Monday, March 05, 2007

Our First Recruiters Conference

Good thing last week was a bit crazy, it pulled me a bit out of my writing rut. As I mentioned in my last post, my firm had our first corporate recruiters conference last week at the Q Center in St. Charles, IL. The Q Center was Andersen's training center, and today operates in a similar mode, open to any organization (although Accenture apparently uses it the most). The rooms were nice, the food was very good (and very abundant), and the networking was outstanding.

I got in Tuesday afternoon, which was the day of the conference devoted to campus recruiting. That evening, we had a nice reception where everyone who was there, and everyone who was just coming in for days 2 and 3, had the opportunity to connect. I had met most of our recruiters so far, but was also able to finally connect with the rest. But even more important, most of our recruiters were meeting there colleagues from across the firm for the first time. This was priceless as building a stronger collaborative culture is a major objective firm-wide.

As usual, I didn't sleep well, but got a nice workout that morning, which gave me the energy for what was going to be a busy day. We led off with a 'State of Recruiting' presentation by my boss, which was followed by presentations by our Director of Work-life (on how to best sell our work-life initiatives), by our Central Plains leader (on how they built out THE model recruiting structure in the firm), and by a Business Development leader who presented with me the parallels of the sales and the recruiting process.

Then it was my turn. I led off with an interactive presentation on networking, which included a another pitch regarding LinkedIn. We followed that with presenting the goals of our Employee Referral Project team, and breakouts with everyone to help us build more ideas and momentum around what we want to deliver in regards to a new program. We got alot of great ideas, but at the same time got a better appreciation for just how much work we have ahead of us. After some announcements and Q&A, we broke for the evening.

My mission Wednesday evening was to find a good spot at the Clubhouse to catch the Terps-Duke game. I went over a bit early, telling my colleagues that they could find me there if they wanted to join me. I found a nice seat in-front of the big-screen TV they had there, and over the next 15-20 minutes more and more people started to fill in around me, not my colleagues, but actually Accenture new-hires who where there for there induction training. And not just any new hires, but recent Maryland grads! Some of my colleagues stopped by eventually, but decided to more to a quieter spot. That was fine as my Terrapin brethren and I were able to fully enjoy another huge Terp victory (followed by a dominating season finally on Saturday which I was in attendance for. What a finish to the regular season, big hopes now for a successful post-season).

Thursday was devoted to a day of AIRS training. I had received AIRS training several years ago, and had picked up various AIRS fundamentals over the years. I wasn't sure how much I would learn myself, but I really did learn quite a bit. Only one other recruiter I knew of there had received AIRS training herself, so this was really new for just about everyone, and was very well received. Also, if I didn't make my point about LinkedIn the day before, our instructors did this day. A great finish to our conference, except we all knew that the weather across the country that day wasn't going to make travel home easy.

Some of us knew that they weren't going to make it out at all and stayed an extra night at the Q Center. I headed back to O'Hare, where I found out after a couple hours that my flight was cancelled and my only option was a hotel that night and a flight home the next morning. That didn't bother me too much, except that I had checked a bag, so no clothes, no toiletries. no dice. I got home OK on Friday and my back had beat me there. Most of my colleagues got home OK too, although much later than anticipated. The joys of business travel...

The Conference ends my induction into the firm. I've met everyone now and have communicated my vision and strategy. It's time to really get down to work now. Lots of great initiatives to get started on. I still need to figure out how to blog appropriately moving forward, but have a few thoughts in mind now. Oh, and thanks to Carl and Heather for the support. More to come...


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