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In recent years, the recruitment industry has undergone a significant transformation. The adoption of online recruitment tools and events had already been gaining momentum even before the global pandemic. However, the pandemic has accelerated the pace at which recruitment has shifted to online platforms. According to Alison Dsouza, Director of Aerviva Aviation Consultancy, a Dubai-based international consultancy, specialising in aviation recruitment and document management, while companies have swiftly adapted to this new trend, it is early to entirely dismiss the value of in-person events.

Advantages and disadvantages of in-person recruiting events

Over the years, in-person recruiting events such as road shows, recruiting fairs, and open day events have been the preferred choice for most businesses seeking to connect with potential candidates, provide information on job openings, and identify the best candidates to join their teams. There are several advantages to such events.

Dsouza believes that the foremost benefit of in-person recruiting events is the opportunity for personal interaction between candidates and recruiters. “This personal connection can foster a sense of trust and build strong relationships. In addition, in-person events provide ample opportunities for networking, enabling candidates to form connections that can lead to future career prospects. Such events also have a lasting impact on candidates, leaving a memorable impression that can attract top talent and enhance the company’s image and brand awareness.”

However, in-person events have some limitations. “They have a limited reach since not all candidates may have the time and resources to travel to attend these events. Moreover, organising such events can be costly as companies need to rent a space and invest significant time and effort in preparing and organising the venue. Additionally, in-person events require company representatives to travel, incurring travel expenses and requiring significant time commitments,” Dsouza explains.

Advantages and disadvantages of online recruiting events

While in-person recruiting events are lacking in accessibility, online fairs and shows can attract candidates from all over the world. As the event is not limited to a specific location, a wider audience can be reached. As no travel is required, online events are more cost and time effective for both organisers and attendees. Additionally, online events allow for data-gathering possibilities. Such metrics as the number of attendees, engagement rate, and candidate feedback are easier to track and analyse in online events.

In contrast, online recruiting events such as virtual fairs and shows have advantages in terms of accessibility. “Since these events are not restricted to a particular location, they can attract candidates from all over the world, resulting in a wider audience reach. Online events are also more cost-effective and time-efficient, eliminating the need for travel for both organisers and attendees. Furthermore, online events provide data-gathering possibilities, making it easier to track and analyse metrics such as attendee numbers, engagement rates, and candidate feedback,” she shares.

Nevertheless, hosting events online can present unique challenges that are absent from in-person events. “Technical glitches such as poor internet connection can disrupt the seamless functioning of online events. Additionally, online events may feel less personal, with fewer opportunities for building connections, establishing relationships, or networking.”

Future of recruiting events

According to Alison Dsouza, the future of recruiting events is likely to be a hybrid model that combines in-person and virtual elements. “As both online and in-person types of events have their advantages and allow to reach different candidate pools, both types are valuable for businesses looking to attract the best talent.”