This is a story about how the Refresh Conference and Hundred5 helped event sponsors build an innovative way to get attendees excited about applying for their open positions. As a result of a one-day event, eight companies received a total of 802 applicants, of which 165 met the employer expectations.
Establishing a true connection with conference goers despite the chaotic environment
Competing for people’s attention at events and conferences is extremely difficult.
Traditional recruitment methods are overdone and uninspiring.
Allowing only for face-to-face conversation (and tchotchke giveaways) is highly limiting.
Conferences are a great place for companies to present their business and position themselves as a desirable employer to potential candidates attending the event. Companies are investing a lot of resources to attract participants and get their contact information.
However, the competition is fierce – every team is fighting for the attention of attendees with dozens, or even hundreds of other companies. For this reason, they often try to swoon people with free merch, interactive booths, and attractive open positions.
The perfect people for your team might be walking in the crowd of conference visitors, but they are not ready to spend lots of time reading boring job ads and talking to every recruiter in the building, publicly.. Initiating contact in this kind of hectic environment requires a much more thoughtful approach.
Using Hundred5 to fill the talent pipelines
On behalf of companies present, Hundred5 set up engaging skills challenges customized for each open role.
Each company, the event coordinators and Hundred5 promoted the challenges through their available channels.
Attendees applied to these skills tests while the companies focused on sparking more conversations and attracting more test takers.
To offer its sponsors a better way to engage with people at the event, the conference organizers partnered up with Hundred5.
Hundred5 allows companies to host fun and quick skills tests that drive qualified candidates into the talent pipeline in a seamless way. These test can be taken on any device at any time and place. By solving real-world tasks, test takers get a better understanding of a) if they are right for the job and b) if the job is right for them.
Once the applicants know they are good for you, and get an ego-boost from it, you only have to convince them that you are good for them, too. And you only have to do that for the candidates that you already know you want as part of your team.
1. Setting up the challenge
Together with the companies, we designed custom challenges targeting the basic skills crucial for the open roles. Tests were built for the following positions:
- Product manager
- Front-end Developer
- Design Team Lead
- UX Designer
- Full-stack Developer
Besides asking questions that would reflect the qualities companies were looking for in the new hire, we also made sure the tests are fairly short (around 10 questions and up to 15 minutes), and easy to take on mobile devices too. After all, the whole purpose of the project was to build better relationships through an enjoyable experience.
2. Filling the talent pipeline during the event
No matter how well-designed it is, a test is useless if you don’t have people taking it, of course. So the first thing to consider was how to let people know about the open positions, and how to get them excited about applying. Here’s what we did.
- The conference app and website: All the tests were available on the conference app and on the special page of the Refresh webpage. To capture the attention of the people visiting the website the evening before the event, the tests were already available a few days before.
- Screens at the event: All the jobs were promoted on the screens located in stage rooms and also spaces where people spent their time during breaks.
- Proactive recruiters: Throughout the conference, the recruiters of each company approached people whenever they could and invited them to take a challenge.
- Prizes for best performers: To encourage people to apply, many companies offered prizes for best performers.
In our communication, we deliberately talked about “taking the challenge” and “testing your skills”. That way, we put the focus on the challenge, while getting a chance to land a job was more of a pleasant, unexpected reward.
3. Additional efforts after the event
After the conference day, all the sponsors continued sourcing and testing the candidates for another week. During that time, they got more candidates from 3 sources:
- A follow-up email from Refresh coordinators to all attendees promoting the webpage with skills challenges;
- Facebook and Instagram ads set up by Hundred5 with a budget of 25€ per role;
- Sharing the skills challenge in their own channels (social media, websites, job board posts, etc).
Fish in the right pond, with the right bait.
Although most people are looking for a job passively, traditionally companies only know how to talk to those that are looking actively. By that very fact, you omit half the potential talent pool you could attract, simply by fishing with the wrong bait. The best job candidate won’t even approach your booth.
Instead of using a more traditional approach, we placed fun and quick skills tests for candidates that can be taken at any time and place. Candidates browsing passively were much more likely to notice the opportunity and take the test, just because they could. Since it’s an easy way to see how you would perform in a job without making a major commitment, applicants are much more likely to take the test.
802 applicants and 165 matches as a result of a one-day event
Better employer branding: Companies stood out as modern and innovative places to work in.
Higher engagement: The number of applicants was significantly higher than with traditional hiring methods.
Good application experience: Event visitors could try out different roles in a playful way (and end up with a dream job offer).
Better conference branding: The Refresh conference positioned itself as a place-to-be when it comes to recruiting new talent.
When it comes to the next generation of talent, you have to do things differently. Not only do they value meaningful work, but they also require a different form of communication style to be fully engaged. Today’s recruits expect a modern, digital experience when applying for a job, so that’s what you must deliver!
The combined efforts of promotion during and after the event gave the following results:
By making applying easy, transparent and mobile-friendly, the businesses at Refresh did step up their game to meet the workforce expectations and create a winning employer brand people want to work for.
Remember, competition for talent is at all-time high. Instead of relying on the possibility that people will come and talk to you, or engage with your business through a flyer they grabbed with dozens of others – the companies took the initiative and designed a way to catch the people that are best for them, but are unlikely to reach with traditional methods.
Have an event coming up? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and set up a call.
CompanyRefresh is a product, design and front-end conference that seeks to provide fresh inspiration for building great product experiences on the web.
Speakers20 - including Google, MailChimp, Audible, Intercom, Booking.com, The Financial Times etc.
Companies hiring with Hundred5Mooncascade, TransferWise, BigBank, Pipedrive, Scoro, Reach-U, Velvet, Derivco.