Friday, September 22, 2006

WTPF Talent ROAR Recap

A good time was had by all at yesterday's annual WTPF conference, this year aptly titled Talent ROAR (Recruitment, Orientation, Assimilation & Retention). Held at the beautiful Gannett/USA Today HQ building in McLean, VA, just under 200 attendees enjoyed a full day of networking and presentations by experts and corporate HR/Recruiting leaders alike. Here's a recap of the day:

7:15 - I arrive on a crisp, cool September morning ready to roll. Along with being a WTPF board member, I'm also on the event planning committee and am scheduled to co-present at one the breakout sessions as well. A busy day awaits as the adrenaline (and caffeine) is starting to kick in.

8:30 - The crowd has arrived and is enjoying the coffee, muffins and networking in the 'First Amendment Dining Room'. WTPF President, Kim Clark-Paktsys, kicks the day off and quickly turns the podium over to our keynote speaker, Lou Adler. I've seen Lou speak on a couple occasions before and have been impressed each time. What I like about Lou is that he lays out the business case of what's wrong with Corporate Recruiting, then challenges you with common sense. The audience is engaged throughout Lou's presentation, a great start to the day.

10:30 - The breakout sessions begin. Scott Kahle and I have the pleasure of following Lou with our presentation titled: Recruiting Technology 2.0 (the slides are available on Scott's Blog). We were a bit nervous about this at first, following up such an accomplished and esteemed speaker. But it actually worked out just fine. Lou made a number of points that we were able to relate back to. The presentation went well and we received some very kind feedback through the rest of the day.

Through the 2nd breakout session, I pop back and forth between the two presentations. I'm taking pictures throughout the event, the link to those will be found at the bottom of this post.

12:15 - Lunchtime, the Gannett/USA Today catering group puts together a nice spread (Tabuleh and Hummus Wraps, yummy!) as everyone heads back into the Dining Room for nourishment and networking.

1:30 - The 3rd breakout session begins and I spend most of my time attending the presentation by the Booz Allen immersion team of Raymond Houck and Nicola Klein. I worked with Nicola at my last employer (we actually co-taught the Structured Interviewing class there for a couple of years). Their presentation titled "Insights into a World-Class Immersion Program: Discover Booz Allen" is an excellent representation of what can be accomplished by a company that is devoted to starting their new employees off on the right foot. They have abandoned the 'death by PowerPoint' orientation method used my most companies, and have come up with a more engaging and relevant immersion program in it's place. Very impressive indeed.

I spend the 4th breakout session listening to a panel chaired by my boss, Gary Cluff, and including highly-regarded recruiting experts Kerri Koss-Morehart of Fannie Mae, Ed Newman of The Newman Group, and Hector Velez of HireStrategy. Titled "The Changing Landscape of Recruitment", the panel provided their valuable insights into what the future holds for the recruiting function. Some of the key takeaways included comments around how candidates are taking a more holistic view of the opportunities presented to them, how technology is evolving to include expand beyond the traditional ATS model to include more Talent Management and CRM capabilities, and how Outsourcing/RPO options are becoming more of an acceptable reality to organizations who are challenged by supply, demand, process and technology.

3:30 - A busy day closes with a highly engaging and fun presentation by Max Brown of 'The Carrot Culture'. Max's presentation focused on the power of employee recognition and how companies can become more successful by simply doing a better job of recognizing the accomplishments of their employees. This is the 2nd year we've had a 'Carrot Culture' speaker, and for good reason, they do a fantastic job of closing out the day on an entertaining and positive note.

5:00 - The event is over and a few of us retire to the McLean Hilton for celebratory cocktail. Pulling this off took the hard, devoted volunteer work of our planning committee, and seeing the event go as well as it did today made it all worthwhile. Now we just need to top it again next year!

Pictures from the day's events can be found HERE

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