Any company can attend a networking event, but only the best employers will successfully recruit and hire.
There’s much advice circulating on how talent can stand out in today’s especially competitive job market. On the flipside however, employers also need to stand out in today’s ongoing war for talent. How can you attract the right talent at a real-life event like Hustle Summit? How do you get potential candidates excited to meet you? With the shifting conversation on the draws of an independent vs. corporate career, hot startups cropping up left and right, and a growing demand amongst professionals for challenging yet meaningful work, employers must be strategic with their employer branding. Here are some ways to stand out from the employer crowd at any event:
Engage on social
Bring enough people
Bring people power! Networking events can be long, and require high energy and excitement from your team to keep attendees interested. Coming with a team allows for the option to do shifts, and helps sustain positive energy throughout the day. Representing different departments, or specializing in different interests allows for dynamic conversation and a natural referral process between you and your colleagues.
Have cool swag
Let’s be honest, everyone loves free stuff. From pens to laptop stickers, tote bags and notebooks, the swag opportunities are endless. Quality matters here— are your stickers well-designed, perhaps textured? Do your pens write well? Is your swag unique to your company? Rather than having several, lesser-quality items, we recommend doing a few things well. Feel free to get creative! Be sure to include your logo and even a hashtag to make it more fun. Let the quality of your brand continue to speak through your takeaways, extending the reach of your company beyond this singular event. Basically, you want to be sure your logo goes home with attendees. Our partner & sponsor, Arrow Promotional, is a fantastic resource for all swag and gifts for your company or organization. They get the importance of quality, and encourage creativity, easily customizing stock items or creating unique pieces inspired by your imagination. The swag can also be used for orientation for your new hires!
Make everyone an ambassador
First impressions matter, from both the employee and employer perspective— we’re all people, after all. At a networking event, you’re going to speak to a lot of people. They might not all be the best fit for the company, but that’s alright! You can still inspire an advocate for your brand. Word of mouth is so important, so make sure every single person who visits your table leaves with a good impression. Let them know of your unique culture, silly quirks, Bagel Wednesdays, how management looks out for employee well-being, your amazing team summer retreats to the Adirondacks. Our social networks are so powerful. This is a golden opportunity to connect with someone who, even if not be quite the right fit, may be able to refer an excellent candidate for your team. Six degrees of separation, amirite?
Share insider tips
Events like Hustle Summit are an excellent way to quickly gage, is this someone I’d want to work and spend hours a day with? In addition to telling candidates about your company and the positions you are hiring for, be generous and share the inside scoop on getting hired. Especially for those who could be the perfect fit, advise how to stand out in their cover letter and interview. That person will leave feeling bubbly with the potential of opportunity, and a positive perception that team members at your company support each other. This will lead to more quality applications and a smooth, quick hiring process.
This article was written by Haemee C. Kang in collaboration with Arrow Promotional for our partner, FindSpark. This post originally appeared on their website on September 16, 2016, titled “How to Stand Out as an Employer at an Event.”
Want to reach and recruit top millennial talent? Learn more about how FindSpark can support your diversity, employer branding and recruitment initiatives: findspark.com/employers and don’t miss their Hustle Summit on Friday, July 21st in NYC and on Thursday, July 27th in Chicago.