ERE Fall 2010, Day One Continued: The Vendor Floor, Breakout Sessions & Indeed’s Social

by John on November 4, 2010

So if I was ever pressed to answer the question “What’s your favorite part about the ERE conference?” my answer would be the lunch setup. I know that this is probably not an answer people would be expecting, but hear me out on this one.

I’m not a huge fan of being forced to network. I think if you’re forced, then it’s contrived and people will see through that pretty quick. However, if you want to network, and bust out of your comfort zone, then ERE’s lunch setup is not only genius, but it’s an easy way to meet. If you don’t want to meet new peeps, then you can always take your food off the vendor floor (but I think that defeats the purpose of why you’re attending in the first place).

I had the opportunity to have a few minutes with some very interesting people and in fact, it was our conversation at lunch that made me want to attend their breakout session. Karla and Nancy were engaging and funny. We were then joined by one of the vendors (who happened to be one of the co-founders of a software platform that we use in at the university, the conversation got better. Miles was also very funny, engaging and genuinely nice and he didn’t try to push his product or company.

Karla Mervin, Recruiting Manager for DaVita & Dr. Nancy Parks presented an interesting session titled “Sales Training for Recruiters: Key Learnings from DaVita’s Sales Training Pilot Program”. I was glad I made the decision to attend their session.

There’s been great discussion in the blogosphere about the synergies between HR/Recruiting and sales and how peeps in the trenches need to have a healthy dose of both skills (here & here) and I don’t want to pile on to that concept with this review. But when Karla and Nancy played the recruiting calls, and we could hear the interaction between the recruiter and candidates, well let’s just say that it caused an immediate visceral reaction and I was floored. I immediately had flashbacks to calls that I had made, times I flamed out on the phone (or in person), and some key successes. Kudos to them and their recruiters for having the guts to lay it out there and present to the crowd.

I did notice that the vendor floor seemed a bit smaller than what I had experienced two years ago. Gone were the girls on Segways promoting ICIMS. Two years ago, the flavor du jour was what we jokingly referred to as “the e-harmony” recruitment algorithm. This go around, I would say the darlings of the show were the video interviewing solutions. I’m curious to see how this concept may (or may not) revolutionize the space.

Finally, I had an opportunity to attend the social in the evening. It was nice to catch up with some old friends, meet people that I’ve been following on twitter, and network. You can’t go wrong with good conversation, good people, and the beach in late October.

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