The Greenhouse Open conference brought new data, rockstar speakers, and amazing insights to New York for two action-packed days. The conference’s theme, the “Talent Makers” focused on the attendees, from recruiters to CHROs to HR thought leaders. After all, these people are the ones finding, creating and fostering talent. Here were our favorite sessions from the conference.
The CEO of Warby Parker, Dave Gilboa gave a fascinating talk about why Warby Parker is known for being a great place to work. Warby Parker has a hiring strategy that focuses on soft skills and personality fits, but where their culture stands out is after they hire new employees. Dave Gilboa explained that they don’t follow the Golden Rule—treat people how you want to be treated. Instead, they follow what Dave Gilboa called the Platinum Rule—treat people how they want to be treated.
People in HR have always been saying that their work is crucial to their company’s success, but business leaders are just now really listening to that. William Tincup lead a panel of leaders in talent to talk about this. They talked about how to convince C-suite leaders to listen to them, and how that can increase profits. William Tincup also stepped back to ask how people learn about recruiting. None of the panel members had an answer, which is a classic example of the importance of soft skills and learning on the job.
Every HR conference is talking about AI these days—what it’s good for, what it isn’t, how many jobs it’ll replace, and so on. However, there’s lots of conflicting information. Ian Siegel, the co-founder of Ziprecruiter, added some clarity to the subject. He talked about the prevalence of AI in HR: 73 percent of recruiters use some form of AI. Ian Siegel said that AI is really good for sourcing candidates, and it can source more candidates faster than any recruiter can. However, he said that’s just about all that AI can reliably do. After AI finds candidates, Ian Siegel said that recruiters need to show their human side, by making candidates feel welcome.
Before the conference, Greenhouse released a comprehensive report on the current state of the workforce, talking about metrics from engagement to diversity to transparency and more. Industry expert George LaRocque, who wrote the report, presented his research at the conference, along with actionable advice based on the report’s discoveries. Some of the stats that they emphasized included the fact that 66 percent of consumers want to buy from brands that have the same social justice values as they do. And, 51 percent of leaders spend less than three hours a month on people-related issues. Some spend even less: 37 percent spend less than an hour. This points to a need to define what leadership means.
Chief People Officer at HubSpot, Katie Burke, talked about her company’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy, and why companies should focus even more on D&I than they do already. She left the crowd with five simple steps to take to improve D&I:
As cost of living increases in large cities, the ability to work remotely is becoming increasingly important. Laurie Ruettimann discussed this along with how to onboard new hires, regardless of where they’re stationed. Our favorite bit of advice was don’t onboard employees on a Monday—it might feel like starting the week fresh, but it’s really just training people when they aren’t at their best.
One of the most dull parts of a recruiter’s job is writing job posts. Katrina Kibben, founder of Three Ears Media and job post writing expert gave advice that made job posts anything but dull. She explained that job postings feel dull because we write them all the time, but that’s part of the problem with most job postings; they aren’t creative, they’re too one-size-fits-all and they don’t convey the job accurately. Instead, Katrina Kibben explained that job postings should be as personal as handwritten letters. She also had a bit of advice that one attendee said was her favorite line of the conference: “Do not meet a life in momentum, a life that wants change, with cliches and B.S.”
Industry expert Tim Sackett talked about how it’s important to consider your company brand, but it’s equally important to think strategically about the specific brand of your talent team. He advised talent leaders to remain empathetic to candidates, from thinking about diversity and inclusion to thinking critically about job postings. For example, Tim Sackett said that 70 percent of job descriptions have a male voice to them. Try to read your job posting with an outside perspective—when you read a job posting, who do you imagine writing it? If you think of a white man and you’re trying to attract diverse candidates, consider rewriting it to be more universally appealing.
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