I think it is safe to say that the Social Recruiting Conference (#srconf) last week was a smashing success. The day went by very quickly, which I think is a great sign. The speakers were very interesting, the panels were engaging, and the food was delicious! The day started off with Alan Whitford warming the crowd up, who proved to be a very active chair.
Alan first introduced Colin Frankland, the B2B Marketing Director for Viadeo (Professional Social Network and #SRCONF Paris Premium sponsor). Colin spoke about Social Media Recruiting and Professional Networking. He started the day with some statistics to lay the groundwork for the rest of the conference. 50% of recruiters worldwide are using social media, and that is expected to grow to 80% next year. With all the excitement around social media, Colin reminded us of something called “candidate fatigue” where applicants don’t want to be this accessible and are actually experiencing too much communication. He suggested that if you are going to use social media, it is impossible to dabble; you have to commit.
Next was a presentation from Sirona Consulting’s Andy Headworth who spoke about Social Recruiting: Tools, Technologies, and Techniques. Andy introduced the audience to many new tools to manage your reputation, including Followerwonk, which I had never heard of before.
One thing I took away from Andy’s presentation is that we have to remember to understand the language of other companies. If Company A is recruiting a Business Development Manager, they cannot simply search LinkedIn, Viadeo or other sites for that term. They should instead search for the talents and skills necessary to perform that job because a candidate from Company B might be doing the same job, but with the title “Sales Director.”
After that session was our first panel, which was on Social Media, Talent Acquisition and the Candidate Experience. One of the questions asked to the panel was about the importance of a candidate’s Facebook page. The panel agreed that Facebook is a “personal” network as opposed to a “professional” one, and it should be left that way. Charlotte Vitoux Evrard made the comment “I don’t care what’s on their Facebook. That’s your personal life.”
Following that panel was lunch, which as I said was delicious! Once we all had enough to eat, we were given a session on Social Recruiting and Future of Employer Brand Ambassadors from Jean-Marc Mickeler of Deloitte France.
Jean-Marc said that at Deloitte, their goal is to “maximise individuals’ liquidity and personal market value.” That phrase really stuck with me. He said that companies shouldn’t accept the fact that new employees will leave within two to three years; they need to show employees that if they stick around past that, they will have a world of opportunities.
Next was a session on Social Networks, Resourcing and Employee Value Proposition. This was presented by Damien Joliot, who was also celebrating his birthday! One point Damien made was that at his company (People in Action,) social is not a direct approach. Instead of coldly messaging someone on LinkedIn, the company will meet with a person in real life first, but build that relationship through their social connections. He walked us through a personal example of a new hire at their company that started with a referral and a mojito, and ended in a new employee!
After that was a presentation from Maria Trivellato on Social Media, Employer Branding & Recruitment in 2015. One point that Maria made is that her company only uses Twitter for discussions, never information. She emphasized a personal, friendly approach.
Next was a panel that was originally on Developing an In-House Social Media Recruiting Strategy, but ended up being a debate and recap of everything that was discussed earlier in the day. Celine Lappas from Danone Research summarized the findings of the day quite nicely. She said “social media is not the goal, just the tool. You have to identify why you are using social first. Danone wanted to share more about our values, share jobs, and reach a wider audience.” Social media helped her company to accomplish all of these goals.
Overall, the day was incredibly informative. Every session was met with many questions, and the speakers used real examples and case studies to back up their answers.
What was your biggest takeaway from #srconf?