happy teacherIt’s kind of amazing what teachers do, spending hours inside and outside the classroom to prepare students to take the next step and be productive citizens. It’s one of the hardest jobs that exists, if you ask me. They deserve those summers off.

In addition to the investment they make in time, they invest emotionally too. There’s a general expectation that they have to know and be everything for every student – to adapt their lesson to make sure that each child in the class is getting enough information to pass the rigor of standardized tests waiting at the end of the next year. And that’s just the beginning.

You’re also responsible for talking to parents and understanding without commiserating. There’s nothing worse than telling a parent that their child isn’t the brightest in the class. It’s one thing to deliver the news you haven’t gotten the job, or to simply avoid that conversation altogether. It’s another to share something hard about a child.

The hard conversations in teaching parallel many of the harder conversations in recruiting, too. It’s especially hard to teach in our industry because we come from so many different backgrounds and companies – each a filter for how we use information and coach our teams to do better and be better. It doesn’t help that we now live in a world of digital accountability where we have to teach our employees that what happens in the context of an interview or sourcing isn’t left there. It actually starts another conversation online.

The Power of Education

help teachersIt’s 2016, and I’m not saying anything shocking when I remind you that what happens during your company’s recruiting process no longer stays within your company.  It gets shared by candidates through social media and employer-review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed and new-to-the U.S. ones like kununu. And bad reviews, spread virally, can strangle your company’s reputation the way kudzu vines overtake trees in a Southern forest. A bad candidate experience can mean bad business for your company, period.

What we don’t talk about as often is the importance of  teaching our teams about those hard moments. The ones where you’ve  gone on Glassdoor or Indeed and found reviews of your company’s recruitment experience that were so bad, so stinging, that you just wanted to curl up in a fetal position and stay there for the rest of the day. You hear job candidates complain about unprepared interviewers, being sent to the wrong location, being asked the same questions over and over again by different people – the list goes on. Did they post withering reviews of long and complicated application forms, clunky careers sites and communication that was either lacking or totally nonexistent? Did they describe what sounds like some sort of Orwellian hell that’s totally at odds with the dedicated people and the reputable organization you know and work with?

Amid the skills shortages in many sectors, from manufacturing to IT, talented and experienced people have their pick of jobs to choose from and they aren’t hanging out on the likes of LinkedIn. Finding such folks and enticing them to join your company is harder than ever these days and it means that as leaders, our teaching skills are a must, not a nice-to-have to coach the right behavior and drive the outcomes we need to be successful. 

Conferences and Coaching

teaching hardAs part of the Human Resource Executive® family of Conferences, it means my passion, along with the rest of the team, is teaching. That’s why we acquired the Recruiting Trends Conference last year. Our primary goal was to take a distinguished brand that’s been educating recruiters for 40 years and make it better, stronger and more relevant. To create a conference that effectively educates and addresses questions such as, what defines a great employer brand, what’s my role in creating it and how do I know when the goal’s been reached? Am I, as a recruiter, making the most effective use of my time each day? What are the latest tools and techniques for finding and connecting with passive candidates? How do I teach my team?  The questions that drive our performance, inspire our passion and motivate us to keep working as hard as ever. 

As part of that, two recruiting education powerhouses were brought into the fold to help create the program so it would better address the problems of talent teams: The Talent Board, the nonprofit organization known for the annual Candidate Experience Awards (CandEs), and The Sourcing Institute, co-founded by sourcing pioneer Shally Steckerl, which has helped dozens of the world’s best-known companies rebuild their recruiting function and master the art of sourcing.

Recruiting Trends’ new Candidate Experience session track features past CandE winners and Talent Board members, including well-known companies such as AT&T, Capital One, Humana and CA Technologies. These are recruitment leaders who actually “get it,” who understand the importance of employer brand and who’ve taken the challenge head on by remaking their recruiting experience into one that’s worth bragging about. Translating actions into teachable moments. The people behind the CandE Awards — recruiting veterans such as Elaine Orler, Gerry Crispin and Kevin Grossman — will also be teaching their tricks of the trade.

GEM Recruiting AI

Meanwhile, Shally and his team are spear-heading Sourcing Labs, in which you’ll bring your laptop and get hands-on instruction in how to unlock the secrets of the web to find and connect with talented people who aren’t actively searching for a new job. Those elusive passive candidates require a different level of skill and savvy to bring them into the fold. It’s a learning opportunity for sourcers that are new to the game and the experienced folks because, like I said before, the times have changed. He and other TSI experts will show you ways to search for talent beyond the Google/Bing galaxy, learn how to be a world-class cyber sleuth, how to implement the recruiting function in a growth-phase startup company, and much more.

Our intent when creating this agenda was to make sure that Recruiting Trends 2016 covers the bases, from building stronger partnerships with your hiring managers to figuring out how to make your company more appealing to female job candidates with actionable lessons from practitioners and thought leaders. And in keeping with the theme of addressing what’s happening now in recruiting, general sessions feature fresh perspectives from well-known talent experts.

The renowned Dr. John Sullivan, author of 10 books and more than 900 articles on talent management, will deliver the opening keynote titled “Forget the Hype: Data-Based Recruiting Reveals What Actually Works.” Our closing keynote will be delivered by the outspoken and always engaging Margaret Graziano, CEO of KeenAlignment and author of The Wealth of Talent, who in her presentation “Taking a Conscious Approach to Hiring” will challenge attendees to rethink every aspect of how they attract, hire and retain people. 

In an era in which companies are defined by the talent within them, recruiting is one of the most important jobs to have and holds the key to so many important lessons on the workforce. Recruiting Trends attendees will be better equipped to turn the wave and teach their counterparts so that they can go to the Glassdoors and Indeeds and be inspired, not devastated, by what they read.


Editor’s Note: Full disclosure – this post is sponsored. If you want to attend the #RecruitingTrends  conference, you should visit http://www.recruitingtrendsconf.com/

Andy McIlvaneAbout The Author: Andy McIlvaine is senior editor at Human Resource Executive® magazine and conference chair of its Recruiting Trends and Talent Acquisition Technology Conferences. He has more than 20 years of experience covering HR and recruiting. He is a graduate of Penn State University.