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How to Host Virtual Coffee Chats and Office Hours with Flo Recruit

min read

As COVID-19 continues to cause schools to shut their doors and businesses to close offices, many of our customers are exploring how to shift their in-person recruiting events to virtual recruiting events.

In this article, we'll cover how to host virtual coffee chats (also known as virtual office hours) with Flo Recruit using the software and hardware your business already has.

What You'll Need

1. Flo Recruit

2. Video Conferencing Software (Zoom, WebEx, Skype, etc.)

3. A Computer or Laptop with a Video Camera and a Microphone (most computers today have this. If you don't have a camera in your computer already, you can usually purchase or rent an add-on to your computer. If your computer does not have a microphone, headphones will usually do the trick.

Prepare Yourself

1. Visualize Your Grid: With Virtual Coffee Chats, it's important to first visualize your schedule. Using Excel for this is helpful. You should chart out the available time slots. See below for a quick example in Excel.

2. Reach out to Employee Representatives: Create time slots as shown below in Excel and reach out to your employee representatives. Ensure they block their calendars for the full time slot so that you can start reaching out to candidates knowing their schedules are available. We recommend each employee spend a total of one hour, conversing with a total of 3 candidates for 15 minutes each. Leave 5 minutes between each session for the employee to jot down notes about the conversation in Flo Recruit.  

Set Up Your Virtual Coffee Chats

1. Add Event: Login to Flo Recruit, navigate to Events, and click Add Event.

2. Set it as Virtual: When creating your event, you'll notice a new question at the top of the page titled Virtual. Since this is a virtual event, change it to say Yes.

3. Name Your Event: For a coffee chat, we suggest having one to two members of your company paired with one to four candidates. As such, you should name your coffee chat to include the names of your employees attending, e.g. Virtual Coffee Chat with Jane Doe, Director of Recruiting. or Hannah Kelly - Virtual Coffee Chat #1.

4. Paste Your Virtual/Video Conference Meeting Link: Continue to enter in the rest of the details for the event including description, tags, university event, duration, qualifying questions, feedback scale and the other standard questions. You will notice a new field for a Virtual Conferencing Link. Paste in the link to your virtual video conference meeting. You'll need to generate this in your company's web conferencing software.

Alternatively, you could paste in a conference line number for a phone conversation. However, we recommend you utilize video conferencing software if available so that you can meet face to face with students. If you have questions on where to find these or how to gener these links, feel free to email Courtney O'Donnell, Head of Product, at Ensure that each individual event has a unique video conferencing link.

5. Event Type: Choose Open Registration or Invite Only. If you choose Open Registration, any candidates who register for your event will receive the virtual web conferencing link you inputted into the event immediately after submitting their registration. If you choose Invite Only, only candidates who are approved by an admin will receive the virtual web conferencing link. For coffee chats, we recommend Invite Only so that you can control the number of candidates accepted to each coffee chat event available.

To further control which candidates gets access to the event, we suggest Manually Adding Candidates instead of sending the registration link out. If your event is Open Registration, when the candidate completes their registration after being manually added and receiving the email notification with the link to register, the candidate will receive the conferencing information immediately upon completion of registration. If your event is Invite Only, when the candidate receives the link to register, they'll receive a confirmation email that lets them know if they are accepted to the event, they'll receive the virtual conferencing information. After you approve the candidate for the event, they'll receive an email notification that they have been accepted, and that email will include the virtual conferencing information.

Flo Recruit Events type flow chart

Note: If you choose to make your coffee chats Invite Only as recommended, you must remember to accept and deny candidates so that they receive the appropriate communications and instructions to attend the virtual coffee chat.

6. Time of Event: If your event's attendees span across multiple time zones, choose the timezone you are in.

7. Review and Edit the Confirmation Email or Approval Email: For Open Registration events, ensure the Confirmation Email includes clear instructions for candidates to sign in to your virtual event. Ensure the virtual web-conferencing link is in the Confirmation Email so that candidates can sign in. For Invite Only Events, ensure the ApprovalEmail includes clear instructions for candidates to sign in to your virtual event. In the Confirmation Email for Invite Only Events, tell candidates who register that they will receive further instructions if they are admitted to the event. Templates are already populated in Flo Recruit for this.

8. Duplicate Event: After you've created your first Virtual Coffee Chat, duplicate the event and edit the name and details as necessary. Ensure you paste in a new, unique web conferencing link for each coffee chat event you create so that each virtual coffee chat will have its own, private, web-conferencing room. See below for what your final Events database should look like.


You're done! Now, candidates will receive the information they need to sign in to your virtual event. Your invited employee representatives will also receive the link to sign in the web conference within the email they receive to leave feedback on candidates that is sent 1 hour before the event starts.

Katherine Allen

Katherine is the CEO & Co-Founder of Flo Recruit. She's dedicated to helping firms maintain their recruiting pipeline with virtual events.

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