Social recruiting and conferencing part 2 (TRU)


TRU   One of the conversations I had on Thursday night (at the recruiting tweet-up, RTU) was about Mervyn Dinnen’s tweet last year, at Mike Taylor’s Social Recruiting conference, about there having to be a better (more social) way of exploring social topics than traditional conferences.

If I’ve got this right, Trish McFarlane responded with a tweet about last year’s HRevolution un-conference in (which I missed as I thought the travel time would be a bit excessive), leading indirectly to the first of Bill Boorman’s TRU un-conferences last year (which I missed because I was at the CIPD conference in Manchester).

According to Bill:

“An unconference is an event that has no fixed structure and only two rules, no power point and no presentations. The day is split into sessions during which a series of ‘tracks’ run on a theme with a track leader hosting the discussion, debate and learning. The discussion takes a life of it’s own with attendees bringing their own views, questions and opinions as well as debate. This takes many directions and concludes with real learning and opinion forming. The track leaders are carefully chosen for their areas of experience and knowledge and for the value they can bring to the “track.” They have been drawn from across the globe giving the unconference a genuine global view. We will be adding to the list of track leaders right up to the day of the event (and even during it.)”


Well, I think Mervyn, Trish and Bill are right.  Traditional conferences are increasingly out of synch with today’s more informal and social life and work styles.  And unconferencing is an approach that I’ve wanted to get involved with since speaking about it with Jay Cross (see Jay’s definition of an unconference) when we did some work together a few years back.

So I’m very excited to be attending, and track leading, at Bill’s second TRU (The Recruiting Unconference) event, TRU London 2 in just two weeks time.

I’ll be co-unleading (?) sessions on:

Employer branding v Employee branding

Track Leaders: Nick Price, Sarah White, Michelle Fischer, Jon Ingham

Following on from the popular Recruiter Cast debate “Is the Employer Brand dead?”, this track looks at the issue of employer branding. How to stand out as an employer and how recruiters can use employer branding. Has employer branding is turning in to employee branding as a result of the social media explosion and the growth of the personal brand. Branding experts Nick Price, Michelle Fischer and Sarah White from the U.S. will be debating all the issues in this key area.


Endangered Species

Track Leaders: Peter Gold, John Ingham, Steve Boese

From HR to recruiters, we seem to hear of the imminent passing of all the trades we recognise are facing extinction from a changing world. Who is next to start pushing up the daisies? This track promises to be lively and global looking at who is on the endangered species list, why and what they need to do in the future to ensure a brighter future.

The talent wars

Track Leaders: Trish Mcfarlane, Michelle Fischer, Peter Gold, Jon Ingham

We will fight them on the job boards, we will fight them in Facebook. We will never surrender! The battle to attract the best talent for current and future hires. is there such a thing as a passive candidate? How to track and engage with potential future hires. How can you pipeline and maintain contact in preparation of your next placement or hire?


Culture Clash

Track Leaders: Jon Ingham, Laurie Ruettimann, Geoff Webb, Alan Whitford

The world is shrinking and networks are going global. #trulondon is a testament to the narrowing of borders combining the leading brains in our sector from the U.K, the U.S. & Canada. What are the shared views of the community and where do cultures clash between the continents? What do you need to keep and what do you need to be open to when networking or trading cross borders.


H.R. Gen Z

Track Leaders: Laurie Ruettimann, Trish Mcfarlane, Jon Ingham

Never mind Gen Y,their here now. What will HR look like to Gen Z? Will HR exist in it’s current format? How could the HR role evolve and what will make it the career destination of choice to the bright young things? What do we want from HR now & in the future from a corporate & employee viewpoint? Are these the same things or something different? How can HR please all? How can HR prepare for the future while functioning effectively now?


Future Strategy

All track leaders

At the close of each day all tracks will spend 45 minutes consolidating the learning & thinking of all the attendees in open discussion in order to focus the mind on the next step.



As you might be able to tell from the names above, Bill’s brought together many of the biggest and brightest names from the recruiting, HR and social media worlds (including most of the people that I met on Thursday night), and it should be a really good event.

So look out for plenty of blogging, tweeting, podcasting, waving and other social media stuff coming to you on 18th and 19th February.

And if you’re not attending the unconference in person, you’ll still have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation through Paul Harrison’s live lab:

“The room splits in to tracks and each has a track secretary and a micro-blogger. The questions for the tracks, and opinions come from the twitter stream using the hashtag #lab. This could be huge and a great opportunity to involve many more than those in the room. Hats off to Paul for taking this on, and for twitter job search for providing a venue where we can project on the side of the building!”


Oh, and if Bill’s OK to have me back, I’ll also be unleading at TRU USA in Madison on April 20th and 21st – I can’t wait!



Photo credit: Sara Headworth



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I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).


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