Recap: OPEN Conference 2018 NYC #ghOPEN

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a sold out OPEN Conference on a raw and rainy spring day in New York City. The conference is put on by ATS vendor Greenhouse Software. It was a two day event held at Pier 60. (video at end)

It’s amazing to see the amount of vendors putting on conferences these days. They have come to realize that events are the ultimate lead generation tool. This year will see conferences from other ATS players including Lever, SmartRecruiters, PhenomPeople, Yello, and BambooHR just to name a few (see the calendar). The HR circuit has become quite the cottage industry.

So many conferences, so little time.

Below are my notes from the sessions I attended.

Dan Chait, CEO Greenhouse

  • 2,500 companies 250k hires in 6 years…not bad for an ATS.
  • How to scale inclusion in your hiring process?
  • Mistakes you make are based on patterns…mental shortcuts can be bias.
  • Example : Most people believe a genius is likely to be a man.
  • Announced new Inclusion product:…removes unnecessary info, such as…name, school, company name from the resume. In beta, available later this quarter…

Patty McCord keynote (former Netflix HR leader)

  • ‘Empowerment’ is a bad HR word.
  • Being a recruiter really helped shape her experience in HR and work.
  • Retention isn’t a goal, We all change jobs we move on
  • Be a Team not ‘family’!

Building Onboarding for Your Business panel

  • Vayner Media does a private @VaynerRookies instagram account and gives new hires access to it to introduce themselves to the team
  • Greenhouse…onboarding…appreciation lunch…madlib style prompt about what feels good about your program….what do you want new hires to know about your group in 2018
  • Various touch points before the candidate starts…kindle with book with one of their values…problem solving…first 90 days before being released into the wild.
  • Newbie feedback forms after 7 days 30, 60, 90 to see how they are doing. So they can better target what they need to know that the company hasn’t given them yet.

Recruiting Tech Panel (Tim Sackett, Madeline Laurano, George LaRocque, William Tincupp)

  • Tim Sackett says sourcing will be dead in 3 years….just sending LI InMails is not sourcing…tech is coming to replace that.
  • Madeline disagrees, companies will still need people to manage sourcing. 3rd party recruiters will get hit though.
  • Consolidation is going to happen in hr tech. -madeline
  • Larocque – 771 million vc in Q1 in HR technology
  • Tincupp most of the new HR tech products are just features….most HR departments want just one system to log into.
  • Tincupp, AI is dumb, going to take years to get smart….AI is in the hypecycle stage
  • Madeline some startups misuse the term AI
  • Tim, quality of hire metric should not be a TA metric it should be a hiring manager metric.

Active Sourcing Through Campus recruiting

  • Peloton – doors opened at 10 and students all ran past them and went to Ubers booth
  • One company goes to 20-30 events per year and they make their recruiters track everything that happens…Greenhouse event checkin. Recruiters can add notes about the student in the app.
  • Try Google Forms to collect data about candidate…”prospects”
  • Try to get to know students before you get there…one company has a connection to student recruiting tool Piazza thru Greenhouse
  • Most of the panel using HackerRank to test engineering candidates.
  • One company hired a guy from bank who had tagught himself to code and they ended up hiring him becasue he passed the coding test.
  • How can universities be better partners to employers? Georgia Tech has a very high touch career services team…”they helped a student coding group find a corporate sponsor for example.
  • What Employers Want: more ways to find those top students in a class…and let us try and meet those people.
  • Tip: give your summer intern shirts/swag to take back to school in the fall….free branding.

Tracy Pass, Head of TA at ESPN

  • Had a great story about an offsite she ran. She had people who interacted with her recruiters leave her a voicemail about that person so she could play it back in public to her team, showing respect to her recruiters. She played 26 different voicemails that day.

Job posting panel

  • Its generally the first touch point with a candidate…text matters, diversity, inclusiveness, gender neutral.
  • JDs have to be optimized for Google, mobile, etc…
  • Rob Kelly (OnGig): i treat all JDs like an advertisement
  • Opening lines matter…State ot from the top, examples…’as an engineer your code will touch millions of people’, sales…’our sales team gets free training’…should be in opening line/paragraph.
  • Add your company values.
  • Who We Are, What You’ll Do Here, How You’ll Succeed, Why Work here?
  • Examples: “Who WIll Love This Job” (greenhouse jobs)
  • Use You or We or Your throughout your posting. Talk directly to the candidate.
  • Google career pages…the Google Search box at the top so you can easily search their jobs.

Video Recap


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