Matthew Urwin | Jan 03, 2023

While it may feel like recruiting events are old hat in this digital age, they’re actually more important than ever. Creative recruiting event ideas provide unique opportunities to get to know candidates beyond the resume and introduce them to a company’s brand. 

Open houses, mixers and other in-person recruitment event ideas allow recruiters to interact with candidates, get a better feel for their personalities and determine whether they’d be a good fit for their company. 

Candidates also get to learn more about a company’s culture by engaging with employees face-to-face. These conversations make it easier to vet candidates and ensure teams focus their attention on only the most qualified candidates, speeding up the recruiting process.       

To attract top talent, companies continue to bring fresh hiring event ideas to the table to add a bit more flare and deliver a memorable experience. 

Here are 12 different recruitment event ideas to consider.

Top Recruiting and Hiring Event Ideas

  1. Casual mixers and hiring events
  2. Networking events
  3. Open house recruiting events
  4. Job fair recruiting events
  5. Interview hiring events
  6. Panel and conference recruitment events
  7. School campus hiring events
  8. Re-internship recruitment events
  9. Hiring events for competitor layoffs
  10. Competition-based recruiting events
  11. Hackathon hiring events
  12. National Hiring Day recruiting events


12 Types of Recruitment Events

1. Casual Mixers and Hiring Events

Remove the professional attire and sweaty palms that come with applying to and interviewing with a company. Instead, host a casual hiring mixer either on your own or in collaboration with other companies to get to know candidates before they apply. Events like these allow hiring managers and candidates to let loose and get to know each other on a more personal level.


2. Networking Events

You may be wondering what the difference is between a casual hiring event and a networking event — and when it comes down to it, not much. The major difference: a hiring event is specifically for companies currently hiring, and a networking event is for companies looking to get to know more candidates and build up their talent pipeline for future hires.

When developing networking and hiring event ideas, keep in mind that hiring events focus on specific roles while networking events require candidates to deliver a more general elevator pitch. Be sure to clarify the type of event you’re hosting, so candidates know what to expect ahead of time and prepare accordingly.


Free Toolkit: Recruitment Event Checklist

Your 9 step checklist to make the most of your next recruitment event.


3. Open House Recruiting Events

One of the most promising recruiting event ideas is to bring candidates into your office space with an open house. This will provide candidates with a unique insight into your office and help them gain a better idea of what it’s like to work at your company. Make sure to tidy up your office and ask a few employees (especially from hiring teams) to volunteer so that candidates have a chance to chat with their potential future colleagues.


4. Job Fair Recruiting Events

Job fairs are another great way to utilize the resources and networks of other industry leaders to attract top talent in one convenient event. Not only that, but your team isn’t tasked with planning and executing the entire thing. It can be difficult, however, to stand out among a sea of similar employers. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your job fair ideas.

  • Handouts: Be sure to provide plenty of printed resources for candidates to continue their research after the event.
  • Business Cards: Give candidates a clear point of contact to reach out to if they want more information, especially if they really clicked with one of your team members or recruiters.
  • Activities: Make it more casual and conversational with a quick and fun activity, like a prize wheel or game.
  • Freebees: People love free stuff. Give away branded swag, like t-shirts, snacks, gadgets or experiences.
  • Ambassadors: Your brand ambassadors will affect the first impression candidates have about your company, so make sure it’s well-informed and welcoming.


5. Interview Hiring Events

Cut the interview process in half by having all candidates interview at one big event. Interview hiring event ideas will save you time and energy reviewing application materials and coordinating phone and in-person interviews over the course of several weeks or months. Instead, have your team band together to conduct interviews back-to-back in a single day. Then when all of the candidates are fresh in your team’s mind, have a hiring team meeting to discuss top candidates. This will also cut down on the wait time for interviewees.


6. Panel and Conference Recruitment Events

Identify your company as an industry leader by hosting panels or talks about niche topics that will attract candidates with experience or interest in your field of work. These types of recruitment event ideas may feature a topic of conversation that could be anything from industry trends to company-specific knowledge. You could be a keynote speaker at a larger conference, host a panel at a school or create an event of your own. Determine your goals in hosting such an event before you figure out where and how to execute it.


7. School Campus Hiring Events

School campuses are a great one-stop-recruiting-shop for entry-level roles and internships. Whether they be at high schools, colleges, boot camps or trade schools, there are a variety of hiring event ideas that enable you to get your foot in the door with students.

  • Lecture: Host a lecture and shed some light on your industry and company.
  • Meet and Greet: Allow students to casually meet with employees to chat and ask questions.
  • Job Fair: Partake in a school job fair to attract a wide range of candidates and interests.
  • Mock Interviews: Help students prepare for real interviews with mock interviews on campus.


8. Re-Internship Recruitment Events

While recruiters often attract fresh talent for internships and entry-level roles on school campuses, there is another pool of highly qualified candidates that is all too often overlooked. Re-internships are opportunities for individuals who have left the workforce for several years to return to their careers.

Recruiting event ideas that target these individuals create a more inclusive recruiting environment and allow your team to tap into a highly talented pool of individuals who may need a little brushing up to restart their careers.


9. Hiring Events for Competitor Layoffs 

One company’s layoff is another company’s new hire. That may sound grim, but if a company is downsizing, that’s bad news for everyone involved, and your hiring event ideas  could offer a silver lining.

Take advantage of this difficult situation and partner with such companies to host an informational session or hiring booth. The company will be relieved to know some of their great employees are able to move on with a relatively short and simple career change and employees will appreciate the opportunity to adopt a new role in a time of turmoil.


10. Competition-Based Recruiting Events

Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Top candidates especially love the opportunity to prove their skills and impress employers. No matter the role, there are a variety of recruitment event ideas directed at bringing out the best talent through competition.


Search for the world's greatest salesperson. | Video: Ogilvy

Ogilvy’s “Search for the World’s Greatest Salesperson ” asked sales candidates to submit a video of themselves selling a brick. You’ll notice that this event is not in-person, and you’re right. Not all recruitment events need to be in a physical location, and this is a perfect example of a digital recruitment event. 


Grand prize winners create anti-glare material breakthrough. | Video: Create the Future Design Contest

Create the Future is an engineering design competition that calls students, engineers and entrepreneurs to submit product ideas. The event entices talent to participate with a $25,000 prize and national recognition for the winner.


11. Hackathon Hiring Events

Hackathons are another branch of competition primarily for developers, who are notoriously difficult to hire. Hackathons require developers to either create something or solve a problem, and they are a great way to see how candidates collaborate within a team to solve real-world problems. You can attract top talent to partake in the challenge with prizes, job offers and, of course, food.

Here are a few examples of organizations utilizing hackathon hiring event ideas for innovation and recruiting:


William & Mary TribeHacks event. | Video: William & Mary

Cypher (formerly known as TribeHacks) is an event hosted by William & Mary college to bring students together to learn about and participate in coding challenges. Its main focus is not to help students find jobs, but to innovate, and it’s sponsored by some big name companies.


Next generation recruitment with Gorillaz. | Video: Jaguar

While this event is already organized by the school, it may be worth creating a hackathon or challenge of your own, like Jaguar Land Rover’s “Next Generation Recruitment” challenge that tasked engineers with cracking an error in their app’s coding.


12. National Hiring Day Recruiting Events

Whether you’re hiring a large number of positions nationwide or a few remote roles, you can host a national hiring day event. It’s a great recruitment marketing campaign to share across social channels and people are keen to partake in a national event. Keep in mind that not all recruitment event ideas need to be in-person, but if you’re a brick-and-mortar kind of company, in-person events make sense.


Lowe's celebrates seasonal success stories. | Video: Lowe's Newsroom

Lowes hosted its first National Hiring Day event back in 2018 to fill 53,000 openings. Candidates had the opportunity to talk with employees about open roles and apply for a role with the chance of receiving an offer on the same day. To boost the now annual event, Lowes shared content and videos across major platforms with employee testimonials and information on open jobs.


Macy's national hiring event. | Video: Macy's JOBS

Hiring events are also great for companies looking to hire temp, seasonal or part-time workers — like Macy’s National Hiring Event.


Free Toolkit: Recruitment Event Checklist

Your 9 step checklist to make the most of your next recruitment event.


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