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Where to go: a guide to recruiting site conferences

conference2Before we get into recruiting site conferences, did you notice that sly ‘recruiting site’ mention in the title? I didn’t say ‘job board’! And me – the JobBoardDoctor! What is the world coming to?

Well, if you read this blog regularly (and really, shouldn’t everyone?), you know that I believe the job board world has been evolving over the past decade. Not everyone, mind you, and not all at once. But most job boards have finally shaken off that 90s vibe and are now more accurately described as ‘recruiting services’, ‘candidate acquisition tools’, or ‘recruitment marketing platforms’. Yep, those terms just roll off the tongue, don’t they?

Thus, recruiting site. (I’m still thinking about my own identity – do I really want to be the RecruitingSiteDoctor? I dunno.).

But enough preamble – the real purpose of this post is to give you a handy rundown of the most useful conferences coming up this year. Some are old, some are new, some are old but newly gussied up. All have at least some relevance to your work running a recruiting site/service. Here goes:

  • ERE Spring: (April 18-20, San Diego) ERE runs several conferences, but this is the one you may want to consider. Why? It’s a chance to listen to what your prospects – professional recruiters and HR pros – are thinking. It may not be what you want to hear – but that’s ok, right?
  • TATech Spring Congress: (April 22-23, Chicago) Biannual meeting of what was formerly IAEWS. The for-profit association has broadened its membership definition over the past year, so in addition to seeing job boards, aggregators, and related vendors in attendance, you may spot the occasional ATS or AI company. Topics this year include AI in recruiting and programmatic ads. This conference tends to be good for networking, and a recently added ‘Deal Center’ helps facilitate, well…deals. (NOTE: there’s also a fall version, September 27-29, Denver).
  • Indeed Interactive(May 15-17, Austin) Why should you go to a conference put on by Indeed, extolling all things Indeed? Because you and everyone you know competes against Indeed – so what better to discover how they are presenting themselves to the recruiting world? Just don’t sign up as ‘Joe JobBoard, ABC JobBoard’ – they might get suspicious!
  • RecTech Europe (May 17-19, Barcelona) A collaboration of the AIM Group and TAtech, this conference is “a one-of-a-kind forum for senior executives in publishing and technology companies that offer talent acquisition solutions”.  Feedback from the first conference in 2016 was good, so might be worth a look!
  • SHRM Annual Conference(June 18-21, New Orleans) Every HR professional of any standing eventually finds his or her way to the SHRM conference. It is massive, it is overwhelming, and it is an extremely good way to learn more about the mind of the HR and recruitment professional. Most of the ‘big’ job boards – and many of the up and comers – will exhibit and/or speak on this conference.
  • Jobg8 Job Board Summit(June 21-22, New Orleans) The only conference explicitly aimed at job boards, the Job Board Summit is sponsored by Jobg8, a job board services vendor. Like TAtech, it features lots of networking. I find the content generally focuses on the technical side of our business – which is useful. Jobg8 also runs a European version of the summit (usually in November, in London).
  • HR Technology: (October 10-13, Las Vegas) The granddaddy of all HR technology conferences and expos, and the one conference that HR tech buyers always attend. There’s a reason that many successful recruiting sites have exhibited and/or attended over the years – this show has massive reach. It ain’t cheap – but it’s a great way to learn what’s happening in recruitment marketing and services. Worth a visit at least every 2-3 years for anyone in our industry.
  • Smashfly Transform(to be determined) I’m including this one mainly because a) I heard great things about it from those that attended its inaugural conference, and b) it covers our business from a very specific viewpoint: that of the recruitment marketing platform. Since that’s essentially what many of us do/are, I think it’s worth a look. Smashfly, if you’re reading this: Des Moines would be a great location for 2017!

OK, what did I miss (because I know I missed some)? Let me know. And put on your travelling shoes for 2017!

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