This year’s Hr Network annual conference focussed on Social Networking for HR and Recruitment. As a recruiter turned marketer in the recruitment industry I was delighted to attend a Social Media event tailored to my industry sector.
With 300 HR, Learning & Development and Recruitment professionals across Scotland attending, it was clear this was a topic of real interest to the rest of industry as well and a smart move by organisers Lee Turner and his team at Hr Network!
Our keynote speaker a title Matt Alder, MD at Metashift, was introduced as a “defining voice in the emerging field of social recruiting”. A show of hands made it clear to Matt that whilst many of us in the room used Social Networking (LinkedIn being most popular) when it came using it for business our raised hands were distinctly “less confident”.
I was encouraged by Matt’s belief that “HR should be at the forefront of what companies do” taking note of his observation that:
Companies that do well quickly with Social for HR & Recruitment are the ones where, “HR and Marketing were already working closely together”.
His example of the United Airlines Youtube video and its potential impact on retention and recruitment highlighted Social Media’s effect on core components of HR and also touched on what was to become one of the themes of the day: We’re no longer in control of our employer brand.
Workshops and Sessions
The day offered sessions on Social Networking alongisde traditional HR subjects followed by a Q&A session with a panel of industry experts.
My first session with Tony Harding, MD at Momentum Spk was an interactive training LinkedIndemonstration. Tony shared that 95% of people are happy to be contacted by recruiters – a statistic I was pleased to see given concerns over the volume of recruiter activity on LinkedIn. Tony also provided feedback on our profiles and thankfully after displaying my profile on a large screen for the group to see he describe it as “quite good actually!”.
Peter Casebow from Good Practice and James McLuckie from Eden Tree talked us through “ingredients” for building online learning communities and the idea of enhancing learning through social networking was coupled with a reminder that:
“Technology should always follow the learning goals”.
With Guardian Jobs recently launching 11 Professional Networks Josh Smith, Head of Networks looked at how they use communities both editorially and for recruitment. Josh’s message on the importance of using “authentic content as a magnet” is clearly an effective approach with their networks already attracting half a million visitors a month and gaining 50,000 members to date.
“Use authentic content as a magnet”
My final session was with John Wallace, Head of Recruitment and Reward at Tesco Bank where we were reminded about the importance of employee engagement and the impact on employer branding. We are now living in a world where if you’ve had a rubbish day at work, immediately everyone you know can know about it.
With a range of speakers and topics it was interesting to see several common themes throughout the day:
– Where are your candidates?
With the days of 18 pages of job adverts in Friday’s paper a thing of the past and passive jobseekers not on traditional jobsites recruiters need to understand where their candidates are now and how to engage with them.
– Your Employer Brand
Employee engagement has an even bigger role in defining your employer brand and companies with high employee engagement will have a distinct advantage.
Your candidates know what it’s like to work for you before they meet you from employees comments, candidates reports on your recruitment process and of course your consumers feedback.
– “There is no silver bullet” – Possibly the most popular quote of the day
Social Networking for recruitment may be “refer a friend on steroids” but there are reasons to also continue with other more traditional forms of recruitment and no one tool will solve all recruitment or HR challenges.
This is only the start!
At the conference close the speakers were asked their predictions for Social Networking for HR & Recruitment. With answers including the rise of peer to peer referrals, increased mobile technology, development of LinkedIn and company specific applications it seems future will have even more to teach us in the years to come!
The Hr Network Conference was held on 12th May 2011 at Grosvenor Hotel, Edinburgh