That time I blogged a conference I didn’t attend

I didn’t get to the Sourcing Social Talent Conference in Auckland today, and boy did I have some serious FoMo following the live tweet stream. The great thing was that there was some super sweet tweeting from those who did go and the content was mint. Unlike some tweet streams which are a bit like hearing an inside joke without being in on it. So here’s what I’ve got from following the #sst17 morning session.

Carmen Hudson @peopleshark promised an uncomfortable discussion around diversity and challenged us all to have honest conversations about diversity in recruitment. Prep yourself before entering the discussion — know your stuff and support your hiring managers with this thinking.

Begin with an end in mind and do a self-check, are you just trying to tick the diversity box or is this something you are passionate about and looking for real outcomes? If you are just ticking the box or recruiting for diversity ‘because others are’ then you need to have a serious look at your values and priorities as an organisation.

One point I really loved was that it’s not always about relocating talent to where you are but how you relocate the office to where the talent is. There’s lots of research to support this practice now on flexibility and remote working — it’s the future of business.

Your role as a recruiter isn’t just to take a job order (who are these people that still do this?), it’s of strategic importance to your organisation, “Driving diversity means having high level communications, pushing back if needed and broadening hiring managers understanding.

Elaine Orler @elaineorler came with some really cool looking dice which were used to write candidate pledges — would have loved to know more about these — come on twitter peeps!

Troy Hammond @troyhammo in his normal straight talking no bullshit style talked about scaling tech start up 8i with diversity and inclusion from day one.

Putting a line in the sand Troy wants to work with companies he is proud to present candidates to. He dropped a concept which surprised but didn’t shock people — that we have body bias when hiring (yikes). There is a lot of conscious and unconscious bias in recruiting, humans have a terrible habit of judging people by their looks.

Culture fit is all the buzz at the moment — but are you actually saying that if a candidate is not a ‘culture fit’ then they’re just not like you enough? This doesn’t allow for diversity of hiring or thought. Hire people that aren’t a ‘culture fit’ and allow people to think differently and be their ‘true selves’.

To remove unconscious bias from hiring managers Troy removes names, addresses, schools from CVs and just presents the core stuff. This increases hire rates of people from different cultures, backgrounds and gender. “If you have a brain you have bias”

Shout out to Textio as this tool helps you to use the right language when reaching out to people.

So what metrics should we measure? Not time to fill — time to fill means he’ll give you the candidate he can find at the time, not the best/most diverse candidate. Taking the time to find the right candidate means you don’t end up hiring another JOE that’s just like the JOE you’ve got.

Have empathy for diversity and inclusion —“if you can teach your team anything, teach them this” so if you want to grow your culture you don’t get more of the same — Joe, meet Joe.

Finishing with a straight up statement, “If your integrity is getting in the way of the business you work for fucking leave them”. Bam!

I liked this brainstorming exercise showing examples of bias:

The afternoon is breakout sessions and I better get back to work! Thanks to the super tweeters — hopefully some of you can fill in any gaps I missed.

My challenge to conference organisers though is Wellington has a large recruiter population so hopefully in the future, conference can come here to share the love, then I might be able to blog a conference I attended.