Record breaking attendance, enlightening keynote speakers, networking events and plenty of informative sessions helped bring DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) to another level, setting the bar even higher for next year’s event. DEAM14 offered attendees three concurrent sessions that ranged from recruitment tools and practices to compliance preparedness and technology. Since each concurrent session was open to a variety of topics, attendees were able to choose the session most relevant to their current challenges.

With several HRCI accredited sessions, Workshop C was often standing room only with attendees eager to gain valuable insight and best practices from our knowledgeable presenters.

Day One

Lori Adams of Iowa Workforce Development during panel discussion.

With the morning’s general session adjourned and a quick break for lunch, attendees had the opportunity to split up and partake in the conference’s concurrent sessions. The first session in Workshop C featured Lori Adams, Iowa Workforce Development; Bill Dowling, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment; Christy Merriman, DirectEmployers Association; and Charlie Terrell, National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). While many Members are aware of the Association’s partnership with NASWA, this presentation helped attendees better understand state workforce agencies and their available resources, as well as give a high level overview of how the National Labor Exchange (NLx) can help further candidate outreach.

Robert Dromgoole of Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

Quickly following the NLx session, Robert Dromgoole of Pacific Northwest Laboratory took the stage to discuss how his organization has used an authentic branding and direct recruitment approach to reach 100% of their hiring targets for the past nine years. From the start of Rob’s presentation, social media was abuzz from both the rich content of Rob’s presentation, as well his high energy and positive approach.

After a short break and some delicious snacks, attendees headed back to the concurrent sessions to finish off the day one workshops. Phillips 66’ s Thad Satterfield, Courtney Hawkes and Sophia Sissamis took the stage, along with Kristine Rhodes of NAS Recruitment Innovations, to discuss how Phillips 66 developed a strategic campus brand that showcased its campus recruiting initiatives and highlighted its new brand after separating from its parent company, ConocoPhillips in 2013.

Day One Takeaways:

  • Avoid the “one-size-fits-all” approach when looking to build a relationship with your state workforce agency; each state has a different way of working with employers.
  • Every job listing starts with a great write up. Tie that write up to your company’s mission and don’t use the same listing twice.
  • Use your brand to create a powerful story that resonates with the job seekers you are trying to target.

Day Two

Rosemary Cox of Peoplefluent at DEAM14.

Workshop C began Thursday with Peoplefluent’s Rosemary Cox as she discussed tips and exercises to help hiring managers understand revisions to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as how to overcome fears of hiring individuals with disabilities.

Kristy Seidel of Hyatt and Seth Flater of DirectEmployers.

Next up, attendees packed the house to listen to DirectEmployers’ Seth Flater and Hyatt Hotel Corporation’s Kristy Seidel discuss how Hyatt used .JOBS to create one central platform for their diversity hiring campaigns. Seth incorporated his analytical perspective to describe the strategy and “nerdy” data supporting Hyatt’s decisions. He also touched on DirectEmployers’ new tool, the Partner Relationship Manager (PRM), and how it helps track partner outreach.

Tom Poole of Vantiv speaking with DEAM14 attendee.

The final concurrent session featured Vantiv’s Tom Poole. As a recipient of a 2013 Member Award, Tom spoke to the challenges Vantiv faced prior to using social media as a means of recruitment. He also explained how social recruiting has helped increase visibility of postings and better reach both internal and external candidates. Tom went on to say that three years after implementing this social recruiting approach, Vantiv was able to increase applicant volume from 5,000 to 30,0000 with no increases to their recruitment budget.

Day Two Takeaways:

  • Find “champions” from within your own company that will encourage others to help cultivate an inclusive workforce.
  • Use .JOBS to help expand the online visibility of your employment brand and SEO power, as well as a way to showcase your diverse hiring needs.
  • The key to an innovative and highly social recruiting model is to maintain momentum and candidate engagement and don’t forget to track your results every step of the way.

Every session was very well attended at DEAM14 and we thank each of our presenters for sharing their successes and insight into their organization’s practices. We truly appreciate the time you took to not only present, but also attend the full conference and support your peers. If your organization is a Member of the Association, each of the presentations from DEAM14 can be viewed or downloaded in Pipeline.

While we’ve called a wrap on DEAM14 activities, we’re already gearing up for our 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM15), May 13-15 in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you missed out on presenting or if you’d like to present again, make sure to fill out our call-for-presenters form located at by August 1, 2014 to have your presentation viewed by our Program Committee.

Share This