Phillip Tusing (@PhillipTusing) invited me along to the #IT18NZ conference on 21 April and as a result I have much to thank him for. I’ve come away with my eyes opened, mind blown and a host of new ideas for implementation and further investigation.
The day kicked off with a Key Note address from Candace Kinser on Building and Growing High-Growth Tech Companies; key takeaways for me included:
- Start-up cultures are very real to people now; need to get this on table from get go and agree remuneration, perks etc from outset
- High growth firms often attract people who are risk takers, competitive, creative, identify with the brand/product/culture, are well travelled and worldly, and intelligent but not always ‘people’ people
Candace was followed by Andrew Milestone from Red Hat who discussed recruiting the ‘open source’ way (opensource.com) being: open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, meritocracy and community development. He also shared lessons for recruiters such as following the company’s mission and helping to build it if they haven’t got one, offering new products and services to customers and supporting charities. I particularly liked his final messages: Aim High, Fail Fast, Measure, Repeat, Win.
Laura Stocker from ADP, Airs was next on the agenda blowing my mind as much as last time I saw her speak with some incredible imaging insights to sourcing tactics covering Google image searches, Instagram, Xraying sites for images, Video searches, Vine.co, lanyrd and the likes of Trip Advisor and AirBnb.
Using alternatives to LinkedIn such at Stackoverflow.com, Meetup.com, GitHub and Behance.net with some amazing insights into finding candidates, their email addresses and links to their networks were the eye openers for a non-tech recruiter such as myself, and really highlighted just how much you can find on candidates if you know where and how to look from Chis South (@findsouth), of Prominence’s session.
Richard Westney (@HRmanNZ) of HR Shop had five lessons for us:
- Don’t confuse perks with culture (employees want appropriate salary, challenging work and training/development)
- Don’t F up the culture!
- Culture creates the foundation for all future innovation (avoid group think)
- Hire the right people, ask the right questions
- Lead & manage in a different way (ensure company positioned for future)
Other valuable messages from Richard were to be aware of culture impact early on, creating small trams with laser sharp focus, leadership via trust and autonomy and encouraging responsibility and ownership (developed in conjunction with Try Hammond (@TroyHammo) of Vend.
Patrick Wagner of Game Loft gave us some incredible insights and advice for hiring and retaining millennial’s from offering workplace flexibility, listening to employees, communicating vision & values and making them grow. He suggested being prepared for shorter term employees by shortening inductions, streamlining processes & tools, cutting long projects to shorter phases (agile), emphasizing strongest employees and not relying on oral tradition – document everything!
Troy Hammond (@TroyHammo) & Vanessa Payne (@vanessapaynenz) of Vend were on board with three tips for successfully engaging candidates; being story-telling, strategic timing of emails and sending follow up emails with real life and useable examples of each. They also discussed their partnership with the likes of Weirdly for assessing the cultural fit of candidate and Ask Nicely for assessing their NPS. Of particular note is their personalised rejection emails to every candidate.
John Clegg (@johnclegg) from Summer of Tech followed with the benefits of internships, from accessing raw talent through training staff in the right way, improving diversity and accelerating student development. To ensure success in the internship he recommends spending time finding the right intern, selling the organisation to the students, balancing hard and soft skill development and properly on boarding them.
The conference was closed by Mark Pascall of 3Months who started out with API and Google Prediction, moving through the Internet of Things, connecting the online and offline worlds with the likes of Shopkick, Estimote Stickers and wearable technology. He discussed Myo, augmented & virtual reality, and then moved on to Bitcoin and the disruption of money leading to innovations in smart contracts. All completely blowing my mind! I think it’s safe to say most of us could have listened to and questioned him for much longer than his allocated time slot!
#IT18NZ is one of the best conferences I’ve been to in terms of takeaways, learning’s and a lengthy list for further research and implementation – surprising considering I’m not a tech recruiter, but not given Phillips involvement. Further adding to the benefits of the day was the opportunity to put more ‘in real life’ faces to names I know from social media and the like, and catching up with others I don’t get to see often enough. A fantastic day, one I hope to repeat next year – and am slightly jealous of the crew in Wellington who have yet to experience it in 2015!