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LinkedIn Talent Connect – Day 2

In 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 Mayor Cory Booker, our 2nd keynote of the day focused on stories in transformation as recruiting leaders discussed noteworthy transformations in their organizations. Nellie Peshkov from Electronic Arts discussed her T.A. groups’ transformation as their organization moved towards a product based digital transformation which resulted in EA having rapid hiring needs. She indicated the key to success was EA’s CEO stated commitment to the organization that Recruiting would be at the forefront driving the company strategy in this area. She indicated that the three challenges that they needed to overcome to support their global recruiting efforts were the TA team structure, overall infrastructure and their branding.  Their implemented solutions were to:

1) Establish one point of ownership and accountability – have one recruiting manager aligned with each executive
2) Become data focused – EA invested in LinkedIn and had their sourcing team provide weekly dashboard updates. They also identified opportunities to recruit from ‘at risk’ organizations.
3) Talent segmentation/Value Proposition/Talent Engagement – EA leveraged their careers micro site off of EAsports.com main site in order to tap into the application developer market. EA also got their executives involved with key universities and established an on campus presence.

In order to stay on track, Peshkov indicated that it is key to quickly assess what isn’t working, rely on your team, be honest about expectations and be fearless in your approach.

Representatives from Qualcomm shared best practices in transformation as they went through a functional alignment.  Sourcing/Recruiting aligned with R&D functions and they established marketing positions as part of Talent Management. Qualcomm indicated that a key part of their recruiting success was the combination of Sourcing and Marketing as part of one team. This allowed them to become better aligned, double their recruiting effectiveness and increase their overall brand awareness. In doing so, they obtained the global reach that they were looking for and they also improved their talent pools and their company followers on LinkedIn. At Qualcomm, Talent Management became Talent Marketing.

My first in conference session was on the topic of Employer Branding on a Shoestring. In this session, a three person panel of Talent Acquisition leaders shared best methods for cost-effective employer branding. Some best practices and methods shared were:
1) Focus on your employees as brand ambassadors
2) Establish the link to employee engagement
3) Leverage LinkedIn and other tools via workshops for employees so you can leverage their networks
4) Provide student testimonials
5) Use surveys to drive awareness of your brand

All three T.A. leaders indicated that during the establishment and maintenance of your employer brand, communication is key. You need to share the brand externally via your employee brand ambassadors. Part of their success stories was to have a culture where it is “ok” to have your employees be on LinkedIn – in other words, it is imperative to make this paradigm shift. They indicated you want your staff to keep their profiles updated and to share this messaging at dept. meetings. They all recommended the use of data (via LinkedIn) to move your initiatives forward and to leverage the careers section on LinkedIn as it needs to be an honest reflection of who you are. The panelists also encouraged SMB’s to embrace Glassdoor.com and to identify the type of work you do on this site. They also indicated that they all invite staff to add comments but that it is imperative as T.A./HR staff that we take an active role in managing the site.

The next in conference session focused on Maximizing the Recruiting Power of LinkedIn groups. As this was an interactive session, I will share in point form the best practices shared:

Reasons people join LinkedIn groups:
a. 24% – Share ideas, discussions
b. 21% – Continued Education
c. 19% – Network with Recruiters
d. 14% – Promote their company/event
e. 14% – Learn about target company
f. 8% – Meet co-workers

Participants don’t want to see self promotion, job postings, spam or off topic content in LI Groups
Asking and answering questions within groups encourages interaction. Use polls. Engage with others (just like networking
Successful online groups focus on individual members & communicate in personal/direct manner. Members personally welcomed
Before creating a group – define your group’s objectives & goals. Have a strategy. Establish a moderation process
What people dislike most about groups:
a. 55% – Too much spam/self promotion
b. 23% – Lack of interesting discussions
c. 9% – Doesn’t feel like a community
d. 9% – Too much of a “job board”
e. 3% – Being harassed
Allow official company groups to be “verified” groups – just like verified accounts on Twitter
Have an “Events” tab for event sharing & ability to share to Group from LinkedIn events

The next in conference session focused on Using Employer Branding to Differentiate, Target and Win with Top Talent. The presenters focused on how employer branding requires a strategic focus in which the value of the employer brand is the organization’s ability to attract and retain quality talent. In order to articulate and differentiate your brand, you need to focus on the labour segments that you are targeting. What is important to note, is that a company’s employer brand is 2X as likely to drive job consideration as its company brand. A key learning with this session was that just as consumer marketing impacts decisions on what to buy, employer branding works the same way in people deciding where to work. It was shown that strong employer brands contribute to the bottom line by having 2X lower cost per hire and with 28% lower turnover rates. The employer brand consists of 4 key elements: Awareness, Attraction, Consideration and Engagement. As well, they indicated that organizations need to focus on the two parts of the brand message:
1) Push Message – What you say
2) How to brand your people – How you use your people to share your brand message
In order to gain a strategic advantage using LinkedIn, you need to kick start brand activity by:
1) Defining the labour market segments most important to your business
2) Differentiating your brand from your talent competitors
3) Developing communication strategies to build relationships with passive and active talent
It is critical to align growth plans with the recruitment of key target groups. By utilizing the concept of Talent Scouts within the business, you can personalize career info and serve it up to provide a customized experience to prospective candidates. Additionally, in order to build/grow employee Talent Scouts, you identify HIPO’s and make this part of their development plans. Companies need to train these Talent Scouts on how to speak about the brand and how to message it to prospective talent. An additional attraction/branding method to build long-term relationships with your pipeline was to send regular, targeted news updates to them via your Careers page and your Talent Scouts.

The session concluded by providing 4 key steps going forward to differentiate yourself on LinkedIn:
1) Define what makes you famous – Use a Red/Yellow/Green approach to focus on messages that you want to use (based on your brand today) right away, need to be careful with and do not want to express. You need to brand for who you are today, not who you want to be.
2) Create a destination for your brand on LinkedIn – populate your Careers page.
3) Build a follower base and engage with them –use the follow button and send status updates to your followers.
4) Leverage your employee’s networks on LinkedIn.

My final in conference session was Moneyball for Talent Acquisition: Using LinkedIn Data to Inform your Strategy and Demonstrate your Impact. This session focused on the basic theme of, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” The presenters focused on using LinkedIn data to Plan, Prioritize and Put in Practice your talent acquisition practices. The presenters shared three ways to utilize LinkedIn data to prioritize recruiting efforts:
1) Measure the reach of your employees via their networks
2) Identify your engaged candidates via your company page and brand index
3) Diagnose your strengths and weaknesses

Then, in order to best operationalize your talent analytics:
1) Start using your data and keep it simple
2) Integrate and enhance your workflow
3) Ensure the right team structure is in place

That concludes my review of the Talent Connect 2012 conference. Overall, it was a very well done, very polished conference. There was a lot of great content and networking opportunities. While many of the topics integrated the use of LinkedIn during their content, there was enough overall content for attendees regardless of whether or not you utilize all the LinkedIn recruiting solutions to gain value from the conferene. If you have any questions about these sessions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


One Response

  1. […] My second goal was to establish a professional blog where I could once again share thoughts on leadership, management, human resources and career management. I was late getting this goal started but after I received a kick in the pants thanks to a great blog post and some encouragement from Jay Kuhns (someone in the HR industry that I respect a lot) who in his own right is a fantastic blogger, I started “The Armchair HR Manager” in September 2012. I tried to adhere to a writing schedule of 3 posts a week. I am off to an acceptable start in this venture. I averaged over 325 visitors a month during this four month time frame and delivered 34 posts. By most standards, that is a relatively low amount; however, I am proud of my start in this area and am most excited about the dialogue/commentary that has resulted from some of my posts. I always feel a great sense of excitement whenever someone mentions that they read one my posts and I always appreciate the feedback when 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 conference) “are you going to be blogging about the conference?” (The answer, of course was “yes!”) […]

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