Last week’s RecFest 2019 in Melbourne was packed with powerful takeaways. From ‘changing problems into challenges’ to ‘removing barriers for jobseekers’, local recruiters and RecTech providers explored a variety of topics. With such a jam-packed agenda and a secret second stage sponsored by yours truly, there was a lot to take in.
Here’s our take on RecFest 2019’s three major themes:
Diversity and Inclusion
The gender pay gap continues to be a thing. Despite all the awareness around it. In fact, a recent report showed that the gender pay gap in Australia alone is equivalent to $445 million per week, or almost $23 billion per year. But gender is not the only facet of diversity and inclusion. What about gender fluidity and transgender people? Or people who are trying to enter back into the workforce following a conviction and jail time. People who have had children… People who have disabilities… Anyone who’s career has, for whatever reason, not been linear or cookie-cutter…
We all know (or are) some of these people. This is why, at RecFest 2019 last week, Bill Boorman and Joanne Lockwood stressed that ‘Gender stereotypes will kill us all…’ Simon Fenech’s talk on the second stage was particularly touching too. He recounted his own journey into and out of jail. And his mission to find work. Highlighting the impact of second chances.
It was a nice reminder that focusing on diversity and inclusion is just the right thing to do. Not to mention the fact that it makes business better – bringing rich and diverse teams together can only result in competitive advantage.
If you’re reading this, we’re probably preaching to the converted. But CX (and its counterpart, Employee Experience) featured in almost every presso. From Edan Haddock’s talk encouraging us to “Forget Everything You Know About Recruitment!” to Stan Rolfe’s “Where Worlds Collide – Working Together Towards Positive Candidate Experience,” candidate experience was front and centre.
Mike Haywood’s workshop, facilitated on the PASS secret stage, was particularly interesting. Titled “Modern Recruitment For The World We Live In,” Mike made a couple of interesting points...
Like how the right HR Tech stack can help recruiters halve time-to-hire while also improving the quality of candidates shortlisted and the number of candidates retained by up to 3 times.
You can’t go to a conference without hearing stats. But what was noteworthy about the stats covered at RecFest 2019 is that they were used to motivate the fact that recruiters need to use data better to inform their strategy and decisions.
One of the panel discussions, for example, highlighted that a specific recruitment agency only placed 1% of the candidates that applied. And invited recruiters to think about the other 99%. Without this kind of data, it’s very difficult to measure the success of your efforts or to understand what your candidate experience is like, for example. It touches on every element of modern talent acquisition and recruitment. And if you use it right, it can be your secret weapon.
On top of the thought-provoking content, the general vibe of the day was light and fun. It really is Australia’s biggest in-house Recruitment Festival – drawing amazing speakers and delegates, while also adding a scoop of flair into the mix. This year, the theme was Heroes and everyone in attendance were on a mission to celebrate the “heroes” in the recruitment industry; those who are doing good in and with recruitment. There were costumes and great table décor, plus lunch straight from food trucks. It was a great event all round and we walked away with a refreshed interest in the three themes (and everything else that was covered).