November 21, 2023

IT Recruiting - How to use events, meetups, trade fairs, podcasts for hiring

This Insights article takes a look at the wider world of IT recruitment, i.e. events, meetups and podcasts. We pay particular attention to the organisation of your own recruiting events.

In the deserted savannah of the talent market, where the best minds are as rare and valuable as water sources in this area, you as a recruiter have to tread new paths. The usual hunting grounds - job fairs and networking events - are overrun by other companies and recruiters. It's difficult to find outstanding talent here - it’s literally like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The talents you are looking for are like the shy bat-eared foxes of the savannah: they don't appear at every waterhole and don't follow every trail. They choose carefully where and when they show themselves. In this 'War for Talents', you have to be more than just another hunter. You need to be strategic, someone who knows how to use the environment to your advantage and study the habits of your targets of desire. So how do you lure these rare creatures from their hideout? How do you convince them that they can not only survive but thrive in your guardianship?

We live in a world where every second LinkedIn post talks about another "revolutionary" start-up or "game-changer" company. It's time to ditch the old rules of the game. We have already talked about this in previous Insights, such as creating a meaningful culture for developers, appealing to Gen Z or tech recruiting methods beyond the familiar approaches.

Today we are taking you on a tour through the extended world of IT recruitment, i.e. events, meetups and podcasts. We will be focussing in particular on the organisation of our own recruiting events. Let's go!

Target group analysis: Who's your rock star?

As always, do your homework before you throw the party. Target group analysis is your ticket to the world of millennials and Gen Z - and beyond.

Deep dive into the target group

You need to dig deeper to understand the real needs and desires of your target group. What moves them? What are their passions? And above all, how do they want to be addressed? Are they the quiet thinkers, the innovators who let their ideas speak for themselves, or the loud doers who want to transform the world and let everyone know about it?

Sharpening the event message

Just having an event is not enough - the message must be clear. What is the goal? Networking, knowledge transfer, direct recruiting? Your target group wants to know why they should come. "Because we're great" is not enough. You need to offer them added value that is communicated so clearly that they will mark the date in their diary in red. This applies to physical events as well as virtual events and podcasts.

The invitation - first impression

An invitation is the first impression your target group gets of your event. Make it personal, make it creative, make it memorable. A standard email? Forget it. An interactive invitation that is an experience in itself? Bingo!
Remember, it's about building a connection that goes beyond the event and lays the foundation for a long-term relationship with your future rock stars.

Event selection: Choose the right stage

However, not every event format suits every target group. A podcast about the latest trends in the tech world could be the perfect choice to reach the ears of tech-savvy developers. A meetup or trade show, on the other hand, could be ideal for engaging directly in dialogue and getting to know the personalities behind the CVs. Choose the format that not only reflects your brand, but also the interests of your target group.

Here is a brief overview of the different formats:

Career fairs

These are the Swiss army knife of recruiting events - versatile and far-reaching. They are ideal for presenting your brand on a large scale and reaching many talents at the same time. Whether virtual, physical or hybrid, career fairs offer you the opportunity to have in-depth conversations in workshops and 1:1 chats while maximising your presence.


Fast, efficient and focussed - webinars are ideal for presenting your company and its culture. They are particularly useful if you want to promote a specific message or target a specific audience. Plus point: they can be recorded and made accessible to a wider audience.

1-1 Chats

For that personal touch, 1-1 chats are unbeatable. They offer the opportunity to respond individually to potential candidates and directly assess whether they are a good fit for the company. This type of connection is particularly valuable if you want to deepen the conversation after a major event.


Podcasts are almost like a private conversation with potential candidates - an opportunity to promote your company's values and culture in an authentic way. They offer companies a platform for in-depth insights and stories that reach listeners during their daily routines, building a personal connection.

Workshops / Hackathons

If you want to increase the interest and commitment of your talents, workshops are the method of choice. They are interactive, informative and provide an excellent platform to promote specific skills or company values.

Own recruiting events

Having your own recruiting events is like a career fair, but you can play at home whenever you want and without the annoying competition. As these events promise considerable potential, we will focus entirely on this format below.

Behind the scenes: Strategic planning and organisation

You know that feeling when everything runs like clockwork? It's no coincidence, it's the result of strategic planning and organisation - the invisible masterpiece that makes every event a hit. Here's the deal: throwing a successful hiring event is like organising a rock concert. You need more than just a good band (or in your case, a strong employer brand aka employer branding). Above all, you need a plan that should be as watertight as if you were robbing a bank.

Setting clear goals and expectations

Before you even think about catering, you need to clearly define your goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase brand awareness, attract top talent or strengthen existing relationships? Your goals need to be SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. And please, be realistic. You can't expect Jack Dorsey to drop by just because you have some snacks and good Wi-Fi.

Location being part of the message

The location of your event sends a clear message. A cool start-up café or an innovative co-working space can offer a creative atmosphere that appeals to your target group and that you can choose from an easily accessible location. As a general rule, choose a location that authentically reflects your corporate culture and arouses curiosity at the same time. Of course, this works best with an invitation directly to your headquarters. We'll come back to this in a moment.

Catering - the secret star

Never underestimate the power of a good snack. Your catering can be an ice-breaker or a deal-breaker. It should reflect the local cuisine and offer options for all dietary needs. And yes, the quality of the coffee can make or break the success of your event, especially for software developers.

Authenticity and branding: The true face of your company

Authenticity is the be-all and end-all - and not just in today's working world. People are perceptive and immediately recognise when something seems too slick and staged. Your recruitment event should therefore promote a genuine image of your company, not just a glossy version for the public.

Creating an authentic experience in the actual workplace

Let participants immerse themselves where the daily magic happens - right in your workplace. Here they can really take in the atmosphere and get an authentic look behind the scenes. It's about giving them a feel for what it's like to come to work every day. Give them the little things that make up your culture, whether it's the coffee machine where everyone meets in the morning or the way you run meetings.

Strengthening the employer brand through interactive content

Interaction brings your brand to life. Instead of just talking about how innovative and employee-centred your company is, show them through workshops, discussion panels or hackathons. Each activity should be a reflection of your company's values and culture and give participants the feeling that they are already a part of it.
By combining authenticity and interactive content, your event becomes a powerful branding tool. It's not about presenting a façade, but revealing the true identity of your organisation - and that's what attracts and retains real talent.

Follow-up and measuring success: the art of the long afterglow

Organising a good event is like setting off fireworks: It can be bright and spectacular, but ultimately what counts is the reverberation that echoes in the ears of the participants. Follow-up and measuring success are crucial to turning a one-off event into a sustainable movement.

Follow-up strategies to maximise engagement

After the event is before the next contact. Effective follow-up is what turns interest into engagement. It's not about sending a barrage of "thank you for attending" emails. It's about sending personalised messages that show you've listened and understood. Maybe it's an email that references a conversation at the event, or an invitation to an exclusive online forum for attendees. Whatever it is, it should promote the feeling that everyone is important and that the conversation has just begun.

Analysing and evaluating event success for future improvements

The true value of an event only becomes apparent when you have the data to measure its success. How many of the people who attended applied for a position? How did the perception of your brand transform? Which elements of the event were best received? This information is worth its weight in gold as it gives you insight into what worked and what can be done better next time. Use surveys, feedback forms and engagement metrics to get a clear picture. Then use these insights to make your events a little better every time.

By taking follow-up and measuring success seriously, you ensure that each event is not just a one-off spectacle, but a step on the road to a strong and engaged community.

In conclusion, organising a successful event is not a one-off achievement, but a carefully planned and sustainable process. It's about building authentic relationships and providing authentic experiences that promote the values and culture of your organisation. Because it is this quality of sustainable relationships that ultimately makes the difference. So get ready and light the fire of enthusiasm. Because it's not a one-off eruption that counts, but the sustained flame of commitment and passion.

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