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LinkedIn Talent Connect – Day 1

LinkedIn Talent Connect – Day 1

Day 1 of the Talent Connect conference in Las Vegas started off with a keynote address from LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner. During his speech, Jeff shared with the attendees his vision of how LinkedIn will partner with its client to help elevate companies’ talent acquisition practices. Jeff, along with LinkedIn executives Parker Barrile and Dan Shapero also rolled out three new products/features for LinkedIn.

Jeff started out by teasing the attendees about some big, upcoming, changes to the profile pages; however nothing more was shared on that subject for now! LinkedIn did roll out the following new products and features:

1. Talent Brand Index – It provides companies a way to compare or measure their brand against others. The brand index provides a percentage score based on the amount of hits/time that people spend looking at your LinkedIn jobs, as well as the amount of followers and engagement of these company followers that you have.
2. A list of the most in-demand employers – This list takes into account the calculations used in the Talent Brand Index to formulate its listings vs. polling LinkedIn members.
3. Sponsored jobs – Using the same methodology as their pay-per-click ads, in this scenario, recruiters essentially “bid” to get listed at the top of the profile page under the section titled “Jobs you may be interested in.”
For a more detailed review of the products and features, I recommend that you go this ere.net article written by Todd Raphael who goes provides more information on the products.

The second keynote was a panel discussion about recruitment and marketing and the power of employment branding. Representatives from American Express, Dell and SAIC discussed how they have helped move their organizations forward in developing, launching and promoting their employment brand. They also shared how they have taken steps to differentiate their brand in the marketplace. The key message was that it was imperative to link marketing and communications together with your talent acquisition activities. Dell also shared some best practices on how they have integrated employee engagement and social media with a brand certification course at Dell. This then formally allowed their staff to become official Dell Brand Champions via their structured certification course. Further best practices revealed were the practices of showcasing a “day in the life” type scenarios in your marketing efforts and focusing on the experience…not the job. American Express stressed the point that you consistently need to reinforce and re-fresh your brand…annually is best, but at least every 2 years based on your engagement survey information.

My 1st in conference session was titled, “Leading your team to pipelining success.” It was a panel discussion with representatives from First Citizens Bank and Mozilla. The discussion focused on the need to identify your sales and revenue generating roles and focusing your initial pipelining efforts on these positions. In order to keep the proper focus on your pipeline, proper metrics need to be established like tracking time to source, as well as setting individual sourcing and recruiting goals to measure success.

Bersin and Associates presented research on High-Impact, Agile Talent Acquisition Best Practices. The research discussed focused on benchmarks and global success stories. They enforced the importance of branding and how it is the 1st opportunity to ensure fit and to differentiate from your competitors. What is key, according to Josh Bersin, was to articulate your value proposition to foster your recruitment and retention efforts. Bersin also focused on the concept of a recruiting/employee tunnel vs. recruiting/employee funnel approach where candidate relationship management is key. He indicated that it is important to continue to engage your silver medal candidates and ask them to join your talent community. Best practices in employee referral programs were shared including making sure your employees have job descriptions they can share with potential referrals, making sure your program has goals and tapping into alumni candidates – but above all, make it easy to refer! Bersin closed by discussing the use of big data in talent acquisition with the concept of T.A. moving through four different levels of awareness:
Level 1 – Reactive operational reporting
Level 2 – Proactive advanced reporting (i.e. dashboard)
Level 3 – Strategic Analytics
Level 4 – Predictive Analytics (i.e. predicting what will happen given certain variables)
Bersin indicated that as T.A. specialists, we create transformational value as we move from Level 2 to 3.
The last in conference session of the day was put on by recruiting guru, Lou Adler. The focus was on passive candidate recruiting without the big brand. Lou provided great tips on engaging prospective employees via the right messaging, job postings and value proposition. Lou focused on how as SMB’s, you need to focus on providing a significant career opportunity to the prospective candidate. He also stressed the importance of understanding whether you are in a talent surplus or talent scarcity situation. His tips for talent scarcity situations are to:
• Convert your job descriptions into career descriptions
• Focus on the impact, opportunity and challenge of the role
• Write compelling ads, customized by the job
• Conduct exploratory conversations with prospective candidates
• Ensure the full engagement of hiring managers during the process
• Close candidates on a career move and NOT compensation. This will maximize your quality of hire.
Lou’s focus for talent acquisition was making sure that when recruiting, we are focusing on what the person needs to be able to do in the job. In other words, we need to work with hiring managers to define the results first. Then, prepare the performance profile before going to market. Identify what the person needs to be able to do today, in 30 days, 6 months and 1 year. Focus on the approach of Action – Task- Result – Time:
1) What is the most important thing the person needs to DO to be considered successful?
2) What are the key subtasks?
3) Describe the culture, manager
4) EVP – why would top talent, someone who is fully employed, take this position? How will they impact the growth of the company?
By employing this approach of using performance profiling, it will provide SMB’s a better opportunity to attract and retain those key, top talent, passive candidates.

Day 1 concluded with a compelling presentation from Autodesk about their use of social media, mobile recruiting apps, a re-vamped corporate careers site and “disruptive” recruitment marketing practices. Their focus was on recruiting and branding in the uber-tough software development market. Their 3 pronged key messages were:

1) Nurture your employment brand
2) Social media matters – build communities
3) Take some risks!

Additionally, Autodesk released their new Recruitment 5.0 outlook which I encourage you to take a look at as it encapsulates many of the elements of their presentation. 

There you have it, the end of a fantastic Day 1! If you have any questions about any of the sessions discussed here, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line and I would be more than happy to get back to you.  My next blog post will provide an overview of Day 2.


2 Responses

  1. […] my previous post I blogged about the keynotes and sessions from Day 1. This post will focus on a detailed summary of Day 2. After a motivating keynote session from NJ […]

  2. […] someone takes the time to read my blog. My blogging highlight from 2012 was when I attended the LinkedIn Talent Connect Conference in Las Vegas and was asked by several individuals (that I had connected with online prior to the […]

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