Today’s Future of Work Talk show focuses on trends and challenges in recruiting and talent acquisition, what’s now, what’s next, and what’s exciting.

My guest is Kara Mignanelli from the Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI), an organization focused on educating today’s leaders for tomorrow’s performance. Kara is the SVP of People for GSMI and she’s also the company’s general counsel. Business is more complicated today than ever before, fueled by technology, privacy issues, compliance requirements, and social media … to name just a few, and it’s probably both awesome and rare to have the person who leads your HR team also happen to be an attorney.

GSMI is immersed in the educational space and focused on producing events across the country that make people better at what they do and to always be challenging the status quo. In fact, the status quo is a pretty dangerous place to settle in for long, largely due to how quickly technology has changed, is changing, and will change our world. It’s really that simple.

Kara and I kicked off our conversation by talking about an event that’s coming up fairly quickly, the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference, which will be held in San Francisco on January 31 and February 1.

Kara covers information about the event and what the audience generally looks like, and if you’re involved in talent recruitment in any way, this is one event that should definitely be on your radar screen.

Kara and I discuss trends and challenges in recruiting and talent acquisition and she shares with us her insights on……

  • The top recruiting trends shaping recruiting & hiring for 2019.
  • The most challenging trend that will change the way recruiters do their job.
  • The biggest barriers to adopting and implementing technology like Artificial Intelligence or virtual reality in Talent Acquisition.

Kara also gives us a preview of some of the speakers featured at the SRSC event as well as the benefits in attending an event like SRSC.

Bottom line, as someone who has spoken at GMSI events in the past, the events are top-notch. The audience is engaged, the quality of the speakers are unparalleled, and the topics covered are critically important for today’s recruitment and talent acquisition pros. Check out the conference agenda here: SRSC Agenda and register here: SRSC Registration Link.

Get yourself to the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference! The event is in San Francisco from January 31st to February 1st and who doesn’t need a reason to get to SFO?

I would be remiss to not also mention some upcoming GMSI events, as they are also sure to be excellent. They include:

Social Media Strategies Summit (two events)
March 19-21 in Anaheim and Chicago April 30-May 2

The Business of Blockchain, March 19-21 in Anaheim

Employer Branding Strategies Conference, held in San Diego in May,

The Business of Bots, San Francisco February 5-7

You can find the full list of GMSI events here.

If you like the Future of Work Talk webcast, please be sure and take a minute to subscribe, and if you’d rather get this content in audio form, subscribe to our podcast here:



Shelly Kramer: Hey everyone. This is Shelly Kramer. I’m your host on The Future of Work Talk. We’re excited to have you here with us today. We’re going to talk about trends and challenges in recruiting and talent acquisition. I know that’s really top of mind for everybody. This is kind of one of the tightest talent acquisition markets that we’ve had in years. I work with HR practitioners all the time. I know this is really top of mind. Actually not only for HR practitioners, but for senior leaders and really companies of all sizes. I’m thrilled today to have as my guest, Kara Mignanelli. Did I do it right? Minyelli. She’s going to correct me here in a minute.

Anyway, Kara is from the Global Strategic Management Institute, GSMI. GSMI actually is in the education business. They put on seminars, workshops, conferences, mostly conferences all over the United States all the time. They’re really focused on educating today’s leaders, helping to prepare them for tomorrow. Really kind of challenging the status quo, which I think is important in today’s global workforce and workplace.

Hey Kara, it’s great to have you.

Kara Mignanelli: Hi Shelly. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure.

Shelly Kramer: Actually, what I didn’t mention is that Kara and I met years and years ago. It think I spoke at one of your conferences, the social recruiting strategies conference and that’s a little bit of what we’re going to talk about today. It’s great for us to reconnect as well.

GSMI is immersed in the educational space as I mentioned before and you’re really focused on helping people do their jobs more effectively, understand what the challenges are, understand what the barriers to success are and really succeed in spite of those things. One of the things that I want to talk about is an event that you have coming up, that’s the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference. Conveniently, I can be reminded of exactly what that conference name is by the banner behind you on the wall Kara. Well done. Well done.

Tell us a little bit, this event is coming up in San Francisco, I think it’s on January 31st and February 1st. Tell us a little bit about the SRSC event, which is one of many events that your company puts on, but tell us a little bit about that event and why it’s so important.

Kara Mignanelli: Absolutely. Thank you so much. That was a really great explanation of what GSMI does. Generally, we do educate today’s leaders for tomorrow’s performance. We adjust different verticals like digital marketing, emerging technologies, and business management. Of course, social recruiting, account acquisition, are top of mind for a lot of professionals as well as the sea suite lately. Through SRSC, Social Recruiting Strategies Conference, which we’ve been hosting since, going over about seven or eight years right now.

The 2019 event will be our seventh year hosting in San Francisco. We offer practitioner to practitioner learning which is something we find the most value in offering case studies for folks to share what they have learned. What works and what doesn’t. The next installment, if you will, will be January 30th through February 1st. It’s going to be in the Bay area, San Francisco. We’re really thrilled to return. We have a really great lineup of speakers this year. Some speakers and case studies from companies including Dell, Macy’s, Facebook, Sales Force. It’s a really great event for networking, which as you know, most recruiters, that’s what you do, you network. I think that is very beneficial. Like you said, there are other opportunities throughout the year. We do have a summer program as well. I can share more information about that later.

Shelly Kramer: What I’m interested in diving a little bit deeper on right now, Kara, is really some trends. Some trends and some challenges. I knot that you’re immersed in the talent acquisition space on a regular basis, not only hosting these conferences but finding and vetting speakers, and thinking about what kind of topics will resonate most with your audience, looking at audience feedback from events, feedback from people on what they want to know more about. Tell us, what are some of the top recruiting trends that you see as their shaping up the business of hiring and talent acquisition for 2019?

Kara Mignanelli: Absolutely. Yes. Candidates have more leverage than ever I think causing a disruption in the HR and recruiting industry specifically. The market is overwhelmingly candidate driven. The time is really now for talent acquisition professionals to be rethinking their recruitment strategy in 2019. That includes making everything easier and faster and better. We really want to grab that attention and keep that attention of the talent. I think there are several trends as we move into 2019, if I had to narrow it down I would say there’s probably about top, maybe four recruiting trends for 2019 that I would highlight myself after like you said engaging with the attendees and speakers as we develop our next program curriculum.

I think the first one would be new interview tools and that would include artificial intelligence, A.I. V.R., virtual reality and that includes Chatbot. With virtual reality, companies are able to immerse candidates in simulated 3D environments to test their skills in a more standardized way. Also, video interviews can be recorded live and are helping tap into a broader talent pool in far less time. It’s all about efficiency. A.I. has been a buzz for a couple of years now. One of those trends that everyone wants to talk about but very few companies are really understanding it’s impact and able to implement it. I think there is a shift in the conversation. There was a recent survey from JobBite, actually, that indicated that 50% of recruiters feel positive about the effects, so the emotional, the perception is changing there. The truth is A.I. is kind of here to stay and will continue to likely take over some aspects of your job as a recruiter.

Recruiters are already doing this, already implementing software like LinkedIn Recruiter. Which allows you to automate both candidate searches and quickly find prospects to match your criteria. Recruitment professionals are already using Chatbot as well to screen candidates and getting really positive feedback. I think in 2019 it will be the year when A.I. propels the Chatbot functionality and becomes even more smarter and more relevant for their capabilities.

Shelly Kramer: I think it’s so interesting how the business of job searching and recruitment has changed over the years. It really used to be that recruiting professionals were completely and totally in the driver seat. I’ve had clients that are HR teams before and one of my clients, probably seven or eight years ago, was a global engineering consulting firm. One of the things I did with their HR team is train them on using social in ways beyond the LinkedIn recruiting tools, but to actually learn how to, instead of erecting fences in front of you as a recruiter and to keep away, to actually become somebody who is comfortable with a presence in the social space and to understand sort of the power of that.

It’s interesting how that dynamic has shifted and when you talk about things like artificial intelligence. The thing about A.I. is that A.I. doesn’t do it all. A.I. is a tool that recruiters can use that can help make an experience for prospective candidate more attractive. That’s really, I think, what we’re talking about. What I speak about and write about when it comes to talent recruitment is that competition has never been tougher. Every part of that experience that you have with the candidate, is being evaluated. If there’s one little thing about it that a candidate doesn’t like, you’re ghosted. You know? They’re gone.

The thing too, you mentioned V.R., I think V.R. is such an interesting thing because beyond looking at how talent recruiters can use V.R. in the recruitment experience, you can also, a lot of it relates to employer branding, if you will. I know you guys have a conference on that topic as well. When I look at companies that put front and center, training experiences, we use V.R. to teach you how to do this. For an audience that’s already knowledgeable about V.R., or wants to learn more about V.R., that kind of immersion and that kind of technology and making that be part of an experience, an employment experience, an onboarding experience, an ongoing, like all of a sudden that makes your company 50 times cooler than a company that’s still old school.

I do think that you can look at these from different aspects. You can look at it with what does it help me as a recruiter do my job better but what also positions are accompany and I can come to the table with when it comes to a conversation with a perspective candidate in a very, very tough job market that makes our company and choosing our company seem like a no brainer. Those are some of the things that kind of excite me a little bit in what’s happening here in the market.

What do you think, there may not be just one, but can you think of one, maybe two, of the most challenging trends that make the way recruiters do their jobs difficult? Can you think of something?

Kara Mignanelli: Yeah, I wanted to kind of respond to what you’d said in relation to the candidate experience, which was kind of leading me to the next trend that we see really. As it kind of goes from Chatbot and how that impacts the candidates experience, there was a recent study by Alegeus that said 66% of candidates are comfortable interacting with a Chatbot. Once there’s that buy in and you see from the acquisition side, okay this is not only helping us do our job more efficiently, but it’s improving the candidate experience, which we know is going to have positive results.

That whole idea of a customized candidate journey is another trend that we’re seeing for 2019. The candidate user experience is top of mind as we move into the next year. The talent user experience is another term that people are using to describe it versus the candidate ux. It’s just that impression that a candidate gets while they go through that process. The impact is astounding and I think there’s already that understanding and that buy in. Now you have to re-evaluate your candidate experience and maybe potentially fix what’s broken. Some of these new technologies are helping recruiters accomplish that. I think there’s the shift there too.

You already mentioned employer branding and those are the last two trends that I would note as we move into 2019. Employer branding, you know, realizing that power and how to allot the budget and how you partner with your customer marketing department in your organization if you have that ability. Then recruitment marketing I think would be the next top trend. That’s what we see moving into next year.

For barriers and challenges I think clear strategies for sourcing the data that maybe is required or desired for A.I. to be fully implemented. Obviously, there’s other compliance issues with GDPR, I think that when people have that concern as well when it comes to how you implement A.I. and whether people are passively consenting or what they’re able to do or not do, depending on whether you’re recruiting on a global basis and how that affects everything. I think data is always a challenge for people. Measuring things and reporting back is something that, it’s a great tool once you can unlock it. That’s something that we’re consistently focused on and that’s an ongoing underlying theme is what are those recruiting strategies that you want to implement that are data driven? That’s something we’ll be addressing in San Francisco as well.

As you mentioned when we first started chatting, the challenges, the shift in the war for talent, I think the war for talent might be over and the candidates won. Clearly. We’re living in a candidate centered market and that’s the real challenge for recruiters. Candidate engagement is ongoing and it’s almost never ending. If someone for some reason doesn’t accept whatever rec you’re trying to fill, you want to keep them and how you continue that relationship is critical to that. How that candidate experience continues and goes on and may impact your customer brand as well as your candidates are both your consumers and as well as your potential talent.

Shelly Kramer: Right. That’s funny, I love that, the war on talent is over and they won. It’s totally true. I’m not sure that that’s not as it should be. To a certain extent and this is speaking as someone who has employees and I understand all the challenges in recruiting and everything else. The thing about our workforce today is that, and I have this conversation a lot with a lot of my peers, it’s not just millennials, it’s not just young people, it’s when you’re talking about a talent base that has a skillset and an understanding and a knowledge base that is sought after that is important for businesses today, we know that. We don’t need you to tell us that. We know that.

The minute any part of our spidey sense goes off about maybe this is … I’ll think back to one of my daughters got a job in Chicago about eight years ago and she moved to Chicago. She went to work for a gigantic PR agency in Chicago. She had been coming from an agency in Kansas City that was a national agency. Not a small, I mean a 500 person office so she wasn’t going from small to big Chicago, she was going from big agency to a big agency. She got to her office and she texted me a picture. She was like, “Oh, my God. Can you believe the computer that they expect me to work on?” It was like the oldest desktop computer known to man. She wasn’t eligible for a laptop until certain things. She didn’t stay at that job for very long, but part of it was that like that first moment in the door, it was set, kind of an interesting.

I do think that you know, and that’s a whole other part of the situation, the challenge for HR teams is the onboarding and the retention. The retention part of the equation is just as difficult as the recruitment part of the equation. It is a different marketplace. I think that those of us in the field, those of us thinking about these things have to be aware of these tools and technologies that we can use are important.

The other thing I think that I find that people need to think about is that you can buy all the technology that you want, you made a point about data that I thought was particularly salient, not everyone on your team, not everyone in your organization are data scientists. Having understanding from the standpoint of your own team I think what you’re going to need to be able to extract the data from the technology platforms that you’re using and then how are you going to apply that. I think that’s an important part of the equation too. That’s probably, that’s not only a barrier to adopting the technology, but it’s a significant challenge, at least from the H.R. teams that I speak with.

Can you tell us a couple of the speakers that you mentioned, a couple of people already that are brands that are presenting, maybe remind me who some of those brands are. I think you said somebody from Facebook is going to be there.

Kara Mignanelli: Yeah, absolutely. Michelle Rice, the talent leader with Facebook, she’ll be presenting on recruiting is it math? It’s Math not magic. Hopefully we’ll see some concrete numbers and reporting from that. She has presented for us in the past and she’s very compelling. Also, one that I want to highlight, considering what we were just speaking of is Carrie Corban will be presenting. She’s currently the director of employer brand with Dell. Most recently was with American Airlines. She’s going to be presenting on the topic, The Science of Talent Attraction. Taking a peek behind the curtain of how to measure success. I think that will be an extremely valuable session. She’ll provide some more insight as it relates to data, that whole conversation.

We have some really great case studies from Macy’s, James Marable, the employer brand manager, will be presenting on Real Impact on Developing Employer Brands. Throughout the course of the two days we have a lot of great sessions including a panel on best practices for building and sustaining employee advocacy, which I think is extremely valuable. Then we do have actually before the event begins, we have a day of pre-conference workshops. Which are think are really beneficial and seems like the people that sign up for those and take that deep dive, two, three hour workshop on something that they know they need a lot of improvement on, either they’re new to it or what have you. We have some really neat topics, we have a recruiter boot camp, which is kind of a catchall for folks.

Then a really neat one on video for talent acquisition. Abby [inaudible] from [GilScout] will be leading that this year. It’s so practical and it’s great because we have a lot of small, medium sized businesses that attend. They don’t have a huge budget. She really does, she provides a lot of tips on how to do it yourself and do it on the cheap. Then we are really excited to have [inaudible] from Ask Advisors and he’s been leading the talent congress workshop. We partner with him to kickoff the event. It’s really a deep dive. If you want to talk numbers, I mean that’s the place for you. It’s a long, four hour workshop but he maintains those relationships with the folks that participate in the talent congress workshop throughout the year. You can show up, bring your KCI’s and get ready to get down to work with him. We’re really thrilled for this event to be coming up next month and to return back to San Francisco. If someone can’t make it though, we do have a summer program, as you mentioned earlier.

Shelly Kramer: And so it goes. The summer program sounds awesome as well. When is that?

Kara Mignanelli: Oh my goodness. That will be August 6th through the 8th in Philadelphia. This summer we’ll be on the east coast, which is nice to provide people an option. We haven’t been on the east coast in a few years. We’re thrilled to return. Most interesting is the employer branding event, I know we didn’t talk too much about it but a couple of years ago everyone wanted to talk about employer branding. Everyone wants to talk about recruitment marketing. All my speakers so it got a little overwhelming for the curriculum because no, there really are, there are recruiters out there that, maybe that’s not what, they’re not tasked with the employer branding. We did kind of separate it and create a sister event. We’re thrilled to host that here in San Diego in May. That will be May 7th through the 9th. Yeah, I’m really thrilled to kick the event off in just a couple of weeks next month.

Shelly Kramer: Very soon. On the topic of employee branding. I was speaking in New York, in October for a group called the conference board. They do events, quarterly events. They’re really small, intimate events that are for H.R. leaders of major companies and companies have to join this organization and pay membership fees. Some of the companies that were there were American Express and the U.S. Navy, and The Bank of America and just some gigantic, gigantic brands. A couple of government brands and things like that. But anyway, what was the most interesting that came out of our conversations, I did a couple different presentations, was that the some of the biggest brands were hiring marketers, people with a background in marketing to come in and lead up their H.R. organizations. In fact, the CHRO of American Express is a former marketer and as was The Bank of America team. There really rethinking how they’re doing everything. This isn’t just an internal function. This is in many ways a marketing driven function and a branding function. I’m sure that event will be a very, very sought after one.

Let me back up and say the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference in San Francisco is January 31st to February 1st. There’s every reason for you if you’re listening or watching to register to attend. I have spoken at your events before and I think that’s one of the things that I enjoyed. I think I must have spoken at one of your early events. It was a number of years ago. I think it was in Chicago. One of the things that I liked it did feel like a … And I speak at events all over and sometimes have huge audiences. What I loved about your event was it felt like a very intimate event. As a speaker I had the opportunity to really interact with and engage with and get to know your audience. I’ve experienced your events firsthand.

Then there’s the, and I’ll put this in the show notes as well, so if you’re watching or listening you’ll have this information but there’s two of the Social Media Strategy Summit events. One in March in Anaheim and another in late April in Chicago. The Business of Block Chain in Anaheim on March 19th through 21st. The Employer Branding Strategies Conference which is going to be in San Diego in May. What’s the date in May for that?

Kara Mignanelli: 7th, May 7th through the 9th.

Shelly Kramer: Then The Business of Bots, so if you are attending any of these other events and you start hearing more and more about bots, there’s a reason because they’re not only popular, they’re effective so there’s a reason that we’re talking about them a lot. There’s a conference specifically on the business of bots, it will be in San Francisco in early February as well. There’s lots of reasons for you to pay attention to Kara and GSMI and to get yourself to at least one of their events so that you can get your feet wet. I have a pretty good feeling that once you make it to one, you’ll make it to others.

Kara, thank you so much for hanging out with me today and for talking about all things talent recruitment and I think your event sounds wonderful.

Kara Mignanelli: Thank you. I look forward to seeing you again.

Shelly Kramer: All right. This is it for us today. Thanks everybody for hanging out with us and Kara we’ll see again soon I’m sure.

Kara Mignanelli: Okay great. Thank you.


And if you’re watching or listening and have a topic you’d like covered and/or would like to be a guest, send me an email at shelly at broadsuite dot com.

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