IAEWS Fall Congress Recap. Hanging with the Early Adopters.

I had the privilege of attending and speaking today at the recent IAEWS (International Association of Employment Web Sites) Fall Congress in Chicago. Peter Weddle does an absolutely terrific job running this association and this event. What impressed me the most about the IAEWS Congress were the CEOs of the attending companies - employment web sites. Impressive group. If you are an employment (or related) web site site I highly recommend joining this Association. You'll be in good company.

There are few venues whereby the majority of attendees "get it" when it comes to using social media and web 2.0 technologies in their marketing and PR. This audience gets it. This is not surprising to me. In the human resource marketplace, recruitment & staffing vendors have always been the early adopters of technology compared to their peers in employee benefits (as an example). The reason is that many of their B2C "customers" are younger job seekers who are always the first to use new technologies (think Facebook or Twitter), forcing the employment sites to adapt. And most have (but some employee benefit vendors do get it).

There were a number of great speakers at the Congress including Peter Weddle who opened the event and Bruce Skillings telling the story of CareerMosaic. Did you know CareerMosaic was the first employment web site back in the mid 1990s, filled the first job posted online and their name was inspired by the only browser at that time (Mosaic - anytime someone searched on the term "Mosaic" CareerMosaic came up - the industry's first SEO initiative :-). I didn't know any of this stuff. Thanks Bruce.

I had to leave early for a flight back to California so I missed Bruce Steinberg's presentation on "The Road Ahead" and the Panel discussion with Aaron Matos, Robbie Cowling, Mike Durney and Patrick Sullivan (moderated by Allen Paschel). But my colleague Jonathan Goodman tells me they were excellent.

If you are a member of IAEWS you can login to the IAEWS web site and access all the details from Steve Rothberg's (CEO of CollegeRecruiter.com) special blog done from the floor of the event. Event organizers take note: this is a great idea because not everyone's travel schedule revolves around your event. And don't worry, it won't canabalize your attendance.

I personally enjoyed the keynote by Sarah Rotman Epps from Forrester Research who spoke about "Surviving the Social Media Revolution". Much of the presentation was drawn from Forrester's new book Groundswell but Sarah did a fine job applying these concepts to the employment marketplace by suggesting a three prong approach:

1. Aggregation - bringing relevant content to your web site.
2. Syndicate - be visible on other sites.

3. Engage - using social networking technologies.

Her presentation dealt with B2C marketing (attracting and engaging job seekers). My presentation, which followed Sarah's dealt with the B2B side of the equation titled How to Generate Buzz in the HR Marketplace. For those of you who are interested, you can download my slides at our web site. Later in the week the audio of the presentation will be published as a Podcast (we'll do a separate blog post about it).

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