Last week I had the pleasure of visiting San Francisco to attend the 2018 Social Recruiting Strategies Conference (SRSC), an incredible mix of talent acquisition, data analytics, and recruitment marketing/employer branding professionals, spanning several different industries.  This is my third opportunity to attend SRSC with my only regret being my inability to be cloned, allowing myself to be in multiple locations at the same time.  There is just that much knowledge being shared; before, during, and after the daily sessions.  Luckily, the team at SRSC provides attendees with the presentations afterward, an especially valuable benefit for those whose notes don’t always provide the value of their intent.

Following a full day of productive and interactive workshops, emcee Andrew Gadomski kicked off the conference and set the tone for the next couple of days, a tone about being human and reminding us that everyone in attendance is a difference maker.  “There’s power in this room to make change. In this group there are 1 million hires you will make. What are we doing to make the world better?”  A powerful start to an already highly anticipated conference.  Andrew finished off by referencing the camaraderie of this group, the SRSCtribe, and how we rely on each other to advance not only our individual careers, but the industry as a whole.

While the entire conference was incredible, it would be impossible to recap it all.  I tip my hat to everyone that shared their knowledge over the course of the 3-day event.  I am still reviewing sessions that I might have missed and poring over my notes.

With that said, I would like to give 3 shout outs:

James Ellis:  The Three Biggest Mistakes in Social Recruiting

He does not mince words and that is half the beauty of this presentation.  Straight forward and engaging.  If I quoted James Ellis any more over the last week, he would have a valid plagiarism lawsuit.  To summarize; 1. Relationships Aren’t Transactional 2. Relationships Take Time, and 3. You Can’t Automate Relationships.  Roll these three rules together with insightful (and often hilarious) anecdotes about taking a more human approach in a technology focused world, and you will start to reap the rewards of a job well done.  My favorite of his many notable quotes; “Brands pretend to be human. It is so much easier (and effective) to just actually be human.” 

Craig Fisher:  Cool Tools For Recruiting

While the primary topic of this session was on the tools that we use in our day to day work, the focus was once again on the human touch.  There are many new tools entering the market, both free and subscription based.  While these tools can aid in attaining your goals, nothing can replace the empathy and the human factor.  Without them, the tools do not work.  It is important to get your people talking and more importantly, give them something to talk about.  “Be human. If you’re asking for things all the time but not sharing yourself, you can’t build trust.”

#SRSCtribe:

Andrew Gadomski touched on this in his opening address, and for me, this is where the rubber hits the road.  This is what makes SRSC different than other conferences that I have attended during my 20+ years in recruiting.  Everyone in attendance, whether an attendee, presenter, keynote speaker, or exhibitor, is incredibly open to helping each other.  Several months after attending my first SRSC in 2015, I reached out to Kerry Noone for advice.  Kerry took time out of her busy schedule, providing guidance as I waded into unfamiliar waters.  Crystal Miller Lay has done the same following that same Boston conference and again after a presentation in Dallas after SRSC 2016.  This year, I had the opportunity to chat with several presenters between sessions and at the networking event.  It has been my experience that those in attendance are truly walking the walk when it comes to helping others.  For those of us who are either new to the social world or who are taking on social, not as a full-time role, but in addition to their full-time role, this is incredibly helpful and for that I am grateful.

I look forward to my next SRSC and encourage anyone in the talent acquisition or marketing space to attend.  In the meantime, I will be continuing to work through the presentations and notes as I strategize for the coming year.


Bob Miles is a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner supporting RTI International’s Health Solutions and Discovery Science Technology business units. Bob began his HR and recruiting career twenty years ago and has extensive experience in both corporate and agency environments. In addition to his recruiting responsibilities, Bob collaborates with the marketing communications team(s) in leading the Talent Acquisition team’s social media efforts.