Talent professionals in social media love labels. Thus, those of us who use social channels for recruiting and networking together have brilliantly entitled our scene "Social Recruiting". We've been doing this "social recruiting" thing for years with LinkedIn and recruiting networks like RecruitingBlogs.com. But with the explosion of Twitter, Facebook, and personal blogs, et al, we are now really connecting with others in our industry from all over the world in an unprecedented way, so we really needed good label.
Unconferences (interactive, less structured, more fun version of an industry conference inspired by social networking) are helping to take this to a new level as well. Last year I was fortunate to have Bill Boorman come from London to speak at TalentNet Live in Dallas. He has said that he took his experience there and decided to make the unconference a bigger part of of his consulting business (Bill is quite adept at forecasting successful trends). He then attended the Recruitfest unconference in Toronto and hosted his own, TRU London, in London in November. I hope to attend TRU London 2 in February to help lead a couple of tracks along with several of my peers from the U.S. and around the world.
This month I attended what may be seen as a new step in global networking. Several of the top people in social recruiting, and social media marketing/PR from all over the U.S. and Canada attended a holiday Tweetup (#PunkATL) in Atlanta. No conference, no unconference, no speaker. Just a Tweetup. A networking happy hour on steroids. And boy was it cool.
I met so many people who I have networked and collaborated with for a long time, but had never laid eyes on in person. The event was an effort to get people together for an Atlanta visit by PunkRockHR blogger Laurie Ruettimann. With the co-hosting efforts of Stephanie Lloyd and Todd Schnick, this little get-together somehow swelled to over 200 people attending.
I was fortunate to appear on Stephanie's Dream Job Radio show with Laurie, Stephanie, and fellow social recruiting professionals Miriam Salpeder, and Geoff Webb and Maha Akiki who flew in from Toronto. We did a pretty great show to assist job seekers in their search for employment. You can get the podcast from iTunes if you search podcasts for DreamJobRadio, or listen to it here.
There was also a broadcast of Geoff and Maha's The Recruiters House Party from the #PunkATL Tweetup on which I attempted to participate over the very loud crowd at FuegoMundo. #PunkATL was huge success that is already on the books for a repeat in 2010.
I expect this to become a regular trend in our industry. We will surely see more informal international get-togethers as 2010 gets in gear. With social media, and the large networks we are building, it is so easy to organize and get the word out. And more TRU conferences are already scheduled for the U.S., India, Australia, and Ireland.
I learn something important and make valuable connections every time I meet my peers in-person. I encourage you to broaden your horizons, regardless of your industry, and get face-time with your peers from other cities and countries. To put it mildly, it will enhance your perspective on business and life.
Here's to a successful 2010. Cheers!