#socialrecruiting summit – my recap

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.



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4 responses to “#socialrecruiting summit – my recap

  1. I also thought that ERE did a tremendously good job with the Social Recruiting Summit but I don’t share the reservation expressed by some attendees regarding the goals being unattainable for small organizations. Paul DeBettignies delivered a brilliant presentation on how he as a one man band uses social media to drive about a third of his placements. How much smaller of an organization can you get than one employee?

    • Steven,

      Good point – Paul is a TPR and I should have made my point clearer that organizations that do not specialize in recruiting. Such as the small 175 person pharma company that was there and a little overwhelmed. I plan on watching Paul’s session on the video stream and he and I have interacted for several months so I know where he is coming from and agree with several of his points.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading the post.


  2. There certainly are many small to mid-size companies out there who are effectively using social media for recruiting – without big company resources. Social media is cheap and democratic; people who are genuinely engaged in social networks and smart about how they use their time can get great results. Those stories would be a good addition to the conversation.

    • Anne,

      Great points! I agree that a small to mid sized company should be represented and the “how to” on researching the tools, selecting the best for their candidate pools and an example of how to present to senior leadership for implementation is needed. It would round out the conference and give balance between large organizations and smaller firms.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading my post.



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