Hoo boy, where to begin… I don’t know what you were up to last week, but the SmartDreamers team was off on a whirlwind adventure in Amsterdam. What were we doing there, you ask? We were attending this year’s Hiring Success EU—an annual conference led by our friends at SmartRecruiters that covers everything related to recruitment, hiring, and talent acquisition. This year’s conference was held at the Compagnietheater on September 10th and 11th, and it attracted hundreds of industry professionals, thought leaders, experts, and investors from more than 30 countries—including yours truly!
We had a great time and experienced and learned much more than we could possibly fit into a short blog post, but for those of you who weren’t able to make it, here’s a quick recap of our time there.
This year’s conference focused on a number of topics that were near and dear to us as recruitment technology enthusiasts: diversity and inclusion, the intersection of marketing and talent acquisition, and HR technology more broadly. On day one, Jerome Ternynck, Founder & CEO of SmartRecruiters gave a fascinating talk about the changing nature of work and people management, and encouraged HR teams to treat candidates like customers—which is a message we can very much get behind. We also learned about open hiring and its role in bias management from Ingeborg Zwolsman, Program Manager for the Start Foundation. Again, there was much more than we can fully recount here.
Diversity and inclusion is a top high priority for talent acquisition leaders everywhere, so we were excited to enjoy an inspirational (yet practical) guide on how to hire refugees directly from Pieter Eyck (Capgemini), Eugene van den Hemmel (Heavenly Thoughts—and heavenly shoes, might I add) and Anne Adé Lopulissa (Randstad). Refreshing bonus: these thought leaders made a point of openly tackling matters like unconscious bias and limitative thinking, both of which are so important yet so often overlooked in the business world. This unique trio walks the talk: they have created and are constantly developing programs at multinationals, they have collectively hired hundreds of refugees in high skilled roles, and they are committed to tirelessly teaching the whole world about the compelling benefits of hiring refugees. What are those benefits? For starters, a thriving company culture, increased creativity and innovation, boosted productivity, and the opportunity to impact their lives, your business, and our society in a positive way.
Day two proved to be just as engaging, beginning a talk by Natalia Baryshnikova, SmartRecruiters’ Head of Product Management about the value of consistency that kicked off with an anecdote about Vincent Van Gogh. We connected with global TA and HR execs, laughed together, and learned a lot about the real drivers of success during the (very) out-of-the-box F#@! Up JAM session hosted by Dominik Hahn.
Later on, Khalil Osiris delivered a keynote talk on the importance of dedicating oneself to meaningful work. For those of you who might not be familiar with Osiris’ work, he’s spent decades working as an activist and educator, and is perhaps best known for his work on the psychology of the American prison experience (based in part on his own experience being incarcerated). Today, Osiris works to advocate for people overcoming challenges similar to his own.
If there was one theme that really resonated with us throughout these talks, it was the overarching idea that the fundamental relationship between recruiters and candidates is changing rapidly, it’s ‘adapt or perish’ time for both recruiters and business leaders; they need to evolve ASAP if they wish to stay competitive.. This is something we’ve believed for a while, and it’s inspiring to be able to spend time with a group of likeminded people who are all working to improve life for recruiters and candidates alike—whether that’s through automation technology, the introduction of new KPIs and metrics into the talent acquisition ecosystem, or a simple reframing of the status quo.
SmartDreamers Automation in Action
Of course, we weren’t just passive observers at this gathering. On the contrary! We were actually hard at work showing off our technology and engaging with our current and future users. For two full, excitement-packed days, our team worked tirelessly to perform more than 40 demos of our SmartDreamers Automation technology—giving our industry colleagues a crash course in all things recruitment marketing automation and showing off all of the cool features that we’ve built into this technology over the years. There’s nothing quite like sharing your hard work with people who really care about new developments in the world of recruitment, and we were lucky enough to get to do that a lot last week.
Mind you, this wasn’t just a case of simple self promotion. Like we said, one of the key topics on the second day of the conference was diversity and inclusion (addressed eloquently by Dr. Steven Jones, an Aikido master and the first African-American certified meditation master), and one of the things that’s most exciting to us about the way our technology operates is that it can be easily applied to this goal. By expanding your reach to new pools of candidates and carefully deploying content to keep them engaged where they spend time online, SmartDreamers users can greatly mitigate the “pipeline issues” that often make diverse hiring seem impossible. Not only that, but our automation tools help you to spread your employer brand and your EVP—both of which can be tailored around inclusion in particular—all at unprecedented speed and scale, so that they're able to have a real, concrete impact on both your current team and any prospective applicants. Here, again, we try to give businesses the tools to treat candidates like customers—meaning that we automate both ad posting and reporting in a way that gives time back to HR professionals so they can concentrate on what truly matters: people.
A Big “Thank You”
Okay, now, I know what you’re thinking: “Pics or it didn't happen.” Well, here's a picture with me ( Adela Sandru ), our sales superstars Cristina Rotari and Adelaida Paponiu with Dominik A. Hahn—so there you go.
In all seriousness, however, we’re extremely grateful that we were able to spend a couple days recharging our batteries, laughing a lot, and connecting with people. We’d like to extend a big “thank you” to the folks at SmartRecruiters who made this possible, to all of the fascinating speakers and presenters, and everyone who was able to drop by our booth and experience our platform in action. At this point, we’re already looking forward to next year’s conference. Given how quickly the global talent acquisition landscape is changing, who knows what exciting new trends and technologies we’ll be talking about.
Well, that’s all for now. To everyone reading this who wasn’t able to attend this year’s Hiring Success, we really do hope to see you next time around. (And if any of you are disappointed that you didn’t get to experience a demo, just click here and we'll fix that posthaste) Here's to another year of growing, innovating, and working to build the future of hiring.