Join Us for the Talent Connect Live Stream, Starring Ed Nathanson

August 26, 2014

Ed Nathanson is no stranger to transformation. As the former head of talent acquisition at Rapid7, Ed drove major change in how the company recruited, structured its team (think recruiters as talent scouts), and approached talent branding. This year at Talent Connect, Ed will host our live stream on October 21st and 22nd, bringing the Talent Connect experience to virtual attendees everywhere.

The live stream show will include our main stage speakers--including Arianna Huffington, Laszlo Bock from Google, Jennifer Shappley from Express Scripts, the LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and live interviews with other talent acquisition leaders. The live stream is free and ideal for those who can’t join us in person at Talent Connect. Ed himself credits experiencing Talent Connect as core to his success as a talent acquisition leader -- read more in the Q&A below and check out this fun video, highlighting Ed's transformation into a six million dollar recruiter:

1. Let’s discuss your experience of attending Talent Connect. How many have you been to?

I’ve been to three, and this year will be my fourth one. It’s been the single event that I put on my calendar every year. I’ve been to other conferences, and the reason I like Talent Connect is that you get such a cross-section and sampling of companies, perspectives, and ideas that you just don’t get anywhere else. After the first one, I started to bring my team. When you have that same mindset, it’s also cool to bounce ideas off of people — and to know that you’re not alone.

2. What was it like to keynote in both Vegas last year and Sydney this year?

First of all, it was an awesome experience but really scary too. I remember vividly rehearsing in Vegas the day before and being calm, then seeing a 30-foot me on screen and starting to panic. If there was one complaint I’d have about Talent Connect, it’s that it’s been focused on large, well-known organizations. So, it was extra special for me to go up there as a representative of small company and share our story.

3. What would you identify as your top two favorite Talent Connect moments?

The first is Glen Cathey. He always blows my mind. He’s a a sourcing genius. As someone who sleeps and dreams of Booleans strings, he always makes me rethink my approach. There’s always some little nugget that I learn from him. He makes me think again about how I approach search, and the logic behind it.

The second is Erik Wahl [Talent Connect Vegas 2013 keynote]. He really inspired me. I’m not one who goes into these speeches with big expectations. The way he described his story, the passion he had, and the format he used—it just really spoke to me. The touching veteran video he showed just really struck me and emboldened me to put fear out of my mind.

4. This year’s Talent Connect theme is Connect, Inspire, Transform. Can you identify how Talent Connect has helped you in these areas?

Connect: It’s meeting smart people who you either wanted to meet or didn’t know were out there, and getting the chance to learn from and share ideas with them. Bouncing opinions off of people is invaluable. It’s one thing to electronically communicate with folks, but another to meet them, shake their hand, and share a drink— getting to know them beyond the professional world. You share really wonderful stories and learn about how big companies and small, global and local are doing it. Looking back at those ideas is really incredible.

Inspire: Let’s go back to Erik. His message and whole theory of fear and doing what we would have done as kids—why stop now? That really resonated with me and inspired me to go down a path to not be scared to take chances, and really challenge myself to think: “what is it that the 10-year-old Ed would do that the 40-year-old Ed can do?” You go back to see how other companies are doing things, taking bits and pieces of their approach back into your toolkit.

Transform: Glen’s sourcing strategies change the way I and my teams went about sourcing and driving referrals. All of this really helps put those arrows in the quiver when you leave Talent Connect, thinking about problems we all share.

5. Let’s double click on Transform. Name one thing you did differently as a result of attending Talent Connect.

This is the absolute truth, and I’m not being a LinkedIn suck up. Brendan Browne’s speech from Talent Connect Sydney is my best example, focusing on how he uses analytics to map out addressable talent markets and set expectations with hiring managers. His speech really affected me.  It changed how I thought about the active process of recruiting, and how we could be more efficient.

6. What would you say to someone who’s trying to convince their manager they should attend?

Go to your leadership and ask them first how important talent is to the success of the company. If talent is a crucial piece, then ask, “What if I could learn to do things better, hire better, and learn from the best out there? Would that be worth the cost to go?” The answer should be obvious at this point.

Register for the Talent Connect live stream. The show will run from 9 am - Noon PST on Tuesday, October 21 and from 1 - 3 pm on Wednesday, October 22.


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