Review: Our take on LinkedIn's Social Recruiting Conference 2014

11 September 2014 By Alastair Cleland

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​Three speakers, a lifetime of expert knowledge and ideas to inspire a recruitment revolution - we share our experience of LinkedIn's headline event. 

On 3rd September a number of the Pentasia marketing team attended LinkedIn’s annual Social Recruiting Conference in London.

The event brought together some of the most influential and innovative members of the recruitment industry to discuss successful business practices and provide valuable advice on encouraging growth. 

Build. Engage. Recruit.

In a move on from traditional recruitment strategy, the core message relayed at the conference was ‘Build, Engage, Recruit’. This centred on the contention that engaging with the candidates and demonstrating the benefits of your offering through your social offering can help build trust to form lasting relationships. 

Sage advice from the mouth of a dragon

James Caan - of Dragon's Den fame - was the first keynote speaker of the day and he spoke passionately and insightfully about his experiences with building and developing recruitment companies.

The underlying theme from James’ speech was the need to embrace technological advancements; rather than being apprehensive of technology you might not understand, the key to successful growth revolves around adapting, implementing and taking full advantage of all the tools at your disposal.

One key takeaway from James’ keynote was his mantra of “observe the masses and do the opposite”. When his competitors in the recruitment industry were afraid and unwilling to accept new technologies, James found a way to integrate them in to his working practices, always ensuring he could be ahead of the adoption curve.

Start with 'why'

The second keynote speech was delivered by Dave Hazlehurst, director at PH Creative. One salient point from Dave’s presentation was in reference to inverting your offering decision path, a tactic which has been successfully employed by Apple. 

Dave explained how Apple’s key drivers were ‘Why’ they were going to do business and ‘How’ this would affect their potential customer base. It was only once they had determined the former that they decided ‘What’ it was they were going to sell. The culture and perceived value of the brand is a main factor behind their success, not necessarily the value for money in what you’re purchasing. You can view Dave’s Presentation from the event here.

In a similar way, success in recruiting for your organisation can sometimes fall down to the cultural fit and personality of a potential candidate, not necessarily the skillset involved. No matter how well skilled or matched to the job description the person may be, if they do not fit in with the company there is a higher chance of failure. 

Focus - get where you want to be with goals

The final keynote speaker of the day was Jeff Grout, a natural leader who has worked with some of the most successful international businesses and sporting icons in the world. Jeff’s idea is that the key to achieving your goals is to break down them down in to manageable sub goals:

  • Outcome Goal | What is the overall outcome you want to achieve?

  • Performance Goal | What do you need to do to achieve your outcome goal?

  • Process Goal | How are you going to do this?

By following Jeff’s goal setting technique you are able to remain focussed on your overall goal, whilst achieving the smaller milestones along the way. Jeff’s slides, plus those from all of the day’s presenters can be viewed here. 

A final word: the importance of cultural fit

Back at Pentasia HQ, executive director Bruce Gamble also shared his experiences of the perils of recruiting purely on a skill-match requirement basis. Bruce said, in his experience, ‘Cultural fit and personality will play a more critical role in the overall success for a company than just ensuring the candidate matches the requirements. Skills can be taught, but an inhibitive employee will never allow the company or themselves to realise their full potentials’.