Conferences should provide better networking tools – Candidates aren’t the only ones who want to Engage! David Bernstein @HRTechConf
Steve: What’s the number one buzz or trend that you’re seeing at HR Tech Conf?
David: There’s a lot of focus around identification of candidates and then trying to figure out how to engage with them properly. It’s interesting to see the technology play here trying to make that come to be. It’s not very new. It’s just everybody believes that they now have the secret sauce to make that all happen, to locate, attract and engage.
Steve: You predicted that’s what you would be seeing here?
David: Well, on the recruiting side, it seems to be following that trend. Last year, it was all the buzz about big data and analytics, now it seems to be more focused on how we treat candidates, how we find and engage with them and make them feel good about the whole process.
It’s interesting though, just in HR Tech in general – there seems to be a huge focus on wellness, well-being. And that’s an interesting theme that’s here to see, that wasn’t the topic de jour last year.
Steve: That’s what most surprised you here?
David: Yes, to see an overall focus on the physical health of your employees. There’s a number of vendors out here exhibiting around that kind of a topic.
Steve: If you have one piece of technology you’re going to invent, wave a magic wand and it appeared now and you’d say this would be brilliant for this conference, what would it be?
Steve: It can’t be the marketing robot.
David: Oh, yes, that’s it! 🙂
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What doesn’t seem to happen well at events like this – I’m a big believer that people come to these events because they’re looking for a couple of things. They’re looking for content and they go to the sessions… that’s great. They’re looking for conversations as well, and they’re looking for career opportunities. A lot of people network here for the next job. But in terms of conversation, there doesn’t seem to be tools that facilitate the dialogue other than who you bump into, right?
David: So you go to a session and you can presume people have a similar interest, but then everybody runs to the door afterwards and there’s no way to create some kind of lasting conversation with people who have specialist group focus, and it seems like a lost opportunity.
Steve: Yes, there was a start-up conference I went to in KL. Before the event they distributed a great mobile networking tool, essentially a business dating app. You could see everyone’s profile attending the conference. Everyone was using the app, it was a great way to book meetings. I’m surprised not to see it deployed more at events like this.
David: Which is great but the question I would ask you: does that app have a life after the conference is over? Then you can continue the dialogue post event, right? What a great opportunity… otherwise, you’re collecting business cards and doing this, right? That seems like a lost opportunity.
Steve: I agree. I’ve talked to some of the Rec conference vendors about it, but so far I haven’t seen it used. It was a great tool to have at the event.
Many thanks for talking to me David – appreciate you taking the time.
David Bernstein is VP Talent Acquisition Products at BrightfieldStrategies.com