16 Comments

My learning from #trulondon


All I can say is “Wow”. Thank you for supporting me in the start of the #trulondon enterprise. Before giving my thoughts and recap on the event it’s important to give a big shout out to the track leaders who worked so hard to make the event work. I think you all did a fantastic job in keeping your tracks and events alive. It is much easier to stand in front of a powerpoint presentation and preach, there’s also a lot more hiding places. Judging by the number of learning points taken away you did a great job of inspiring others to share and experiment. Well done!
My highlight was when a group of track leaders set up the secret track. Totally impromptu and exactly what an unconference is about. No agenda and open discussion. More of this next time please!
Thanks also to @RadicalRecruit, not only for jumping on a plane and sharing your sourcing secrets but also for inspiring me to do it in the first place following Recruitfest09 and to @JillElswick who also hopped over the pond to be the official twitter journalist. An event now goes well beyond those attending with so much interest globally in whats going on. The power of the hashtag brings the event live to so many, and the twitter journo is essential in this. The world is a much smaller and closer space.
I must also give thanks to Barclays Commercial for providing a perfect venue and to our sponsors H.B. Rida who made the event possible and even sent a few of their companies.
Enough thanks, I’m reading a bit like an oscar winning speech and on with my take-aways in no particular order:

1: Gen Y is a state of mind and not an age.

Been trying to define this one in to a box for a while. This was a real light bulb moment. I embrace new technology and communication tools. I’m constantly looking at change and new business models and practices in recruiting. Despite being an old bloke I actually think I’m Gen Y. (Although I don’t live with my mum anymore!)

2: My network has changed considerably.

Not so long ago I hung out almost exclusively with Recruiters and attended recruiting events, read recruiting journals and was interested in all things recruiting. Twitter has changed my network significantly and the attendee list at #trulondon reflected this. About 1/3’rd recruiters, 1/3’rd corporate recruiters & HR & 1/3rd vendors, job boards & digital media experts. That tends to reflect the mix that is in my network. This mix does not fit in to the traditional networks of HR or even Recruiters. Previously, the only times we are likely to have communicated is during the process of either selling to or buying from one another, and would have crossed the road to avoid being seen in the same place.
When it comes down to it we share the same issues and problems and we want the same outcomes, just for different reasons. I believe this new community is great for all of our self development and will lead to a combined market and more combined business offerings. The community needs different levels of communication and consideration of what expertise you can bring to other disciplines. A view from outside your direct community also helps us to understand how our potential customer base views us, and will only strengthen the business offering.

Following beer and chinese I conducted a late night/early morning track with @radicalrecruit & @1ntelligence and we have coined the term “Social Human  Convergence” to describe this new space. Look out for more on this.

3: Video is an underused medium to get your message out.

Very few of the attendees were using video to spread the word. It’s a more personal mediunm than the written word and has lots of potential for building personal brand. I’m still not convinced by Video C.V.’s as being effective (I much prefer audio), but a consistent video message really personalises what you are saying. On my part, I’m commiting to add a weekly video to my blog. 5 minutes of musings and chat. Be good to see more people doing this to get an even closer association with their followers because the message is viewed as so much more personal. Thanks to @Lisascales for this.

4: The UK has great blogs but not great bloggers.

A blog needs to be consistent and updated 2 – 3 times a week to have any real effect. The readers need to be able to pick up the theme in the opening lines. I’m thinking I need to work on this in order to properly promote my thinking, and in turn my content. Probably the number one skill a good blogger needs is the discipline to post when there are so many other distractions in social media. Britain lacks good bloggers that post often enough to build following. I’m a big fan of Sirona Says from @Andyheadworth and he is rightfully recieving critical acclaim. When I look at the blog 3 things stand out for me: Content, variety and consistent postings 3 – 4 times a week. I don’t see many other blogs, if any, matching this in our space. I see some great content from time to time but not enough on a regular enough basis to build following. If #trulondon can spawn even 3 more blogs to rival Andy then it will have been a great success. I’m thinking of running a blog carnival in December to get things started.

5: You need great service and products to match great social media.

The bigger your brand in social media the more open you are to critical comment when you don’t deliver. This is also why “listening” to what is being said by searching your name/brand in applications like tweetdeck or addict-o-matic is so useful. You can’t control what is being said but you can respond positively. Thanks to Paul @Carveconsulting & of course @Mattalder (The Addler) for this one.

6: Employer brand no longer exists.

I didn’t get in on the Recruiter cast debate on this but it did get me thinking. I’m looking forward to the debate when it goes out on Wednesday. Look out for it.

My thoughts on this after I had contemplated @Siteadvisors question is that he is probably right. Social media opens access to all that is being said about an employer directly or indirectly, but most of what is being said is being said by the employees directly. (There are Facebook groups dedicated to this.) In my opinion, social media makes personal branding much bigger than corporate branding unless you are a giant in the Pepsi or Coke mode. Most of us aren’t. It’s key that you are listening to what your employees are saying about you. You can influence this by reacting appropriately, changing things and getting the right things said about you by the personal brands within your organisation. Employee engagment is key in this and has more to say about how attractive you are to potential recruits than the glossy websites.

7: The recession has thrown up lots of new models for delivering recruiting.

The shake up from the recession has changed client needs in selecting suppliers. Top of the list is value and differentation. Among these are flat fee recruitment, charging for time and not result low cost job posting service with response handling, job boards that network and bring in the job seekers, referal networks with split fees paid for referrals and many more. This reinvention of the recruiting market is of real interest to me and is how I see recruiting evolving in order to withstand the challenge of corporate recruiting and social media. Is this a knee jerk reaction or more than that as the majority are still off social networks. I don’t have the answers yet but now I have the questions.

8: A Resourcer is not the UK version of a Sourcer.

In the U.K. a resourcer is largely responsible for finding candidates on c.v. databases and Linked in, a sourcer does much more than this. A sourcer identifies and profiles targets, builds organagrams and much more and has a whole bag of tricks to find them. This was largely new to everyone at #trulondon (with the exception of our own @thesourceress). I see this as being a discipline that should be better developed over here and have my thinking hat on over how this can be achieved with the help of @radicalrecruit.

9: Social Media is best served live.

#trulondon has further enhanced my belief that social media is best delivered in person. That means making sure you are creating networks that you talk to whether by phone, over a coffee or better still at events. Twitter and other channels brought together the attendees (and the track leaders for that matter) but the real networking took place in person. The big difference I see is that the getting to know you stage has already taken place which means you can get straight down to the talking. From a commercial point of view, I have already made a few deals as a result of the event that probably never happened without it. Make sure you are talking to and meeting your network as often as possible.

As a last thought, the Feburary event will have a wrap up tracks for the last hour to crystalise learning and help with putting actions in to practice. I will be sending out feedback forms this week but please keep sending your blogs, comments and pictures. You can always post here if you don’t have a home blog yet.

Date on Feburary event is out next week. hope you can make it.

Thanks for being ambassadors!

Bill

16 comments on “My learning from #trulondon

  1. Bill , well done on a good event. After having the kahuna’s to put on the UK’s first Unconference, your vision paid off, and I know it will be the first of many for the future.
    What made it work were the people that attended, and that is the important thing to remember for future events.
    You are correct in that while social networking has been key in the promotion of #trulondon, it is the ‘real’ face to face networking that confirms relationships and ultimately yields business.
    I enjoyed leading your blogging track, and all I hope is that some of the people that sat in on my sessions, go on to be regular bloggers of the future.

    Just as a sidenote – I am beginning to wonder if you have a dislexic issue!! LOL
    You have been banging on about #SHC, but you refer to the subject as “Human Social Convergence” , which would make it #HSC!!

    I do think you mean Social Human Convergence! #SHC !!
    An interesting subject matter for future debate!

  2. Great review and wrap, v sorry I missed this event and will defo attend next 1. Well done Bill

  3. Congratulations Bill – and great feedback.

    Very sorry I missed this one due to being on an exotic island(!), but lets collaborate for the next one.

    Kunal.
    @PanEight

  4. Bill

    Publicly well done and I wish I could have made it but as you know it wasn’t to be!

    Employer brand does exist and always will. The difference now though is that the views are much more public. I am sure Site Advisor raised the question rather than gave the answer as such. I cannot see how anyone could seriously believe otherwise. Your brand is not what you say you do, but what you actually do and this will be debated/discussed online whether you like it or not.

    You can of course promote your own brand significantly using social media as you have done but the listening can only now commence now that there is conversation to be listened to.

    Your comments on UK bloggers makes me smile. I can agree with some of your points but to point out the one single UK blog is not IMHO a good representation of the truth or indeed helpful to your readers. There are probably 6-8 UK blogs in the recruitment space worth looking at and maybe more in the HR space. Yes, Andy has a great blog but my advice (as an experienced blogger) is to be a bit more fact based OR purely opinion based. It’s fine for you to say “Sirona writes my favourite/the best blog” as it is your view. You don’t really have the expertise or evidence to say what else makes a great blog. I realise of course this is part of the great Bill and Andy conspiracy and will make the public aware of this act on my blog later this week! ;>)

    http://blog.hirestrategies.co.uk

    Didn’t spot any typos either :>)

    Watch out for those freaky followers…..

    Peter

  5. Great Post Bill. Love your insights on the evolution of social media.
    Looking forward to connecting with you more soon.
    Shennee

  6. I have to agree with Peter, that there are other good blogs in the UK. The range of recruitment blogs can be found at http://www.ukrecruiter.co.uk/blogs.htm (although not all are updated as regularly as they should be).
    There are also very good HR blogs like Jon Ingham’s – http://strategic-hcm.blogspot.com/
    for example.

  7. I am livid with Air France that I wasn’t able to get to this event, which I think everyone agrees marks an important landmark in the sector. Even from afar, it seems evident that a critical mass of opinion formers and leaders were there, and I applaud Bill’s brass neck for taking the plunge.
    Being a recruiter at heart, my thoughts were that I had many opinions and ideas on all subjects, and wanted to test them against everyone else’s. I was also wary of being so open with many who are my business competitors. However, on balance, I agree that ideas should be freely exchanged, and the competition is all about who moves first and executes these ideas best. What is crystal clear, is that the speed of change is accelerating, and that the recruiting models of only 2 years ago are becoming obsolete. The veil of mystery, so encouraged by recruiters for decades, has been lifted, employers and candidates are much more savvy, and this cannot be undone.
    I think I’ll blog about this in more detail myself.

    Well done again Bill.

  8. Peter & Andy,
    I think there are some great UK recruitment blogs. I enjoy reading and learning from them. My point is that what seem to be missing from these compared to your two blogs are updates 2 – 3 times a week and a mix of posting formats. Between much of the good material i read there is then quite an intermission before the next installment and this is what prevents building a bigger following that would lead to the “super blog” status. The content is often good enough. My learning point was that we lack disciplined bloggers, hence the point that we have great blogs but not great bloggers. I’m happy to stand corrected. i did omit Peters blog and should have included it.

  9. Nah; I prefer the conspiracy theory – which I will be sharing in the interest of public service.

  10. Andy, thanks for the link!

    Bill, hope we’ll get a chance to meet soon.

    And that I’ll get a chance to attend the tweet-up and unconference in the future.

  11. The Employer Brand is alive and well, but hear some great comments during the debate at http://www.siteadvisor.com at 12.30 GMT Weds 25th. The show will be availible thereafter.

    Next time I want to live stream so need to work out the web access.

    BUT yes the employer brand is under pressure in the sense that “bad news sells and gets spread more widely than ever before.

    Great conference and agree with Andy great people make a great unconference.

    Re Bloging we don’t have enough UK recruiting blogger BUT those we have are great, yes Andy and Peter but other as well.

    Peter really is “deep throat” All the Preseidents Men Andy’s Robert Redford and Bill…a great Dustin Hoffman as sniffer of an news story.

    Great event.

    Site Advisor AKA Keith Robinson

  12. Congratulation on a successful event Bill and fair play to you for putting yourself out there and organizing it.

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with you on the blog comment though. Why should a blogger have to update their blog two or three times a week to be “great” Where is the rule book exactly and who wrote it. There seem to be a lot of comments and opinions about what is and isn’t a great blog flying round the moment (maybe it’s because the voting for UK recruitment blog of the year has opened!). One person’s “greatness” is another person’s average and quantity is certainly not an effective measurement in my opinion!

  13. […] learning points from #trulondon 1 was the issue of employer branding. I made a statement in my 10 take- away’s  from the unconference, “The employer brand is dead.” What prompted this was the question […]

  14. […] Happy New Year! Thanks for watching and keep being ambassadors for S.H.C. (More on this in my video or in my earlier blog post: “Learning points from #TruLondon.” […]

  15. very interesting blogs here

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