Establishing valuable connections with members of your community can help you easily fill open positions with top-notch talent, generate promising referrals, and create buzz and brand awareness for your business.

Learn how you can make first impressions that result in new applications with these recruiting ideas that focus on creating memorable experiences.

Host a Meet and Mingle Happy Hour

Chances are, your star support representative or marketing guru keep good company when it comes to the kind of people you’d like to hire. Ask your employees to invite their friends to a happy hour hosted at your office or a nearby establishment so you can get to know one another in a fun and informal way.

This casual kind of meetup allows attendees to get to know your team members as both people and professionals, putting your company culture on full display. If hosted at your office, the happy hour setup enables prospective candidates to peruse your workspace and see firsthand what it’s like to be a member of your team.

On the fence? Your next awesome hire may be just a text message away, so don’t hesitate to throw together a laid back post-work gathering that generates the kind of applications you’ve been wanting all along. In fact, CareerBuilder reports that 82% of companies who look to their employees for prospective candidates say that referrals generate more ROI than any other recruitment source. Try these creative ideas to generate employee referrals on a regular basis to keep your candidate pipeline filled.

Note that this event doesn’t have to be limited to those in your employees’ networks. You can also advertise your event on bulletin boards in your office complex, at nearby cafes, and online community message boards.

Employees and friends at an office happy hour

Invite Employees to Teach a College Class or Seminar

Partner with your local community college and enable employees to serve as “guest teachers” who can apply their professional experience to the classroom. Professors who teach marketing, business, design, and writing would welcome the opportunity for your talented and passionate employees to show their students how the lessons they’re learning in class can translate to compelling work and exciting careers in the professional world.

At the end of the class, the employee who presented can provide students with your company’s website and invite them to follow your LinkedIn page. If you have an intern program or positions students may be eligible for, they should invite them to apply. Note that some classes may be better suited for this than others, so start with one class in each of the majors you might be able to speak to and see how much engagement you receive. This can help you determine which majors and how many classes you’d like to participate in per year.

An employee teaching college students at a local campus

Consider Your Corporate Volunteer Events Open to All

Your employee volunteer program can make prospective candidates feel just as good about working at your company as your employees do. What better way to introduce someone to your company and its employees than to invite them to join all of you for a day of volunteering?

Sponsor volunteer days at local nonprofits and spread the word that your company welcomes anyone who’s interested to pitch in with your team. Your community volunteer day could consist of:

  • Cleaning up a park and planting trees
  • Stocking, cooking or serving at a food pantry
  • Taking shelter dogs for an afternoon stroll
  • Hosting activities at a senior center

Don’t have an employee volunteer program? From increased collaboration to improved employee satisfaction, giving back together has many significant benefits. Best of all, your employees can help you make it a success. Learn how to launch and maintain an employee volunteer program that everyone will love.

A prospective employee and a manager at a volunteer recruiting event

Stay in Touch with Prospective Employees Beyond Your Event

While the reality of recruiting is that oftentimes your dream candidate is sitting pretty in their current position, you can sell them on working for your company in the long run by continuously giving them reasons to believe that your company’s opportunities, values, and culture are the right fit for them.

Make it a point to connect with event attendees on LinkedIn, and keep your feed current by sharing upcoming events they can attend like the ones listed above. You should also post company news, employee announcements, and culture-related content that will pique their interest and prompt them to apply when you advertise your next opening.