Why Talent Connect is Different From Other Recruiting Conferences

September 30, 2013

By L.J. Brock, VP of Talent Acquisition and People Infrastructure at Red Hat

I’m not one to waste time on tasks or events that are low value. I make the most of every opportunity, including industry events and conferences. I’ve often found myself walking away from recruiting conferences uninspired, and vowing never to return.

Talent Connect is not like the others– there’s an overload of value waiting to be tapped. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. It's not Groundhog Day:

Diversity is the crux of why I go to Talent Connect. Often recruiting events turn out to be the same thing year after year – the same topics, the same breakout sessions, the same people from the same industries.

This event is special because of the wide spectrum of attendees. Talent Connect draws people from all levels -- new recruiters to high-level thought leaders, all offering different ideas and all focused on making the recruiting function better.

You also get a wide variety of industries represented – high tech to retail and everything in between, so the views can be wildly different. “Best practice” has an entirely different meaning in such an environment. Different is inspiring. Learning from people at your level in your sector is easy; it turns out learning from a very different group is just as easy and possibly more fun.

2. It's personal and it's business:

LinkedIn, above all, is personal. It’s more than a tool that we use to get our jobs done, it’s also something that we use outside of work – a personal, professional representation of who we are and our experiences.

Because of this personal connection we all share with LinkedIn, Talent Connect attendees exude passion. It's so easy to see that people who attend this conference really have a personal connection with LinkedIn and care how they contribute to the LinkedIn community. It shows from the keynotes all the way to the one-on-one interactions you have with other attendees.

I have been at so many other industry events where it feels like you’re just ticking the boxes: meet people, go to sessions, go to after hours events, go home. Not at Talent Connect. Here you’re able to have interactions with people who are there with a shared purpose, which means you can find a connection so much easier and get high-value learnings, both from a business perspective on how to leverage LinkedIn's recruiting products and on a personal level on how best to be a member of the LinkedIn community.

3. Technology makes us better: 

The opportunities to leverage technology (whether it is a LinkedIn product or other tools) to improve every aspect of recruiting is limitless.

The people who attend Talent Connect are among the most tech-savvy I get the chance to interact with throughout the year. I am not looking to attend a conference to learn about traditional practices, or historical approaches to tackling process challenges, as I can get that fix from reading white papers.

Talent Connect is great for learning about what’s new in recruiting technology trends, what others are experimenting with, and coming back to my team with fresh ideas and technology options to address our challenges. I come away feeling like I’m at the very bleeding edge of what’s being used – something that I can’t say for many other events.

4. Seems like old times:

I also use Talent Connect for traditional conference relationship building. It’s a very valuable part of why all of us attend such events.

I always make a few new connections that develop into meaningful business relationships that I can use when I go back to the office. What I have found great about these relationships is that there is no sense of competition, it's all about sharing and helping.

talent connect network

However, as important as the new relationships are, I get the most fulfillment from reconnecting with old coworkers/friends. If you have been in this industry for any period of time, then you have friends at other companies you don't see or talk to as frequently as you might like. Given Talent Connect's stature in the recruiting industry it's a good bet they will be attending as well, and you will have the chance to reconnect, relive some recruiting war stories of the past and renew old friendships.

5. Feedback is a gift:

I’ve noticed over the years that feedback is highly valued by the LinkedIn Talent Connect team.

As a conference attendee one of the things that has to excite and engage you is the opportunity to be heard and shape future conferences. I have been fortunate to attend every Talent Connect and I honestly believe it has improved each year. In large part, I trace that improvement to the way the LinkedIn team tirelessly works the halls of the conference canvassing feedback first-hand.

The result is that even if you have attended in the past, it's a good bet there will be substantial differences this year. You’re sure to get new talks from different speakers with fresh viewpoints and new tricks you haven't yet tried. You're sure to have new and different opportunities to engage with attendees and you’re sure to get asked by the LinkedIn team how to help make next year’s conference even better.

I will be at Talent Connect for of all of these reasons, and if you aren't there I truly believe you will be missing out. I hope to see you at a session (or at the roulette table after hours).

Register for Talent Connect 2013