I started my career in the world of recruiting as an Internet Researcher over ten years ago, and while my work has evolved over the years to include a lot of different things, it has almost always involved candidate generation, which is something I absolutely love to do. While being the Editor of SourceCon from 2010-2012 was an amazing experience and afforded me the opportunity to have intimate conversations with some of the best sourcers and sourcing leaders in the world, it was the first time in my career where I was not sourcing for candidates. I felt like I was losing my ‘street cred’ and I craved getting my hands dirty again.
That’s why when an opportunity to work with the Windows Phone team at Microsoft presented itself to me earlier this spring, I took it. Oh how I missed sourcing! Having been back “in the trenches” of sourcing now for about six months, I feel like I’ve had the chance to really digest the culture here at Microsoft – the processes; the teams; the ‘way we do things.’ And I’ve come to the realization that there is absolutely no one way to source.
SourceCon ended almost two weeks ago. I am just now getting around to putting my thoughts down in a post for my blog. That’s because I spent a good amount of time last week on the phone with many of you getting your thoughts from the conference and starting the planning process for the next SourceCon. (which will be in New York City on February 8-9, 2011!) As this was my very first SourceCon in the driver’s seat, it was a new and unique experience and I think some of the lessons I learned throughout the conference are worth sharing here.
This is the second ERE conference I’ve attended since joining the ERE Media Inc. team back in June. Conferences are a different experience when you work for the company that is producing them! I have job duties I am responsible for and I have to make sure I get some good points from the presentations to do coherent write-ups from the sessions afterward. I still have much to learn from Todd Raphael and John Hollon, my fellow Editors at ERE. Todd is the Editor-in-Chief of ERE.net and John is the Vice President for Editorial at TLNT.com and both of them have extensive editing backgrounds. I’m the new kid on the block so I am learning lessons from them, step by step. (c’mon, you know I had to throw in a NKOTB reference there!)
Only four days remain before recruiters, sourcers, and HR types alike will be gathering in Seattle for the Social Recruiting Summit on September 13th, hosted at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. This event is right in my backyard (OK, not “literally” in my backyard… but I only live 90 miles north of Seattle!) and I am super excited for many of you to come and see how beautiful it is out here!
Since I really want to have the chance to meet all of you, I am going to be doing two things at this conference:
I will be getting you checked in the day of the event. Since we’re getting things kicked off early in the morning, perhaps someone will bring me a venti Pumpkin Spice Latte? (Starbucks just brought it back for the fall on 8/26 – hallelujah!)
I’m happy to provide shuttle service from the airport to the hotel when you arrive on Sunday!
A week has passed and I haven’t even uploaded all my photos from Minneapolis. Call me a slacker, but I’m still trying to absorb my experience at the Social Recruiting Summit that was held at Best Buy’s HQ. Being a presenter at an event always gives me a different perspective than if I just get to attend and learn. I get nervous before I present, which is silly because usually I am WAY over-prepared, and I settle right into a comfortable place within about 2 minutes. But it’s how I roll. This having been my very first Social Recruiting Summit, I had no prior experience with which to compare – and looking back now, I think this was probably the most emotion I’ve felt in a 24 hour period coming into a conference at which I was to present. A couple of reasons for this:
I sat at the ‘blogging tables’ throughout the day, writing down my thoughts on the various presentations and stewing over my own. Being the wrap-up speaker comes with its own challenges – you’re the only thing standing between your audience and a frosty beverage, so whatever you have to say needs to be extra memorable. However, having a week now to digest and critique, I feel I did a good job with my presentation, and the feedback I’ve received from it has confirmed this feeling. For those who were unable to tune in, during my presentation we did about a 15 minute exercise on developing our own personal marketing plans. We used the POST method, derived from Groundswell, written by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li. Feedback from this activity has been wonderful – I have had several people proactively reach out to me to let me know that they were adding details to the framework they came up with in my presentation and are eager to really get more focused in their online efforts. Hearing this warms my heart, and I look forward to seeing how they develop.
Having Minneapolis host a national recruiting event was long overdue. Minneapolis has put itself on the map over the last several years with its many heavily attended locally-based recruiting events, including the Minnesota Recruiters events and the Minnesota Technical Recruiters Network. However, Minneapolis also has a rich social media community that I’ve grown to know and love, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet many people who I knew online through Twitter but had never met in person before. As a former Cincinnati gal myself, it pains me to say this (not really…) but if the 513 wants to host a Social Recruiting Summit in the future, they’ve got some big shoes to fill.
Highlights from the conference, from my experience, included:
The pre-conference Tweetup, hosted and sponsored graciously by LinkUp. Lots of the local Minneapolis social media community members attended this in addition to all the recruiters who were in town for the event. It was a great ‘sandbox’ evening – everyone played quite nicely and great new friendships were begun.
Best Buy – truly a wonderful company, not only for hosting the event (and I hear they also hosted at least 2 more events over the remainder of the week – wow!) but for giving us a glimpse into what they do with their social presence, not just from a recruiting standpoint but also from a marketing, financial, and customer service perspective. Those guys and gals are cutting edge.
Josh Ingalls and Andy Drish of Principal Financial Group – a campus relations guy (Josh) and a marketing guy (Andy). AWESOME… I believe our jobs are more marketing-based than many really understand, and it was great to hear an actual marketing person speaking at a recruiting event. And the part of me that has been doing work with campus relations jumped for joy at Josh. Thanks, guys!
My roommate (for the 3rd time now I think!), Jennifer McClure – many of you know the saga of my 2600 mile move from Cincinnati to Washington state last summer, and Jennifer accompanied me on most of this journey. Any chance I can get to spend with her is special, since we no longer live near each other (we seriously used to live down the road from one another!)
Meeting some Minneapolis friends – something I honestly didn’t think I would ever get to do. Just through 6 degrees of separation, I think outside of my Cincinnati and Washington state connections, I have more connections with people in Minneapolis than anywhere else. Specifically, Keith Privette, Steve Lewis, Kate-Madonna Hindes, Erica Mayer, Nicole Bodem, and Lisa Grimm, it was nice to meet you in person along with everyone else!
Things I’d like to see at the next Social Recruiting Summit (which incidentally is being held 80 miles from my current residence, in Seattle WA!):
More metrics – now, for those who know me, you know that it hurts for me to say I want to see MORE numbers (I loathe metrics) but these are needed in order to make a business case for the continued use of social media for our recruitment efforts.
More small business examples - Paul DeBettignies gave us a glimpse into what he does as a one-man shop when it comes to social media presence. I think we need more examples of this, as employment trends will continue to move more and more toward companies hiring for contract as opposed to FTE. We need to know more about the how-to from an individual contributor standpoint.
More marketing and more PR – once again, I think there is more marketing and PR in our current job duties than we’d like to admit. I would like to see pure marketing and/or PR professionals do presentations at these events. These are the people whose bread and butter is based on the things that we really are just skimming the surface of.
ERE – David Manaster and his team always put on a good event. I appreciate being given the opportunity to present here and I am looking forward to being able to help out with the next one – just let me know what I can do!
Best Buy – gracious hosts and wonderful examples of how to really do things right and be thought leaders. Thank you for giving to all of us in so many ways!
Kris Dunn – for being a fun and engaging emcee – I’ve been a fan of Fistful Of Talent and HR Capitalist for awhile, and it was great to finally have the chance to meet and chat with you!
Paul DeBettignies – you are the poster child for going above and beyond the call of duty. You lobbied hard to bring ERE to your city and brought all of your worlds together for one big awesome party. Thanks for being a gracious host. I hope you’ll come to Seattle and allow us out here to return the favor to you!
I’ll post the link to the video from my presentation as soon as (or IF) it can be recovered (technical difficulties). In the meantime, here’s the Prezi version of it. As well, here’s a neat transcript of the #socialrecruiting hashtag from the day of the Summit as well as the day before and the day after, created at www.wthashtag.com. I look forward to seeing many of you again in Seattle!