My Takeaway From ERE Expo 2010

I attended ERE Expo online by following the live stream, which by the way was really great, with no interruptions and good sound/video quality. In a way, I’m glad I couldn’t be there in person, since the conference was in Florida, the weather was great and the location was very close to the beach—following online from rainy Montreal allowed me to concentrate better. On the other hand, it seems that the networking was great and people really had fun attending.

My Favorite Sessions

I should first mention that not all sessions were available online, since some were happening concurrently. I was also only able to attend some of the online sessions. Here’s a summary of the ones I liked most:

Your Employer Brand: Is It More Than Just a Logo? [watch the video]

Presented by Heather Polivka, director of employer marketing at UnitedHealth Group.  Heather discussed the importance of building an employer brand the same way companies build a brand to sell their products or services. After all, you do “sell” your company to candidates when you’re recruiting, and you need to find ways to build and promote an employer brand that will attract candidates (and not disappoint them after they are hired).

10 Steps to High-yield College Recruiting [watch the video]

Definitely my favorite session and the best on recruiting I’ve seen in months. Kevin Wheeler did a fabulous job describing what Generation Y expects from companies when they apply for a job (if they apply—many would rather work on their own rather than be an insignificant part of a huge corporation). It was amazing to see how members of Generation X can summarize so well what Generation Y people are seeking and what motivates them. Traditional HR strategies will really become obsolete very soon.

Creating an Integrated Global Recruiting Function [watch the video]

Another great session presented by L. J. Brock, senior director of global talent acquisition for Red Hat. You can tell right away that he’s coming from the open source world, mostly from his openness (he made the session a dialogue with the audience) and the way he managed to stay away from buzzwords and clichés. It’s no surprise that Red Hat extensively uses social media for recruiting, which is part of their strategy to make everyone in the company a recruiter.

How The Talent Acquisition Function Must Change to Remain Viable and Relevant Beyond 2010 [watch the video]

This session featured Carol Mahoney, ex-VP of talent acquisition at Yahoo, discussing the future of recruiting and what HR departments can do to remain relevant and successful. Centered on the idea that a talent acquisition professional should be “known as a leader… not a recruiting wonk,” Carol showed how to find the right talent, at the right time and the right place. She illustrated this with a case study of a company that rings a bell every time a new contract is signed and rings a huge gong every time there is a new hire – part of their company culture. 

Also worth mentioning are a few cool software vendors and tools mentioned during the sessions: Radian6 (social analytics), Checkster (feedback and employer reference checks), Sonic (applicant tracking system) and Cachinko (social media recruiting solutions).
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