I returned from Minneapolis where Best Buy hosted the third #socialrecruiting summit at their headquarters. My overall impression is another solid event put on by ERE with some reservations – check that – concerns for future events.
I had tough decisions all day on which concurrent sessions I should attend. Some decisions were based on the description and some were based purely on the speaker. The good news is that I will be able to watch the videos and based on the Twitter stream #socialrecruiting I never felt that I made the wrong choice.
As is true with all conferences the conversations between sessions and during the networking/happy hours tend to provide the most value for attending the event. In addition to finally meeting in person Paul DeBettignies (@MNHeadhunter), Jennifer McClure (@CincyRecruiter), Launce Haun (@thelance), Kris Dunn (@Kris_Dunn), Joel Cheeseman (@cheezhead) and Glen Cathey (@BooleanBlackBlt) I met some very interesting new people. People that are just dipping their toes into the space or maybe have been at it a while but have had limited exposure due to a variety of reasons.
During the post summit happy hour and after making the rounds with those I already knew fairly well I did my typical move – I walked around until I found a group where I did not know anyone and introduced myself. I met four people coming from a variety of industries and stories of the challenges they face using the social tools. We started interviewing each other and then the brainstorming began on how to solve or change the approach to hopefully yield better results. Thanks to John Creech, Michelle Topolinsky, Marianne Kulka and Marni Hockenberg for your friendliness, professionalism and sense of humor.
The concurrent sessions were very informative, thought provoking and well delivered. As the day progressed it was easy to see that the speakers were borrowing comments from each other and an underlying tone was that a strategy was necessary before getting into social media. This is very interesting because just this past November at the second summit the rally cry was go rogue! When it comes to social media, jump in, experiment, find out what is and isn’t allowed and push the envelope in order to move your organization ahead. That was all thrown out the window a mere six months later.
My concern is that the small to medium companies were not taken into consideration or those large organizations that do not have sizeable recruitment budgets. The presentations I heard would be more suited for the Fortune 100 organizations or organizations that have such strong brand recognition but not sure how to approach social media. I heard from too many attendees representing the small to medium company that what they were hearing was never achievable whether it is time, resources or funds. Personally, I think a true “unconference” session would be to ask a small organization to come and talk about what they are doing, what are the limitations and then let the audience help them figure it out – crowd source a solution not just for the case study but for several of the attendees.
I am looking forward to reading pages of notes, watching the videos and re-reading the Twitter feed to digest the great ideas, comments and recommendations because when I do I know I will be better able to move my company forward.
Oh and never ask Paul Jacobs the New Zealander to imitate a (American) Southern accent – I think my ears are still bleeding. Good on ya Paul, Matt Alder and Glen for hanging at the bar after everyone left – the conversation was priceless.