Day Two of LinkedIn Talent Connect Features New Products and Expert Insights

October 18, 2011

Talent Connect is back in Las Vegas this October 10-12, 2012!

Tuesday at Talent Connect opened with a series of keynote sessions, starting with an introduction by LinkedIn head of HR, Steve Cadigan with the head of Hiring Solutions Mike Gamson and headlined by CEO Jeff Weiner (see the keynote video).  Jeff shared the behavioral changes that are afoot: the way we go online to represent ourselves, network and find insights is fundamentally transforming the way we work.  LinkedIn is replacing the resume, and ultimately the business card and the rolodex, says Jeff.  But candidates are no longer constrained to their desktops, or even to for that matter.  As a recruiter, in order to access and organize all the quality talent leads out there, you need a reliable platform to bring it all under one roof. And with that, Jeff and VP of Products David Hahn introduced LinkedIn Talent Pipeline – a single place to keep all your talent prospects (whether or not you found them on LinkedIn), connect them to their LinkedIn profiles to get greater insight, and provide access to everyone on your recruiting team.  It’s coming in 2012 and will be included with LinkedIn Recruiter, so watch for more updates in the next few weeks.  As Jeff said, Talent Acquisition professionals, with LinkedIn’s help, have been transforming recruiting. Together, we want to transform it again.

The keynote was followed by an interactive panel (see the video) moderated by LinkedIn’s Steve Cadigan that featured recruiting leaders Matthew Jeffery of Autodesk, Chris Hoyt of PepsiCo, and Kent Kirch of Deloitte.  The panel agreed that we’re seeing a significant shift in what the recruiter’s role is, and the key word for recruiters these days is “engagement.” Getting your leadership to get social is a universal challenge that all recruiters must learn to overcome.   Spoken word artist Sekou gave a special performance for the group as well, which deeply inspired our audience. Some of his key thoughts:   “On the recruiting playground, I don’t play around.  I can always sniff a winner out.”  And “There is a recruiter who filled the mess out of an open req.  Engage and connect.  The power to redirect like a talent GPS.”

Some additional highlights of the day:

Glen Cathey, author of the Boolean Black Belt blog and an expert in finding the exact right candidates on LinkedIn, illustrated his five levels of LinkedIn candidate mining in a session entitled “Maximum Talent Extraction.”  The issue for recruiters, says Glen, is no longer finding just one needle in the haystack, but rather all the needles in an increasingly growing haystack. One key to success with LinkedIn Recruiter is first picking all of the low hanging fruit, then breaking out your ladder and seeking the harder-to-reach high-hanging fruit.  And your competitors?  Give them nothing, he says, but take from them everything!

L.J. Brock and DeLisa Alexander of Red Hat shared their approach and insight into making talent acquisition a key priority in their overall company strategy.  Recruiting must be linked tightly with HR strategy, and as talent “sales people,” recruiters must go out and engage employees at all levels of the organization.  Make everyone responsible for talent acquisition, through in-depth surveys to develop the right recruiting/marketing themes, and making your value proposition transparent:  show what it’s really like to work there, not just the rare perfect testimonial touting the company strengths.

In a packed afternoon session, Stacy Van Meter, senior manager of social marketing/employment brand for Deluxe Corporation, and Holly Paul, U.S. recruiting leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers, shared their suggestions for becoming social media champions. With tips that ranged from being creative and enthusiastic to aligning social media strategy with business strategy beyond recruiting, the pair explained how they each transformed their organizations' internal and external brands through social media.

Additional breakout sessions provided a lot of meaty content for attendees to digest.  A session on working with hiring managers with Kristin Kalscheur of Amazon and Mark Israel from Experian showed how to actively engage hiring managers, and that data is your friend:  the more you track, the more you’ll know where to invest your time; the more you share, the clearer it becomes that you understand the hiring manager’s business.  As for building an internal search team, panelists Andy Williams from Brightree and Ed Nathanson from Kronos agreed the best strategy is to mimic the model staffing firms have been so successful with, only internalizing it, and that’s to build great relationships and set accountability with hiring managers.

The day closed with a presentation by John Tait of BP who shared how his company shaped its employment brand strategy in the wake of a crisis.  The power of what they learned as a business case now sits at the heart of their business plan for the next 3-4 years. Scott Pitasky of Microsoft finished off the day, making the audience repeat his mantra:  “All hires are not created equal. Where to spend your time as a recruiter is one of the most important decisions you can make.”  And John Phillips of Microsoft showed how the company pushes the envelope when it comes to true innovation in recruiting.

And of course an evening party for attendees outside at the “Talent Pool.”

Looking forward to tomorrow when we will hear from Earvin “Magic” Johnson and a session on Web 3.0 including LinkedIn co-founder and executive chairman Reid Hoffman.