career fair event

Finding and hiring great nurses is one of the biggest challenges healthcare organizations face today. Hosting a virtual career fair or open house is one way to gain an edge in the recruitment and hiring process.

Online career events provide flexibility for recruiters and job seekers while saving time, money and resources for the employer. They are a great way to introduce your organization and attract potential candidates, including passive job seekers.

To have a successful virtual career fair, it’s important to find the right technology partner to plan and design the event. This allows your recruiters to focus on what they do best, because they don’t have to worry about handling the technology. When seeking a partner to organize a virtual event, make sure the platform is easy to use for both recruiters and job seekers.

Events typically last about six hours. Candidates must register for the event, which allows you to immediately capture their data. Once participants register, you may ask them to sign up for a specific time to speak with a recruiter one-on-one, or to join a group chat with a recruiter. While recruiters usually are visible on a video chat, the job candidates don’t need to be so it’s a casual, non-intimidating experience for them.

In a nutshell, here are five key benefits of virtual events.

Virutal career fair offers a low-key introduction

You can showcase company culture without holding an onsite interview. This is vital for reaching passive job seekers who aren’t actively searching for a new job but might want to browse openings or learn about an organization without dressing up for a formal interview.

You control the message

Unlike in-person job fairs, you don’t have any competitors in the room, and you have plenty of time to tell your story. You control the message potential job seekers see, when they see it and how they see it, all in real time.

Target the intended audience

Recruiters can control who they attract by creating a pre-event marketing campaign targeting candidates in a specific specialty, such as ER nurses.

Cover a lot of ground quickly – and save money

If you market your event properly, you can hold a large number of conversations with multiple nurses in a short time. This adds considerable value to your recruitment strategy and could result in thousands of dollars in savings you might spend by trying to reach and interview the same nurses individually.

Gather data about prospective applicants

Because participants must register, recruiters can learn information about them before speaking with candidates online. You also can contact promising registrants who were unable to attend the event to say you’d like to speak with them.

Planning a virtual career fair

Even if you have the best organization in the world, you could come up empty-handed after an online recruiting event unless you put some thought into planning it. Here are a few tips to get the leads you’re looking for.

Create a marketing campaign

 Start marketing your virtual event six weeks before it happens. Use a mix of tools, such as banner ads on popular nursing websites, emails and social media, because these are places where you’ll find people most likely to be interested in a virtual event. Be consistent in your campaign, using the same language and images throughout, so nurses become familiar with your brand.

Make it easy to attend

Because most recruiters are looking for experienced nurses who already have jobs, make your event as accessible as possible. Hold events across as many shifts as possible, from the morning, middle of day and evening, so nurses can join before or after work, or during a break.

Make your company shine

Give people a reason to have a conversation with a recruiter — perhaps offer a small gift card — and mention it in your marketing campaign.

Be sure to prominently display the best incentives your organization has to offer to entice job seekers, such as perks or sign-on bonuses. Don’t make candidates search for them.

Because one friendly connection can make a big difference in the success of your hiring process, use your best and brightest recruiters, people comfortable working on camera or with video chat.

While many big companies often use virtual events, many small and middle-sized companies may fear they don’t have the necessary technology or resources to hold them. But these events can be done cost-effectively by choosing the right technology partner, and can be a powerful tool in uncovering top nursing talent.

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Tammy Pennington

Tammy Pennington has been helping recruiters reach nurses through both live events and technology for nearly two decades. As product manager for advertising solutions at OnCourse Learning, Pennington focuses on launching new products to keep companies engaged and connected with job seekers. She formerly was national events director for Nurse.com. Follow her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/tammy-pennington-7622576/ or on Twitter @Tpennington123.