Confessions of a Networking Geek at Talent Connect

August 1, 2013

I have a confession. I am a bit of a networking geek. I live to hear about extraordinary ideas and I love to offer creative solutions to someone else’s dilemma. As a talent acquisition leader I am contributing to my company’s growth and legacy. I am responsible for ensuring we have the right talent strategy in place. I know I’m not the only person in this situation - and what better way to trade ideas and solutions than to network with someone who speaks the same language?

So you should not be a surprised that I’m jazzed about attending Talent Connect for the third consecutive year!

At my first Talent Connect, I was enthralled by the sheer magnitude of the event and enthused by the presenters and how closely the topics related to issues my team was facing. Honestly, I expected a three-day sales pitch and left with an unexpected souvenir: a notebook (47 pages) of thoughts that I picked up as I moved from session to session. In the margins I starred critical thoughts with “we should try this!” And on my flight home I prepared a summary to share with my team. Timing was perfect as we were going into goal planning for the New Year and the ideas I grabbed from Talent Connect steered our goals in a large way.

Mike at Talent Connect

Talent Connect will link you to so many others who are passionate about hiring. Having a network of people to reach is a gift and has often times been the solution I would have otherwise spent hours searching the internet for. I learned that LinkedIn is the vehicle to bring ideas to life and I view LinkedIn as a system that my team has been successful in building our strategy/process around.

October is just around the corner and I anticipate another motivating couple of days. As a Talent Connect veteran, I’d like to share some advice so you too can get the most from this event:

1. Don’t leave your ideas in Vegas.

What you learn shouldn’t stay there. Do something with those you network with – share ideas, bounce thoughts and grow the relationship during and after the conference. Tag them in LinkedIn after you connect on what they help you with and perhaps something you could offer to them.

2. Prepare.

Before you get there, know the three topics plaguing you and your team. Write them on page one of your notebook and keep this top of mind as you are networking. Great ways to start conversations start with simple questions like “what does your team do well?” “What are you hoping to learn here?” Start a dialog and then see if they could offer solutions to your issues.

3. Maximize your time.

The walk from the guest rooms to the event space is enough time to make a new contact... I promise you won’t make that walk alone – look out for the LinkedIn guest tags and get the conversation started. Join the Talent Connect group and begin to scope out potential people you want to meet. Message them ahead of time and grab coffee or mingle in between sessions.

4. Polish your profile.

I’m going to tell you this ahead of time; this is a very popular session. Expect a line, tons of energy and valuable profile enhancing ideas.  It’s worth the wait and you can grab key points and then implement this concept back at your company for your associates!

5. Comment.

Lean in during the discussions – share ideas, question thoughts and ask for input.  Do leave feedback on comment cards – your wish to see something may come true, trust me, they listen. Year one I asked for more on branding; year two poof! --the roll out of Talent Brand Index and sessions geared to marketing made the main stage!

Let’s keep the conversation going – I’d love to see you in Vegas!

Register for Talent Connect 2013

Or attend Talent Connect London.

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