SmartRecruiters Blog
Kevin Grossman

SocialHRCamp Thought Leadership

On Nov. 19 SmartRecruiters hosted SocialHRCamp, the first ever global unconference for HR professionals. The mission of SocialHR Camp is “to start truly leveraging and integrating social media within the workplace, to create and drive unparalleled business value. As a true UnConference; highly customizable and flexible, attendees get to create their own learning path, be as engaged as you want to be and get as much out of Camp as you want.”

I’m happy to have organized the San Francisco Camp with the SocialHR team of Jeff Waldman, Founder of Statify, and Salima Nathoo, Founder of GLOW Consulting. Both are passionate about accelerating HR social media adoption. I learned a lot. My only regret was that with three sessions happening at a time, I couldn’t attend every session. I ran a breakout session on “Establishing Your Presence on Twitter.” It was a bit of a who’s who in the HR world. Paparazzi was everywhere!

SmartRecruiters CEO Jerome Ternynck opened the camp by saying, “There are two types of social. The social within the enterprise, where people talk with each other and collaborate. And then social media, where the good word of the company is spread far and wide.”

Kevin GrossmanSocialHRCamp was broken down into keynotes and breakout sessions. Jessica Miller-Merrell, Founder of Blogging4Jobs, opened the day with a keynote of How Social Media Changes HR.” A big picture view of how much HR has changed over the last ten years, and how so much of that change manifested from the arrival of social media. In the second keynote, when BraveNewTalent Product Marketing Director Kevin Grossman wasn’t channeling his inner social media spirit (see right), he explained  “How to Build a Talent Community vs. Database/Poole.”  Check out Kevin’s Presentation:



By popular demand, the presentations to begin discussions in breakout sessions  were decided:

In “How Social Media Policies Backfire” by Heather Bussing, Employment Attorney, Law Professor, Heather explained:

“My idea on Social Media Policies is that you should not have one. And the reason why is because they often create more liability than protect against behavior because you can’t stop people from doing things with a policy. And no policiy fixes stupid things. You don’t want a policy because it can get you in trouble with the NLRB. And the more you control, the more you – the employer – are responsible for what happens and what the employees do. And the biggest reason is under California law you cannot discipline people for what they do on their own accounts away from work. So you cannot discipline people for off duty conduct.”

Stacy Donovan Zapar, CEO of Tenfold Social Training, gave two presentations: “Social Recruiting: The Old vs. The New” and “LinkedIn: Tips, Tricks & Hacks.” After the first one, I offered her a job (it’s just something people tend to do at conferences, and I wanted to be as hospitable as the folks were to me at HR Tech Conference), and she said something wise – not a like a wise crack but wise as in you seem to know what you are doing in life – about having a great family in San Diego and more connections than any other woman on LinkedIn. Then after the second presentation I was 100% confident that I could boolean search any skill, experience, or accomplishment on LinkedIn. Needless to say, she was very impressed with my LinkedIn URL:



In addition to wearing a scarf and concluding SocialHRCamp by tweeting Dr. Seuss truthisms (“Don’t cry because it’s over, laugh because it happened!”), Rob Garcia, Product Strategy & Marketing Director at, gave presentations on “Future of HR Trends that Impact Your Role in HR” and “Social HR Tech – Who’s Who in the Zoo.” I recommend thumbing through both presentations for a taste of how vast the impact of social media is upon the world of work:



twitterJessica Miller Merrell and Rayanne Thorn, EvenBase VP of Communications, ran an “Advanced Twitter for HR” session that touched on everything from automated tweets to brand development to what the sh*t is Twitter. They used no slides. It was refreshing. To learn more about Jessica’s Twitter advice, check out: Twitter for Recruiting, How to Evaluate a Twitter Profile, or How to Recruit on Twitter with Hashtags.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter! With these tweets, HR mustn’t forget about Facebook! Ben Klafter, Director at SmartRecruiters, explained “How Your Facebook Employer Brand Can Lead to Hires.” People want to work for brands they like. And where do people like brands? Facebook! Faceboook is a great way to turn brand fans into hires.


SocialHR Camp

I wasn’t able to attend “Personal Branding for Workplace Leaders” by Salima Nathoo & Jocelyn Aucoin, the Community Manager at WorkSimple, but social media reported that it challenged the very nature of employee brand and existentialism:


Employee Brand


“Internal Social Media” by Meena Sandhu, Marketing Manager at ING DIRECT, emphasized, “Your external brand is only as strong as your internal brand.” Along the lines of social networks changing the way we collaborate, Charlie Nelson, Director at SmartRecruiters, lead a discussion on “The Importance of a Collaborative Hiring Process.” 



As Steve Jobs said, “You need to have a collaborative hiring process.” SmartRecruiters’ HireLoop gives employers real time updates on their recruiting activities to increase engagement in hiring and fit of hires. Below is how this social network style feed can organize hiring decisions as important as President of the United States:


Collaborative Hiring

Mark Babbitt, CEO of YouTern, tackled age and workplace in “Breaking Generational Stereotypes: A Focus on Strengths, Commonalities, and Mission.” The core of the conversation was evaluating the skills we have traditionally thought we need to hire young talent versus valuing the skills that will actually indicate successful hires of young professionals. To learn more about Mark’s point of view, read “Identifying the 10 Soft Skills of a Great Intern.”




Sean Sheppard, VP of TalentCircles, presented “Leveraging Existing Assets to Build a Live Talent Network.” The weight he places on “network ownership” is the all the more intriguing with Facebook’s ongoing terms & conditions “updates.” To learn more about bringing your existing talent pool back to life, check out the slides:


Unfortunately, I missed the sessions of “The Future of Social Employee Recognition” by Rob Catalano, Sr. Director of Marking at Achievers, and “Using Video to Make Your Talent Acquisition Job Awesome” by Imo Udom.  This is a shame because I could write a book on the social aspects involved in garnering recognition for your work, and Imo is a sharp entrepreneur in a space I believe will grow tremendously, video interviewing.

Ana Lucia Novak, the Social Media Architect, presented last, “Architecting a Solid Social Media Foundation.” She did a complete rundown of every tool in the social media toolkit. I don’t want to name names or talk in hyperbole, but Ana Lucia Novak knows every social plugin for every social network.

It was a real pleasure to introduce these kickass HR thought leaders to the SmartRecruiters office. Thank you all for making SocialHRCamp an embodiment of how talent and talent acquisition is more productive when socializing. Until next time, see you on The Twitter!




David Smooke

David Smooke was the Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at SmartRecruiters and is the Founder of ArtMap Inc & AMI Publications.