How to Staff Your Online Recruiting Event

The best online events are a team effort. Here's how to build your team.

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You’re only as good as your team. In recruiting events, this is doubly true, when you’re relying on your colleagues to make the event run as smoothly as possible, from registration to arrival to networking to speeches to follow-up post-date. Most of us in the industry have a fairly good idea of what makes up a good team. But the move to online recruiting events means changing or at least readjusting the way we do everything. It’s time to have a close look at the kind of team you’ll need to host an online recruiting event.

Whether you’re hosting a multi-day, thousand-plus participant event or simply an intimate workshop between 10 people, the general structure of your team should stay the same, but with more or less resources added. Think of your team in terms of departments: one department (i.e. “programming”) could be one person or 20.

Communications

Depending on the workload and your team set-up, there should be one team member in charge of communicating with participants and another with employers of your event. For larger-scale events, you will need to increase your communications team.

Communications can include promotional outreach such as social media activity, flyers (paper or digital), advertising, press releases, website updates and more, as well as internal communication with your participants and employers.

Your communications team should ideally have a resource bank of emails that they can use throughout the lead-up to the event as well as during the event itself and any post-event communication. These emails could include registration updates, timing notifications, and reminders on the day when an event is about to begin. Communication is all-important at an online event, as there’s less chance to interact naturally and in person with participants and employers; you need to make sure that any information they’ll need is easily accessible or arriving in their inboxes at just the right moment. A strategic communications plan and a top tier communications team is the best way to make sure everyone knows exactly where they need to be when, as well as what they’re doing.

Logistics, scheduling, and using the “room” to the best of their ability is still a crucial operational task, even in an online space.

Operations

In an offline recruiting event, your operations team might be particularly focused on the event space itself - scheduling, logistics, room requirements, and more. An online recruiting event requires the same operational focus on logistics and space, but with a shift to the virtual space where you’ll be working.

Your operations staff should be working out the programming with an eye out for particular online pain points, like: Are there too many back-to-back sessions? Do participants have time to have a break from their laptop screen between conversations?

Operations should also still think about the “space” of the event, decide which formats the event needs, what tech capabilities the team and employers need, who needs to be onboarded onto what features and when. Logistics, scheduling, and using the “room” to the best of their ability is still a crucial operational task, even in an online space.

Engagement

Another topic that will need people working on it both in the lead up to, during and post-event, engagement is crucial for a successful event. A good engagement team will ensure that participants show up for the events they’ve RSVPed to and that they make the best out of the day itself. They’ll also make sure that “one time” clients—whether they be participants or employers—turn into long term clients with their own powerful relationship and connection to your team.

Again, the real issue to remember in terms of engagement in an online event is the lack of physical presence. If you see someone looking lost at an event, it’s simple enough to go up and point them in the right way. In an online event, they’ll have to work in other ways. An important task for an online engagement team is to get to grips with metrics early on, monitoring attendance and sign-ups for sessions, speeches, and 1-1 chats. Your engagement team - with the help of the communications team! - could use these metrics to reach out to participants who aren’t using the platform proactively and help them connect with employers, find the right sessions, and make the best out of your event.

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Troubleshooting

At any event, there’s always the possibility of things going wrong. At an online event, the stakes sometimes seem much higher, because if one small thing breaks a participant or employer may choose to walk away from their laptop - and hence the event - altogether. As such, it’s important to have an engaged and informed portion of your team active and ready to help with any issues, technical or not, that arise on the day. These members of your team can be the ad-hoc superheroes, whose schedules are kept deliberately clear in order to be able to leap into swift action on the day.

One team member should read up and familiarize themselves with employer troubleshooting FAQs while another should be on top of participant troubleshooting FAQs. Another member of the team should be the main contact point for Talentspace’s live event support team, who can reach out to Talentspace if these troubleshooting fixes don’t work.

Depending upon your contract, Talentspace provides live event support from our expert tech team who know the platform by heart and can always step in to assist complicated technical issues.

A group effort

Even amongst your specialist and brilliant teams, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that any successful effort will be a group effort. As you split up, make sure you and your departments stay in constant communication and everyone has an idea of what other people, outside of their own department, are working on. Every team will have their own best practice ways of staying in touch, but consider things like: regular meetings and check ins; shared project management boards (i.e. Asana or Trello) that make it easy to see where others are in their workflow; centralized resources, and roadmaps.

This will make it easier to align, work together, and solve issues that impact more than your own department. In turn, that will make sure that your multiple departments with your many team members create one successful event.

Need more help?

Check out our best practice guide to hosting online events.

Jason Reich
Co-Founder | TalentSpace

Jason is a co-founder of TalentSpace, where he keeps himself up at night thinking of new and innovative ways to make recruiting an enjoyable and fruitful experience for everyone. He's worked on the international expansion of US-startups, Casper and HotelTonight (acquired by Airbnb), and was also on the Value Creation team of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's VC, Innovation Endeavors. He graduated from Bocconi University.

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