Recruitcamp & Debbie Downer


I am giving the keynote address at #recruitcamp on Thursday.

At first, I told Rob Humphrey that I didn’t want to do it. Don’t get me wrong. The event is awesome and has a high caliber of speakers. I like the people who are attending. Recruiters and HR professional will learn something new and be better practitioners.

Honestly, I am just so sick of talking about social recruiting because I’m not sure I know what I’m talking about. To that end, I’m not sure that anyone knows what the heck they are talking about. We’re all about the twitters and facebooks and process methodologies — but no one is talking about work. Not even me.

I tried to talk Rob Humphrey out of having me as a speaker. I just don’t have anything to say. He told me to take my ennui and channel it into something new — so I’m going to talk about the current economic crisis and how we’re blowing a huge opportunity to do something cool as recruiters and HR professionals.

Here’s my session description.

As recruiters, we have some challenges.

Resumes flood our in boxes from job boards and candidates get lost on career websites and social networks. Smart candidates circumvent the recruiting process and contact hiring managers directly. We’re inundated with new resources and tools but we are not necessarily hiring in a smarter, faster, or more efficient way.

We are at the end of a recession and the beginning of a new economic age. Social recruiting is here, but it’s not about overlapping new and emerging technology onto existing, broken recruiting processes. It’s about slowing down, stepping back, and rethinking the nature of work. It’s time to question everything including how we hire people, why we need employees, and who we ask to join our organization.

We don’t have many opportunities to change recruiting for the better. Let’s not blow it.

Is that dumb? Do you have any feedback?

Seems like a Debbie Downer of a presentation. I don’t want to get up there and go through a litany of depressing statistics. I just think that you can’t talk about social recruiting with any credibility unless you have a handle on the economic, financial, and political situations that impact business.

You want to talk about Twitter? Be my guest. I just think that going straight to technology undermines our credibility with executives and leaders. If you don’t understand how the increasing foreclosure rate among the middle class impacts your A-level talent pool—with deflated credit scores and additional stresses that influence performance—you have no business telling your CMO to set up a Facebook career page.

I dunno. My beta-testing of this keynote discussion might suck. Or it might be okay. I’m lucky Rob Humphrey puts up with me.

I’ll see you there, chumps.

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