My thoughts on The Recruitment Unconference

So last week saw The Recruitment Unconference AKA TRU London 2 come to town on Thursday and Friday. This was an event dedicated to Social Resourcing and other related topics and brought like-minded people together, many of whom have only ever connected online.

I loved the day I attended (Thursday) for the people I met, the tracks I led, discussions I had and also the opportunity to be part of the wider discussion around this new media. The world is changing and that much was vividly apparent from the number of people blogging or tweeting about TRU and indeed the live twitter stream of the tracks that took place in real-time behind some of the tracks.

Compared to the first TRU London in November 09, it was a much more social affair which you can see clearly from some of the many pictures that have already been uploaded (see some on our facebook page here). Bill Boorman and Geoff Webb have created a strong community and that is also very evident from the chatter that's been going on Twitter (find a summary here).

To some it seemed that Unconferences was a little bit disorganised and yes it was a shame that some of the tracks were delayed where rooms weren't booked. But to me this added to the spirit of the Unconference. I mean the organisers even arranged for us to have an UN-lunch! That said people soon seemed to warm to the theme of participation and flexibility and conversation both on and offline was plain to see.

There was much that I took away from the event and I thought I'd outline a few of my observations/reflections:
  • There's a lot of people talking about Recruitment and Social Media, but what they're talking about isn't new. Some of the strategies discussed I've observed in businesses and teams I've managed for years - for instance engaging with marketing if you run a recruitment team in-house, considering talent pipelines for possible future jobs etc. That said, I was particularly interested in The Red Recruiter 's outline of his project with Rackspace in the Employer Branding track I co-led with Sarah White and Nick Price.
  • Common sense strategies work and always have - apply the same logic to Social Media. Use it to communicate about things people want to hear about.
  • Social Media consumers are human beings with human needs - we live to breathe, eat and all that other good stuff... That sounds rather obvious but this basic fact seems to have been forgotten by many. The UN-Lunch was a good example - if it doesn't arrive, go hunt-and-gather, go get a sandwich from Pret!
  • This leads on to perhaps one of my more controversial moments at TRU when I made the observation that FACT (or is that twact) a human isn't by nature monogomous yet why in recruitment advertising and HR Management do so many take a short term view on how too hook the person. Look to a longterm strategy to truly engage the person. Just because they leave you at some point, doesn't mean they won't return.
  • People like to see, feel and hear about things to engage with them. On Twitter we follow, on a blog we engage and on Facebook we become friends with someone (thanks for that one Bill), generally because we like what they have to say.
  • We're not robots yet we've designed the world in which we live to be highly automated - help people engage with the experience that they're involved in - it is a reflection of the world you have created in your business.
  • Recruitment is one facet of a business's overall business ambition yet most of the discussions I observed seemed to refer to recruitment as a tactic rather than aligned strategy.

At the Unconference I was also able to present Bill with his prize, voucher for a bottle of champagne, for contributing to the Social Media & Recruitment Report which we published recently.

Sadly I could only make it to Thursday's session as I had to be back in time for Love Balls, the event we ran in aid of Orchid - the Male Cancer Charity on Friday night. From what I saw of the Twitter chat though, the rest of the event inspired further debate and I'm still trying to catch up now!

Thanks again Bill Boorman, Geoff Webb and the rest of the TRU team for organising the Unconference. Can't wait for TRU London 3!

Views: 129

Comment by Michelle Fischer on February 23, 2010 at 4:31pm
Thanks Maren - it was great to meet you too. Great track wasn't it!
Comment by Michael Long on February 24, 2010 at 1:29am
I enjoyed meeting you and the employment branding discussion was a lot of fun!

I look forward to more spirited debate in the future!

Comment by Michelle Fischer on February 24, 2010 at 4:13am
Thanks Michael - the more spirited the better - I feel that so many recruiters lack common sense these days and a basic appreciation of what makes a person tick...having a consideration of this perspective is key!


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