Virtual events are a great way to augment your existing early talent strategy, allowing you to extend your reach while lowering travel-related costs.
Handshake Premium enables employers to post virtual events in the same way you can post on-campus and off-campus events.
Premium features are for Handshake Premium accounts only. For more information on our Premium offering, please check out this resource!
Request an Event
For detailed steps, refer to How to Request an Event.
Edit an Event
To edit or delete an existing event, refer to Edit or Cancel Existing Events.
*Handshake Video is only available to Handshake Premium partners with Event Management.
You'll be able to set a total host count on the event, then add teammates as hosts once the event is created.
Note: only teammates listed as event co-hosts will be able to launch the event.
On the event overview page, click Select Hosts to add teammates as hosts.
In the popup that appears, select the teammate to add, then click Save.
Note: with Handshake Video, there's a 50-person limit for sessions.
If you use Handshake Video, you will be able to launch your event video up to 60 minutes early to test audio/video connections.
For assistance with video requirements and troubleshooting, refer to Handshake Video Requirements & Troubleshooting.
Click each headline below to learn best practices for creating and hosting engaging virtual events.
Before the Event
When it comes to virtual events, one size does not fit all. There are many types of virtual events you can host depending on your needs.
Before your next event, conduct research into how you’re going to host this event, the type of event that’ll be most effective, and the best content strategy.
1. Plan your event & promotional plan
- Set a goal
- What’s the desired outcome of your virtual events? Is it to spread awareness, drive applicants, or both? Thinking through this process will help determine your content, speakers, promotional plan, and follow-up.
- Find a host
- Consider who will provide the most insight to your target audience or segments— for students, a full panel of senior managers may not be as relatable as a panel of recently graduated alumni.
- Plan your promotion
- Tailor your first event to a specific role or category to help narrow down your target audience and content to the specific needs of your talent segment(s). Learn more about Personalizing your Recruiting Outreach to Gen Z.
2. Types of virtual events
- Office tour
- If your office is open, highlight what a day in the life of an intern or new college grad would be like. If your office is currently closed, share any videos you might have on YouTube that showcase everyday life.
- Show the fun aspects that make being in your office exciting and rewarding (tip: these should be pre-recorded so that there aren’t any issues with content or employee consent).
- AMA (Ask Me Anything)
- Host this session with a recruiter or advocate as well as a moderator.
- Allow students to ask questions about the interview process, hiring timelines, employer perks, culture, mentorship, career growth, and overall company sentiment. Come prepared with a list of FAQs to help get the conversation going.
- Employee panel
- Feature recent grads or alumni— students like to hear from people who are like them and have been through a similar journey. Have a moderator prepare some pre-canned questions about their journey from college to career, experience at the organization, and why they are most proud about their work. This will help stem a series of questions from students that the panel can answer.
- ERGs (Employee Resource Groups)
- Leverage internal ERGs to demonstrate how the company is committed to creating a workplace that's inclusive and supportive for all employees.
3. Identify your live stream platform
Once you’ve decided on the type of virtual event you’ll be hosting, your next step is to decide on a live stream platform of choice. Handshake does not offer live-streaming, but we do have space for you to post your external event or webinar link.
Many of our employer partners leverage platforms such as WebEx, GotoMeeting, YouTube Live, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facebook Live, and Instagram TV.
4. Invite your priority segments
- Source your attendees
- Prior to virtual events, use segments and campaigns to proactively invite students to RSVP. Make sure to share what they’ll learn, gain, and walk away with by attending this session. Learn more about
- Marketing experts predict that 40% of those who RSVP drop off, meaning only 60% of your RSVPs will show up. For example, if you want 50 attendees, aim for 85 RSVPs.
- Be specific and personal in your outreach
- Students want to hear why they’re a fit and why you’re reaching out.
General tips and best practices
- Schedule your event at a time that doesn’t conflict with class schedules so you can maximize your attendees.
- Tuesdays through Thursdays are the best days of the week to host a virtual event. If you are inviting students from around the country, consider hosting it during a convenient time across time zones (generally 3 – 6 pm ET). If you’re engaging students regionally, 11 am local time works best.
- Events should be a maximum of 45 minutes of content, followed by 15 minutes of QA to keep students alert and engaged.
- Set goals for how many attendees you’d like at your first virtual event, then use that as a benchmark to gauge success and traction on future events.
- Treat your first few virtual events as an experiment! It may take one or two to find the best content and structure that works for your target audience.
- Keep your events authentic— the less scripted the better. Students want to hear from current employees in a personalized and casual way. Displaying camaraderie and community with panels or in office tours is a great way to recruit Gen Z authentically.
During the Event
Test audio and video
About 20 minutes before your event, have a fellow employee login as an attendee to test your audio and video.
Track who attends
Virtual event attendees are leads just like students who stop by in-person at your career fair booth.
- Learn more about Accessing Event and Fair RSVPs .
- Verify if your live stream platform allows for an attendee download. Many live stream platforms allows you to download a CSV file so you can track the names and emails of those who attended.
Monitor chat questions
Chat questions— just like live questions— are a great indicator of interest. Make sure there's a moderator alongside your host or co-hosts to facilitate the conversation.
After an Event
Follow up with your attendees and absentees
- Follow up with attendees en masse. Refer to Messaging Event and Fair RSVPs.
- Consider tying your call to action (i.e. what you want talent to do after your event) with your post-event follow-up. We recommend sending separate follow-ups to attendees and no-shows.
- For attendees, we recommend a follow up message recapping content and sharing your call to action, like a link to apply to an open job.
- For folks who couldn’t attend, we recommend a follow up message with ‘sorry we missed you’ messaging, and sharing your main call to action.
Track virtual event attendees all the way to hire
If you direct candidates to a job to apply for, make sure you’re including a source code so that you can track candidates from RSVP to attendee to hire-especially if this is your first event. Tracking attendees through your hiring funnel is a great way to demonstrate the potential success of your first virtual event to leadership.
Looking for the highlights? Download a snapshot of these virtual event takeaways for easy reference.