Now that I am doing the recruiting conference circuit (wheee!), I'm starting to understand how these shows are a little industry unto themselves. I never really went to a lot of these events in the past. I've been more from the school of learning by doing...not just at work but in general. If there's something I want to do that I haven't done before, I figure out how to do it (trust me, it's resulted in some interesting plumbing and electrical experiments at my home). Call me a control freak, but there's a true sense of accomplishment from doing it on your own. So I took the same approach to recruiting. Back when I started, we used paper files (yeah, remember those things? made out of trees!) and if you wanted to send your resume to someone, it came out of their fax machine on weird curly paper (yes, I feel 100). So I had already been recruiting for a bit when the Internet became known as a major tool for recruiters. As people were starting to understand how to use it to source candidates, good recruiters out there just figured out how it worked.
Then some companies, like AIRS, started offering Internet recruiting training. But that was really about it. As a recruiter, you kind of educated yourself by talking to other people in the industry and figuring it out. Flash forward 7(ish) years and I'm noticing that at recruiting conferences the topics are less about tools you can use to do your job (as a recruiter) and more high level stuff, like global recruitment branding or assessment tools. But most of the folks in the recruiting industry aren't the ones making those decisions. Or even if we have some impact, what we want most from these events are tools that we can use to do our jobs better (find higher quality candidates faster). I suspect that some of the big event companies know that there's a need to provide content that is actionable by individual contributor recruiters like me. But nobody has really specialized in that area (anyone? anyone?). I mean, once you have gone to AIRS training, there's not much more available out there.
This is why it's interesting for me to speak at some of these events. Sometimes I just think "you want me to talk about what?", but then I really see it as an opportunity to share, from one individual contributor to others. Plus, what seems mundane to me because I see it everyday, could actually be interesting to other people. It's kind of like doing a blog post...you have to keep asking yourself "do they care about this?" and then ask for feedback.
I know that some of these conference organizers read my blog. So recruiters out there....tell them what you want to see. Let me give you an example...
One of the big challenges I have as a recruiter is time management. Outside of your own ATS, you have to develop processes for getting back to people (my friend Suzanne is a pro at this), how to find time to source and network, how not to rat hole when you are sourcing on/off the Internet. So, if someone were to present a session on time management skills for recruiters, I think that would be very valuable and actionable.
What else? What event topics would be valuable (events, not books or websites...just event sessions)?