Recruitfest’09

This week I traveled to Toronto for the second time within a week. First was to see U2 – totally awesome concert! It is a beautiful City fairly close to Upstate NY. I normally do not attend conferences, but learned of Recruitfest from Twitter. Then in having conversations with @jennydevaughn – she encouraged me to go, so I thought I would give it a try!
This was an “unconference,” described as an open forum to exchange thoughts and ideas with fellow peers and thought leaders within the industry. The conference took place at Trinity College, which is in a beautiful area in the heart of Toronto and built on beautiful old architecture that just made you feel smart.
I attended two sessions on day one. The first was with Jenny DeVaughn dealing with social media. Jenny is an excellent presenter, full of energy and passion about the topic at hand. We spoke about the movement from Web 1.0 to 2.0. She also talked about how to be effective with your messaging and shared some great tools of the trade to help you be more productive and save time, like leveraging RSS feeds for searches and grader.com from hubspot which is a free tool to leverage ROI.
We learned about the evolution of recruiting and how social media is a key player, and how as a recruiter you need to encourage your organization to allow you to engage in this space and help push out your corporate brand. My biggest takeaway from the conversation is that social media is no longer just about content; it’s about CONVERSATION and ENGAGEMENT! You must not be afraid to enter the conversation. Engage with your audience and build your community.
I also attended a session with Julia Stone and Jerry Albright. This was a great conversation about the 50 Principles of Recruiting today. Though we only covered a couple during my time with them, it was an excellent exchange of information and ideas from veterans within the industry and folks that were just entering recruiting. We spoke about how to approach a passive candidate, and how you have to make the conversation your own, what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. The discussion then turned to how in these tough economic times we need to show our clients our value, and not lower our rates. We also discussed the importance of follow up and follow through with clients, as well as setting appropriate expectations with them around recruiting process and timing. Overall it was an extremely valuable session.
All is all it was a great time full of excellent conversation. It was great to put a faces to some names and take social networking to the next level. Most of us knew of each other through Twitter but never really had spoken before real time. What this conference did for me is exactly was social media is supposed to do; take the conversation to the next level….which is face to face!

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