RecruitFest & Conference Innovation

by The Red Recruiter on September 23, 2009

RecruitFestWe are all pretty used to the standard conferences by now.  Almost like a routine, we register, look at the sessions, wander around the halls, sometimes skip sessions because we are bored or have brain overload… same ol’ story.

In case you have been hiding under a rock for the past year, there is a new wave of conferences that are starting to steal the show.  They’re considered to be “Un-Conferences.”

Instead of the same boring routine, un-conferences are designed to be highly flexible and truly focused more around dialogue than one-way expert-to-audience formats.  While there usually is a person leading the discussion, the real goal is to create a healthy conversation that inspires creativity around a particular topic.

The fun thing about un-conferences is that they have very few rules.  Some show up in flips-flops, others in business suits.  Some sessions run over… some are cut short… and some become the theme of the entire show.

The beauty of all this is that instead of an organizer sitting back and concocting some master plan, the participants decide.

What a novel idea!  Bring together a bunch of people with similar professional interests.  Create a space for them to have dialogue.  Deregulate the environment to promote spontaneity and creativity.  What you end up with is a whole lot of interested folks that are actually gaining something from the experience.

RecruitFest 2009 – Toronto, Canada

This is my first visit to Canada and, I must admit, I was pretty excited to finally be able to say that I had crossed the northern border.  Having grown up in a small town outside of Portland, OR, I probably should have visited years ago.  Timing just didn’t allow.

I’m here in Toronto to attend RecruitFest 2009, an event that was created by Jason Davis from RecruitingBlogs.com.  The purpose of the event is to create an un-conference setting for people interested in the recruiting world to have some very meaty dialogue.

As with most conferences of this sort, many of the participants are also the facilitators.

Of the sessions I witnessed today, a great majority of the conversation centered around how we in recruiting are going to leverage and develop in the area of connecting with candidates.  This wasn’t so much from the sourcing perspective as much as the relationship building side of things.

In Bill Boorman’s session, he shared his perspective on how recruiters need to be developing deeper relationships now in order to compete in the coming months, years.  Bill believes that moving from a job posting model to a talent engagement model will be the key to succeeding in this upcoming climate.  I tend to agree with Bill and really enjoyed listening to his message… the fact that he is passionate about a service model in recruiting tells me a lot about his perspective.  Hopefully we can have him cross the pond more often to spread the word!

Another session that I attended was about social media in recruiting.  Led up by Jenny DeVaughn of Social Precision, the conversation really centered around best practices and potential methods for recruiters to connect with their ideal audiences.  One thing I really enjoyed from Jenny was that she sees the value in helping candidates whether or not you can place them.  This, once again, goes back to the relationship model in recruiting.  Are you planting seeds now for the future?

After posting this, I’m off to this evening’s gathering where there will apparently be lots of fun socializing and potentially music!  I’m bringing my guitar along just in case. 😉

Can you imagine attending a conference with no set rules or agenda?  Have you?

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  • Shennee

    Hey there! Sounds like a great time! Keep us posted!

  • Shennee

    Hey there! Sounds like a great time! Keep us posted!

  • http://karlaporter.com/ Karla Porter

    Great summary of the conference philosophy and reason we’re all here. Also, thanks for the stellar performance last night at Jason’s house.

  • http://karlaporter.com Karla Porter

    Great summary of the conference philosophy and reason we’re all here. Also, thanks for the stellar performance last night at Jason’s house.

  • http://theredrecruiter.com/ The Red Recruiter

    @Shennee – Yes, it was a great trip! Really excellent to see everyone 😉
    @Karla – It was great to meet you in person! Jason knows how to throw a party!

  • http://theredrecruiter.com The Red Recruiter

    @Shennee – Yes, it was a great trip! Really excellent to see everyone 😉
    @Karla – It was great to meet you in person! Jason knows how to throw a party!

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