Three speakers from the US attended TruLondon 4 – Master Burnett, Jason Lauritsen and Kevin Wheeler. Jason, who is an HR consultant and talent anarchist (!), was the only one I failed to talk to at the event but he agreed to answer a couple of questions . . .

What stood out from the discussions in your tracks?
First, there was an interesting mix of corporate recruitment/HR folks, agency recruiters, and vendors at the sessions. My discussions were designed around more strategic talent topics, and this led to some really interesting conversations based on the radically different perspectives these three groups have related to organisational talent.

Mainly, what emerged very clearly from my session is that we really aren’t spending a lot of time thinking of talent strategically. In fact, we really aren’t even clear on what the word “talent” even really means to our businesses. We are very focused at the tactical level of recruiting, which is often a necessity because we have are being asked to do more and more with less resource.

What other tracks stood out for you and why?
There were a lot of tracks that ended up talking about talent communities. This is a really big topic, but I didn’t get the sense that most people were very clear on what that actually meant.

The problem, I think, is that these communities are being established by recruiters for the purpose of having a pool from which to recruit and gain referrals. The breakdown, I suspect, is that because recruiters are classically impatient creatures, they aren’t willing to invest the time or the work to build authentic communities. Community building is a long run strategy where recruiting can have very high short run demands.

I also found the tracks by Johnny Campbell and Social Talent crew on viral videos to be really interesting. It definitely opened my eyes to the true potential and power of video for marketing and recruiting. I also learned a lot about what makes a good video that surprised me (ie they need to be really short . . . and lighting is critical).

What was the unconference experience like for you?
It was terrific. The beauty of the unconference is that it’s ultimately about meeting great people and growing your professional and personal network. The learning starts at the event, but continues far beyond. I love the informal design and structure. The more these kinds of events happen, the more comfortable people will become with them. This format is just in it’s infancy and I think it’s only going to get better and better.

What were your three learning points from Tru London?

  1. Recruiters are passionate about their work. It doesn’t matter where you are on the planet, when you get group of recruiters together, there’s going to be a lot opinions, energy and excitement in the room.
  2. True and authentic engagement with candidates and potential candidates seems to be the holy grail of recruitment. Everyone seems to agree that this is critical, but most are still struggling with how to actually make it happen (talent communities, traditional networks, etc.).
  3. Courage is the key to harnessing the power of social media in recruiting. Those recruiters who are willing to take big risks in how they are approaching social media recruitment are seeing the highest payoff. Safe doesn’t win in social media.

You can follow Jason on Twitter or find him at his blog. And listen to what he said about talent at trulondon.

All TruLondon 4 content can be found on my curated post.


[Photo credit: Oscar Mager]