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2010 SMA Staffing Symposium Recap

September 24th, 2010 2 comments

I attended the SMA Staffing Symposium yesterday, and it was a good day overall.  Some thoughts on the presenters:

  • Carol Mahoney’s presentation was entertaining and engaging, but there weren’t a lot of tangible take-aways for me.  Good reminders though: do what you need to to keep engaged, get outside yourself and your role to stay fresh, etc.
  • Since I’m at a 450 person nonprofit, I generally don’t think I have a lot I can learn from Microsoft. But Scott Pitasky did a nice job of distilling his learnings from the last few years into things everyone can benefit from: goals are great but don’t let them get in the way of your strategy, let cost inform but not dictate your decisions, and make your work relevant to the businesses you support. Plus Scott is a very engaging speaker, one of my favorite sessions.
  • I admit I didn’t think I’d get much from Eric Jaquith’s presentation (I’m not much of a tools junkie).  But he introduced a few things I’ll explore: TimeBridge and Setster for scheduling, drop.io for file sharing, Jing for screen capture.
  • We went a little old school with Steve Lowisz. Billed as a primer on establishing credibility and being seen as a business partner, it was a reminder of the basic things we have to do to be good recruiters. Before you click this link, can you name the five steps in effective selling?
  • Elaine Orler gave what may have been the driest talk of the day, walking through the evolution of recruiting technology.  Only interesting if you like enterprise business systems, so I ate it up.
  • Laurie Ruettimannwrapped up the day with a typically irreverent performance. In order to be better recruiters, we need to be normal people, not caricatures of HR people.

And a few general observations:

  • For all the chatter about how recruiting will be revolutionized by [insert trend here], it was striking that every speaker talked about things that have always been true: credibility is earned not granted, recruiters must be good business partners, good recruiters are hard to find. I’m not holding my breath until the revolution arrives.
  • Seattle is a small town.  If you know the right person, you can be 2 degrees of separation or less from everyone in a room of 175.
  • Here’s something to think about if you’re certain social media is unavoidable in recruiting: maybe 75 of 175 attendees use Twitter.  In tech-crazy, recruiting-sophisticated Seattle.

Update (9/30): if you’re interested in each presenter’s slides, you can view them here.

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