#Recfest18 Our Picks from Stage 1

The LaunchPad team enjoyed loads of compelling talks from the main stage. Here are our top picks from #RecFest18.

#RecFest18 - Our picks from stage 1

Changing people’s lives. That’s the theme that came across to us strongly at last week’s #recfest18. What a great philosophy for what we do as in-house recruiters.

“We’re in the people business. What we’re actually doing is changing lives.” @mattcharney.

“Our commodity is literally people…you literally change lives, you enable them to buy the ring, buy a house, go on holiday.” @writtenbysalma

Our own Will Hamilton took to the Disrupt stage to talk about our fear of automation. Far from a hollowing out of human interaction, automation re-humanises the work place. It helps the right people to find the right roles and frees up recruiters to do what humans are best at.

Our picks from stage 1

The LaunchPad team enjoyed loads of compelling talks from the main stage. Here are our top picks.

#1 Salama El-Wardany

@writtenbysalma https://salmaelwardany.com/

Salama El-Wardany who kicked off with open verse poetry, conveyed the huge power of storytelling. “Our commodity is literally people” and so to engage candidates we need to grasp human behaviour. “The internet is basically a giant version of Tinder, we’re all swiping right and left looking for something that will engage us.”

Therefore, “emotion needs to be the thing we trade on” as emotional affinity “beats the hell out of persona creation”! Content has got to stand out as “we’ve been gluttonous in our content consumption and now we’re apathetic”. “Tell your story when no one else is telling it” is Salma’s advice and don’t try to be like anyone else, “there’s no monopoly on being yourself!”

#2 Lars Schmidt

@Lars @HROpenSource

All the latest trends all in one presentation! Blockchain, AI, automation, programmatic advertising, chatbots, D&I tech, the gig economy. But, as Lars explained, lots of people are talking, but not many companies are actually doing.

What companies are investing in, is “being fluid in data”. People analytics at every stage of the employee lifecycle are becoming more widely adopted. 39% of companies are going to invest in D&I tech, 30% have invested in culture tech and 38% will further invest in culture tech. Meanwhile, the much talked-about gig economy is not yet translating into the tech market. Some interesting trends to watch here.

#3 Craig Fisher

@Fishdogs @AllegisGlobal

In a word where there are 2.36 billion millennials and 1.9 billion Gen Zs how do you get talent to engage? Use a 5:1 ratio according to Fisher. That means give five times before you ask people for something in return.

The account he shared was Allegis Global’s policy that includes a day off for life events like getting a new pet, moving house, or relocating. Allegis started sending branded gifts and cards to congratulate members of staff or wish the best of luck. Allegis then asked employees to share a picture on social media if they wanted to “we’d love to celebrate with you”. This initiative has created a wave of employee generated content. Fisher says they “don’t just ask employees to share company stuff, we provide suggestions for other things employees can share to generate employee advocacy.”

#4 Kevin Blair


Kevin shared the challenges IBM faced in not being the obvious destination for certain schools of technical talent. IBM found itself competing with companies it had never competed with before and delving into the talent pool in the gig economy. Key to attracting the right talent has been a combination of re-skilling and specialising as the team moves to ‘agile recruitment’.

“We’re no longer full stack recruiters” said Blair. “We are training and re-skilling and helping hiring managers to make smart decisions”. Smart decision-making has been enabled by recruitment technology says Blair. “Technology needs to be integrated into the team. We use automation and have robots actually doing work to support the acceleration and impact of recruitment.”

Lots of food for thought. Thanks @RecEventsCo we’ll see you again next year!