Tag Archives: Social Media

It’s All About the Recruiters

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Jobvite’s annual Recruiter Nation Survey is out today. In its eighth year, the survey was conducted in July 2015 and completed by 1,404 recruiting and human resources professionals in a wide range of industries.

Much of the survey data is not surprising: use of social media tools by recruiters is strong and growing; referrals are still the most effective source of quality hires; hiring activity is up; the hunt for talent will remain or get more competitive in the next 12 months. No surprises here.

Here’s a surprise, though: only 4% of recruiters DON’T use social media tools in the recruiting process. But the tools used go way beyond Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.

Jobvite 1 Sept 2015

While referrals continue to be the most effective source of good hires, the frequency that other sources provide similar results is interesting. It looks like job boards are the Scott Walker of candidate sources – they started out strong (57% of recruiters reported using them in the 2009 report) but are fading as time passes.

Jobvite 2 Sept 2015Buried on the last page of the survey analysis is some data that I found interesting having to do with what recruiters are putting in their budgets. With the rise of the RPO sector, and a seemingly robust executive search/staffing sector, only 13% of recruiters are increasing their spend in the use of outside agencies. That seems counterintuitive to me. Employment branding is the other category surprise with fully 46% of internal recruiters increasing their spend. That verifies that employment branding is a thing.

Jobvite 3 Sept 2015There are lots of vendor whitepapers out there. Many do a good job of sharing useful data and analysis that prove to be useful at the practitioner level while burnishing their corporate brand. This one does both. It also has some pretty terrific graphics and the visual style is engaging. It’s 16 pages long and is a quick read. Download it here.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Referrals, JobVite, Recruiting, Recruiting Technology, Social Media, Social Recruiting

Recruiting and Social Networking

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SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) debuted some new survey data at their recent Talent Management Conference in Las Vegas. Published on April 11th, Social Networking Websites and Recruiting/Selection is interesting. And some of the data may not be what you think.

Employers use social networking sites during the recruitment process as tools to recruit candidates who might not normally apply. Expanding their reach to passive candidates, candidates with specific skill sets and candidates in specific geographies, recruiters seem to be very strategic in their use of social networking tactics and sites. I’m not surprised by these data.

Here are some of the findings I found a little surprising:

  • More than half (57%) of employers do not have a formal or informal policy on screening candidates via social networking sites.  

Really? In this age of increasing regulation and compliance, the majority of employers don’t have a policy about using social media to screen candidates? No guidance for recruiters? No guidance for hiring managers? I wonder if this is an “ignorance is bliss” approach or a calculated “we already have policies covering the use of social media at work” approach.

  • Employers that have policies on screening candidates are evenly split (21% each) in allowing or prohibiting the use of social networking sites for screening purposes.

This fascinates me. And it bears watching. There are legal dangers in the offing. Court cases are starting to decide the legal issues involved in using social media sites for applicant screening. And recruiters and HR pros don’t want to end up on the wrong side of this one.

  • About two-thirds of employers never have used or no longer plan to use social networking sites (69%) or online search engines (65%) to screen applicants.

This makes sense given the regulatory environment HR deals with today. And the fact that the courts are just starting to address these issues. However, it’s entirely unrealistic to believe that hiring managers aren’t using social networking sites to screen applicants. I believe that HR isn’t. I don’t believe that hiring managers aren’t.

  • 41% of employers target executive/upper management (e.g. CEO, CFO) when searching for candidates on social media.

This is really surprising and could spell doom for the executive recruiting industry. I would have expected a much smaller percentage of employers would use social networking sites for the recruitment of executives since it’s assumed that most employers turn to executive recruiters to find executive talent like CEOs and CFOs. If the use of social networking/media sites for executive hiring gives employers confidence to recruit executives on their own, a major shift in the executive hiring dynamic could be underway.

I was also interested in the differences in the survey question answers between 2008, 2011 and 2013.  Not only are the percentages changing, the number of respondents is growing, which I believe means that social media is being integrated into more nooks and crannies of HR. Take a look:

Social Networking Websites and Recruiting Selection SHRM 2013

This is interesting on lots of levels. And I look forward to continued growth at the intersection of HR and social technologies.

Hopefully SHRM will field this survey again in 2 or 3 years.

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Filed under Candidate Screening, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, Recruiting, SHRM, SHRM Survey Results, Social Media, Social Networking, Social Technology

Social Technology + Business = Social Business

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Last week we discussed the difference between social media and social technology.  There’s more.

IBM logoThe IBM Institute for Business Value’s report, The Business of Social Business, is full of research and survey data that can help in understanding how organizations are “seeing the value of applying social approaches, internally as well as externally.  Social business can create valued customer experiences, increase workforce productivity and effectiveness and accelerate innovation.”

That’s a mouthful.  But the point is that organizations going beyond counting “Likes” on their Facebook pages and using LinkedIn to recruit new staff members are optimistic about the value of embedding social technology into business processes that enable communication, collaboration and insight into customer, employee, supplier and business partner behavior.  And they’re prepared to invest mightily in social tools that will help them achieve those outcomes.

HR should be particularly aware of two areas that are seeing increased adoption of and investment in social technology – or social business, as IBM defines it:  creating valued customer experiences and accelerating innovation.

Moving far beyond promoting brand awareness on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, social business is becoming embedded in the end-to-end customer experience including lead generation, sales and post-sales service:

Uses of Social Business IBM

Look at the anticipated growth in the use of social technology to create stronger more persistent customer relationships.  Organizations are are preparing to move far beyond marketing applications to sales and services applications.

In HR, we all talk a good game about the need for innovation and collaboration – whether or not we’re talking about social technology.  Many HR professionals are leading these charges within their organizations while the inhabitants of the C-suite are looking for every competitive advantage their employees, suppliers and customers can offer.  The systemic use of social tools to enable communication and collaboration between and among these groups are powering some formidable product/service innovation and HR needs to understand them:

Uses of Social Business 2 IBM

Savvy organizations are using social technology to deepen the customer relationship by customizing the customer experience.  This goes way beyond branding and messaging through social media.

As HR becomes a knowledgeable proponent of social technology and its tools – not just social media – it can become a more relevant partner in their organization’s transformation from a traditional 20th century venture to a 21st century social enterprise.  Clearly that’s where business is heading — social business, that is.

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Filed under China Gorman, Connecting Dots, HR Credibility, IBM, IBM Institute for Business Value, Social Business, Social Media, Social Technology

Social Technology vs. Social Media

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In the land of HR,  folks tend to think inside their bubble.   And when it comes to social media, some are early adopters (think using social media for talent acquisition) and many are laggards (think writing policies that keep people from accessing Facebook while at work).

But the truth is that there is so much more to social technology than social media. And HR needs to go to school on this.

I was pleased to attend IBM’s Connect Conference last week.  I was there to get insight into IBM’s acquisition of Kenexa and its commitment to building a Smarter Workforce – the brilliant marketing extension of their Smarter Planet campaign.  Social business is huge.  Social business at IBM is enormous — and growing.

While at the conference, I received a copy of the IBM Institute for Business Value’s report titled, “The Business of Social Business:  What Works and How it’s Done,” that should be required reading for every HR person.   It’s a sort of primer explaining what social technology is and how it is transforming the way businesses are competing in the global marketplace.

Based on survey data from 1,161 respondents and interviews with 21 executives responsible for implementing successful social business practices around the world, this report is easily consumed by non-technical business leaders (that’s you, HR pros) and creates a much larger context for understanding the opportunities that social technology brings to an organization — and that will be coming to your organization soon!

IBM Social Business

Despite Applebee’s and HMV’s unfortunate handling of recent experiences with social media, note that the IBM survey identified three primary areas of social business in which organizations around the world are currently investing:

  • Creating valued customer experiences

  • Driving workforce productivity and effectiveness

  • Accelerating innovation

I found it fascinating that when drilling down into the second bullet point, driving workforce productivity and effectiveness – HR’s domain – the focus was on learning and developing talent, not acquiring it.  There’s a head snap for you.

Take a look at the report and look for more useful information from the IBM Institute for Business Value.  And download the free “IBM IBV” app for iPad and Android from your app store so you don’t miss any new research!

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Filed under China Gorman, Connecting Dots, Early Adoption, IBM, IBM Institute for Business Value, Social Media, Social Technology

What a Difference 3 Years Makes!

Three years ago in at its Annual Conference in New Orleans SHRM took a tiny, tentative baby step into the land of Social Media by fielding a concurrent session on HR Blogging.  It was called “HR Bloggers: who are they and why should I care?”  Four HR bloggers, 2 SHRM members and two (then) non-SHRM members) were featured in a panel discussion.  There was only one guideline:  no cussing.

The panelists, Kris Dunn (www.hrcapitalist.com), Lance Haun (www.lancehaun.com), Jessica Lee (www.fistfuloftalent.com) and Laurie Ruettimann (www.thecynicalgirl.com), spoke in language not recognized by most HR professionals about social media, tweeting and social community.  The most interesting part of the conversation to me was the discussion on whether or not bloggers should be held to commonly accepted journalistic ethical standards.

Also noteworthy about this session was the fact that it was live-streamed, a first-ever event at a SHRM conference.

And that was it. Well, if tentatively, received.  Tiny baby steps.

Flash forward 3 years and WOW!

A micro site on the SHRM website dedicated to the conference experience called The Buzz.

A social media lounge for bloggers – and there are lots of them.  The Hive – a 3,000 square foot social media hub/genius bar/meeting spot/training ground – prominently positioned and staffed by true HR social media experts to help attendees get started in social media or get more effective at social media.

Want to set up a Twitter account?  They’ll help you do it on the spot.  Want to change your FaceBook profile? They’ll help you do it on the spot.  Can’t figure out how to share a profile on LinkedIn?  They’ll help you do it on the spot.  Want to fill out your profile on SHRMConnect and get started?  They’ll help you do it on the spot.

Curtis Midkiff (@SHRMSocMedGuy), head of SHRM’s social media efforts has conceived and produced a brilliantly elegant approach to adding social media to the fabric of the conference experience.  If you’re a newbie, his team at The Hive will get you started.  If you’ve started but need help reaching the next level, his team at The Hive will get you there.  If you’re an expert, you’re welcome in the social media lounge – but beware. You will feel honor-bound to write a blog post and publish it immediately.  (Sort of like this one.)

Couple these efforts with free WiFi connectivity in the convention center and you have a benchmark, 21st century social media enabled conference.  Well done, Curtis and team.  Well done!

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Filed under Conferences, HR Conferences, SHRM, SHRM Annual Conference, Social Media, The Hive

Layoffs Planned? What’s An Employer Brand To Do?

Like most companies, you’ve focused a lot lately on your employer brand.  Why?  Because you are paying attention to data that does more than suggest that the tie you have to your employees is growing more tenuous by the day.

You see the data:

  • Job satisfaction has been moving downward and is now at an all time low:  according to the Conference Board, only 45% of America’s workforce report being satisfied with their employment experience.
  • Over the last 6 years, the percentage of departing employees who would not recommend their employer has grown from 42% to 75%, according to company exit surveys aggregated by Corporate Executive Board
  • The percentage of all employees leaving their employers who are leaving voluntarily is growing – and now greater than the percentage of employees who are laid-off according to current BLS data.

And now, like HSBC, Cisco, Bank of America and a growing group of other employers, you’re about to announce a layoff.  A major layoff.  And like most employers, you still have critical job openings in several sectors of the business and in various locations around the world.  And you’re predicting talent shortages in many of your critical operations.  A layoff.  Really?

What’s an employer brand to do?

With the fluid nature of today’s global workforce, you know it’s critical that you maintain a positive employer brand so that you can retain the critical talent you have and continue to attract (and in the future rehire) top talent.

What’s an employer brand to do?

You know that over the course of the next decade recruiting top talent is going to continue to become more and more challenging and you realize that the way you treat employees on their way out of the organization has now become as important as how you treated them on the way in – now more than ever.  The way you treat someone during the upcoming layoff will decide – for them and their network – whether they would ever consider working for your company again.

Remaining employees have always watched how impacted employees were treated during a downsizing or restructuring event.  But now, as the Boomers are beginning to make other plans, as Gen X is itching to see the fruits of their labor, and as Gen Y is yearning to work for organizations that are changing the world – the perception of how their former colleagues are treated will have a significant impact on your company’s employer brand, how loyal they will remain to the company and ultimately how easy it will be to retain them.

In these days of lightning speed feedback on hundreds of social networks, one negative comment can spread like wildfire.  Treating employees with dignity and respect as they exit the company can do a lot to mitigate the risk of that happening.

What’s an employer brand to do?

Revisit your severance policies and make sure that outplacement services are front and center.  Companies like yours that have invested in your employment brand could easily see that investment go up in smoke quickly without providing immediate, 21st century job finding services like cloud-enabled virtual services that harness the power of social networking sites and semantic search engines to automatically and continuously deliver personalized job leads.

Truth is, there are outplacement organizations that are taking advantage of cloud computing, semantic search, virtual technology, and up-to-the-minute content being created by experts every day.  The harnessing of these technology and content-components have done two things that are important to employers:  they’ve driven cost out of the service and they’re helping former employees find jobs faster – saving UI costs and severance costs, in some cases.  Finding new jobs fast is the point.  For all the stakeholders.

While the traditional bricks and mortar outplacement firms are certainly “bolting on” some technology solutions to their learning based processes, and their consultants are learning how to harness LinkedIn and FaceBook for networking purposes, there are new entrants to the space – technology based entrants – that are redefining this industry’s processes, outcomes for laid-off employees, and deliverables to the employer.

Job boards, social networks, and the ubiquity of information about employers on the web have certainly changed the way people at all organizational levels and all levels of experience look for jobs today.  In many ways, job boards and social networks have made finding the right job a much more complex activity. Your outplacement solution needs to help untangle those complexities while motivating your former employees to move forward quickly.  Nothing will take the sting (and negative social media activity) out of job loss like finding a great new job fast!  And that’s good for your employer brand.

What’s an employer brand to do?

Be sure to review your outplacement policies before you take another step in the downsizing process.  Providing more service to more people could actually save you money.

More importantly, providing the right service can save your previous employer branding investment – because employees who feel supported as they leave their organization and who find great jobs quickly – continue to be employment brand ambassadors for you.

They won’t be part of the 75% of departing employees who don’t recommend their former employer.

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Should Executives Embrace Social Media?

This was originally posted on the MonsterThinking blog on July 29, 2011 found here.

As business leaders, we’ve always known our customers talk about their experience with us.  Sometimes it’s good…sometimes, well, not so much.

Ten years ago, heck, five years ago, if we really cared about what our customers were saying to their families and friends about their experiences with us, we sent surveys to find out what they were thinking, feeling and saying.

Today?  Well, we’ve got the social web to provide a ready and steady stream of information about what our customers, employees, competitors, stockholders, investors, vendors, suppliers, analysts, employment candidates, neighbors and random strangers are thinking, feeling and saying about our organizations.

In fact, there’s so much information flowing that new departments within the customer service, public relations, sales, marketing, human resources, legal and investor relations divisions (and sometimes in all of them simultaneously) are being created to monitor what’s being said by whom and to figure out what to do about it.

With all the noise, with all the new tools (it’s not just Twitter and YouTube anymore), with all the organization attention being paid, why should an executive enter into the world of social media – beyond their personal LinkedIn account and FaceBookpage?  Here’s one executive’s story:

When I was leading SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management, with more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries) as its Chief Operating Officer, I became aware of a pretty large group of very smart, very active and leading edge HR professionals who were quite vocal about their disdain for the organization.  They were talking with each other through various social and new media tools and had accidentally (I think) created a community that I thought of as the “anti-SHRM gang.”

But here was the thing:  they were terrific HR leaders and consultants.  They were experts in the field.  Many were certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute.  They were active in learning and sharing their knowledge as mentors and coaches – formally and informally.  They were great!  Many of them are future Fortune 500 Chief Human Resource Officers.  And except for their anti-SHRM sentiments, they were just like SHRM members…with one major exception:  they were experimenting with and diving head long into the world of social media.

It was very clear to me that these were just the folks SHRM needed as members at the national level and leaders at the local level.  They included all the age demographics – this wasn’t just a GenX thing.  And they were writing blogs, hosting and participating in internet radio shows, innovating ways to use Twitter – all in an effort to create a community of like-minded professionals.  (They were also innovating ways to use social media applications to make their practice of HR more effective and efficient.)  And I couldn’t get them out of my head:  I wanted them involved in moving SHRM forward.

So I took up the challenge and created a Twitter account.  Because I wanted to be transparent about who I was, I chose the handle @SHRMCOO (now @ChinaGorman).  I wanted to let them know I was lurking.  I would ask questions from time to time and I re-tweeted comments I found interesting.  And I began to comment on blog posts that I thought were controversial.  But mostly, I listened and responded with lightning speed if anyone asked me a question.  In short, I listened.  I didn’t try to “tell” anyone anything.  I didn’t try to recruit new members.  I didn’t try to sell conference registrations.  I simply engaged in order to learn what was on the mind of these future members.  And I learned a lot!

The bottom line is that I made myself available in a transparent way to engage with our customers and potential customers.  And although I was just one executive at the world’s largest HR association, the symbolism to the full HR community – members and nonmembers alike – was powerful for our organization.  This community began to see SHRM in a new light.  “If a SHRM executive was engaged with social media, maybe this isn’t my father’s/mother’s HR association after all.”  And several of them joined and began to get involved.  That was good, and I’m glad for that, but what was most important was to hear their voices, understand their issues, and engage them in conversation.  We enlarged our community not by being willing to embrace the uncharted new world of social media but by taking advantage of a new source of business intelligence that informed us about what was on the minds of our audience.  And so we grew in relevance.  A good thing that created lots of benefits for the organization.

Does social media pose organizational risks?  Absolutely!  But to ignore those in-the-moment opportunities to engage a new or current customer, save a former customer, support an employee or just see a new way of thinking about your products or service puts your organization at a competitive disadvantage.

So go ahead and put together your LinkedIn profile and begin to populate a BeKnown network on FaceBook.  But be open to the richness of data available throughout the social web – and don’t just rely on your PR and marketing teams to report their findings to you.  It means so much more when you engage yourself!

China will be speaking at Talent Net Live on July 29 in San Antonio, TX.  Her track, Is Engagement the Antidote for Turnover?…Well, Maybe promises to be a lively session in which she’ll listen a lot!

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Two Sides of the Conference Coin

I had the great good fortune to attend two HR conferences last week:  HRevolution in Atlanta and Bersin & Associates’ IMPACT: the Business of Talent in St. Petersburg, Florida.  HRevolution was a one-day conference; IMPACT was a two and-a-half day conference.

IMPACT was about introducing new research focused on HR effectiveness; HRevolution was focused on discussing HR’s opportunities to transform itself.  IMPACT is a traditional conference; HRevolution is an unconference.  And both were outstanding.

130 activist HR professionals descended on Atlanta on Friday afternoon.  This was the third HRevolution unconference organized by Trish McFarlane, Ben Eubanks, Steve Boese and Crystal Peterson, a team who wanted to provide an alternate HR conference experience to those who couldn’t afford the big ticket conferences and who wanted a community energizing experience to kick-start their learning.  The HR activists who attended this week came from all over the world, from all walks of HR life and who were bound together by the relationships they have created on the social web.  Yes, there were tweeters, bloggers, FaceBookers, LinkedIners: all manner of social web inhabitants.  All there to solidify their relationships in person and take their online discussions to a deeper level.

While billed as an unconference, HRevolution was more of a highly-participative structured conference.  An opening keynote by Liz Gottung, CHRO of Kimberly Clark started the day with a frank overview of HR’s opportunities and goals in a legacy-burdened, paternalistic culture.  Her candor about her leadership challenges was motivating to the attendees who then made their way to a series of breakout discussions on topics like “If HR is so bad, what you doing about it?” “Pop Culture, Politics, and HR”, “Diversity and Inclusion = Innovation in the 21st Century” and “Designing HR for Influence.”

Few of these sessions used PowerPoints and session leaders – discussion leaders, really – expected  attendees to jump in to the discussions at hand.  And they did!  It was fun to sit with Courtesy of Monster30 or 40 other knowledgeable HR-related folks and debate topics like “If a high EQ is so desired in leaders why do such a high proportion of CEOs have low EQ scores?” and “what is influence and how can HR professionals develop more of it?” and “why do we insist on creating activity-controlling policies for flexible workers when we should be focusing on measuring outcomes?” and, well, you get the point.

One particularly engaging session, “HR Slam,”  broke the attendees into groups and asked them to solve an actual business problem provided by the session leaders.  A small, family-owned chain of restaurants is experiencing sudden and unexpected turnover in its small group of managers and asked for suggestions on how to move through their crisis.  The group with the most compelling and complete set of recommendations won $50 gift cards, so the competitive juices were flowing.  The restaurant chain owners ought to pay attention to the advice that was generated:  it was remarkable.

The toughest criticism I heard all day was that there were too many great sessions led by too many great leaders to pick which sessions to attend.  I felt the same way.

At the end of the day, HRevolution was a success because it was flawlessly planned and executed, the attendees came to play, the session leaders engaged with their attendees, and a spirit of camaraderie pervaded the space.

IMPACT introduced several new Bersin & Associates research reports by its analysts, all deeply knowledgeable and engaging speakers.  The research overviews were impressive, presented in actionable bites and gave the attendees just enough information so that the value of the full reports was crystal clear.  Made me want to go home, get on their website and download everything they’ve got.  And I am doing just that.

Additionally, IMPACT featured a number of in-the-trenches HR leaders who shared what was happening in their organizations on such topics as the use of social media in strategic staffing (AT&T, Actuant, Darden), re-building HR as a critical business performance asset (UnitedHealth Group), improving organization effectiveness by creating a robust HR analytics/business intelligence function (Eaton, Accenture), successfully leading organization change (Kaiser Foundation, CA Technologies), and transforming business through learning (SunTrust Bank, Thomson Reuters, The Cheesecake Factory, Teradata Corporation, Cisco Systems).

Sponsors of IMPACT, solution providers, were provided a large Demo Room to set up tables and engage with attendees.  It was a sort of genteel expo, not the usual frenetic tchotchke-laden expo hall.  Quite enjoyable, actually.

I really enjoyed all the built-in opportunities to network with the other attendees.  There were 3 receptions and robustly timed lunches and breaks.  The whole conference experience was designed for 450 senior HR leaders (they sold out and turned away 40+ more!) who don’t need a lot of noise and hoopla to engage, discover and learn.  I did all three.

So.  Two great conferences.  Two great experiences.  Two different audiences (although 3 of us were at both).  I really appreciate that there are many options for HR professionals to come together and learn.  I like seeing the trend of HR professionals reaching out for what they need in new ways – and conference organizers responding with new kinds of experiences.  There truly is something for everyone.

My only complaint?  Sponsors at every conference I’ve attended this year have raffled off IPads.  I haven’t won any of them.

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I Heart Recruiters!

I guess I’m an HR Conference junkie.  Because here I am at my first EREexpo and I’m lovin’ it!  (With apologies to McDonald’s.)

EREexpo is presented by the folks at ERE.net – led by David Manaster.  Because he knows I know HR conferences, he asked me if I had any suggestions for him.  And you know what?  I don’t.  He and his team have done a spectacular job.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s the best conference – altogether – that I’ve attended in the last 12 months.

Networking:

The nearly 500 attendees are here to engage with the content and each other.  I’ve been to a lot of HR networking events in my time, and these recruiters and talent acquisition leaders know how to network.  At the jam-packed opening reception last night the connections and re-connections being made were a thing of beauty.  These folks came to meet their peers, share the latest in “what works” and help each other be more effective.  Aggressively open and supportive.

Speaker Selection:

I am absolutely impressed with the quality of the keynotes and breakout sessions.  The Keynotes are all practicing recruiting leaders.  Leaders of actual recruiting functions inorganizations.  Practitioners.  Organization leaders.  So their content is full of current examples of what their organizations are really doing in the field. These aren’t sales pitches from consultants or “motivational” stories.  Actual relevant and actionable content by practitioners in the field.

Breakout sessions – only three at a time – are also nearly all led by practicing recruiting leaders.  The consultants who are presenting are true thought leaders.

Social Media:

I am thrilled to see that all the keynotes and one session per breakout time is being live streamed for any interested viewer.  Free.  As in no cost.  How’s that for using the power of social media to strengthen a community and drive stickiness to a brand?  During coffee breaks the great Steve Boese from HR Happy Hour is streaming live interviews with speakers and other notable attendees to keep the content flowing between sessions.  A truly brilliant move on ERE’s part – and not just because I was one of the interviews.

Awards:

This really caught my attention.  The ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards presentation took a 90 minute keynote slot.  There were 8 categories and representatives from the top 2 finalist organizations in each category were on the stage.  That’s 16 people sitting on the stage.  The winners and 1st runners up were announced live very attractive trophies were presented.  So far pretty normal.

Then the magic started.  The chair from last year’s conference moderated the winners and the audience in a panel Q&A/discussion session that let the audience look under the hood of the winning organizations’ strategies and tactics from the people who led the innovations.  I’ve never seen such engagement between a panel and an audience.  There were more questions than than time to answer.  (Of significant interest to the audience were the successes with putting wounded warriors to work at some very impressive organizations)  It was a very powerful session.

Venue/logistics:

The Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego is a stellar conference property.  The conference rooms are set up classroom style with table covers – a very nice touch.  Very comfortable and accessible.  ERE sprang for complimentary WiFi throughout the venue for attendees – a meaningful differentiator.  Other conference organizers should note that feature.  The food is pretty good, the staff is extremely accommodating and the sleeping rooms are lovely.

What else can I tell you?  This conference is the complete package.  Excellent content from current practitioner/leaders, excellent social media approach, excellent execution on the logistics.

The most impressive things about this conference, though, are the attendees.

recruiters.

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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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