Recap: 2019 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Symposium & Awards Gala

Posted by Ryan Frazier

Last week, talent acquisition and employer branding leaders converged on the nation's capital for the 2019 Candidate Experience Symposium and Awards Gala. The day-long symposium featured sessions by speakers from a variety of industries to talk all-things candidate experience. As a sponsor, it was great getting to speak to attendees and hear about their current candidate engagement challenges. Here are a few of our favorite sessions from the symposium:

Keynote, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, kicked off the general sessions after lunch to dive into a highly-talked-about topic -- Diversity and Inclusion. Her inspiring session focused on increasing the diversity of your talent pool in order to ensure you're actually hiring diverse candidates. She shared that you’re odds of hiring a minority were drastically increased (roughly 190x times greater) if your organization included at least two minority candidates in the finalist pool; if there were just 1 minority candidate, that person has almost no likelihood of getting hired.

Another notable session from the day came from T-Mobile's VP of HR, Dotcy Isom III. This session really drove home the idea of implicit bias, as Dotcy shared T-Mobile's Insight Out learning program to help identify and understand biases, their impact and the power of inclusion. Through exercises, attendees were able to see that in some ways, bias can be a good thing, however, people become so entrenched in certain biases that we largely don’t even know we have a particular bias. Dotcy put the crowd through a rhyming exercise to help demonstrate the positives & negatives, and how sometime we can be quick to judge or assume, without thought.

One last favorite of the day was the CandE winner panel discussion. Moderated by employer brand expert, Susan LaMotte, we got to hear from TA leaders from Panasonic, AdventHealth, American Airlines and Waste Management. In this panel discussion, each speaker shared how they are shifting the focus from candidate process to experience, where they put priority on resources in the candidate journey and the single most important thing they've implemented to improve candidate experience. One thing that resonated was the struggle for HR/TA leaders to effectively show the positive outcome a candidate experience will have on hiring & the bottom line, and how, by being more data driven, our TA/HR leaders can be change the perspective of heir depts. being cost centers, but rather, profit centers that drive revenue.

Following the symposium, we gathered for the 2019 CandE Award Dinner & Gala. This was an opportunity network with attendees and celebrate the 65 winners of this year's CandE Awards, who were voted to have an exemplary candidate experience as rated by the candidates themselves.

Congrats again to this year's winners! A full list of winners can be found here.

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