Recapping #ERE16 Day 1

We’re moving onto Day 2 here at the ERE Recruiting Conference in New Orleans, but before we do, we wanted to recap all the amazing talks and sessions that day one had to offer.

The day started off with Christine Deputy from Nordstrom discussing how talent can drive business performance and change. She spoke about how connecting the strategies between consumers and talent could help drive better conversions, and that when working with talent the focus should be on delivering excellent customer service as you would with your consumer brand.

She discussed delivering an authentic brand story and getting back to the root of why your employees work for you — what makes your company special. And finally, Christine also talked about employee engagement. She gave several examples of how engagement increases employee productivity, conversions, and overall brand image.

The tone for the day was set after Christine gave such a compelling overview on how talent should be the focus of your business, and how it really does contribute to every level of your organization.

The biggest takeaway from Tracie Montgomery’s session on the seismic shift in talent acquisition is this line, “Recruiting is recruiting. Talent Acquisition is consulting.” She talked a lot about how you should train all of your talent acquisition professionals to be partners within your business and drive change through a consultative approach.

Next up was Steve Knox from GE who spoke about GE’s brand and how it has approached talent acquisition strategy with a “go global, act local” strategy. He discussed how the recruiting process should be designed with the candidates in mind, and not necessarily your HR department.

There are definitely ways to make it easy for HR departments to do their work, but at the end of the day the goal is to hire and nurture the best talent. Systems will always be broken and processes will be a little wonky because there is no tool out there that can solve every problem.

Steve’s presentation also covered the topic of employer branding, and how it has built a team of three to manage and execute all employer branding efforts for GE Careers, and more recently partnering with my team to develop an employer brand and recruitment marketing strategy for GE Digital.

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The Open Source HR panel session that I moderated focused on discussing why companies should open up their HR playbooks, share their best practices, and empower one another to succeed.

Companies are starting to shift away from the idea that hiring should be secretive and their methods should be locked in the vault and not be shared with anyone. The HR Open Source (HROS) movement was started to create a platform where HR leaders and practitioners can share their playbooks, lessons learned, and failures to help push the industry forward.

The last session I attended was the Space to Innovate concurrent session with some of the greatest leaders in the talent acquisition space: Chris Van Bavel from Marriott International, Christine Gragnani-Woods from Wells Fargo, and Thaddeus Jones from Lowe’s.

The panel focused on a few key areas. Chris spoke about AI and how 50 percent of jobs will be going to AI in the next 10 years. He also spoke on the fact that organizations are starting to embed themselves into companies like WeWork and other co-working spaces — and that the gig economy is strong and should be used to a company’s advantage where they see fit. Christine discussed how there needs to be strategic alignment in place between HR departments and the overall company strategy, and in doing so your brand will get an overall boost.

As you can tell, the ERE Recruiting Conference was full of copious amounts of information, and that was only Day 1! Check in with us on Twitter by following the official conference hashtag, #ERE16, and share this blog with others who weren’t able to attend to get the great learnings coming out of the conference.

Will Staney is the founder and principal consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former head of global talent acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio and Glassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAP. 

During his career as a recruiting leader, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". With his consulting firm he is helping clients like GoDaddy, Realtor.com, and others optimize their recruiting strategy and build a content marketing approach to talent attraction.

In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his wife, Mallary, and their two kids, Foster and Felicity.

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