On Tuesday, December 4, I attended the Dallas Recruiting Roadshow. My sincere thanks goes out to John Sumser, Ami Givertz, the presenters, and the sponsors who picked up the tab for facilities and food. The event was "sold out" although it was free to all participants. As a sales and marketing professional by day, I felt that I earned my seat only because I'm involved in recruiting staff, so can fashion myself part-time internal recruiter!
I am repeatedly struck by the many similarities of marketing and recruiting. My eureka is hardly a new idea; John Sumser wrote about this in 2003 in a white paper (link to PDF). These ideas and more were swirling in my head during my drive home from the Roadshow. Here are a few other notes:
What I found remarkable:
- When Ami asked the participants (which I'm guessing totaled nearly 150 people) whether they've ever attended one of the ERE, Kennedy, or OnRec conferences, a trickle of hands were raised. Maybe 5 or 6. "Wow," I thought.
- Many of the show sponsors present were front and center, engaged, and fully integrated into the program. Not once did the content lapse into sales presentation. Well done!
- The passion in the room for the profession of recruiting by both the presenters and the participants was palpable. (You can't get that feeling in a Webinar).
What I found memorable:
- John Sumser must be great at charades. In his Multi-generational Recruiting presentation, he acts out a pyramid with his arms (the pyramid being the historical model of the aging workforce with lots of young people on the bottom and a few old folks up top) as well as the telephone poll (with a nearly equal number of people in all age ranges). Note: the realities of the "telephone poll" change everything about workforce planning and recruiting and staffing.
What I learned:
- This "roadshow" model seems to have the needed ingredients for success: local audiences with latent demand for expertise delivered in a live format, willing speakers and presenters who can deliver valuable content without lapsing into blatant self-promotion, and available sponsors to pick up the tab. (See Martin Snyder of Main Sequence Technologies, and his blog on ERE for one vendor's perspective.)
- I learned much more about the profession otherwise, in particular the ethics of recruiting. Much like marketing and public relations have best-practices and a code of ethics, I listened to some internal recruiters reference the practices of some third party recruiters that left them feeling betrayed and cynical about future third party relationships. Much like PR, a few bad apples...
All in all a great day and future roadshows promise a unique opportunity for professional recruiters, the industry gurus, and the vendor community to all come together for a day of professional engagement.
You'll find information on future shows on the Recruiting Roadshow Web site.
Posted by Jonathan Goodman
Labels: business networking, HR events, HR industry, HR marketplace, recruitment and staffing, social media