LinkedIn Talent Connect Sydney: Best Practices, Insights and Purple Kangaroos

May 30, 2012

More than 300 Talent Acquisition professionals gathered in Sydney recently for LinkedIn Talent Connect Sydney: a content-packed afternoon followed by a fun evening of networking. Steve Cadigan, LinkedIn’s VP of Talent, emceed the event and kicked it off with an entertaining and insightful presentation on the future of recruiting. He shared his vision of data-driven predictive recruiting, which could end the hunt for the “Purple Squirrel”—the nonexistent candidate frequently sought after by hiring managers. Based on LinkedIn data, recruiters are now able to demonstrate to hiring managers the actual availability of talent. Of course since there aren’t squirrels in Australia, purple or otherwise, there was much discussion of what the local equivalent would be. The Purple Kangaroo perhaps?

Sjoerd Gehring, Accenture’s Global Head of Talent Sourcing and Innovation, took the stage next to share his organization’s success with social media recruiting and discuss how Accenture has moved to a relationship-centric talent discovery strategy. His talk struck a chord, and it was hard not to be drawn in by the numbers: Accenture has now hired more than 1,000 candidates through social media and saved millions of dollars.

LinkedIn’s ‘Insights Ninjas,’ Rogier Verhulst and Will Hamlin, then took the stage next to talk about making data-driven talent decisions. While Steve Cadigan’s presentation focused on the future of recruiting, Will and Rogier discussed some real-life examples of how talent professionals are already elevating their decision-making through data – for instance, by being able to gather insights on where talent pools of IT professionals live, what Australian professionals care about and where large amounts of hiring are occurring.

After the break, Elizabeth Brown, Senior Director of HR at LinkedIn, moderated a customer panel that brought together Australia-based leaders in human capital, talent acquisition and marketing from ANZ, Deloitte, John Holland Group and Aurecon. There was a lively discussion on employment branding and the war for talent, which highlighted the power of partnership between HR and marketing. Next, Sjoerd Gehring returned to the stage to interview Simon Heaton, Managing Director of Global Executive Recruiting at Wal-Mart. Heaton has worked on three different continents, for agencies and in-house, and as head of executive recruiting—truly a wide range of experience. His stories about leveraging LinkedIn to cut agency costs for hard-to-find positions left the audience inspired.

Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s Global Head of Product, delivered the closing keynote and immediately turned all stereotypes about product on their head. He brought down the house with jokes about Foster’s Beer (always an easy target) and discussed the guiding themes for LinkedIn products: Simplify. Grow. Everyday. Finally, Deep gave the audience a preview of LinkedIn Talent Pipeline, which provides a single place for recruiters to grow, track, and stay connected with their talent leads, regardless of source.

As his presentation came to a close, Deep handed the mic back to Steve Cadigan, who wrapped up and sent the group over to the Ivy Lounge for a cocktail hour that lasted well into the night.

To view photo highlights of the event, visit the Talent Connect Sydney site.