The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything, not the least of which how we connect and recruit. Some elements of recruiting candidates have permanently changed — and, honestly, that is a good thing.

Although there will always be a place for in-person events and meetings, there are effective, less costly methods for sourcing candidates that don’t require you to be in the same room. Read on to learn how your organization can implement outreach strategies, even when you can’t be face-to-face.

Get Involved Virtually

Virtual events have an entirely different look and feel compared to in-person job fairs, but they are still a viable source of job applicants. In fact, more and more applicants are turning to virtual job fairs — not just for personal safety and social distance, but also because virtual events offer increased flexibility for applicants to join from anywhere.

Virtual job fairs may seem foreign, but they offer flexibility for candidates and cost savings for companies.

Virtual job fairs can also offer you the opportunity to brand an applicant’s experience. Most virtual platforms allow you to customize a landing page with information about your company, and even set up multiple chat rooms where different offices or different managers can speak with potential applicants one-on-one.

Virtual job fairs also offer cost savings. Most companies are able to reduce costs related to travel, ordering print brochures and other promotional materials commonly seen at in-person events. Online job fairs give organizations the opportunity to get the same benefit of meeting potential applicants without unnecessary costs.

College Networking

An underutilized source of drilling candidates? Schools, whether they’re universities, trade schools or vocational programs. Students are living in uncertain times and, with living expenses and possible school loan payments on the horizon, are likely eager to secure a job. The career services departments are an excellent place to learn about opportunities to connect. Many institutions have their own internal job posting system where organizations can even advertise their vacancies and communicate directly with students.

Revisit Past Applicants

A final strategy you can use is to revisit previous job applicants. One of the most overlooked ways of finding talent is looking at people who have already expressed interest — but for one reason or another, didn’t work out. Consider reaching out, and checking in to see if they’re happy in their current job or if they’re interested in making a career change. Who knows? Some of those previous applicants may have picked up a few skills since you last spoke that make them much stronger candidates the second time around.

Recruiting and hiring have changed — and so have most applicants’ job searches. By focusing your outreach efforts on virtual events, local colleges and vocational programs, and contacting past applicants, you can continue your recruiting efforts, pandemic or no.