• TNL Chicago Wrap-Up

    Last week (12/5/11) I had the pleasure of attending the Talent Net Live (TNL) Recruiting Conference in Chicago (Aurora to be specific).  This was a most interesting experience for me personally.  While I am a well travel HR/SHRM conference attendee, this was actually the first full-blown recruiting conference that I have ever attended.

    In most if not all  organizations, Recruiting is part of HR.  Part of what I do in my day job is recruiting, but I do not do it exclusively. Most of the people in attendance are recruiters and that i s all they do.  So suffice it to say I was somewhat out of my element, a little uncomfortalbe , because they all swam in the same pond and I don’t swim there.  I was on the inside but still felt like I was an outsider looking in from the outside. To be clear, all of the problem was in my head.  I was treated really well by conference organizaer Craig Fisher and his entire TNL Crew.

    The entire event was about recruiting, how to do it better, tricks from pros in the field, the latest and greatest tech tools as well as several sessions on Talent Communities.  Do you really know what this is?  I had a cursory idea before attending this event.  Now I have good handle on the concept – and I think it is a most interesting concept.  My grotesque oversimplification is this.  Find people that want to be in your organization,  engage them through any means, stay in touch follow-up with them and place them in your Company when you find a match (an open position they want and one the Company feels they are capable of performing).  To me it sounds –  a little wacky – but I get it and could easily see how it works.  All of the costs are up front and your time to fill goes way down if you have people cued up waiting for a vacancy.

    Joel Cheeseman talking mobile at TNL Chicago

    Another matter that got a lot of attention at the conference was mobile.  The whole world is going mobile. And if you are in the business of recruiting employees, you had better have an app for that – and it better be mobile.  Not just a klunky phone sized version of your web page.  The recruiting app needs to be taylored, tweeked and tuned in for mobile.   I attended an excellent session on this with Mobile Social Media Guru Joel Cheeseman.  Joel taught me this; mobile apps go up and down not side to side and they have big buttons.  That is great information.

    Another thing I learned is recruiting is moving heavily toward video.  The fact that the even was at JSTN speaks volumes.  JSTN is going to revolutionize the way video is used in recruiting.  Take that to the bank folks.

    There were a couple more concepts coming out of the conference that were new to me.  The first was metrics.  Recruiter have a whole set of their very own metrics.  No Voodoo or anything here, just serious straight up definable, measurable metrics.  I am a better HR person for learning more about the metrics this gang uses.

    One more thing I got out of the event was some great software tool tips.  There were session titled Cool Tools and Pimp My Profile.  There were probably two dozen software applications I heard discussed.  Most of them are on the internet and have a free version available on the internet.  Most of them also have a super-charged pay version/upgrade that is available.  But I learned these recruiters are a frugal lot and are not interested in paying for things they can get for free.

    I learned more at this one day event than I have at many multi-day events.  This event was the first thing that TNL has done outside of their own backyard in Texas.  My understanding is that there will be more of these one day recruiting events around the country.  I HIGHLY recommend that you attend if you have the chance.  The conference fees are most reasonable (remember I told you these recruiters are a frugal lot).  Conference organizer Craig Fisher is well known in the HR and Recruiting space, accordingly his speaker line up will consist of thought leaders  and well known names in the industry.  And given the size of the event you can meet, connect and network with all of these folks.

    If TNL gets back here to the Mid-West look for me to help them promote their events.  They have good stuff to offer. Also look for me to attend – because the content is guaranteed to be  good stuff  – and it doesn’t cost an arm and leg to attend.

  • Talent Net Live Chicago

    My kids used to call it creeping.  I don’t know if that is still the case.  But in the social media realm there are those who are lurkers.  This, is in-fact is a bona-fide type of social media user as defined by Klout. I would surmise that often times, these are the folks who are relatively new to the medium, and are just as much content to watch rather than to participate.  You know who you are.

    If you are in that realm then this post is directed at you. There is an opportunity for you to bust out of your shell, to come out from behind that avatar and meet a bunch of people; hopefully about 300 to be exact.  I am talking about YOU attending the upcoming TalentNetLive Chicago event that is coming up next month on December 5th in the Chicago area. 

    Here is a little background on me.  In March of 2010 I was still dabbling in social media, unsure of its use and potential.  There was an event being held in Chicago in May.  It was called HREvolution and was billed as an “unconference.”   I struggled with this; should I go, or not. I could tell there were going to be a lot of folks I had seen on twitter, on LinkedIn and to some degree on Facebook. They were either attending or speaking at the event.   I thought to myself this might be a very cool event.  I would get to meet some of these folk I admired without having met face to face.  And if memory serves me correct, the event itself only cost $100.   Hell, I would be out more money for a hotel room than the conference.  I did it. I attended. The people were all really nice and friendly – even the FAMOUS ones.  No doubt that was the best $100 I ever spent on myself.

    You – the social media lurkers/newbies of 2011 are now being afforded a similar opportunity and I think you should jump on this, sign up now. You will have to spend $5 more than I did for HREvolution 2010 – call it inflation.

    Ok so you want to know what is the TalentNetLive – where did it come from – what do they do?  TalentNetLive.com is a web site operated by Craig Fisher.  I wanted to know more too, so I talked with Craig about this and kind of got the back story on how this all came to be.

    Back in December of 2008 Craig along with some recruiter friends of his, started up a twitter chat which used the hashtag #TNL.  The chat took place once a month. It grew in popularity with more and more participants.  It grew to the point that people wanted to get together and talk about some of the matters they were tweeting about.  Craig says there was so much interest that Pepsico wanted to sponsor a live event.  An event was conceived and planned. The attendees would consist of a number of regional recruiters (TX & OK mostly).  A live event was held in August of 2009 and it sold out with 185 attendees.

    Next year, the folks at Pepsico wanted to do it again. With over 200 attendees the 2010 event was an even bigger success.  The event was back in 2011 for another round.

    This in-turn begat a couple more conferences, which are  now called TNL Live Events.  Silk Road worked with Craig and his gang to sponsor another TNL Live event in Austin, TX the day before the opening of South by Southwest in March of 2011.   The folks at RackSpace took notice of this event and sponsored a TNLLive event in San Antonio in July of 2011.

    So you see this stuff is for real.  TNL Live is bringing together leaders in recruiting , human resources,  social media, branding and technology and creating a forum for dialogue, interaction and learning.

    If you were paying particular attention you may have noticed that the last item in that list was technology. And yes TalentNetLive is going to be rife with technology.  The event itself is being held at a conference partner headquarters.  Job Search Television Network (JSTN) in Aurora is where the event actually takes place.  JSTN is partnering in the event.  While on site you will be able to see the JSTN facilities, see how they work, what they do, and even pursue their services if you are interested.

    So to recap, don’t be a lurker, get out of your shell, register for TNLLive Chicago.  There will be a bunch of your friends from Illinois SHRM in attendance, so you will at least know a few of us, while meeting new friends face to face.

    I am already registered – I hope to see you there!