"LinkedIn Talent Connect: What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas
... But I will make an exception this time for my HR colleagues.
On October 15, I attended the annual LinkedIn conference in Las Vegas. Having initially feared the sales pitch giant format, I hesitated for a long time, Talent Connect13 or SourceCon. Two very different types of appointments, but two opportunities to grow with latest-generation recruiting knowledge. Talent Connect13 offers a more global format in terms of topics related to recruitment compared to SourceCon which is the mecca of sourcers with the most elaborate technical candidates prospecting courses.
My choice was made, the topics discussed during the Talent Connect13 make me lean towards this type of conference. Vegas, here I come!
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Tuesday, October 15, 2013.
Two hours of waiting in the lobby of the MGM Grand to do the check-in, I listen, several interesting discussions on recruitment, I begin to understand the scope of this event. The interminable queue in the lobby lets out already deep enough conversations, accents from around the world, renowned companies are mentioned. Australia, California, France, Canada ... Thailand!?!
Interestingly, I still have not attended a conference and I already find some formative elements in informal queuing discussions. Whether you come from California, Australia or Thailand ... you can easily talk about recruiting with your peers. Obviously, everyone has their regional issues, but it is possible to find common aspects very quickly. All the better, it will facilitate networking.
The first day of the LTC13 offers a formula where the same conferences return several times a day to offer the opportunity to participants who arrive later to hear all the presentations. Officially, this first day is a warming, the speakers are mainly employees of LinkedIn.
Optimizing employer pages on LinkedIn, developing pipelines via LinkedIn, optimizing the use of datas via LinkedIn Recruiter, using LinkedIn's mobile tools etc. Okay, we quickly feel that LinkedIn is organizing this conference, the topics are still interesting, especially if you are a client of Mountain View, CA.
In the evening, LinkedIn welcomes you for a cocktail 6 @ 8 with DJ, food and alcohol. Ok, my summary for this first day ends here, if you want to know more after 20h, I invite you to return to the first sentence of my ticket.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Wednesday, October 16, 2013.
This is where the real poutine starts. After a breakfast offered by our account executive at LinkedIn, we start the day with plenary lectures. An interesting presentation from Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's CEO, on the success and role of the recruitment industry in the global economy. This presentation concludes with the announcement of a long-awaited new tool, the LinkedIn Recruiter! Very happy, will make quick follow-up to candidates and consult my pipelines via mobile.
"It's 238 Million Candidates in Your Pocket!" - Dan Shapiro, Talent Solutions & Insights VP at LinkedIn
Second Plenary Lecture by Chris Hoyt, also known as Recruiter Guy on Twitter. He takes a very interesting look at PepsiCo's employer brand management. Obviously, the budgets and resources of PepsiCo (with Beyonce as spokesperson) allow to make projects say ... quite sharp.
But that's exactly what we're going to do at LTC, we've just watched the best of class present their strategies and tools and then reflect on how to adapt to their reality. PepsiCo has teams that only work on the employer brand, deploy impressive resources to measure everything, base each of its decisions on counter-verified data, and launch five-year projects to gain "market share" over its competitors in term brand employers. It's Lean Recruitment.
We would all like to have the luxury of doing projects of this kind and many of us would have an idea of how to deploy these strategies, but one thing becomes totally clear to me right now, by listening to this conference. I also make the link with the # TruMontreal conference I attended the week before where many of the topics are similar to LTC13, these topics you know them, recruiters informed of new trends; Big data, Talent Brand, Sourcing, etc.
This idea hits me hard during LinkedIn Talent Connect13.
It's not so much the development of strategies or new trends, as the majority of recruitment professionals know best practices and strategies. Everything happens in the execution, and that's exactly where the best of the best are ... an almost perfect execution in the deployment of their strategy. Strategy vs. Execution. PepsiCo is a concrete demonstration of this, an almost perfect execution based on concrete data.
"A mediocre strategy is performed better than a great strategy poorly executed"
This is the message to remember on my second day at LTC13. But it is not finished.
During the afternoon, five simultaneous lectures will be held in the huge halls of the MGM Grand Conference Center. The source in me is pushed to Glen Cathey's presentations on building solid foundations in Boolean research and advanced Boolean research to become a Black Belt Boolean Ninja.
All topics are covered during this period; candidate experience, employer brand, big data, military recruitment (let's not forget ... we are in the US).
In the late afternoon, Lou Adler is sold out with more than 2,000 people and offers us a completely casual presentation on the approach to passive candidates. He shares his experience with tremendous generosity, he is one of the influential influencers on LinkedIn and bestseller Bestseller. Moreover, I seem to be a very nice character at this conference, I will confirm it during the evening, by falling on him by chance, around a Heineken, one-on-one with Mr. Adler in a Vegas casino ... Wow. I had tasty anecdotes (Refer to the first sentence of my text if you want to know more). You will have the chance to live an experience like this only at LinkedIn Talent Connect in Las Vegas.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Thursday, October 17, 2013.
The last day of LTC13 begins in earnest with a presentation on the Moneyball theory for talent acquisition. Using data to plan and prioritize talent Moneyball, yes, like the movie with Brad Pitt. Then we go on to the Rapid7 approach, as the company has talent scouts instead of recruiters. Interesting, but not new.
My strong moment LTC13, 10:15, presentation of Fred Kofman. His subject; Conscious Business. It is not possible for me to sum up this presentation by honoring it, so I urge you to watch it.
The final day concludes with extensive presentations on the digital candidate experience, attraction of candidates via employer brand champions, and management of change phases from reactive to passive recruitment.
All Talent Connect13 LinkedIn presentations are available via Slide Share.
All in all, LTC offers the opportunity to see the best recruitment strategies and tools in practice. LinkedIn obviously takes every opportunity to place its product but not at the expense of the relevant content content of the presentations. The conferences are high caliber, very well organized and of a scale that can only be understood by taking part in the event.
I really enjoyed this experience that allows to stop, philosophize about our practice and especially to exchange with other professionals from all over the world. The networking is extremely rewarding and brings to the event the desired value for the full three days. Recruiting Manager from Australia, Talent Brand Ambassador from Thailand, Recruitment Director from California, Talent Sourcer from England are just some of the meetings I did during lunches and breaks. Only LTC can offer you this opportunity.
For the rest, I refer you to the first sentence of my article.
NB: Next edition LTC14 October 20, 2014 in San Francisco."
A big thank you to Sébastien for sharing his experience.
Sébastien is currently a sourcer at GMCR Canada. He worked for Cirque du Soleil and Rona.