From the Frontlines to the Home Front: A Different Kind of Conference!

Road WarriorToday is the last day of Kennedy’s Recruiting 2007 Conference in Orlando. It marks the closing of the industry’s conference season which has seen the annual pilgrimage to SHRM, ONREC getting down in San Francisco, coast-to-coast gigs from ERE, and HRTechnology blowing hard in the windy city – again.

SourceCon made its debut in Atlanta while other “focus groups” gathered under their respective banners of exclusivity: Recruiting Excellence 2007 in Boston, The Fordyce Forum in New Orleans, the DirectEmployers Association whooping it up in Vegas, the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) dusting things off in San Antonio.

Road warriors like Don Ramer, Gerry Crispin, Joel Cheesman, Shally Steckerl, Kevin Wheeler, Lou Adler and an army of vendors, sponsors and assorted groupies will be heading home to gather round their Thanksgiving tables, many thankful for the fact that the circus is over, at least for this year.

The recruiting industry’s conference business is big business. In so many ways, it embodies the industry’s infrastructure and creates the channels along which ideas, innovation, favors, contracts and money flow. From the podiums, assorted speakers, pundits and industry celebs promote their reputations as subject matter experts and as sometimes saviors of the human race.

In workshops and forums opinions are formed, behaviors are influenced, best practices honed. Over hurried snacks or fine-linen tablecloths friendships are kindled and rekindled, relationships formed, forged and sometimes soon forgotten.

The network of vocal and visible people – the publishers, promoters, speakers, track leaders, commentators, vendors, sponsors and the lucky delegates who follow the circuit – each year consolidates its position as the industry’s core.

For sure, without a core like that things would quickly fall apart. Without a core – a robust infrastructure – there is no movement, no growth and no progress.

Contrasting all of this are the recruiters themselves who are — in the main – disenfranchised from the industry’s core. Many go through their working day confined to their cubes, Monster page views and overbearing hiring managers who just want bodies, not more paper!

Others are the unsung heroes who really get it. They turn lemons into lemonade, hard work into employment of choice, and mundane jobs into exciting careers. They brand their employers, their jobs, their talent and among their peers and higher-ups, themselves.

They work with technology and systems that are flawed in their design, selection, configuration, implementation and management. Regardless, they produce talent pools that support meaningful candidate relationships and flow-on-demand. They crunch numbers and produce business intelligence, positively affecting the bottom-line.

In places where recruiting conditions are defined by more mundane things like local demographics and economics than they are by widgets and whitepapers there is a pent-up demand for something that will make recruiters’ jobs easier, more fulfilling and more rewarding. There is a desire to be more connected and better networked.

The industry’s road warriors will be going back to their homes this week to the very places where the disenfranchised and pioneers actually coexist, going back to their hometowns and local business communities.

A few of them will be taking off their battledress and rolling up their sleeves to give back to the communities where they actually live. They will be talking less about global recruiting and listening for local concerns. They are less about being paid to speak and more concerned about paying back, to teach. They will not be expecting you to travel cross country to see them at one of the industry’s conferences, they will becoming home, to you.

The sponsors do not want to pitch you, spam you or ask for anything in return for covering the $600 or so it would normally cost-per-person to have access to one of the industry’s top-billed events. They too are paying it forward.

That is what John Sumser’s Recruiting Roadshow, is all about…a different kind of conference!

Dallas, Texas

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007
8:30AM – 1:30PM

University of Dallas College of Business
Graduate School of Management
Development Center, Frisco Campus

7460 Warren Parkway
Frisco TX 75034

See you there!

Posted by: Amitai Givertz


  1. 1 Recruiting Roadshow, 2007 Conferences and All That Jazz | Amitai Givertz’s Recruitomatic Blog

    […] Sumser, Shally Steckerl posted his reflections on his year doing the conference thing, linking to one of the posts I wrote on the subject on the Roadshow […]

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