The King of All Social Recruiting

    You know how Howard Stern is the King of All Media? 

     I now declare Bill Boorman King of all Social Recruiting.

I’ve just returned from TruLondon, a social recruiting unconference.  It started on Wednesday with a day of Master Classes – unlike any Master Classes you’ve attended.  These were 45 minute sessions led by experts on topics ranging from Global Diversity (one of the sessions I led) to HR Challenges to  Personal Branding to Case Studies of Rackspace, Hard Rock Café and Zappos (another session I led).  The session leaders presented prepared remarks for 10-15 minutes and then opened the floor to questions and discussion.  Three sessions, sometimes four at a time, gave the attendees a real smorgasbord of learning and opportunities to engage.  Thought leaders and practitioners from all over the world attended, although the U.K. and the U.S. seemed to represent about 85% of the crowd.

On Thursday the real two-day unconference began and the meetings rooms overflowed with energy, expertise and passion for social recruiting.  TruLondon was, quite simply, a happening. 

A couple of words about Bill Boorman, the self-described conference disorganizer, and host to all the track leaders, sponsors and attendees.  He’s like the ring leader at the circus.  He keeps the lions at bay, makes the elephants behave and keeps the horses jumping through flames of fire – all while delighting the crowd.  If the timing isn’t quite as posted, if the speakers’ topics change at a moment’s notice, if a speaker doesn’t show:  no matter.  Our genial host was out in front ensuring that everything ran smoothly.  And it did.  In a manner of speaking.  Because the focus was on engagement not precision of operations.  I rather liked that.

Bill collected an incredible array of talent and expertise from the global social recruiting scene to lead sessions and to participate in the discussions.  In fact, it was hard to tell the experts from the attendees:  everyone was energized and passionate about connecting, learning and sharing.  It was less of a conference and more of a revival meeting.

From my perspective attending TruLondon provided a rich and meaningful experience:

  • I met many social recruiting experts from all over the world with whom I’ve connected through social media but never met face to face
  • I learned so much about the intersection between recruiting, social media and technology – especially what’s happening that’s innovative and bleeding edge
  • I have a much greater understanding about job boards and their role in the employment cycle (thank you, JobSite!)
  • And I have a sense that the confluence of global talent needs, the recruiting function, social media and technology holds great promise for organization leaders as we create sustainable strategies for managing our talent and our talent pipelines
  • And, it was in London, my favorite city in the world

Bill’s Tru Unconferences – coming to a new city every month this year – need to be experienced.  If you are a recruiter – internal or third party, if you are an HR professional, if you are involved in talent communities, heck, if you just want to hang out with smart visionaries and talk one-on-one with thought leaders in this space, you should attend a Tru Unconference.  But come ready to share, to engage, to network, to connect and to participate. 

And leave your notions of what a recruiting conference should be at the door.



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20 responses to “The King of All Social Recruiting

  1. Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a
    quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

  2. Pingback: TruInnovation |

  3. shennee Rutt

    Great post China! You really made the reader feel like they were present in the experience. I am hoping to be able to attend an TRU event in the US in the near future. Hope all is well with you.

  4. Hail, hail! 😉

    Great post China! Bill did an excellent job orchestrating the event and it was really cool to see how much it’s progressed since a year ago.

    Bill: Thank you for creating and allowing us to be a part of such a collaborative experience. Hats off to you my friend!


  5. China,
    I’m flattered by 2 things in this post, that you call me the king and that you got on a plane, flew half way round the world, chopped some wood in half with your hand and took part in what was a great collaboration.
    For once I find myself disagreeing with you. I’m not the king. I’m a social media amateur. There are many people way smarter than me. To still a line from my good friend in New Zealand @pauljacobs4real, i’m the Community DJ. I spin the records and everyone dances. I spin the records but I don’t make the music. the people who make the music are the real artistes.
    I learnt something a long time ago that was really real at #trulondon, and is a great lesson in leadership. if you want to look smart surround yourself with smart people. thanks for being one of the many smart people I was surrounded with at #trulondon. I’m not the king, i just do “stuff”. A pleasure to share in your knowledge, but an even greater pleasure to share your company.

    • Bill: I hate to disagree with you, but I don’t like the DJ analogy at all. You do make the music in addition to spinning the records. No question that you’re a thought leader and an innovator in this space. As for getting on the plane, that’s easy. Especially when you and your mates are on the other end of the trip. Thanks for including me.

      • Hi China – do you like a Manager analogy? People don’t want to be managed in a social web sense – it’s a command and control model. People want to express their own individuality. A Community DJ provides the venue (the platform), asks for and takes specific requests from the community, plays some music ( eg poses questions to the community) to get people participating, and creates an environment where people feel comfortable to get on the dance floor and meet others. A DJ thinks about their community and what interests them – and what gets them moving. A DJ is often perceived in the background once everybody gets into the groove.

      • I’m slowly getting it. I guess I’m OK with the DJ analogy to describe Bills’s role as the Tru conference disorganizer — as long as we acknowledge that Bill’s got way more than that going on.

  6. Tom Bolt

    I don’t know what is necessary for Bill to disorganize a conference in the US but I know it would be a hit. Wish I could have been there in London for this one.

    • Tom: you would have really loved it. Keep checking in with the King of All Social Recruiting at He’s planning on a Tru conference a month this year. I heard, I think, Paris, Australia, New Zealand, Amsterdam and others… So you have about 9 more chances this year!

    • Tom,
      I need 4 things to disorganise an unconference in any City anywhere in the world:
      1: A venue that can house our kind of madness.
      2; Enough people in the area to support a low cost event.
      3: A local champion who will help find track-leaders. (Theres no application process!)
      4; A sponsor to cover a few costs.
      When these 4 things come together it is showtime, and i’m open to any suggestions.

      • I love Bill’s global outlook. Bill has real passion in what is happening across the world, not just what’s happening in the UK, USA, and Northern Hemisphere – or within a certain clique / circle like some recruitment / HR commentators I know of. He has been an active champion for the great things we’re doing in the Southern Hemisphere – he just doesn’t preach to us what’s happening in the Northern Hemisphere – instead Bill has an established track record of encouraging sharing and debate in the Asia Pacific region – either via his downunder blog talk radio shows or showcasing some great local recruitment and social media case studies.

  7. Great post China. I sure wish I could have been there.

  8. Interesting post- thanks for sharing. I hope to someday attend on of Bill’s events. In the meantime I need to know is being a King better than being a Czar?

    • Hi Dave: let’s see…King vs. Czar… I think King of All Something is better than Czar of Something. It’s the “All” that does it. But I like the sound of Czar of All HR. It has a certain ring to it….

  9. sarah white

    China – It was great to see you! Along with recruiting professionals from 14 countries and 4 continents all coming together to talk about something we all love so much!

    • Always great to see you, Sarah. And congrats on your new position at Bersin! They’re really smart! 🙂 TruLondon was a great experience. All that passion, all that expertise, and the great people! Hope your travel home was uneventful. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

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