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Shally’s view of the SHRM Annual Conference

Posted on July 9, 2007
Filed Under Recruitment Industry | 1 Comment

By Shally Steckerl, Chief Cyberseluth, JobMachine Inc.

Gerry Crispin and I walked up and down every isle, checking in on nearly 1,500 booths at this year’s SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition, in search for cool new tools we could explore. We stopped at every booth that looked like it could promise something to the recruiting profession. While clearly SHRM is about much more than just Talent Acquisition, recruiting played a big role at this year’s event. There were hundreds of interesting booths, so our walk through took a solid seven hours. A handful of new exhibitors did peak our interest, and we may be discussing them at the upcoming HR Technology conference in Chicago.

But before I tell you about a couple of them, I have to say that I was completely blown away by the sheer number of things going on at the Expo. With all of the distractions in Las Vegas many of the booths were desperately trying to capture the attention of 22,000 delegates, 800 of which came from countries other than the U.S. Booth gimmicks included crazy hat giveaways and making funny “dancing head” videos with your co-workers. I believe I even say a few cars being given away, and some of the exhibitors had “Vegas-free Areas” that were an appealing peaceful oasis in the midst of the ruckus. 
 
But you know, words just don’t do it justice. This is what I saw when I walked into the Expo hall: 

shrm

 
That is just a shot down the “center aisle” – imagine! There were rows to the left and right, so many that they didn’t even fit in my wide angle!

 

While overwhelming, I am encouraged to continue to attend the Annual Conference because SHRM represents the largest population of HR folks with over 220,000 members, and this is definitely an audience I want to reach with my message about building Passive Talent Pipelines and of course International Sourcing.

 

My favorite view was from the top of Jobing..com’s double decker booth:

jobing

 

Jobing is a two-time Inc. 500 fastest-growing company, and a leading media provider of locally-focused online job search, recruiting, and talent management solutions designed to connect local employers and job seekers.

 

I first meet Aaron Matos when he started his company back in 1999 and we were both living in Phoenix Arizona. Since I moved to Georgia I have continued to be a big fan of his, and have watched his company steadily gain ground and plug into 16 communities in 7 states through the  Southwest and Florida, and with a recent acquisition now growing into the Midwest!

 

You might recall last month Jobing.com completed the purchase of Brian Weis’s LocalCareers.com. Some of you may know Brian better as the founder of RecruitersNetwork.com, a website that like my own JobMachine.net has offered free resources to recruiters since the early days of Internet Recruiting circa 1998. 

 

Imagine my surprise when upon arriving at SHRM this year not only did Aaron remember me fondly, and tell me he’s been keeping his eye on little old me (like I have on him), but his 8 year old “startup” is now a big company and was the most prominent new exhibitor at the expo. Jobing.com has certainly grown up. With their local approach, community integration and “YouTube for Employment” video they are a serious player in the employment marketplace. I am very happy for Aaron and his enthusiastic team.
 
Here I am atop the Jobing.com booth with Aaron Matos, CEO of Jobing.com:
 

aaron

 
Congratulations Aaron and Brian, and I look forward to your continued success!

 

The other booth that Gerry and I spent some time at was Affinity Circles. What I liked about them is that they offer a solution to organizations wanting to participate in online social networking, but not wanting to expose their members to the perils of being completely open to the public. This “trusted network” tool gives alumni and professional associations a way to empower their entire membership to leverage the power of online networking, without loosing credibility. More than 90 organization are utilizing inCircle Pro to provide members with a way to keep in touch with each other, reunite with lost contacts, make new connections, have a shared calendar, and discover employment opportunities.

 

The last thought I’ll leave you with today is a chance encounter I had with Mathew Lesko. You may know him as “that question mark guy” from late night TV infomercials. The folks from TheLadders.com hosted a very cozy “lounge style” reception for SHRM Staffing Management Chapters (formerly EMA) and to my surprise, Mathew Lesko walks in the door. At first I though it was one of Vega’s many impersonators, but then I realized… why would anyone want to impersonate this character?

 

So I approached him and indeed he was the real deal. After some conversation with Mathew I came to the conclusion that we have some striking similarities. For the last 25 years he’s in the business of researching and finding unusual information. While his infomercial persona is intentionally obnoxious, in person he is well spoken, informative, approachable and warm. His approach in business has been to tenaciously pursue information until he gets what he needs, and then he writes about how he found it. I thought to myself, that’s pretty much what I do. Sure, we’re in a completely different business, but we operate in a common way, and that was somehow strangely encouraging to me.
 
Here I am with Mr. Questionmark himself:

 
So, my final thought today is that life is full of surprises and unless we put ourselves out there we won’t really have a chance to find new opportunities.  
 
Cheers,
Shally 
 
P.S. Sheila Greco invited me to co-host her upcoming webinar!

 


Comments

One Response to “Shally’s view of the SHRM Annual Conference”

  1. rüya on July 16th, 2007 8:29 am

    its amazing