The Bullhorn Engage Conference visited Boston June 12–14 with an overall theme of “The Power of People.” It touched on trends like AI and automation, constant concerns like unemployment and competition, and thought leadership on issues like emotional intelligence. Plus, Magic Johnson’s standing-room-only talk inspired everyone in the room. Here are our favorite sessions from Bullhorn Engage in Boston.
Tim Sanders has an impressive list of titles: he’s a New York Times bestselling author, current CEO of Deeper Media, and former Yahoo chief solutions officer. His opening talk about emotional intelligence set the tone for the conference perfectly—we spend lots of time talking about tech and trends and efficiency in recruiting, but ultimately, if HR teams aren’t emotionally intelligent, they won’t be able to do their jobs.
Highlights of Tim Sanders’ talk included:
Lauren Jones, Vice President of Talent Acquisition Resources & Strategy at Volt Workforce Solutions, and Robin Mee, President and Founder of Mee Derby had a “fireside chat” where they discussed how talent pools are external as well as internal. Lauren Jones focused on recruiting for external candidates—she recommended getting out into the community for visibility as well as public relations. Meanwhile, Robin Mee focused on how to get these candidates to want to apply. They both emphasized that companies should care about their brand, since they said 95 percent of job seekers are influenced by their potential companies’ brands.
Audra Jenkins, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Randstad, talked about Randstad’s diversity and inclusion strategy, as well as the climate of diversity and inclusion at the moment. She talked about the experience of diverse employees, which includes microaggressions like being called “aggressive,” being the only one of a particular identity in the room, and feeling ignored or dismissed in meetings. Audra Jenkins also said it’s particularly bad in the STEM industry—women make up 50 percent of the general workforce, but only 24 percent of STEM jobs. She worried there would be an uneven balance of power toward men as jobs move more and more toward STEM fields.
The one and only Magic Johnson gave a keynote that was full of incredible advice, chest bumps, and inspiration. From his experience in diversity to his success in his career after basketball with Magic Johnson Enterprises, highlights of Magic Johnson’s talk included:
CEO and Founder of Bullhorn, Art Papas gave an inspirational talk about trust and the future of recruiting. He talked about how unemployment is a challenge for recruiters, but there’s a lot of promise in upskilling current employees and candidates with potential through onsite training. He shared an impactful story about Timothy Faircloth, someone who had been previously incarcerated. He couldn’t find any jobs, until he found a job sweeping floors with ResourceMFG. He was an outstanding employee, and ResourceMFG wanted to give Timothy more responsibility, but they needed someone who could read blueprints. Then, the Penn Foster school agreed to teach him those skills for free. Art Papas explained that this is a model that all recruiters could use—look for quality candidates, and then teach them the skills you need.
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