We were lucky enough to have Arie Ball as a track-leader for #truManchester last year. I know from feedback that Aries track, telling the story of how Sodexo in the US have developed a dedicated talent acquisition team, who through social recruiting and sourcing recruit over 5000 management staff each year. it’s a real case study Arie is happy to share with hard metrics and figures. When Arie and I spoke about #trulondon and she expressed a real interest in coming back, it took only a few moments to say yes.
This is Arie’s thoughts on coming to #trulondon on the 16’th – 18’th Feb:
The (un) spoken truth: Chin-wags are far more fun than PowerPoint
In the US we eat “potato chips and fries,” have “arguments,” wear “sweaters” and get really into soccer once a year. In the UK they eat “crisps and chips,” have “rows,” wear “jumpers” and are into football all year round. Of course what we know as soccer in the US is called football in the UK, and what we know as football in the US is known as “American Football” in the rest of the world. And, the UK is as crazy for their football as we Americans are about ours!!
I have always been a diehard Patriots fan (American football) and since my last trip to the UK for #TruManchester, I am now also an Evertonian. Those of you who are familiar with American football will understand that I am still trying to heal from the Patriots elimination from the playoffs and the Super Bowl. I promise to get over it by the time I get to #TruLondon!
When I was invited to share Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition story at the #truManchester Unconference I said, “I’d love to!”
And then I asked, “What’s an unconference?”
It wasn’t until I actually got to the event that I realized exactly what an unconference is. An unconference is a participant-driven conference centered around a purpose. Unconferences avoid aspects of conventional conferences like large exhibit halls and redundant presentations. I like how Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman) described the event on his blog, “I spent 2 days dining at the #trumanchester table of knowledge. Made up of 80 diners, each with a different plate packed from their own perspective and experience.”
I don’t think I could have described the experience any better than that. This unconference included a group of recruiting professionals willing to share their stories of success, of failure, and of learning with the one goal of improving the profession in mind. We all sat in smallish groups and talked – to each other. It was like sitting around the dinner table and sharing “how was your day” with your family. Oh, and PowerPoints and other presentation materials? Not at this (un) conference. It was a new experience for me and I left that conference with a “stuffed belly,” so to speak.
I shared my story – a tale that started over six years ago and included how and why we built Sodexo’s first ever national, centralized, cross divisional Talent Acquisition organization. It was a story that I may have started, but one that I am no longer writing on my own. It’s now the team’s story. College recruiting, diversity recruiting, social recruiting, alumni recruiting, recruiting in a virtual environment … these are all chapters of our unique story. (More on our virtual recruiting team in another post.)
And yet, while the details of our story may be different from those shared by the other people “at the table,” we all, no matter where in the world we are from, have similar issues and the same goals in mind – to win this so-called “war for talent.” I was “gobsmacked” (as the Brit’s say) by the similarities in our challenges and the creative approaches of the professionals I met. I brought back their stories to share with my team.
Today, as we gear up for #TruLondon, my excitement is building! I can’t wait to connect again with some amazing professionals, learn more and share more. I’d love to hear from you about any topics you are interested in exploring.
There are only 8 tickets left for #trulondon on the 17’th – 18’th Feb and 18 for the Master Class on the 16’th. If you are thinking of coming, don’t hang about and book your ticket now.
Hope to see you there,