The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! (my thoughts on TruLondon 3)

Posted on February 21, 2011. Filed under: linkedin advice, News, Uncategorized |

Firstly I would like to pass on my congratulations to Bill Boorman who put on a great event. There were marked improvements from TruLondon2 last year, this time the venue and organisation were both significantly better in my view. Bill is a true ‘giver’ to the social recruiting  community worldwide  and the quality of the track leaders from all over the globe clearly demonstrated that.

As I sat on a packed train home from Euston on Friday night I reflected on the event and my overwhelming emotion was one of frustration and disappointment – nothing wrong with the event, it was great but it was clear to me that many (maybe the majority) of people in the social recruiting world are still stuck with the mindset that social recruiting and in particular LinkedIn is all about sourcing candidates and advertising vacancies, I even saw one comment on the feedback board stating “engagement is overrated” – how depressing!

I wholeheartedly disagree with this – LinkedIn should be ‘primarily’ about engagement and recruitment companies that don’t get this will either not exist in 10 years or at least be a shadow of their former selves! For corporate recruiters the picture is slightly different but I still think that engagement is the answer to building communities that avoid ‘fire fighting’ recruitment exercises.

During the LinkedIn track I co-led with Jacco Valkenburg (see above pic taken by the wonderful @saraheadworth) there were several questions and points made that clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding and interest in engagement. It seems that Recruiters are completely oblivious to the millions of other users who are gaining real benefit by using LinkedIn as it was designed – a networking tool!

It wasn’t all bad though, there was some really encouraging and positive debate in a session led by the inspirational @greg_savage which I will discuss more in a later post. In addition it was great to hook up with many highly respected social recruiting experts again.

I was also invited by @petergold99 to mentor a graduate in their search for a job, this is typical of Peter – an innovative, interesting and challenging idea. I will explain more in a later blog but I have been given the challenge and privilege of assisting Kenneth Izevbigie in his search for a graduate job. This will also be a competition between me, Peter, @BillBoorman and maybe @James_Mayes (if he manages to persuade Peter to let him have one of his 3 graduates!). I can’t wait to get started!

There is far too much to discuss in one blog (without sending you to sleep) so I will summarise here the 3 topics I will cover over the next few days/weeks.

The Good

The New Kool vs Old Skool run by Greg Savage was the best track of the whole event for me, great debate, interesting points and real food for thought about how social media is changing the role of a recruitment professional – or is it?

The Bad

This is the 3rd Tru event I have attended and this track labelled ‘Recruiters aren’t Strategic’ was head and shoulders the worst I have ever experienced! Unfortunately I was stuck in the middle of the audience and unable to escape!

The Ugly

Sourcing is a great skill and very useful – for about 20% of vacancies! 80% of your jobs will be filled by candidates you should know already. So why are recruiters so obsessed with sourcing? This was brought home to me most in the LinkedIn track but it was prevalent throughout the 2 days. In this final piece I will explain my thoughts on why recruiters need to wake up, stop being lazy and get into engagement!

The Graduate Challenge

I will expand on the nature of this exciting competition and let you know more about my amazing Graduate Kenneth (you may want to offer him an interview!)

I will expand on each these points in the next 4 blogs, in the meantime, please feel free to express you views by commenting below.


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16 Responses to “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! (my thoughts on TruLondon 3)”

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Williams, Felix Wetzel. Felix Wetzel said: RT @mr_linkedin: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! (my thoughts on #TruLondon ) <- thoughtful post. Very good. […]

Hi Mark,

Sounds like a good event, but can you clarify your definition of “engagement” in this context?

(apologies if this posts twice – just signed up!)

Hi Richard,
By engagement I mean getting involved within the communities a recruiters operates in, this might be a LinkedIn group, Answers, updates etc but the focus is on communicating and building relationships within a specialist community rather than just searching and posting jobs.

Hope that explains it sufficiently for you.

I will go into more detail in the 3rd blog post in this series.

Thanks Mark

Thought so – I totally agree, and I’m making a point of “engaging” more and more!

Very surprised someone wrote “engagement is overrated”. That’s very narrow minded – presumably they’d prefer their consultants spending that time making blind cold calls instead!

Mark, I agree and was also unfortunate enough to get trapped in the’recruiters aren’t strategic’. As as they say you remember the bad over the good. Shame.

You could have escaped. You were not a prisoner — although I’m sorry it felt that way.

No wait, I’m not sorry. 🙂

Thanks for attending the session.


Thanks for that Laurie!
Actually I really couldn’t escape, doing so would have meant trampling on several people! The session was very well attended which says a lot about the popularity of both you and the HRD but for me and several others, it was a big disappointment.
I will elaborate more in my 2nd post in this series.

Hi Mark

Thanks for this open and personal summary and I’m looking forward to the additional posts.

I also liked your statement about sourcing, which I was never interested in but want to learn more about.

Great review Mark. As you know I agree with much of what you say, and dispute others.

Here’s my take on #TRULondon.

Thanks Stephen, I would be somewhat concerned if you agreed with everything I said!!
For other readers check out Stephens Blog, its a favourite of mine – partly because there are often things I disagree with!

[…] is first of my blogs following on from TruLondon 3 initially mentioned in my last blog The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. This piece is mainly aimed at Recruiters but I would also value any comments and views from those […]

On the plus side Mark, there was only one comment on the board misunderstanding engagement. Looking forward to the next in the series so I can disagree with you on something 🙂

Thanks for sharing insights with those that couldn’t make it. Very social of you.


[…] This is the 2nd part in a series of 3 blogs regarding the excellent Social Recruiting ‘unconference’ Trulondon 3 and was originally introduced in my recent blog The Good, The Bad & The ugly. […]

[…] is the final part of my series detailing my thoughts on the excellent unconference held last month in […]

Mark – totally agree – good event, but some worrying trends too. I was at the start of the “recruiters aren’t strategic” track and when it became clear it was about rhetoric and reaction I did escape to next door.

Engagement – spot on.

[…] Let me take you back to February this year, you may recall that I attended the excellent social recruiting ‘unconference’ event TruLondon. […]

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