Top 5 Takeaways from LinkedIn Talent Connect 2019

The 10th annual LinkedIn Talent Connect has wrapped and we’re still buzzing with excitement. Last week in Dallas we covered a lot of ground, met talent leaders from around the world and learned from industry experts about the future of work.

The best part of Talent Connect is in the title—connecting with all of the amazing people that attend. Learning at Talent Connect no doubt happens mostly outside of the sessions. We connected with some of our amazing clients and partners and tested some new product ideas. But it wasn’t all work! A huge highlight was the Happy Hour we co-hosted with Fairygodboss and Ph.Creative, who, like us, believe in the power of authentic employer branding.

Then, there was the keynote of all keynotes from Michelle Obama. Her address echoed the themes of the conference and truly put an exclamation point on the end of the week.

Keep reading for more of co-founders Alon Laniado and David Rivel’s thoughts from the conference.

1. Embrace Empathy

As talent attraction, employer branding and HR leaders, Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, urged us to lean into empathy and kindness in his keynote on day one. As the foundation of a great business, heightened emotional intelligence can increase retention and employee happiness, which can in turn drive financial results.

In Gary’s business, the Chief Heart Officer (what he calls their CHRO) always trumps the vote of the CFO. He explained that by putting people first and eliminating fear in the workplace, employees can focus on the task at hand rather than navigating workplace politics.

2. Focus on Relationships

TEDx presenter and Silicon Valley veteran Ellen Petry Leanse shared neuroscientific research that shows how “busy-ness” can lead to stress and suppress our creativity. Ellen reminded us that we’re programmed to connect. By focusing on relationships at work, rather than solely on tasks and projects, we can drive more impactful employee engagement. My favourite of her tips? Encourage staff to build bonds while remaining productive by connecting through walking meetings.

Check out Alon’s video from the conference:

3. Check Your Content

One question that came up for me a lot at the conference was, “Is your recruitment marketing content ready for Gen Z?”

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Generation Z, reported as being born between the mid-1990s to early-2000s, is coming into the workforce with their unique requirements—and recruiting challenges.

We may want to judge, but remember that these young people saw their parents lose their jobs and savings during the Great Recession. As a result, they no longer expect loyalty from an employer—or give it in return. Gen Z values information about job security and salary, not mission and purpose like their millennial counterparts.

To attract Gen Z-ers, make sure your career website content transparently communicates your company’s revenue results and growth plans. In addition, Gen Z is the most diverse group ever and is socially aware and progressive. Your recruitment content must reflect your diverse workforce in an authentic way—they want real-world stories, not stats and stock photos.

Want to find out what your candidates want to hear from you? Download our eBook on Diversity Recruiting now.

4. Make Remote Work Work

We’ve all heard that remote work can be a great tool when attracting and retaining employees. But, as Anastacia Flores, senior director of talent acquisition at CBS Interactive, pointed out, it has to be well managed to really work for your business. Remote workers should be transparent and both managers and employees must set expectations about the arrangement. We recently introduced remote working at PathMotion, and it’s refreshing to hear it’s a two-way responsibility.

5. Expand Your Network

Alon’s final takeaway came from LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner. In his keynote, Weiner shared why he asked LinkedIn employees to connect with people outside of their network via the Plus One Pledge. Not only does this broaden the talent pool for your referral program, it also helps to close, what Weiner dubbed, the network gap.

Data shows that people with strong networks are much more likely to get the job, with over 70% of professionals being hired at companies where they already had a connection. The network gap refers to the unequal distribution of professional connections influenced by where you grow up, where you go to school, and where you work. Professionals who had a more affluent upbringing or who went to a more prestigious school have stronger professional networks and better opportunities to advance their careers.

This initiative lets pledge-takers “pay it forward” by helping one person outside of their network to their next opportunity. Michelle Obama touched on this in her keynote when she said, “Diversity is so important because you don’t know everything. Talent recruiters have an obligation to go beyond their natural network.” Something we can all get behind!

Did you attend LinkedIn Talent Connect 2019? Get in touch and let us know your top takeaways! See you next year in Boston!