DirectEmployers 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM13) included a recruitment track with talent acquisition professionals from a variety of companies including the American Heart Association, Intel, Life Technologies and Fidelity Investments. Sessions covered a wide spectrum of topics, such as the changing face of social media, veteran hiring and improving the client experience of both hiring managers and candidates. If you missed the presentations in this track, you’re in luck as we’ve captured some of the highlights for you here.

The initial recruitment track session showcased winners of our first awards competition: J.B. Hunt, Schlumberger and Vantiv. Robert Borne of Schlumberger walked attendees through Stilettos to Steel Toes – a gender diversity initiative. He explained that his company aspired to encourage female engineering students to consider a non-traditional career path. They launched an essay contest and targeted members of the Society of Women Engineers at select universities. Over the last several years they continue to see over 32% female representation among hired field engineers. Check out the site and be sure to watch the video by clicking the “Play Video” link at the top:

Eric Airola and Kevin Kautzmann shared their award winning work on the J.B. Hunt Transport RISE Program – College Recruiting Success. A new company branch required J.B. Hunt to prepare and fast track employees to assume leadership positions. This led to the creation of the RISE program. Attracting strong leaders with excellent sales skills was critical to meeting aggressive revenue goals. After a complete process restructure and paradigm shift in recruiting these hires, J.B. Hunt achieved a 68% offer rate, 67% acceptance rate and decreased their cost per hire to $1,448.

The final presenter, Tom Poole walked us through Vantiv’s journey of embedding social media as a cornerstone of recruiting to help increase engagement and build a database. By developing a Vantiv Careers Facebook page, creating a competition among recruiters, and implementing yearly goals that relate to social media recruitment, the company has doubled their number of applicants. The average candidate per requisition per month increased from 13.3 in January to 25.8 in July of 2013, and they have seen a cost savings of $700,000!

The momentum continued as Philip Dana of Life Technology presented Veteran Hiring on a Shoestring Budget. He explained the six tenants integral to their success:

  • Strategy
  • Brand
  • Team
  • Internal Resources
  • External Resources
  • Passive & Active Channels

Key Takeaways:

  • Leverage internal resources, such as veterans, within your organization and social media.
  • Incorporate external resources such as transition programs, DoD sponsored programs and state programs into your strategy.

The Changing Face of Social Media Recruiting panel featured Mira Greenland of TweetMyJobs as moderator. Panelists included Kristina Green, Quicken Loans; Melissa Seipel, The Nature Conservancy; and Kelle Thompson, Fidelity Investments. This session brought day one to a close.

Key Takeaway:

  • As the photo tweeted by attendee Ignacio Gallardo ‏(@ignaciogallardo) indicates, the panel shared why it’s important to evaluate and consider using social media. Even if you’re recruiting and developing employment branding for a company in a highly regulated industry, with careful planning and research, social media can prove beneficial – even if it means sometimes asking for forgiveness.

On the morning of day two, if you thought you heard some singing from the recruitment track room, it wasn’t your imagination. Michael Goldberg was singing “Sweet Caroline” and waking up attendees while honoring a Fenway Park tradition. He also proudly displayed his Boston Red Sox tee over the podium as he discussed the benefit of using a CRM as a proactive recruiting tool. Most of the presentation was an engaging conversation with participants around what matters when getting leadership buy-in, and examples of ongoing assessment and adjustments to get results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Review your CRM’s landing page.
  • Measure and report, then make needed fixes to improve results.
  • Keep your community engaged via job openings and blog postings by vertical, job search tips and company updates.

Michelle Thompson and Nicole Stefanski introduced us to Janus’ several unique hiring programs and how other employers can adapt similar initiatives to attract and retain desirable candidates for their positions. For the past three years, their recruitment team has examined how to ensure that their client focus shines through during interactions with hiring managers, external candidates and internal candidates. With the realization that their employees are at the forefront of the company, Janus Capital has taken its customer satisfaction strategy and molded it in a way that entices external and internal candidates, whom are therefore the HR department’s clients.

Key Takeaways:

  • Creativity and personalization can go a long way. Rather than big ticket or high budget items, consider handwritten notes, and personalized gift bags. Check out this example to the right that Janus provided out of town candidates who came to Colorado.
  • HR departments can demonstrate value as well as support other internal stakeholders that may not utilize them frequently. This can be accomplished by ongoing communication of new tools and resources, or just sending a note or card to celebrate even the small victories. An inventive example was a message their HR department sent to a hiring manager. When the hiring manager’s offer to a candidate was suggested, a note with a $1 scratch off lottery ticket was sent with a congratulatory message that finding the right candidate is like winning the lottery.

Rob Polston, US Army Major and Talent Acquisition Specialist at Intel, covered using marketing and branding to attract veteran candidates. He took us through Intel’s journey in developing a refreshed marketing campaign to attract and retain military veterans. Authenticity and appealing to their values was a key component, and he used a stock photo of a soldier to demonstrate this point effectively. He asked the audience to point out what was wrong with the image. Several people recognized a few things, but Rob pointed out additional details that made the photo an inaccurate depiction of a man in uniform. It really inspired the room to think about the credibility of branding efforts to veterans and the importance of aligning and involving senior leaders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Authenticity is paramount.
  • Appeal to the values ingrained in the military.
  • Align and involve senior leadership.

That wrapped things up for the recruitment track at DEAM13. Thank you again to all of our fantastic presenters. Member companies can access DEAM13 presentation archives in the Pipeline online community. Want some more good news? You don’t have to wait quite as long for DEAM14 because it has been moved to March! Learn more about our conference lineup and register at

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