Recruiting 2006 Conference and Expo

Event: Recruiting 2006 Conference and Expo
Date: November 8-9, Jacob Javits Center, New York City

What: The 13th semiannual conference is hosted by Kennedy Information and dedicated to examining a variety of topics related to recruitment. The event drew more than 500 attendees from all over the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom.

Show info: Fore more information, please go to http://www.recruiting2006.com/.

Event: Recruiting 2006 Conference and Expo.

Conference Notes–Day 2, Thursday, November 9, 2006

Recruiter power: Recruiters are the most powerful individuals within a company, according to Rusty Reuff, CEO of digital music clearinghouse Snocap and co-author of Talent Force, a New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business. Reuff arrived at this realization while working as a recruiter at Frito-Lay.

“I realized that I was the gatekeeper to everyone that came into the company. If I wanted everybody in the organization to have green eyes, I could eventually make that happen,” said Reuff, drawing laughter from the audience.

Joking aside, he says recruiters wear many hats for a company, including that of ambassador, visionary and even evangelist. He urged recruiters to start having lunches with other power brokers in the company–executives from investor relations, business managers, strategists and anybody who can shed light on the business.

Beware of social networks: Recruiters may be on a slippery slope when using social networking sites, such as MySpace.com, to conduct background checks on prospective job candidates, according to Steven Rothberg, president and founder of CollegeRecruiter.com.

The content on certain sites can be easily manipulated by second parties, creating a distorted image of the candidate and sending the wrong impression to recruiters conducting a background check.

In addition, there is the issue of relativity. What could appear as a scandalous Web photo of a candidate to a baby boomer could be interpreted as natural behavior to a Generation Y individual who grew up in an era of reality television.

“Don’t hold what Gen-Yers post on their pages against them,” Rothberg warns. “You could inadvertently be turning down a star performer for the company.”
–Gina Ruiz

Conference Notes–Day 1, Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Passive habits: Recruiters must be willing to break old habits when chasing after the coveted passive job candidate, according to Steve Lowisz, president of Qualigence, a consultancy based in Livonia, Michigan. This may entail adjusting the sequence of steps in the recruitment process, he explains. For example, passive candidates should not be required to provide a résumé upfront–60 percent of them won’t have an updated résumé, anyway, according to Lowisz. In addition, they should not be forced to fill out extensive online applications right away. Tempted to administer a tedious assessment exam? You might want to rethink that strategy.

Placing these kinds of demands on a passive candidate could turn them off from going through the hiring process. A more strategic approach is to first try to establish a relationship with them. Recruiters should learn about their needs and professional aspirations, he says. “You have got to understand what makes them tick so that you can make a better pitch about your company and maximize your chance at recruiting them.”

Elective discourse: In honor of the recent elections, Scott Pitasky, general manager of talent acquisition at Microsoft, kicked off his presentation by having conference attendees raise their hands to vote on what aspect of recruiting strategy he would focus on during his speech.

He shared several bits of wisdom with the audience, but drilled home the point that recruiters need to understand the goals of a corporation before embarking on any staffing mission.

“You must have a clear understanding of what your company is trying to accomplish in order to make smart decisions,” he says.

Pitasky used the example of Microsoft’s search engine tool, MSN, which was recently in the market to hire 100 engineers. After talking to company leaders, he learned that the company was striving to evolve into a “smarter” search tool that could better match user queries with appropriate results. Consequently, he began looking for the type of engineer that specializes in data mining. “Not all engineers are the same,” he says.

Baristas online: Christine Deputy, vice president of global staffing for Starbucks Coffee Co., shared a video that is being circulated to employees throughout the company to get them to log on to an internal Web site: mypartnercareer.com. The goal of the site is to help the company increase retention rates among its 120,000 hourly employees. The Web site offers employees tools such as work charts and features blogs from the CEO and other senior company leaders.

Workers who appeared in the video gave accounts of why they are happy to work at the company. Miguel Lozano, for example, discusses the exciting process of taking Starbucks to his native country of Chile. Jackie Reed, who has worked at the company for six years, says she appreciates the business coaching that she has received at the company because it has helped her to grow professionally.
–Gina Ruiz