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5 days at talent acquisition week

Karen Henke
Editor of the Shortlist
February 3, 2022

We were not sure what to expect at Talent Acquisition Week 2022. Findem launched in 2020, and we kept hoping for conferences to go in person so we could meet our community. But how long could we wait?

Talent Acquisition Week seemed like the perfect place to jump in and get to know you virtually. In fact, we had such a great time that we’re already signed up for Talent Acquisition Week in July.

Each day, we posted a poll to gauge top recruiting trends from attendees. We wanted to share the results with a few insights. (I’ve linked to the careers pages of the presenters to give them a boost.) Enjoy!

Day 1: Hiring in the midst of the great resignation

What’s a talent acquisition leader to do? 73% of people are thinking of quitting their job and about 4 million workers quit each month in 2021. Hiring managers have their sights set on the perfect purple squirrel to fill their gap, and recruiters are tasked with finding them, guiding them through the interview process, and persuading them to join the team.

Recruiters everywhere are getting creative and depending more and more on networks and referrals. In one of my favorite sessions, Kevin Grossman, President of the Talent Board, put candidate experience at the top of the list for 2022 recruiting initiatives.

Why? Because candidates don’t care about anything but getting the job. And most people who apply or interview won’t be hired. Something to think about.

Elliott Garlock, head of talent at Clear Street, is out hunting for super niche engineers and compared his recruiters to Iron Man in a boss fight for niche talent. His comments inspired this poll:

Day 2: Sourcing, sourcing, sourcing

Tuesday was sourcing day and we were right at home at Findem. Sessions covered passive vs active talent sourcing, diversity sourcing, sourcing secrets, top tools, top strategies, and remote sourcing.

What we saw and heard: people are challenged, excited, and figuring it out. This community is so generous in their exchange of tips and tools: from how to get executive buy-in to the perfect Boolean string for getting results out of LInkedIn.

It’s a tall order. So what channels are working?

The General Motors case study with Kyle Lagunas and Stacy Zeller stood out to me as a fascinating challenge: build a “Zero Emissions Talent Pipeline” for a reinvented company within a globally recognized brand.

To find candidates, recruiters have to pull out every tool of the trade, make a human connection, and then welcome them with a stellar candidate experience.

Day 3: Hiring without bias and working toward inclusion

What better way to add to your talent pool than to broaden it by including more people of more backgrounds? Throughout the week, it became clear that diversity is not just a nice-to-have, it is expected. Most organizations have corporate goals around diversity and most people prefer a more inclusive workplace.

Marie Delage, Senior Diversity Talent Acquisition Scout at Adobe, started her session off with a reminder about language, and the importance of a shared vocabulary. From pronouns to code words, the language used to define a role can shrink your diversity pool before you even begin.

Alper Tekin, Chief Product Officer at Findem showed how to source candidates using attributes instead of keywords. That’s one way to get around exclusive language.

Day 3 sessions provided really practical ways to use data, engage with more diverse groups, and create a sense of belonging. This poll had a small sample size, but it seems that many companies are stuck at the top of the funnel when it comes to diversity.

Day 4: Branding and candidate experience

As a marketer, this was my favorite day because I love all things branding! People teams are realizing that they need to pitch their companies to prospects, and have started using the branding tools we’ve been creating in marketing!

It’s about telling your company story and telling the story of your people. Vanessa Sain-Dienguez walked us through the transformation of the Spectrum careers page and bringing the brand to life with real employee stories. Those aren’t stock images on their careers page. This approach honors the people who are the ones who create and maintain the values at any company.

As far as social media goes, the professional network LinkedIn still stands out on top for telling your brand story and engaging your prospects.

Day 5: Analytics and data-driven talent acquisition strategies

By the end of the week, the chat activity had died down and we weren’t getting much traction at our booth. But sessions were still well attended. Even though data and analytics came at the end of the week, the speakers made it clear that data is essential to success.

Just take a look at the slides Melissa Thompson uses to tell the story of how recruiting at Ford. She made an excellent case for looking at every part of the career application process with a critical eye, measuring progress, and communicating it up and down the organization.

Our final poll? A bit of fun…

Findem can’t help you with the unicorn. But we’ve got the other 2 covered. Check out the impossible search to see if you can find them!

See you this summer!

What a great community to be a part of! Kara, Kelly and the rest of the team at GSMC did an amazing job building an agenda with terrific speakers on important themes that resonated. The Hubilio platform made it easy to connect with people by chat, connect over LinkedIn, and schedule video meetings or gather in the lounge.

We look forward to seeing you again this summer! Stay in touch!