With over 60 presenters and panelists speaking at Staffing World 2019, chances are that even attendees may have missed something. In addition to the tips and tricks from top leaders and innovators in the industry, several key themes emerged from the array of panel offerings this year.
1. Social Networking Remains A Vital Part Of Outreach
What do you get when you combine the trend towards tech tools in HR and a very people-centric industry? Social media, which helps you directly interface with prospective candidates. Each social media platform has its own features, and it's vital for any talent acquisition team to fully navigate the opportunities each one offers to strategize and build a strong social media recruitment program to bring in more candidates.
Across three separate panels, Kristin Kane Ford’s rundown of LinkedIn products and strategies to grow prospective talent pools—along with other social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging—made it clear that a social media recruitment program works best when your team learns the ins and outs of each interface to maximize your social media presence. And perhaps more importantly, it’s best to have your channels cross paths—be sure to link between platforms and boost your social media presence further.
2. Make Diversity A Key Goal For 2019 And Beyond
A diverse staff (and especially a diverse leadership) can appeal to a wider customer base, offer differing viewpoints, and keep a company from falling prey to the homogeneity of “groupthink” that can lead to worse business outcomes. This important topic got the highlight it deserves at this year’s staffing conference.
The pre-convention program “Advancing Women Leaders in the Staffing Industry” offered multiple panels on the topic of promoting women in leadership roles, and several other panels at the conference also focused on the theme of diversity, like Xochitl Ledesma’s “Inclusive Communication and Courageous Conversations,” in which she shared her research from Catalyst that focused on roadblocks that can make it difficult for employees to discuss their differences. Also, Risha Grant’s discussion “Permission: Granted to Build an Inclusive Culture” focused on how to overcome biases, foster diverse talent, and create a welcoming culture within your organization for all.
3. Know The Laws Inside And Out
Another theme presented was the importance of navigating hiring laws, with panels on topics ranging from legal marijuana to sexual harassment in the #MeToo movement. Counsel from American Staffing Association led a panel called “The Most Entertaining Employment Law Game Show Ever” in which they ran through a mock game show of staffing law questions, covering topics a range of topics from discrimination to overtime pay. Helen Konrad and Courtney Steiber, both leading employment law specialists, took a more serious tack in their panel “Hiring by the Rules,” in which they walked the audience step-by-step through the hiring process with advice and cautions for onboarding, background checks, and I-9s.
4. Yes, It's All About Tech, Tech, Tech ... But More Importantly, People Too
While tech trends continue to be a key focus for staffing and were the topic of several panels at this conference, talent acquisition can’t forget its roots in the face of all this technology. Technology may connect talent acquisition professionals to qualified candidates more quickly, but being able to apply for jobs at the click of a button, interview via Skype, and always email instead of picking up the phone can create a disconnect for some candidates on the job search.
Mark Wolf, director of performance and sales training at C&A Industries, focused on how we can break through the barriers of technology and prioritize candidate engagement. In his talk “Four Principles to Engage and Influence Candidates,” he emphasized the importance of creating an emotional bond with candidates, keeping them involved at every step of the hiring process, gaining their trust, and making a lasting impression. Steve Berchem of American Staffing Association and Adam Bleibtrue of ASGN and Creative Circle, in their panel “Words Matter,” focused on “the new language of staffing” and how the basic human interaction and communication with job candidates can better serve the needs of jobseekers and win over candidates. Similarly, in his discussion “Deeper Dialogue,” John Klymshyn of The Business Generator, Inc. focused on the connection between the precision of language and drawing out people’s potential. This kind of people-centric focus moves beyond “trends” to get to the real heart of staffing.