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Four Takeaways from RecFest22

By Chris Pateman, VP of Sales, EMEA

Last week over 3,500 talent acquisition professionals gathered in Knebworth, England for RecFest 2022. For those unfamiliar with RecFest – or Knebworth – it is unlike any other “traditional” industry conference. With a festival-like feeling, RecFest breaks down the barriers and allows attendees to authentically connect, network and learn from each other. In a nod to Knebworth’s illustrious history as an iconic music venue, there was even live music as the evening drew in.

While I have attended RecFest a few times over the years, the atmosphere this time was different. Perhaps this could be because the Festival was back to pre-pandemic attendance numbers or maybe now more than ever TA professionals needed a chance to take a step back – regardless RecFest 2022 was an experience for the ages. 

I found myself spending time connecting with colleagues, customers and industry peers, some of whom I have known for years and haven’t seen in-person for quite some time, and others that I had the opportunity to meet for the first time face-to-face. There is something quite special about genuinely spending time together in-person whether over a drink, at our stand with our special ‘Harver Blue’ ice cream or while networking at other sessions.

Here are my four takeaways from last week: 

  1. The TA industry is thriving. 

There is no question the talent acquisition industry is a great place to be in 2022. Talent selection, development, and mobility are each massive individual markets, and together represent over a $1 trillion “Mega Market.” This was apparent from the sheer size and scale of RecFest, from the 3,500 attendees and dozens of vendors.  And in today’s stormy times, where TA leaders have been challenged over the past two years to ride waves of uncertainty to attract and recruit talent to ensure business growth and profitability, it has become certain that talent acquisition is becoming less of a support function and more of a strategic asset to the business. 

  1. Proving strategic business value is a continued challenge.

Based on many conversations at RecFest, TA professionals know exactly the solutions they need to move forward but continue to struggle to prove their strategic value and get the funding and attention from their business. This all comes down to having the data to prove it — and translating recruitment data into business language.  This starts with understanding how your business wins by researching, analysing and measuring the results that matter to your business. You’ll need support to help you bring the data together in one place and generate insights. Obviously make sure any tools you implement have good integration capabilities, and then look for a solution that has business intelligence capabilities to see everything in one place.​ Lastly, you need to have a great understanding of how your business measures success. 

  1. Balancing hiring for speed vs. quality is a continued concern in today’s market.

Talent shortage continues to be a pressing issue for TA professionals – and something that is likely not going away. TA professionals want to hire as quickly as possible to fill roles but also want quality candidates who will be retained year-over-year. How can they achieve this balance and make sure candidate experience is quick and easy, but that the organization is hiring the right people? During the Festival I was chatting with someone who was interested in implementing assessments to ensure the “quality” of the candidate, but they didn’t want that to impact the “speed” of hire. Would that candidate walk away if they had to take an assessment? While this is a common question we get, choosing the right assessments and ensuring a great experience, as well as setting expectations on the process with the candidate, will gather the right candidates who want (and will) stay at your organization for the long run.

  1. Prioritizing DEI remains a top priority.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion was a continued theme and priority to TA professionals. While TA leads are decisive on the operational technologies and solutions they need for their business, they want to ensure those solutions are helping to push DEI forward for their organization. It is critical that the technologies they invest in genuinely drive this mission forward. Many of the conversations I had at RecFect focused on accessibility of our technology and how it can remove unconscious bias, which is something that should be, and will be, a priority for organizations. 

Interested in learning more about how our products, including assessments, hiring process automation, reference checking and video interview capabilities, help organizations make better talent decisions across the hiring process? Schedule a demo today.

Chris Pateman

Chris Pateman

Chris Pateman is the EMEA Vice President of Sales at Harver. With more than ten years of experience in the recruitment technology space, Chris helps HR leaders transform and scale their volume hiring strategy and processes.

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