Talent Acquisition’s ‘Perfect Storm’

By: | August 10, 2018 • 4 min read
Elaine Orler is founder and CEO of Talent Function and program chair of Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech LIVE!

Whenever I’m asked to describe talent acquisition, my go-to phrase is “choregraphed chaos.” At first it can sound negative or perhaps even judgmental, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So many organizations today are under pressure to deliver higher, better, faster results to the business, yet with little to no flexibility in resource models, additional budget and/or the right technology. When someone can master the art of limited resources and strained models with the science of the right talent at the right time for the right price, it’s nothing short of a miracle, at least in my book. Choreographed chaos is just that, the ability to bring about something that seems impossible to the average person.  When I look closer and understand more, I recognize the reality of brilliant minds and resources delivering the impossible.

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The talent acquisition function is center stage for most organizations today. We’re in the perfect storm of the lowest unemployment rate in decades, the lowest number of new births (population growth) in a decade, and the reality of 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day for the next 10-plus years. Blend all of that with the critical skill shortage, the shift to a gig economy and global politics—and yet, talent acquisition professionals are rising to the challenge and delivering results to the business.

The agenda is set for the upcoming Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech Conference Feb. 20 through 22, 2019, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. We’ve made some big changes to the content, the venue and the collaboration style to ensure that conference attendees can optimize their time away from the office, with deep learning, bold ideas and high-quality networking. For starters,  we have a tried-and-true thought leader in this space as our opening keynote. Rusty Rueff, who is no stranger to the critical importance of talent in an organization’s success, will be sharing his insights and providing concepts and ideas sure to inspire all of us in the profession. The principles, ideas and visions Rusty outlined in the book he co-authored a few years ago, Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business, are more relevant today than ever before.

We’re also introducing improved session tracks, with different delivery formats. We’ll have some in the workshop format (with no stage), some classroom (bring your favorite device, phone, tablet, computer) because you’re hands on, and several theater-style presentations in our main Expo Hall. We’re leveraging technology in a way that will ensure you’ll hear the speaker in that theater without being distracted by the goings-on in the Expo Hall—you’ll just have to register and come experience it for yourself. The timing of the conference in February to kick off the new year of planning is also a big part of our new delivery model.

I’m excited to introduce two additional collaboration areas in this year’s program as well. The Analyst Lounge will give you the opportunity to bring your toughest questions—perhaps about technology trends, recruiting best practices, or vendor viability—and have them addressed by a top industry analyst. You can schedule 15-minute analyst meetings with any number of the industry analysts we will have on site to answer your questions—directly. Their deep research and focus on our industry and how it’s evolving is something I want each attendee to have the opportunity to tap into. The second addition is the Scout Bar. We’re bringing in some of the most reputable “talent scouts” (sourcers) and putting their skills to the test, or rather, you’ll be putting their skills to the test. By scheduling time with the Scout Bar, you’ll be able to bring your toughest position to fill—you know the one, the position that no one can find anyone to fill, the requirements are impossible and you wish you had someone you could just dedicate to scouring the universe to identify even a few potential names. Well, this is what the Scout Bar is designed for. It’s your opportunity to engage the best of the best for a few minutes and see if their magic will find you someone you might not have even considered. There will be contests for the best results, fastest results and highest results—Scout honors!

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Having been a practitioner for 8 years and a consultant for almost 20 in the talent-acquisition industry, I’m honored to chair this event. I hope you’ll join us as we embark on 2019 with the conference content, networking and solution expo that will help you frame greater success for the year ahead.