14 Annual Conferences That Every Talent Acquisition Professional Should Know About
Are you involved with recruiting or HR? Get out of the office and learn something new.
Conferences are known for being great places to network, learn new industry insights, get acquainted with the latest technology, and hear from expert speakers. However, with so many conferences available throughout the year, it can be difficult to decide which ones are the right fit for your company’s needs. The best conferences give attendees strategies they can implement and see positive results from, while also providing big-picture ideas and a look at larger trends. We’ve rounded up 14 conferences that deliver valuable information and learning opportunities every year that any talent professional could greatly benefit from.
Campus and Early-Career Recruiting and Retention
Focus: Campus Recruiting
Upcoming Date: June 2-5, 2020
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
NACE has been an authority on campus and university recruiting since 1956, and their annual conference allows them to share the abundance of information they gather. The conference has a wide variety of sessions available, relevant to talent professionals, campus career services or both. The wide variety of topics gives attendees the chance to choose which events are most applicable to them, so they recommend that if you’re traveling with a team, try to divide up and attend as many seminars as possible. NACE offers plenty of networking opportunities with other professionals attending as well as an expo hall for relevant technology and services. To make the conference + expo experience seamless for attendees, they provide a conference app which can be used to keep up on which sessions are taking place and the overall schedule.
Focus: Early Career Talent
Upcoming Date: May 7-8, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
URx is a two-day conference for anyone involved in recruiting, developing, and retaining early career talent. This includes recruiters, those involved in academic programs or student development, student organization leaders, and people involved in organizations that help individuals return to the workforce.
The 2019 conference included over 350 attendees, and featured speakers from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Twitch, SAP, Pinterest, Intuit, Microsoft, and many others. Sessions covered everything from revamping your university recruiting strategy to building a successful ‘winternship’ to exploring non-traditional channels for student outreach. Past conference attendees called the conference, “collaborative and engaging,” and “a must attend for companies that care about taking action and implementing effective diversity & inclusion strategies into talent recruiting & development programs,” in testimonials provided by URx.
Focus: Campus Recruiting
Upcoming Date: November 19-20, 2019 & December 4-5, 2019
Location: Austin, TX & Chicago, IL
The Campus Recruiting Forum offers a two-day option of their conference, with day one focusing on the fundamentals and day 2 going over the newest trends and best practices. Attendees are able to choose one day or both, and they recommend going to the fundamentals at least one while attending the trends & best practices every year for updates. The fundamentals forum details everything a campus recruiter should know to develop a successful and strategic recruitment process. The day of trends & best practices offers attendees presentations by experienced recruiters, researchers, and professionals. While the first day is made specifically for campus recruiters, the second day is perfect for anyone involved in any part of hiring college students.
Focus: Campus recruiting
Upcoming Date: April 28-29, 2020
Location: Chicago, IL
This conference put on by Yello, a recruiting tech tool, is great for anyone looking to improve their campus recruiting strategies and learn the latest insights on Gen Z. There were many impressive speakers at their 2019 conference from companies like PwC, Boeing, and EY, as well as many campus recruiting specialists. Attendees can expect to learn how even traditional organizations can adapt to advances in tech, best practices to prove recruitment ROI, and the most important trends in campus recruiting. Some of the highlights of last year’s conference include conversations on how to change your talent approach for a new generation, how to stay ahead of the curve in HR tech, and the future of work power trends.
5. Talent 42
Focus: Technical talent
Upcoming Date: TBD 2020
This conference is specifically focused on recruiting and hiring tech talent, which can be useful for anyone who regularly fills tech-based positions. Some of the talks have included topics like using storytelling in your recruiting strategy, discovering new talent pools, using APIs for sourcing, and coding competition-based interviewing. Talent 42 is especially helpful to stay on top of always-changing tech recruiting trends, and their hands-on roundtables allow a useful Q&A time. Attendees can expect speakers from top tech companies like Uber, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
6. HR Transform
Focus: Innovations in HR
Upcoming Date: March 23-25, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
HR Transform focuses on the new and emerging trends and technology in HR to help attendees stay up to date on everything they should know within the industry. Speakers at the 2019 conference included talent executives from companies such as Unilever, Reddit, eBay, Twitch, Allbirds, Walmart, and Salesforce. This conference puts an emphasis on entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders to create a unique experience focused on the newest approaches and products talent specialists could utilize. It’s an impressive opportunity for networking and their schedule allows plenty of time throughout the day to connect with other leaders.
Focus: Sourcing candidates & tech
Upcoming Date: March 23- 25, 2020
Location: Seattle, WA
SourceCon is a leading conference for all aspects of sourcing great candidates with a special focus on technology. However, discussions at the event span more than just sourcing, and aim to improve recruiting strategies as a whole. There are plenty of discussions to choose from, like how AI is affecting the recruiting industry, utilizing video content in sourcing, and a LinkedIn deep dive, to name a few. They end the first day with a hackathon where sourcers can test out new techniques they learned that day. In 2019, they also added more roundtable discussions and networking opportunities to ensure more peer-to-peer learning time.
Focus: HR tech
Upcoming Date: October 13-16, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
For over 20 years, HR Tech has focused on showcasing technology that drives success for HR professionals. With sessions presented by industry experts and practitioners, attendees learn about the technologies that can best support their organization’s needs and leave equipped with the insight to make critical HR system decisions. HR Tech also hosts the world’s largest expo of HR technology, giving attendees the chance to learn about products from 450+ vendors ranging from established industry leaders to tech startups.
General Talent Acquisition
Focus: Data insights & industry outlook
Upcoming Date: May 11-13, 2020
Location: Austin, TX
From speakers on inclusive hiring tactics, to insights on recruiting across different generations, this conference covers all the pertinent topics for any talent professional in today’s market. This huge conference offers a multitude of speakers to choose from – some of the highlights from 2019 include talks on using targeted advertising to attract top talent, utilizing storytelling in your strategy, and defining your personal brand. The conference also focuses on insights into the future of the industry like tips for surviving and thriving in a tight labor market, but also how to proceed if the future leads to an economic downturn.
10. Talent Connect
Focus: HR Best Practices
Upcoming Date: October 14-16, 2020
Location: Boston, MA
LinkedIn’s Talent Connect conference is where people like culture champions, recruiters, and talent developers can come together and learn about the latest advances and talent trends. For the 2019 conference, there were some impressive speakers including former First Lady Michelle Obama, the CEO of LinkedIn Jeff Weiner, and head of HR at Patagonia Dean Carter. The conference is also sprinkled with wellness events like foam roller stretches and restorative yoga flow. They also have a collaborative “Plus One Pledge” that encourages attendees to reach out to someone new and make a connection during the conference, in line with their belief that reaching outside of one’s network can help level the playing field.
Focus: New and emerging recruiting practices
Upcoming Date: November 14-15, 2019
Location: Nashville, TN
Dubbed as “the nation’s leading talent acquisition event for employers,” this accredited conference put on by Business & Legal Resources is definitely worth checking out. The event offers networking opportunities, an assessment of new recruiting strategies, Q&A panels, and workshops. Attendees of this conference can hear from talent acquisition speakers from Delta Airlines, Wayfair, and Skill Scout. Some highlights from the agenda include great panels on diversifying hiring including focusing on hiring people of all abilities and empowering women in the workplace.
Focus: Talent Acquisition
Upcoming Date: April 20-22
Location: Orlando, FL
This conference put on by the Society for Human Resource Management focuses on recruiting standout talent while competing in a tough market. The speakers provide expert information on new ways to access untapped talent pools, communicate the true value of benefits, and keep employees engaged at every level. They had over 80 speakers at their 2019 conference sharing their expertise on a variety of topics. Some highlights from the 2019 schedule include Harnessing Data and Analytics to Impact Talent Management Strategies, Incorporating D&I into Your Talent Management Strategy, and Win the War for Talent with a Successful Internship Program.
Other Recruiting Topics
Focus: Humanity in the workplace
Upcoming Date: May 11-14, 2020
Location: San Antonio, TX
Workhuman’s conference promises to be truly unlike any other. Their focus is on bringing more “humanity” into the workplace which means you can expect topics to be covered like bias and inclusion, workplace and hiring culture, personalized recognition, and humanizing HR analytics. They try to make the conference itself a more real, mindful experience, complete with optional meditation and yoga breaks. They have had some big keynote speakers in the past, including Viola Davis and Kat Cole, COO and president of Focus Brands, in 2019, and you can expect more of the same in 2020.
Focus: Social recruiting tools & trends
Upcoming Date: January 28-30, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
SRSC is for any recruiter who’s looking to overhaul their social media strategy or just learn the latest tips and tricks. The speakers at this conference use specific case studies to help illustrate their points, and show real hiring results. The speakers and workshops offer valuable techniques that attendees can implement as soon as they get back to the office. The workshops are delivered in a classroom-style setting that allow for one on one assistance and hands-on training. They also offer recorded talks and speaker presentations if you miss something, or for reference later on.
All of these conferences are great opportunities for expanding your network, learning valuable strategies that you can implement into your existing processes, and finding out new advances in the current landscape of hiring. Whether you attend one, two or 10, you’re sure to come away from your experiences at these conferences with new inspiration for shaping your talent acquisition strategy.
Did we miss any outstanding talent acquisition conferences? Email us your input and we might add it to our list as we regularly update this article with new dates and locations.