Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Some Reflections: Social Recruiting Summit


Microsoft-HQ-photo   I spent yesterday at ERE’s 4th Social Recruiting Summit, this time held at Microsoft’s global HQ near Seattle.

I’m not going to review any of the event in depth.  If you were interested, you hopefully followed the Twitter stream, which, albeit rather full of MeetMeMe messages, was also hopefully very informative about the conference.  And the sessions I attended are all up on video at ERE, as are the reports on some of the sessions:


I will just say that it was a great conference – very well produced with excellent (I guess I should say awesome) speakers, case studies and hosting from Scott Pitasky from Microsoft, Chris Hoyt from PepsiCo and Kris Dunn.

Sessions ranged from those focusing on specific issues like tools and metrics which I didn’t go to, to others dealing with some of the bigger, and I’d suggest more important issues like culture.



The best of these later sessions was delivered by Richard Cho at Facebook.

Richard didn’t really talk much about social recruiting at all, and suggested that Facebook in particularly probably isn’t going to be somewhere people want to be recruited (although I liked someone’s challenge that people don’t want to see advertising when they watch TV, but get used to the fact it’s there – and other sessions clearly demonstrated the specific but useful role that Facebook can play as part of a broader social recruiting approach).

But Richard made it abundantly clear that no social recruiting approach is going to be that effective unless the work environment is compelling, progressive and social first.  In many ways this was a session that could have been given at any HR conference, but I still think it’s a factor that all social recruiters are going to have to deal with in their organisations at some stage.


Note: not all organisations are going to be able to develop a purpose as compelling as Facebook, but this shouldn’t stop them from doing what they can, eg by focusing on CSR (see this post on Adidas’ employer brand and my other on ‘mojo’).


Other sessions provided case studies and I particularly liked the one on Waggener Edstrom delivered by Heather Flynn and Kristin Kalscheur.



Waggener Edstrom

This presentation described the development of a digital recruiting strategy developed exactly one year ago and which has led to impressive soft and hard results.  What I particularly liked about this was that the approach taken was clear and uncluttered, but also very smart.

I image a fair few organisations started out down the same path over the last year and gave up when their twitter followers plateaud at less than 100 people.  And of course, you don’t hear about these (although there are a fair few of those twitter accounts around).

And I think what made the difference was WE’s very integrated approach, linking up the tools, people, measures etc.

So, a very nice example (watch the video).


Kris tried to pull all of these different streams together at the end which was a big ask, but one in which he did very well (I was just too tired by then to contribute).

But actually it’s simple – sort out what’s really important – like vision, mojo, leadership etc, then develop a good strategy, and the rest will fall into place.  As Matt Alder noted, you won’t have to do much ‘social recruiting’ (using the tools) because your people will be recruiting socially anyway (ie doing what comes naturally when they’re passionate about what they do).


If you want more, I’ll be posting from onrec in Chicago tomorrow.  And see these previous social recruiting posts (including my comments on the first of these events at Google last year).



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