Human Resources Kit For Dummies
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Open houses to recruit potential employees are most commonly held by companies in industries that experience high turnover and, thus, have an almost constant need for new employees: mass market retailing or fast food restaurants are examples. But open houses also can be an effective recruiting strategy for companies that are about to expand into a new region.

Conducting a successful open house hinges on several important factors. One key, certainly, is getting the word out by using a variety of media (social media, fliers, store posters, notices to local schools and colleges, commercials on local cable TV and radio outlets, and banner ads on your company website) to stir up interest.

Yet another strategy is to set up an effective, well-organized, and nondiscriminatory process that not only makes applicants feel welcome but also enables you to determine when individuals are clearly unsuitable.

Some other considerations:

  • Choose the place carefully. You can hold open houses at either your own premises or at some outside location, such as a hotel ballroom or conference room. Holding the event on company premises gives attendees a firsthand look at what you have to offer, but your facilities — because of their location, configuration, or security considerations — may not lend themselves to this kind of an event.

  • Think about timing. Open houses are typically held after working hours and on weekends to attract potential applicants who are currently employed. Before you select the date, double-check to make sure that your open house doesn’t conflict with other events that can hold down attendance, such as a popular sporting event or religious holiday.

  • Be friendly and informal. Not everyone who attends your open house will be a potential candidate, but they’ll all come away from the event with an impression that they’ll pass along to friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Make sure that the impression you make is as favorable as possible.

About This Article

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Max Messmer is chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, the world's largest specialized staffing firm. He is one of the leading experts on human resources and employment issues.

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