Make the Conversation Meaningful! | HR Fishbowl

There’s no question that Recruitfest 2010! shook things up for us. Not only did it challenge the relevance of all that we’ve grown accustomed to in the HR and Recruiting conference space, but it gave us a platform for continuing the dialogue and debate. And, maybe most importantly, it generated buzzzzzz. How cool is it that our profession is getting recognition for being on the leading-edge of leveraging media and technology to communicate, to develop, to educate, to connect…and to entertain?! Eat your heart out, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

There’s something that’s been tugging at me, though, since this whole gig went down. For those of you who catch my (occasional) rants, it’s nothing really new. But it’s important and I’m kind of like a puppy on a chew toy with it…difficult for me to let it go. Do you know how many of the 12 presenters/track leaders at the conference were people who actually recruit in a corporate environment for a living? None. Zero. Zilch.

Jason Lauritsen and I practice HR in a corporate environment, but we don’t recruit for a living.Chris Hoyt is (an important) part of a huge company’s talent team, but he doesn’t recruit per se. John Nykolaiszyn is close, but he became more of a reverse-recruiter back in April.  Mike Ramer is external search and that’s a whole different story all-together.  Everyone else consults or represents a vendor. Hmmmm…

Now, my observation should not be taken to suggest anything about the value said 12 brought to the discussion – I admire, respect, and in some cases worship the ground these guys walk on. But aren’t you kind of getting tired of everyone else telling you what’s wrong with how you do your job? Particularly when it comes from people who don’t do your job?

I don’t know why more of you hardcore recruiters weren’t on the panel or why we didn’t have the chance to hear from more of you in the audience. But we need balance! Without your opinion, perspective, and real-life experiences layered into the conversation, any solution we formulate is merely half-baked. This conference was more about you than anyone. In fact, most recruiting conferences are…or should be.

So here’s the deal: in order for this awesome conversation to move toward any meaningful result, you all need to…

  • Speak up. Often. Loudly.
  • Cry “B.S.” every now and then – much of what you hear is pretty cool, but some of it is just wishful thinking
  • Blog – post and comment on others (like this one)
  • Seek out opportunities to present at conferences, professional gatherings, networking events
  • Use your social network as a professional platform: Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Have a position, turn it into a story, and then tell it to whomever will listen
  • Be an ambassador for this profession…or get out of it
  • Pull your colleagues into the conversation
  • Stop paying to attend professional conferences unless there is a reasonable representation of “experts” who do what you do for a living

See you next year…I hope!

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