#SHRMtalent – Is This a Recruiting Conference?

I’ve been pretty outspoken throughout the years about the lack of great Talent Acquisition conferences on the national stage.  There are some great local and regional recruiting conferences, like Recruit DC, Talent 42, Minnesota Recruiters and, of course, the Michigan Recruiters Conference.

I really love the folks at SourceCon, and they do a great job, but for many corporate talent acquisition pros, SourceCon can get really way too far into the weeds, and most will feel intimidated by what’s being discussed. ERE continues to trip over themselves and hasn’t never fully turned itself into that national TA conference.

This is my first time to SHRM Talent and I have to say SHRM is well positioned to create something really big for corporate Talent Acquisition leaders and pros!

Much of the content was on the same par you would find at any of the top recruiting conferences around the world. Of course, I’m doing a couple of sessions and people were highly engaged, asking great questions. Some of the others here include:

Johnny Campbell from Social Talent who had another super engaged session!

Chris Hoyt, the Recruiter Guy, sharing great information on Candidate Experience!

Dee Ann Turner, head of talent for Chick fil a, one of my favs, and say what you want about them, they hire super nice and friendly people, consistently, at every location I’ve ever been in.

Great Keynotes by Jim Knight and Kat Cole – again solid, solid, speakers and talent pros.

Chloe Rada, Recruitment marketing at Sodexo, talking employer branding.

And just a ton more talent practitioners sharing really solid information.

These are people you would expect to see at the top TA conferences in the world, challenging people with some really innovative ideas and best practices.

Of course, in a large national conference, you need content at all levels, so all of it won’t be for everyone. I’ve come to grips with that. I sat in a session and found myself wondering ‘how the heck did this person ever get picked to come to a TA conference?’ When you have 50 plus speakers, not everyone is going to be for every attendee.

But, for the most part, I’m thoroughly impressed with what SHRM put on, and you all know I don’t normally say that! There were around 1400 attendees at SHRM Talent, and I really thing SHRM can position themselves as the premier TA conference in the world, just as they’ve positioned SHRM National as the premier HR conference in the world.

What are the next steps for SHRM Talent, in my opinion?

  • They need a technology track – TA corporate pros are hungry to learn more about what technology can do for them.
  • They need a few more hardcore recruiting, sourcing speakers.  Some folks who will get into the weeds for those who desire that.
  • I would love SHRM play around with session times. An hour and 15 minutes is your parents conference presentation. Most attendees, now, would prefer TEDx style presentations. This becomes a logistical issue, but I think if you move speakers and not attendees, they could test some of these things. No one wants to sit for 75 minutes and hear speakers drone on.

I’m leaving Orlando encouraged about SHRM and the direction of SHRM Talent. Corporate Talent Acquisition is in desperate need of a great conference and SHRM might actually be able to fill this need for the future!

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