Last week I attended the first ever Sourcing Summit, and before I go too far into this I must congratulate both Phil Tusing and Andrea Mitchell for putting on the first event of its type in Australia. I think it was a great success with both the quality of the speakers, but for the attendees too, the conversations at breaks were inspiring!
The day didn't start the best, with the super early morning flight, the coffee spillage thanks to a clumsy cabbie, Thunderbird looking hair when I arrived. But thanks to a quick splash of water (and to Andrea for letting me know), reversible hand dryers, and my emergency pack of "don't look stupid"materials in my backpack (and another coffee) we got back on track.
It was a little intimidating listening to a lot of these speakers, man, there are some smart people on this planet, wish I was more like them! I'll write about my highlights here, I seriously don't have the bandwidth to write about every speaker, so if I missed you, I apologise right now... Sorry
One of the most used terms of this summit was "engagement" and let me tell you, I was engaged immediately by Gavin Heaton's presentation, as one of the first slides spoke about his coffee club, I mean come on.... "coffee"after that morning? He had my attention. This guy is super smart, had some great sound bites which were duly tweeted around the world in real-time, with the bottom line being, think about, learn about, engage with, and continually talk to your community....
Brent Pearson (someone I've looked up to and respected for years, but have never met) was next up, my notes initially parked him somewhere between a realist and a grump at the industry. I ended up pegging him as a passionate realist with a pinch of cynicism. But boy is he smart. His initial statement of "I'm going to upset some people in this room today" set the tone for me, I was hooked! His video was entertaining and his message sound. To summarize, with a few liberties (because it's my blog) ... Firstly, don't be seduced by all the technology that comes out in this space. (tick.... Been there done that, it sucks, but you got to try things, you may get the winner) Then, how do you know if it's any good? YOU MEASURE and Benchmark!
Brent gave some great stats and a case study in terms of a client of his business (HRX) about source of application and attempting to disprove the all things Facebook and Twitter, where there was a little hiccup. However, I didn't think it proved enough, not sure if it was extrapolated out far enough. It proved an idea around using Social Media from an attraction point of view, which was great, and looking at it as a tool to help direct your marketing budget. Great! However I think you would have to work backwards from analysing where the people you have hired have come from, and the focus your funds there. You can get all the applications you want from your "Google adwords" but if you don't hire any of those applicants, what's the point?
Perhaps the most interesting presentation was that of Jason Timor, the Indigenous Recruitment Advisor at QANTAS. It was a really interesting presentation, fascinating in fact. Really impressive that a company actually has a programme like this. What Jason highlighted most, in my mind, was the idea that with all the talk of community, talent pooling and technology, you still cannot escape the fact that this is a people business. sitting down having a cup of tea with people, respecting where you are, who you're talking to, is a very effective attraction strategy. someone building IRL (in real life) talent communities. Just made me smile listening to him. Simple (and very effective) Science
Simon Townsend from Deloitte, the innovation centre, just baffled me. He had some great soundbites which I eagerly tweeted, probably masking the fact that a lot of what he said net over my head. But a brilliant mind, and he saw things in a very unique way. Just made me want to be better and have lots more resources around me.
"culture of fun with serious intent" @wittering :) like that"
Paul Jacobs. Now this was another guy I was looking forward to talking to. The energetic, friendly and quite amusing community DJ from NZ. Another person I'd been communicating with for years but never met. Paul is a bright bloke, who loves his technology and social media. He also provided the best quote of the day "you can shake my muffin" (it'll lose something if I put in context) and was also half of the winning tweet of the day
Paul however, tried to escape the live blogging critiques ie tweeting of his presentation (He said it was to bring a touch of an unconference to the event, I know better :) ). He got everyone standing, worried people as he started with a roving mike and then asked a question which I think the answers even surprised him. He asked the room (rephrased here by me) what was more important in sourcing, technology or the human touch? Surprisingly, in a room full of sourcing geeks, there was a heavy leaning to the human touch. Even if he had to make a new third actor of a mix of both. (my choice)
The final presenter I'll talk about is Christian Leloux. As always he impressed with his passion and knowledge of sourcing and how he is engineering the function in Ernst & Young. With all the technology talk, process and gadget wowing of the process, Christian said the most poignant thing of the whole summit when he said "bottom line, this is all about getting bums on seats right? And solving business problems". It was a statement I was waiting for, it was a statement, which to me validated the whole Summit.
"sourcing not a skillset any more it is a vocation!!! @Cleloux"
There were 2 days to this summit, I only attended one, however, for a first up event, in a function that really is in its infancy in Australia, I was proud to be there, and to be an answer to a quiz question!
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