Hands up if you were at the inaugural Sourcing Summit NZ at the Hilton in Auckland yesterday? Good for you. I hope you had fun, learned lots of stuff, met some people and have an equally fuzzy head as I do this morning. Now I have returned to my recruitment desk (yes indeed, I am not actually a full time writer and blogger, hard to believe I know) and I’m staring at an inbox more stuffed than a letterbox bearing the sign “We love junk mail” having just returned from a two month retreat learning Reiki in Sapporo.
People always go on about “takeaways” from conferences like this, but one person’s gourmet pizza is another’s box of Dixie chicken and chips, so those of you who attended can glean your own. What I’d recommend for those who couldn’t or wouldn’t attend and those of you brain-fried from the glut of information delivered yesterday, is to visit Twitter.com and type #sosunz into the search box, to get a pretty concise, interesting and occasionally entertaining list of soundbites, learnings, links, photos and “takeways”.
But I must start tackling my mound of correspondences and actually respond to people, so instead I offer up some brief observations from yesterday, and encourage you to add your own in the comments:
- It all pretty much boils down to engagement. There were plenty of great presentations from experienced recruiters and sourcers who all bring their own unique style to their art. Some use science and machines more than others, who rely on old-fashioned phone calls and actually meeting people. But nothing is ever achieved by any of them without building up a brand (personal or employment), cobbling together a following, attaining perceived credibility, applying expertise, and winning the hearts and minds of their targeted future employees / candidates. This is called engagement, and it still requires the art of a recruiter to leverage that into a job application, no matter how much science is applied to the process with things like LinkedIn Recruiter.
- Irina Shamaeva may sound like a female Stephen Hawkins but she also has an equally prodigious intellect and mind-blowing capacity for bending big data into successful sourcing. She has more tricks up her sleeve than a magician at a kids birthday party and I for one found it hard to keep up. Luckily you can visit her blog Boolean Strings to digest everything at your own pace. She is also a cunning weasel who knows a few “back doors” around LinkedIn meaning you can access things for free that others might have to pay a premium for.
- It’s possible to have a cheesy presentation that actually gets a point across, kind of, eventually (I think?). When I say “cheesy” I’m not talking David Brent in a tight white T-shirt and baseball cap swung round backwards, I’m talking about the actual use of cheese, and a grater, to explain communities and engagement. You probably had to be there – just ask Mark Sumner for more details.
- Devising a sourcing strategy for a crap FMCG company using solely Instagram and no other channel is ridiculously difficult. But made easier and, dare I say it, “potentially viable”, when you have people like Jenny Martin, Justin Pipe and The Bosh on your team.
- There was an encouragingly large number of out-of-Auckland recruiters who’d made the effort to attend the conference. Well done to places like Gough Group, Canterbury DHB, NZ Post, MoBIE, Dept of Corrections and Geneva Health for your wise investment.
- There was a distinct absence of agencies present. It’s true that a lot of what was said might have more direct application to the internal side, but there was plenty of interest for agencies too, and the ones that did attend certainly benefited from some unrivaled networking opportunities that makes the financial outlay a no-brainer IMHO.
- Finally, if you do decide to host a pre-conference party and put drinks on for the next day’s delegates, don’t entrust the speaker’s T-shirts with Sean Walters. Especially not the women’s T-shirts…..