Virtual Hiring Event vs In-Person Hiring Event: Which Is Better?

April 26, 2021

Did you know that 93% of job candidates experience some level of anxiety during an interview? Whether you hire candidates virtually or in-person, interviews can be stressful.

As an employer or recruiter, you want candidates to put their best foot forward. 

So, is an in-person hiring event or virtual hiring event the better option? That depends. Your company’s culture, human resources, team organization, and budget all affect this decision.

Both options can help you find the talent your company needs. But, it’s important you understand all the benefits or disadvantages. After all, organizing hiring events requires many resources. You may even have a business budget in place for these important meetings.

So why waste your company’s valuable assets planning the wrong event for your needs? Read on to discover if an in-person hiring event or virtual hiring event is better for your company. These tips may reveal the valuable insight you need to find multiple candidates. You might find that a hybrid hiring event is the best option, utilizing both in person and virtual job fair capabilities.

In-Person Hiring Event Overview 

An in-person hiring event is a group hiring event. It is an opportunity that employers use to pool candidates and interviews. These events are sometimes referred to as “open interviews.” 

During these events, candidates have the opportunity to meet with employers face-to-face. Candidates may meet other interviewees or potential colleagues. In-person events sometimes need candidates to collaborate on group projects, presentations or introduce themselves to the group.

Why In-Person Events Work 

The underlying idea of these events is to see how candidates would function as employees. The assessment begins at an individual level. Think skill evaluation, resume, and experience. 

But, there is also group dynamic consideration. At in-person events, this is particularly revealing.

How do your candidates work with others? How would they fit in with the team? What challenges do they have presenting or speaking? 

Ask Important Questions and Be Present 

In-person hiring events allow candidates to learn more about the company. They may even have the opportunity to see beyond the scope of a specific position. 

Candidates can learn about company initiatives like volunteer days. Or, they can ask questions about the company culture.

Unique Vantage Point

Standing in an office gives candidates a unique advantage point. They can explore what life would be like at this job. 

They can meet potential colleagues and try to imagine themselves in the environment. This unique insight helps many candidates decide if the job and company are the right fit. 

The Value of Body Language 

Do you know what your body language says about you? Hand gestures, posture, and even the direction of your feet hold meaning! These are physical signs revealed at in-person events. 

A Traditional Approach

In-person hiring events have been classic company practice for decades. While interviews have evolved, traditional tactics remain. 

In-person events say a lot about the company culture. These events may send candidates secret messaging, such as:

  • Would this company ever consider remote work?
  • Are all events and company matters handled physically in the office?
  • What are the policies for start and finish times?

Know Your Goals

Do you need to vet candidates face-to-face? In-person hiring events will be important to your hiring strategy. But, if you don’t value physical connection, these events could contradict business goals. 

But, Is There a Future for In-Person Events? 

COVID-19 has changed hiring operations. Some recruiters even question if companies are ready to host in-person events again.

Physical Restrictions

Social distancing is one of the major physical restrictions today. Do you have adequate office space for socially distancing candidates? Do you have the budget for hygienic processes?

Is your office prepared to have an increase in employees? And even if your office is ready, candidates may still feel uncomfortable coming to an in-person interview.

Health concerns or other issues could prevent top talent from wanting an interview. These are heavy considerations you should weigh at your next event.   


Increasingly Remote World 

In an increasingly remote world, will candidates respond to in-person events in the future? Since the onset of the pandemic, you may have some employees who still want to work from home.

Other employees may have even relocated. This dispersion of candidates can present a challenge for in-person events. 

Virtual Hiring Event Overview 

Let’s go virtual! 

A virtual hiring event 100% takes place online. With virtual events, candidates call in for an interview. Employers use technology like break-out rooms or chat boxes to communicate and collaborate.

Using the Right Virtual Platform Is Key 

To host a virtual hiring event, you’ll need a dependable software solution. Consider Premier Virtual. Premier Virtual is a SaaS platform that allows you to set up a virtual event within minutes.

The platform has a user-friendly interface. Features like the employer “interactive hiring room” allow for text chat and video calls. This invites the candidate to a live real-time interview. 

Developed By Recruiters for Recruiters 

You may wonder, what are the differences between hiring event platforms? How can you choose the right one?

Unlike some virtual event platforms, Premier Virtual was developed by recruiters for recruiters. This ensures the features and functionalities of the platform will match your expectations.

With this platform, you’ll have the tools you need to manage candidates. You can even follow up with job seekers after the event.  

Making Your Job Easier 

The right platform for your needs must have thoughtful event details to make your job easier. Organizing virtual events takes a lot of time. But the time after the event can actually be the most time-consuming or stressful if you miss important candidate information.

Some platforms have a Jobseeker Chat function that allows employers to send or receive messages from any booth in the event. If a candidate leaves the event and you happened to miss a message, you can still collect this data. This function can give you peace of mind to capture the information you need about each candidate, regardless if it is happening in real-time.


Answer Questions and More 

In the platform’s employer hiring room, employers can answer job seekers’ questions. Or, they can launch the chat themselves.

This removes recruiters from having to make time-consuming introductions or guide the conversations. Make your job simpler and faster by allowing the platform’s functionality to help candidates through the process. 

The Advantages 

Compared to in-person hiring events, virtual hiring events require fewer people to host. Virtual events also cost less. So, you can devote more revenue and resources to other areas of your business. 

Widen Your Net 

Virtual events can bring you the high-quality candidates your company deserves. Whether you need entry-level positions or candidates with more experience, a virtual event can gather all kinds of employees from different backgrounds and industries. With virtual events, you aren’t subject to geographic limitations.

Do you have a candidate from across the country? Don’t have the budget to fly that person to your office? A virtual event is an affordable and logical solution to vet this candidate.

Think Big Picture 

Virtual hiring events allow you to widen your net and attract all talent. Unlike in-person events, where candidates live close by, you can attract national and international talent. This increases your chances of finding the right candidate.

And access to this large pool means you may even find candidates or skills you never would have imagined. Without a virtual hiring platform, the cost and aggravation to gather this talent would be astronomical.

Consider this an increased opportunity and decrease in overall costs. A smart business decision!  

A Sustainable Practice 

Virtual interviews account for current changes like social distancing or physical limitations. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, recruiters remain unsure if candidates are ready to return to the office or if the workplace will regress to normalcy. Virtual hiring events account for these drastic workplace changes.

They are sustainable hiring practices that can prepare your company during these times and for any other unforeseen events. As the interest in working from home or remote work remains high, many candidates already live in a virtual way. A virtual hiring platform can match their expectations and make the hiring process, smoother, quicker, easier, and safer.

And instead of starting from scratch for each in-person hiring event, a virtual platform is always at the ready. On certain platforms you can save time-consuming features like an employer’s logo, biography, job details, and more. You can also customize these details

Approachability Is Important 

Recruiters understand how nerve-wracking hiring events can be. You may have had a telephone call with a great candidate. But during the in-person interview questions, something falls flat.

The candidate may not have the same spark of energy. Or, perhaps they are struggling to provide poignant job examples. Virtual hiring events allow candidates to join from the comfort and privacy of their home or preferred space.

This personal space can instantly help candidates feel more relaxed and animated. This will certainly come through during the event. 

Test Out Technology 

No matter your company or industry, your employers will likely have to take on some technological responsibilities. Whether the scope of the job requires just email or knowing the best Excel practice, computer knowledge is important. A candidate may tell employers they are technologically advanced or know certain skills.

But how can you put that to the test? A virtual hiring event can help assess a candidate’s comfortability and knowledge around technology. Notice if the candidate had any difficulty joining the session.

If the position is remote, consider the wifi connection or any issues. Many virtual career fair platforms utilize a  chatbox to send candidates tests or questions. 

Set the Tone 

Are you a forward-thinking company? Do you embrace technological trends? You want candidates to believe you are always ahead of the curve?

Remember, your hiring practices set the tone for the company. If you want to attract talent that values technology and forward-thinking, you’ll need to show them. A video conference is a perfect way to showcase your company’s openness to technology and best new practices.  

How Will You Plan Your Next Hiring Event? Make The Right Choice to Grow Your Business. 

Will you go the traditional hiring route with an in-person event? Or, would you like to try something new and host a virtual hiring event? While we’ve outlined the benefits and considerations, the decision comes down to your business goals.

You should ask yourself, what type of candidate do I hope to attract? Is a physical interview important for my hiring strategy? Do I have data or previous hiring experiences to support this?

What is my business budget? Am I a forward-thinking company? Once you understand your company’s value and mission and which candidates you hope to attract, the answer becomes clear.

While no choice is wrong, they both can add value to your organization. Just remember that if you are focused on sustainability, cost, and technology, a virtual hiring event will be the best practice. This can also be a great opportunity to impress potential candidates.

But, if you’re worried about using a new platform or learning how to organize virtual events, don’t worry! Premier Virtual can offer an easy-to-follow solution. The company will guide you through the virtual event process and help you set up your first meeting.

Interested in hosting your first virtual event? Contact Premier Virtual and request a demo

Other virtual hiring event platforms such as Brazen, CareerEco, vFairs, XOR and many others could be a good fit for your virtual hiring event needs. Contact us to find out more information about virtual career events pricing options.

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