High-volume Hiring the Guidewell Way: Optimizing ROI with Virtual Recruiting Events

Jenn Thomas

Guidewell, an integrated healthcare solutions company, wasn’t the only organization that had a full slate of in-person career fairs scheduled for the next nine months when the pandemic hit. However, they were one of the few companies that had already planned to pioneer some virtual recruiting events aimed at professionals with highly sought-after skill sets. 
 

How? Their Phenom Talent Experience Management (TXM) platform played a big part, according to Susan Senn, Enterprise Talent Engagement Manager at Guidewell. 
 

Senn shared how her team successfully uses virtual career events to memorably showcase its employer brand and fill the pipeline with high-quality candidates. View all of her insights in the video below — or read on to catch key takeaways!
 


Initial Preparation Tips 
 

Being a step ahead of preparing for virtual events was invaluable to Guidewell in the wake of numerous quarantines, which wiped out on-site events where the company would traditionally network with candidates. 
 

Guidewell was fortunate, Senn said, because the pandemic didn’t impact hiring goals — the company still needed to fill 300 open roles for telephone customer service representatives. 
 

Senn and her teammates were able to leverage their Phenom career site, events module, and omnichannel recruitment marketing campaigns as part of their virtual event pioneering effort. The only difference? A change in strategy and messaging to attract key talent for these high-volume roles.
 

Here are her top preparation tips: 
 

Make company culture a central message. Company culture has always been a major component of career fair outreach, Senn said, with the major takeaway for attendees being, “You’re not just joining Guidewell for a job. You’re joining for your future.” Internal recruiters and business partners prepared together to focus on this powerful message (especially resonant with today’s candidates) throughout all of their interactions with attendees.
 

Practice, practice, practice. Recruiters and hiring leaders participated in several dry runs before the first virtual career fair with team members standing in as candidates. For the initial event, a script was helpful. After a few rounds of virtual networking, everyone loosened up, Senn said. 
 

Determine promotion tactics. Guidewell uses the events module on its career site to promote its upcoming virtual recruitment fairs. “We integrated the URL links from our events into social media posts on our corporate social media sites, and tagged external partners to spread the word,” Senn said. 
 

Prepare registrants for the event. Recruiters emailed “what to expect” tips to registrants ahead of the event. When it comes to unfamiliar territory, thorough communication goes a long way toward putting everyone at ease and setting accurate expectations.
 

Early Lessons Learned
 

Initially, Guidewell’s virtual career fair attendance numbers lagged behind their goals. But a breakthrough event that drew in 215 attendees gave Senn and her team some “aha” moments that led to these realizations:
 

Use breakout sessions. Especially for large events, breakout sessions foster more personalized, productive candidate conversations to learn, share, and make meaningful connections.
 

Offer career pathing events. Employee experience is a critical priority today for candidates and job seekers alike — both want to know what kind of future they can have at your organization. To show them, Guidewell tapped senior leaders to lead sessions highlighting their own career evolution, complete with helpful career pathing advice.
 


How To Promote Your Employer Brand 
 

Keeping your employer brand front and center becomes more challenging with virtual events and continued remote dialogue. Based on Guidewell’s experience, Senn recommends the following:
 

Nurture hyper-personalized relationships with talent. Find out what attendees already know about your brand or your family of brands, and leverage opportunities to educate them further on what your company has to offer. With Phenom AI, companies can identify and track both active and passive leads through their CRM and send hyper-personalized communications depending on a candidate’s engagement, skills, experience, geographical location, and more. 
 

Email and SMS campaigns inviting candidates to join your talent community are particularly effective, as are virtual Q&As. The key? Ensure these conversations are personalized, genuine, and educational. 
 

Tie your employer branding into conversations. Showcase your employee value proposition (EVP) by explaining what you’re doing in the community or for your employees. Consistency and frequency of these conversations is key, especially in an organization with multiple brands, Senn noted. For example, Guidewell recruiters maintain their focus on one brand, and only introduce a new brand if it makes sense with a particular talent group.
 

Track groups that consistently visit your career site. Being able to identify both active and passive leads through your career site is invaluable. So is being able to uncover why particular candidates are returning and continually interested in your company. 
 

Are they responding to messages about upcoming events? Do they spend a lot of time on your DE&I page? Are they using your chatbot to ask questions about benefits or open opportunities? Phenom Talent Analytics enables teams to dig into these essential insights so they can optimize strategies accordingly. 
 

Related Content — Armed with Data: How Life Time Hires with Agility & Efficiency
 

Measuring & Maximizing Event Success
 

Hosting a virtual event is just the tip of the iceberg. Measuring event success is vital so you can assess areas of improvement and duplicate your wins. Here’s a sample of analytics from one of Guidewell’s successful virtual events:
 

  • RSVPed: 1,833
     
  • Attended: 1,161 (63% of RSVPs)
     
  • Applied: 904 (77% of attendees)
     
  • Hired: 149 (16% of attendees) 
     


Other useful analytics include:
 

  • Number of attendees who applied to jobs other than those featured at the event
     
  • Social media likes and shares on event promotion posts
     

The team also planned to survey the group of new hires resulting from the event to determine the most influential aspect of the event promotion process that secured their attendance. “Opportunities that we’re focusing on going forward is to track and have continuous conversations with talent — whether as groups or individuals — and then tracking the success of that talent,” Senn said.
 

Here are a few ways Guidewell maximizes their ROI:
 

Set goals. When it came to determining ROI, Senn and her team clarified specific goals that would help them measure the event’s success: 
 

  • Spread awareness of the uniqueness of the job role — a customer service position that operates on a nine-month cycle with three months of paid leave
     
  • Generate interest in the event and open roles available at their organization
     
  • Secure registrations and applicants to ensure they had a pool of potential candidates to fill their pipeline 
     
  • Stay engaged with attendees before, during, and after the event 

     


Track the application journey of attendees. Guidewell did this by requiring an RSVP, which registrants completed through a module on the company’s career site. By tracking the application journey of attendees specifically, Guidewell gained valuable insight into where they were losing interested applicants so they could make improvements to their application process. 
 

Continue dialogue with all attendees after the event. Regardless of whether attendees went on to be hired, Guidewell kept in touch with all career fair attendees before and after the event. This provided them with the unique opportunity to stay in touch with interested job seekers that could be a good fit for open roles in the future. 
 

Like other proactive organizations, Guidewell is constantly evolving its approach to virtually position its employer brand. “There are so many opportunities to have a conversation with people who may not even know who you are as a corporation and a company [... and] to get the right talent at the right time connected with your organization,” revealed Senn.
 



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