As I sit here in my hotel room reflecting on what I truly took away from #recruitfest09, it’s hard for me to really surmise these 2 days into a posting. The information was truly amazing and the conversations even better, but here it goes.

My top 4 take-a way’s from #recruitfest09

1.  The puddle is better than the pool. @BillBoorman and I spoke many times about this over the last few weeks but after having the opportunity to hear what he was saying live, brought it to life. I think the key point here is that we build talent pipelines but in reality that’s all they are. In     IMG_9549 today’s society of recruiting, engagement is so much more than 15,000 connections. Pipelines as 95% of recruiters talk about them are simply cesspools of resumes found through volume based searching with no relevancy to anything they may actually need. Pipelines of prospective candidates that we’ve never spoken with and have no relationship with.

The pipeline feeds into the pool at which point the quality of the pipeline begins to take a life and give us a true snapshot of what may be available to us if needed. (our reach)  The pool however we can break down into the Pond. The pond is where we do business.  The pond incorporates the top 10% of our pool and this now provides us with the shortlist of candidates that we can begin to reach out to (yes in person on the phone) and start our true relationship building and networking practices.

In the end our work has to be measured by some quantifiable means ending with a significant return.

Picture this:

Let’s say you maintain a vertical pool (Stress Engineering for this example) that encompasses 5,000 prospective resumes and profiles you gathered in your search efforts. These 5,000 prospects should be considered your pipeline from which you are constantly building. I like to think of my pipeline or my network as the R&D and marketing sectors of my desk. I network here. I make initial contacts and begin to separate the performers or at least the more knowledge prospects. I talk about the pipelining process here.

As I work through and make these contacts I begin to promote some of these resumes into the “pool”. As we discuss this week at #recruitfest09 we invite them to our pool party.  But not everyone is special and not everyone gets a pass into this club. Here we become a little closer with the prospects in our efforts to convert them into a true candidate. Getting closer is involved but dramatically reduces your cycle time while significantly boosting your quality. As you move forward in the process what you will notice is that the prospects unknowingly begin to separate themselves. As this happens the top talent will naturally rise to the top creating the “Pond” as labeled by Bill.

The pond is the top 10% and this is where you start to connect with and build “offline” relationships. You’ll get a much more detailed understanding of this process here where I describe the pipelining process.

2.  Recruiters are not the only people that “get it”. When you break down the attendance at #recruitfest09 you’ll find that there were an overwhelming amount of people that were not recruiters. Interesting since this is a recruiting conference. But what was even more interesting is that I learned a great deal from these people. IMG_9776

We spoke about process and effectiveness of leveraging all of these tools. Does it really provide the ROI that we are hoping for? I’ve always thought that it did and for the first time in a few years I started to think maybe I was wrong. But! It does give us a return and I’m sticking to it. You have to manage it well and be sure that the structure is there to provide you with the foundation to leverage the tools. – @jennydevaughn’s session rocked around this!

We spoke about “social recruiting” and how recruiters can effectively leverage these tools. Surely there is not any one way, but just remember that social recruiting is not just about using some cool sleuthing techniques to crack the code. These are tools and should be used as such. Remember you are a recruiter and recruiting is social. We are loud and aggressive by nature. It’s in our DNA to talk to people and “influence” them in ways that no one else can. Leverage these tools to create your pipeline, filter your pool and skim the pond. But don’t forget to pick up the phone.

3.  Changing the candidate experience. We had a long and detailed discussion on this topic this week. Do you work for the client or the candidate? Who pays you? Now there is no one answer here so it’s up to you to decide for yourself, but keep in mind that balance is key. Here are my thoughts and take away after our conversations. My clients write my check. I work for my client. My candidate gives me the opportunity to make the check. Without both I can’t make a living. But as recruiters and you can ask Jodi…we love candidates.

That is what we so. Do we have control? Or is it just influence? I prefer to work the candidate side as a recruiter. If you are a 3rd party or independent recruiter and your client gives you a job order to work, kudos to you. But they probably farmed it out to 5 others as well. Now, let’s skip the argument of not working those types of orders because we all do. It’s in our nature, unless you are retained as Dave Perry is, which by the way is one hell of speaker and motivator.

If you have 8 job orders on your desk but only top level A candidates. What happens to the other 6? Other recruiters fill them. So who owns who? You don’t get paid unless you fill it outside of splits etc. To me, having a dynamic saleable candidate wins every time. You can kiss the job order and your credibility goodbye if you don’t have kick ass top quality talent in 48 hours of the order. As @sarahw79 would say….just sayin….

4.  “E-dub” better known as @ewmonster is one crazy dude. First off, he knows what he is saying so if you are not connected to him, click his twitter id above and pick his brain. His views are    IMG_9769unique but make so much sense and the passion just sweats out of him. That’s what made #recruitfest09 so good for me. I got to hang out, talk, talk some and talk even more about what I love to do in an uncensored (very uncensored) way.

There you have it. My top 4 take a ways of the day. I’ll be there next year and so should you.  Keep an eye out for some crzy pictures and video. Follow the talk at #recruitfest09.

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.