An Open Mind Leads to New Ideas & Business Opportunities

Attending recruitment conferences is a good way to learn about the latest trends and a great opportunity to meet fellow industry peers, says EVERYONE. But is that all to it?
I was having a chat with my colleague the other day when we came upon this subject and we started questioning what SMAART Recruitment has gained from attending conferences such as the Australasian Talent Conference (ATC) and Sourcing Social Talent (SST). It was interesting because I have never really stopped to consider this as I had only thought of them as good learning and bonding opportunities for me and my co-directors James Witcombe and Rupert Harvey.
Would we be better off doing our learning on the Internet and expanding our network by connecting to more potential candidates on our LinkedIn profiles? How can we justify the cost of us attending a recruitment conference against the time spent away from our office desks? Is it even possible to calculate the return of investment from attending a conference?
However, when I think back, I could see that the benefits of attending these conferences with an open mind were quite clear. They include:

New Business Leads

During one year at the SST, a senior Internal Recruitment Manager from a multinational company was chatting with one of my colleagues and he found out the reasons for us attending the conference was to learn and absorb new ideas so that we can bring them back to implement at our company.
This senior Internal Recruitment Manager was impressed by our level of commitment towards self-improvement that he, subsequently, engaged us to perform some recruitment services for his company. They also paid us the highest compliment recently when they recruited a member of our team to their organisation.
Needless to say, they are now a significant client of ours and we are enjoying working with them.

New Business Ideas

We are always on the lookout for new hiring technologies that can help improve our clients’ hiring processes and these recruitment conferences offer the perfect opportunities for us to suss them out. There are usually live demonstrations available and we are able to chat with the vendors directly to find out if their products are a good fit for us.
One of these technologies that we picked up from last year’s ATC conference was “PredictiveHire” and it is designed to help organisations tackle poor recruiting results and high turnover rates by using big data and algorithms to help them decide whom to recruit. We implemented this technology at numerous clients and the results we have obtained in terms of quality of hire have been fantastic.
Another technology we had discovered during the conference was VideoMyJob (VMJ). We have used the product to create many of our job adverts since and we are getting greater engagement levels and the quality of candidates is also higher than ever before.

More Than Just Good Ol’ Fashioned Learning

Yes, learning and networking are good personal reasons for attending conferences. They provide us with new knowledge that will help us recruit and source better. They also enable us to gain insights into current and future trends. However, I believe it is more than that and the real benefit lies in how we are then able to create leverage that enhances our value proposition for our clients.
We use the skills we have learned to examine our client’s hiring processes and we actively share these information with them. We use the knowledge we have gained to guide and help them improve their hiring processes so they can get better results. Our clients appreciate the advice we are able to provide and this is made possible only because we broke out of our cocoons and immersed ourselves into the world of recruitment conferences.
So to answer the question on is it possible to calculate the return of investment from attending conferences – you bet. And you can also bet on running into me some of the recruitment conferences happening later this year. See you then!
Image: Shutterstock

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of the largest recruitment conference in the Southern hemisphere. The Australasian Talent Conference starts 21st June. Tickets available here.

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