Last Thursday, I attended the 7th edition of recruitDC at the Artisphere in Rosslyn. I keep saying if you want to be a recruiter in the D.C. Metro area, this is the conference to attend. Let me revised that: this is now a premier conference to attend if anyone wants to learn about recruiting.
The CHRO Panel
The first session was the CHRO panel with Angela Mannino of Inova Health, Jeff Perkins of NPR, Melody Jones of CEB, and Bridgette Weitzel of BAE Systems with Washington Post Business Reporter, Sarah Halzack, moderating the panel. Topics range from sequestration, creative recruiting techniques, the D.C. (talent) market, and how their organization uses social media. What I like about it was this was a panel of HR people who gets recruiting and it was diverse from nonprofit, healthcare, consulting, and government contracting. You get a variety of viewpoints and to me, that is helpful.
Taking Charge of your Recruiting Career
This is one of my most anticipated sessions because I’m still on “waivers,” waiting to be picked up because you have three recruiters, Ian Jones of Fluidhire; Celinda Appleby of HP; and Conor Nicholson of Nicholson Staffing Solutions, discussing their career paths. The panel gave me an idea what my next step should be. Just waiting to see who will open the door for me.
RecruitDC might have started a tradition with bringing a veteran over as a keynote to discuss their journey. Last year, it was Colonel David Sutherland. This year, it was Justin Constantine. Justin discusses his battle scars and injuries and how he has overcome and is a motivational speaker. Being this event is held before the Memorial Day weekend, these keynotes with veterans serve as poignant and a reminder about our veterans, what they’re fighting for, and to give back.
Geoff Peterson of The General Lead discuss the new trends in sourcing. While I expect a lot of boolean searches, Geoff describing that companies like Github, Stack Overflow, and TalentBin can be sourced by using their respective search engines. Either you pay for their service or use boolean strings, which cost nothing, but it is time-consuming. He also discuss Identified as the best sourcing tool for Facebook and Evernote is useful when you write something on paper, you can take a picture of your notes and Evernote will compute your handwriting into text. I know at the HRA-NCA Conference, there were a lot of people taking notes on paper. Now, they have a tool to take their notes and keep it. I hope Evernote can read cursive.
The closing keynote was Jenny DeVaughn, who I first met, face-to-face, at the Urban Institute Conference in July 2010 on my last day at NPR. She was great then, she is still great discussing how conservative organizations can get into social media by having content and context, biting the bullet when someone talks back, and be selective on who your brand ambassadors are. Below is her presentation:
This was the best recruitDC conference so far. The content was “rich as chocolate” and it was raining business cards, literally (hoping that’s a new tradition as well). Every session had specifics and how it can be useful for your organization. I really can’t say a bad word on each session, including wi-fi, which was pretty good.
How to improve a great conference like recruitDC? You have to think outside the box. The recruitDC board has to think one session where an “outsider” like a president of a company or an economist can do a session on the D.C. market, how they view recruiting and what they think how the profession should improve. I think a great person to do this is Stephen Fuller of George Mason University or Livingsocial CEO, Tim O’Shaughnessy.
I was the very first person to sign up and register for recruitDC back in 2010 when it was held at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre and had no expectations on what would it be. Seven conferences later, I’m glad I was first to join the bandwagon and there is still room for anyone to join.