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What happens in Vegas, doesn't necessarily stay in Vegas

Sharing a view from LinkedIn Talent Connect

by Susan Cooksey

Vice President, Solution Sales 12th Oct 2016

Last week, I was in Las Vegas for LinkedIn’s Talent Connect conference. It was my third time attending the conference, and, as usual, it was another great event with lots of information from companies sharing what they’re doing to tackle their biggest talent acquisition challenges. So, despite what the city’s visitors’ bureau advises, I’m going to share a little bit of what happened in Vegas.

First, I saw real evidence that diversity and inclusion is moving up the priority list for talent acquisition professionals. It’s been an emerging trend for a few years now, but it was especially evident when I looked at some of the job titles I saw on peoples’ badges. So many companies are now baking diversity and inclusion right into their talent acquisition roles, especially where it relates to Employer Branding. I saw leaders with titles like “Director, Next Gen Recruitment, Diversity and Inclusion,” “Global Head, Employer Branding and Diversity,” “Director of Culture and Brand,” and many more. 

Alexander Mann Solutions  firmly believes in the value of
diversity and inclusion, and have  talked about it in the media a lot lately. Smart companies are recognizing it makes good business sense to hire from the most diverse talent pools possible. Great organizations like Grace Hopper, which puts on the largest gathering of women technologists, and YearUP, which helps diverse and unfairly disadvantaged young job seekers, were front and center on the diversity and inclusion agenda.

In addition to the great strides being made here, these were also highlights:

  • Move over ATS software and other more traditional hiring tools. SnapChat is becoming become the most buzz-worthy recruiting tool, especially when it comes to hiring millennials. Our Employer Branding experts certainly think this is right on point.
  • Onboarding is continuing to grow in importance. This is no longer something that happens day one, or over the first couple weeks of an employee’s new job. Rather, I heard many say it should be a strategic process that’s as well thought-out as any part of the hiring cycle, possibly even lasting a full year when done effectively. We agree that onboarding is important, which is why we have tips to help any company improve their processes.
  • The use of paid channels in talent acquisition appears to be on the rise to support the lift in hiring volumes many companies are now seeing again and the difficulty in finding certain types of talent. We have some tactical advice for companies looking to use paid job ads.
  • I noticed a lot of organizations giving employees a bigger platform to produce content for their company blogs. This gives prospective employees a chance to hear from real employees and helps the business keep their content, and culture, authentic. We live this strategy every day at Alexander Mann Solutions, as my colleagues from around the world share their points of views on the world of talent acquisition and management in blogs and articles , just like I’m doing!
  • Another takeaway is how more and more organizations are drawing smart parallels between the hiring process and a typical sales process. We’re all used to getting great customer service online from companies like Zappos or Nordstrom, so talent acquisition pros are seeing the value in treating the job as a product, the job families as product lines, and a hire or accepted job offer as a completed sale. There are other parallels too, like the role of branding activities to fuel the “customer journey.” In short, it’s important to allow candidates to “buy/apply” in the way they are most comfortable- - treating candidates like customers.
  • Every profession has its buzzwords and I overheard plenty at Talent Connect. “People deal,” defined roughly as what employees expect from employers and vice versa, was something I came across a lot. And I heard others that are typically used in other parts of the business, like “sentiment,” “influence,” and “brand equity”, all as they relate to the candidate experience. 

Overall, it was truly a great event. It was also encouraging to see that a lot of what we help our clients do every day, whether it’s improving the talent acquisition process, applying technology, or helping them craft an effective and authentic Employer Value Proposition, is being applied at companies around the world. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.  


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