campus event recruiting

Q&A With Bo Cole of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation: How to Engineer a Highly Successful Recruiting Event in Less Than Two Weeks

Q&A With Bo Cole of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation: How to Engineer a Highly Successful Recruiting Event in Less Than Two Weeks

When Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation—a division dedicated to the development of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet family of next generation regional jets—opened a design center in Canada, the company needed to attract in-demand engineering talent fast. Talent Acquisition Leader Bo Cole knew that, in order to compete for top engineering talent, his team needed a technology solution that would make it easy for the team to manage hiring events and build critical talent pipelines. Here’s how they made it all come together.

Talent acquisition teams across many industries face significant pressure when it comes to attracting, engaging and hiring top talent. However, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation was trying to overcome additional hurdles—describe the situation your team faced.

Hiring engineering and technical talent has always been critical to our business, but even more so today given our focus on achieving type certification for our first aircraft, the Mitsubishi Aircraft SpaceJet M90. To support this focus, the company opened a modern engineering design center in Montreal, Canada. The team was charged with filling roles for the center, and our strategy included a dedicated hiring event.

The problem was that our current recruiting software lacked the event promotion and management support that I knew was essential to success, and, like so many recruiters who struggle with limited ATS capabilities, we were relying on spreadsheets as a workaround. So, even though the event was fast approaching, we committed to conducting an expedited review of recruiting event software in the hopes of finding a partner that met both our technical requirements and our aggressive implementation timeline.

What were your team’s key technical requirements for the recruiting technology vendor?

We were looking for a solution that would make it simple to not only market hiring events to prospective candidates but support end-to-end management of the entire process, all while delivering a seamless experience for attendees.

More specifically, we wanted to make it easy for attendees to pre-register for the event, complete pre-event assessments and schedule onsite interviews for the day of the event. On the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation side, our requirements included the ability to share information easily with hiring managers and allow everyone involved in the recruiting process to provide candidate feedback within minutes. This would make it possible to arrive at the quick decisions that are needed in order to successfully convert attendees into hires.

And did I mention that we only had a week or two to find and implement the right solution?

That’s an incredibly aggressive timeline. How did you manage the review process in order to meet the team’s deadline?

Fortunately, our talent acquisition team had a clear understanding of the features and functionality we needed to realize success. We were able to quickly identify potential vendors based on very specific requirements and then whittle down our list to those who could deliver on the technology while meeting our go-live deadline.

Ultimately, GR8 People’s Campus & Event solution offered everything we were looking for from a features and functionality standpoint, including the ability to develop campaigns promoting the event to target prospects. This is important because, as anyone in talent acquisition knows, engineering and technical talent is in extremely high demand. These professionals aren’t actively looking for new opportunities, so we needed to create communications that would compel them to learn more about us and attend our event.

What were the results of your initial hiring event?

Our first measure of success was completing the implementation in time for our first event. Just as they promised, GR8 People got us up and running in three days. This gave us enough time on our end to effectively launch our event “marketing engine.”

The campaign functionality proved tremendously successful, too. We expected a high turnout but we did not know how many people would show up. We ended up with more than 1,200 registrations and hundreds more showed up. And, because we had the technology to move attendees through the process quickly, we hired a group of talented and highly skilled aerospace engineers from the event—all for hard-to-fill roles for the new design center. The results, as well as the experience of working with GR8 People, far surpassed our expectations.

We’ve completed our implementation of GR8 People’s candidate relationship management software, which allows the team to build and nurture talent pipelines by leveraging the software’s campaign functionality. In just a few short months, the team has grown our talent pipeline database to more than 3,000 people.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation has already realized the benefits of a more proactive—and efficient—nurturing strategy, too. Our recruiters are using the tagging functionality to keep track of top candidates, and we’ve organized our talent communities by skill set, with each one of our 24 communities assigned to a recruiter who owns the engagement process. This helps ensure a great candidate experience for those in the pipeline because they receive relevant communications and consistent outreach, keeping them interested until a suitable opportunity arises.

In addition, given the success of our initial hiring event, we hosted a smaller event that attracted 134 registered attendees. Right away, were able to move 21 of these attendees forward in the screening process.

Based on your team’s success, what advice do you have for other talent acquisition leaders who want to implement technology quickly but might feel overwhelmed by the process?

Looking back, there are three essential aspects that drove our success. First, be 100% clear about what you’re looking for from the technology, and try to distinguish between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” so that you’re able to accurately assess the viability of the tools and solutions that you’ve reviewing.

Which leads me to the second aspect—stay focused. We could have easily gone down a rabbit hole if we allowed ourselves to get sidetracked beyond the events solution or dazzled by bells and whistles that might impress during a demo but, in reality, don’t offer significant value to the organization’s hiring process.

Finally, choosing the best team to partner with is just as important as choosing the best technology because the technology alone can’t guarantee success. You need to have the highest level of customer support to quickly address any unforeseen challenges or issues. But the good news is that with the right partner you can move mountains. We know because that’s exactly what our team did.

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