July 3, 2020 Online Recruiting – Advantages and Challenges
Holding Online Company Briefing Sessions for Graduate Jobseekers
This year, due to the impact of the novel-coronavirus, we held our company briefing sessions for 2021 graduate recruits online. The events are usually held at our Tokyo head office.
After deciding to adopt a policy of online briefing sessions, in order to keep with our pre-planned schedule, we only had one week until the holding of the first event. However, even with this very short organization period, through much positive collaboration with colleagues, we prepared digital participation acceptance forms and explanatory videos, conducted rehearsals, and successfully delivered the first session.
Although it took much effort to get the sessions set-up and running, through repeatedly making minor improvements, most students could participate without any major issues.
The Benefits for Students are Great
For our conventional, offline company briefing sessions, we invite job-hunting university students to our Tokyo head office where we provide background information on our company and industry as well as give a tour of our office facilities and studios etc. Every year, unfortunately, there are some students who find participation difficult for various reasons including the travel distance to Tokyo for those living in regional areas of Japan, schedule clashes, and cost.
However, with the briefing sessions held online, this year students who would have found participation difficult due to such circumstances could join from their own PC or smartphone, and since there was no need to travel or stay in Tokyo, I believe that student schedules were more flexible.
Furthermore, we ran the question and answer sessions through an online chat tool, where, perhaps because of the text-based communication, more students asked questions compared to offline holdings of the sessions. I believe that this also benefitted the participating students as they could learn much more about Mitsue-Links.
Advantages, and Challenges, for Companies
For companies, one of the main advantages of holding briefing sessions online is that more students can participate - this is related to the above-mentioned benefits for students. Because of this, I believe that we were able to convey the charms of Mitsue-Links to more students across a wider geographical area so that even those who lived far away could easily participate.
Regarding colleague involvement, while initially, with the setup etc., manpower was required, for the actual delivery of content, it was possible to run sessions with fewer people than would be required for conventional offline holdings of the event. Furthermore, due to the statement of emergency being in place, colleagues joined and spoke remotely.
Running the events this way proved to be beneficial as we were able to deliver content smoothly and build a lasting, sustainable system that can be used again.
Going forwards, I believe an ongoing challenge will be how to convey online our company's "culture and atmosphere" in a similar manner to which it is experienced when actually visiting our head office.
Furthermore, since the sessions are online, it’s difficult to ascertain the reactions of participating students when compared to meeting in our seminar room. I feel a further challenge will be the consideration, testing and implementation of interactive methods that facilitate two-way communication as much as possible, including the questions and answer approach mentioned above, so that the sessions do not become one-directional.
Looking ahead, we are considering the continuation of online briefing sessions for job-seeking students even after this year. We hope to leverage the many benefits of the online sessions so that more students can freely participate. Finally, as the project lead, I will make every effort to overcome challenges and enhance content so that we can deliver even more fulfilling briefing sessions in the future.
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