Premier Virtual is, and with its future-focused technology, its team plans to lead the charge.
Talking in-person or virtual. Which one do you want to do? There’s no need to choose one when you can do both.
Why? Because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Future-focused technology company Premier Virtual supports the push for hybrid events, meaning, in-person events should also incorporate a virtual platform for the best of both worlds.
Premier Virtual recently executed a case study to see how many people would show up for an in-person versus virtual hiring event at South Florida Tech Hub.
There were less than 100 in-person attendees, but there were more than 500 virtual attendees. By offering both options, they were able to expand their candidate pool and employers were able to meet candidates in person and on the virtual platform.
The benefits don’t end there. Choosing a hybrid route when it comes to the hiring process prevents ATS systems from weeding out qualified candidates.
A recent Harvard Business report revealed that ATS, which is an applicant tracking system, is responsible for blocking or disqualifying many qualified applicants. How?
By ranking relevant keywords, skills, degrees, credentials, responsibilities, and other qualities that indicate to a hiring manager or recruiter that the applicant is qualified for the position. This becomes an issue because some applicants can get lost in the ample applications that are coming through the system.
A hybrid option resolves these issues by allowing hiring managers to take matters into their own hands. They can meet candidates in what Premier Virtual calls a “virtual hiring room.”
With the company’s technology, recruiters are able to schedule an ‘open-house on set days and times where candidates can meet and chat with recruiters. If there is a fit, the recruiter can enter into a pre-screening interview, and then decide if the candidate should be scheduled for a more formal interview.
Given the circumstances of the past two years, we can no longer solely rely on in-person hiring career fairs and events. Virtual hiring is the future, and companies should start preparing for it.
Choose Premier Virtual for Online Hiring Events
Premier Virtual fosters innovation and strives to provide solutions to complex virtual problems. Through building relationships based on integrity, trust, honesty, transparency, and teamwork, the tech-forward company always gets the job done. If your company would like to host a virtual hiring event, contact Premier Virtual today.
Yes, the workforce is slowly recovering from the 10.0 magnitude earthquake that it suffered in March of 2020. To put things into perspective Florida’s unemployment rate had dropped to 2.8 percent in January and February 2020, which, together with November 2019, became the lowest recorded unemployment rate since the series began in 1976.
With the onset of the Coronavirus outbreak, the unemployment rate spiked to 13.8 percent in April 2020, handily surpassing the prior peak rate of 11.3 percent experienced in January 2010 during the Great Recession. The change was breathtaking. Over the space of two months, the unemployment rate shifted from a near 50‐year low to a near 50‐year high.
Today, the new unemployment report (March 16th, 2021) states that Florida has dropped back down to a 4.8%. The Sun-Sentinel reports that there were still 482,000 Floridians who remained jobless out of a workforce of slightly under 10.1 million, the state Department of Economic Opportunity said Monday.
Economic development promoters made a point of noting that the state rate is now below the U.S. jobless figure of 6.3% for January. While those are all great numbers to report, it might worry hiring managers and companies that have open positions and are struggling to find qualified candidates.
That’s why the companies that quickly implemented a virtual hiring event strategy were able to meet their staffing needs. Virtual events increase the job candidate pool, make your company more competitive and relevant, and allow you to build relationships that can strengthen your potential candidate ‘bench’.
The Hiring Lessons we Learned from COVID
Virtual is the ‘New-Normal’
There are a lot of lessons and some that we are still learning. A few of them stand out over the rest. First and foremost, COVID accelerated the pace at which companies turned to virtual or remote hiring by 3 to 5 years. The lesson is, we need to be as prepared as possible and have back-up or contingency plans in place because this was not the first disruption and it won’t be the last.
Let’s face it, without a Pandemic, the vast majority of us would have been complacent with the status quo, hosting and traveling to in-person job fairs. COVID disrupted that severely and new options had to be embraced because doing nothing was not an option.
Besides the threat of ‘social distancing disrupting the workforce, the truth is everything continues to migrate more and more online. Just as retail will never be the same, and foot traffic to retailers will continue to decline, hiring will never be the same. Virtual hiring events have been embraced by everyone who has participated in an event, and for those who haven’t, it’s just a matter of time.
If the U.S. business owner has proven to be anything, it’s resilient, and resilience often requires the ability to quickly pivot. The schools, companies, and organizations that pivoted quickly and adopted virtual hiring events early in the Pandemic have proven how much more efficient, effective, and ultimately successful it has proven to be.
The Only Constant is Change
The second lesson is one you’ve heard before; the only constant is change. We learned that just about everyone prefers to apply online, rather than wait in-line. Virtual hiring is the evolution of hiring, the next step, and clearly the better option. It made it much easier for organizations to hire more efficiently and effectively, and for job-seekers to attend and get hired! Although many were reluctant at first, one step into the virtual lobby, and everything changed!
These events mirror in-person events, and attendees can quickly see exactly what is being offered, and how to find what they are looking for. Being able to chat or even video-interview on the spot for a job that they are interested in is a total game-changer. Ask any job-seeker that attended a virtual job fair, and the large majority will tell you that it was highly productive.
The same holds for the hiring companies that can get a much better feel for a candidate than they can from reading a resume on Indeed. The additional real-time engagement allows candidates and recruiters to ask more questions and rate candidates based on their responses.
The post-event reporting allows recruiters to gather much more information from a virtual event than they ever could during in-person events. This allows for better follow-up and a higher likelihood to make an offer to the right candidate, rather than the only candidate.
We’ve seen the difference in our own hiring efforts. An ad on Indeed will get you resumes, but that’s just the very beginning of the process if you’re lucky enough to receive one from a qualified candidate. In our last job posting, we received zero resumes, and it was an entry-level position.
On the contrary, a recent statewide job fair that the Premier Virtual platform powered in Virginia had 350 hiring companies, and over 15,000 registered job-seekers. The event was hosted by the workforce board of Virginia, Virginia CareerWorks. It shattered every previous record for a career fair and also taught us another valuable lesson.
This statewide career fair would have been impossible if not for the virtual platform. Could you imagine choosing a location in Virginia, where 350 companies would travel to set up and 15,000 job seekers would travel to attend? The logistics and expenses and time to plan would be so massive, it would most likely be impossible to pull off in a timely manner, not to mention the unmanageable lines that 15,000 job seekers would have to stand on.
So, back to our current 4.8% unemployment rate, it’s great if your company is fully staffed, but what company really is? Improving our company means having the best people possible, which requires different strategies in and of itself, like developing a bench.
But if you think you can rely simply on a job board like Recruiter or Indeed, then you’re not putting yourself in the best position to succeed. Job candidates now want to know as much about you, as you do about them, and they don’t want to schedule an interview and travel to your office to do so. They would much rather get that all done online, during your virtual career fair, from the comfort of their home (or car or coffee shop).
It saves everyone time and wasted energy if the job or job-seeker was not a good fit in the first place. It also gives your company more accessible to the working job-seeker, than a company that does not offer virtual job fairs. Now that both the job seeker and hiring manager have fully embraced these virtual events, there is no going back, and why should you. Virtual or remote hiring is simply a better way to hire.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with one thought. If you do plan on turning to in-person events, make sure to offer a ‘hybrid’ option. This allows any candidate or employer that cannot or chooses not to make it in person, an opportunity to still participate without the need for more space or travel expenses.
This is the evolution of hiring, and once you integrate it into your hiring strategy, you’ll never go back to in-person only job fairs and hiring events. If your company, school, or organization is looking for a virtual hiring event platform option, please contact us for a free demo and see how Premier Virtual is setting the standard in our industry.
We are proud to have been selected by Select Software Reviews as on of the top Virtual Career Fair Platforms on the market!
This award comes after less than 1-year since we powered our first virtual hiring event. We have now powered over 1,200 events, making it possible to connect nearly 15,000 employers with 150,000 registered jog-seekers.
Here we are, basically a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Several vaccines have been rolled out, and the monumental effort of getting America vaccinated is underway.
As I write this in Spring of 2021, we have begun to see slight declines in the infection rate, and hospitalizations are coming down. Best of all the death rate is also coming down, although we recently surpassed the morbid milestone of 500,000 deaths in America. However, there are reports of 20 states experiencing increases and the talks of a possible fourth spike in cases.
One thing is certain, Covid-19 was a virtual technology accelerant. From one day to the next the American workforce was forced to work from home, and turning to virtual is what made it possible. Without a pandemic like COVID-19, corporate America would likely have continued to do business the same old way, and just inch along the technology curve.
Now, we have giant corporations such as Google and Twitter telling their workforce, they never have to return to the office. I’ve seen many of my colleagues do the same, and now the ‘new normal is that when it comes to office work, most of us are just as capable to be as productive or even more so, working from home or remotely.
The same has happened in the career fair space. What was once an in-person-only event, has migrated to virtual events and the results have been more than impressive.
A recent statewide virtual job fair in Virginia had 350 employers who were able to fill critical open positions from over 15,000 registered job-seekers! Not only is this an amazing accomplishment, but it’s something that could have never happened in person. Think about it, in a state like Virginia would it be possible to choose one central location, and have 350 companies set up booths to meet and greet over 15,000 job seekers. Not to mention the weather was cold with terrible travel conditions!
So now what? If we return to a new-normal post-COVID-19, are we going back to an in-person career fair and abandoning the virtual career fair model?
The answer is yes and no! We believe a hybrid model that offers both is the best strategy moving forward. Just ask anyone that has hosted or participated in a virtual career fair, as an employer or a candidate. They will tell you that the virtual event was amazing, easy to navigate, and most of all, extremely efficient and effective. Here is some of the feedback we are hearing from job-seekers:
• “This was a great experience! I was able to search for openings, have my resume viewed, and communicate just with the employers I was interested in, all without leaving my desk. The idea of a virtual career fair takes the pressure off of the job seeker and employer.”
• “The career fair was super easy to navigate. I quickly saw a few employers and job opportunities that I liked and was able to apply for. The recruiter was right in the room with me and after chatting a bit, we did a quick video interview, before I knew it, I had an offer to intern.”
• “Our generation has been chatting, texting, anything of that nature for our entire lives. Being part of a virtual job fair is a natural extension of the way we are used to communicating and doing things. I liked it, and I had a few recruiters contact me right away, and one made me a job offer!”
We know that hiring managers, workforce development boards, chambers of commerce, the military, tech organizations, and large corporations all over America have also had success well beyond their expectations, and they all agree that remote hiring will remain a vital part of their recruitment strategy going forward.
So, the numbers prove remote allows for unlimited participants on both the company side and job-seeker side, resulting in more quality hires. We also know that many people still want to offer the physical ‘meet-and-greet’ if and when it becomes viable.
With a virtual hiring platform like Premier Virtual, you don’t have to choose between the two. We make it easy to add a virtual option to your in-person event so that you can offer both options, and your organization can benefit from offering a hybrid event.
We are certain that the organizations that do, will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. These organizations will be the beneficiaries of attracting top talent, by offering a hybrid option that will not limit their events to the local population, or to those who can physically attend the day of the in-person event.
To learn how you can create hybrid events, please visit www.PremierVirtual.com
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 accelerated the growth of virtual events by as much as 3 years. This is a rare phenomenon that happens when something outside of our control has such a drastic impact on events, the choice is to change (and change quickly) or go obsolete.
While we were growing steadily in 2020, after the lockdown in March our business increased 10-fold! Many schools, organizations, and corporations were forced to look for a virtual option for hiring events in order to meet their staffing demands and remain competitive in the marketplace.
A funny thing happened through all the chaos and uncertainty, something not many people would have predicted…we started to like it. First of all, even the most die-hard fans of in-person events and networking found virtual events to be quite enjoyable. The learning curve was not the ordeal many thought it would be, and the engagement and outcomes were for the most part, favorable.
As the year went on, virtual events went from being a necessary evil to a welcoming option and effective tool to get business and hiring done. In fact, it started to prove that in many ways it was better than in-person events.
Advantage number one is obviously productivity. No one has to leave their desk or home office, which means no travel time or travel-related expenses. These benefits also make virtual extremely efficient, as platforms offer many features that allow recruiters and job-seekers alike to find the exact information they’re looking for and act on it. All of this while keeping everyone safe from Covid-19.
Beyond the benefits of productivity and efficiency, virtual events have the ability to scale to any size and do not have the limitations that physical in-person events have. Participants can attend from anywhere in the world, and no one gets turned away due to over-crowded lobbies or sold out events.
As we near the end of the year, many companies have embraced virtual events and remote working to the point where it will remain the primary option going into 2021. In fact, many are planning accordingly to support and improve their virtual strategy, exploring how to create ‘hybrid’ events that offer both in-person and virtual in order to get the most out of each event.
Below are 6 steps from Yesler, which serve as a handy checklist as you plan for 2021.
1. Strategy: Analyze your market, current plans, and KPIs from past events. After that’s complete, look at the most beneficial activities and begin to think of how you might replicate them virtually. This could take time with your team to brainstorm or do some research to see how others are doing this. Keep your focus on the kinds of activities that have provided the most benefit and that align with your overall goals and integrated marketing approach. Resist activities that would be just for fun or that you can’t measure.
2. Infrastructure: Assess your ‘martech’ infrastructure and digital event management tools. The right martech infrastructure will help you run a successful virtual event from beginning to end and beyond to nurture, so you can get long-term value from your content. This means assessing not only your marketing automation and online meeting and classroom software, but the tools you will use to analyze the event when it’s over. And of course, it also means making sure you have the right-skilled staff to run it.
3. Operations: Consult with your marketing operations and automation teams early so they’re prepared to execute each event, deliver promotions seamlessly, and capture engagement data.
4. Promotion: Develop a targeted promotional plan for every virtual event, just as you would for any other event.
5. Digital experience: Create thoughtfully designed content and digital experiences to fully engage audiences. You can also use these assets to nurture prospects as part of an ongoing campaign.
6. Analytics: Make sure you have the right tools to manage the data you’ve captured and track leads after the event. As mentioned above, analytics tools need to be in place beforehand and set to measure your KPIs. They are a critical part of your overall strategy and pre-event setup. Use this data to measure your success and inform your strategy for future events.
Virtual events are not a fad or something that will go away when ‘things get back to normal’. Virtual is the modern way of hosting events, increasing productivity, and efficiency that will give your company a competitive advantage when executed properly. The companies that are future-focused and embrace this innovation will be far ahead of the curve in 2021 and best positioned to succeed in what has become the new normal.
Marketing Department – Premier Virtual, December 2020