Forward together: Highlights from Engage Sydney 2024

Forward Together at Engage Sydney 2024

At Engage Sydney 2024, over 380 recruitment professionals from across the APAC region gathered at the historic Royal Randwick Racecourse for a full day of discussing industry trends, networking with their peers, and learning how the recruitment industry can move forward together in 2024 and beyond.

From exciting and engaging keynote speakers to informative breakout sessions, Engage attendees walked away inspired to transform the way they work with candidates and clients by leveraging new technologies and best practices.

Read on for a recap of the jam-packed day, starting with a keynote address delivered by Bullhorn’s Senior Vice President of Product Marketing, Jeff Neumann, and Nathan Green, Senior Solution Consultant, and concluding with an inspirational speech from Nedd Brockmann.

Leveraging smart solutions to get ahead

In today’s competitive business landscape, winning new business and attracting top talent are critical goals for companies looking to thrive. Smart solutions, including artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative approaches, have emerged as key drivers of success.

In his keynote, Jeff introduced three types of AI and emphasised the importance of using AI to gain a competitive edge in winning new business. Bullhorn is approaching AI in three different ways:

  • Generative AI will help recruiters write content and messages more efficiently and effectively.
  • Source and match AI will help recruiters and sales teams find the best candidates and successfully match them to the right jobs.
  • Directive AI will help recruitment professionals identify the most appropriate next step in their work, informed by past successful outcomes.

Jeff asked the audience, “How can we help you make all of your people more productive and efficient in doing the things that they have to do on a day-to-day basis?” The answer: unleashing the power of AI to your teams at specific stages in the recruitment process.

Jeff highlighted the role of technology in meeting candidates where they are. In the most recent GRID 2023 Talent Trends Report, we found that all four generations currently in the workforce prefer to be communicated with via email. Not only is the method of communication important, but so is the frequency. “When an agency reached out more than once a week, satisfaction jumped through the roof and was at 84%. That’s incredible,” explained Jeff. “So when you’re thinking about how to build a reputation and focus on your brand equity and strength, think about the generational differences, the communication preferences, and understanding where they are in the lifecycle. And the only way to do this effectively is going to be with technology.”

Jeff went on to discuss three key market trends in the industry right now: going back to basics, winning new business, and calibrating teams and systems. Jeff closed out his speech with an open question, “How can you leverage technology in a new way in order to drive a better outcome?”

Looking to the future of recruitment technology

Nathan Green, Senior Solution Consultant at Bullhorn, took the stage to showcase solutions to answer Jeff’s question and show real examples of how Bullhorn solutions can help recruitment agenciesnavigate this competitive market.

The future of recruitment AI includes more than just personalising outreach efforts and can extend into analysing market trends and identifying potential clients. “Getting back to the basics means looking inward at your business, thinking about where you are, where you want to get to, and how you can actually get there.” One way to do this is through Directive AI, which is something Bullhorn is working on developing.

Nathan also explained how AI can also enhance the efficiency of lead generation efforts. By analysing data from various sources, AI can identify potential leads and prioritise them based on their likelihood to convert. This targeted approach not only increases the chances of success but also saves time and resources.

On the talent front, Nathan stressed the importance of using innovative solutions to attract top talent. He highlighted the role of AI in streamlining the recruitment process, from screening resumes to conducting interviews and emphasised the value of using AI in creating a positive candidate experience.

While AI is a powerful tool, both Jeff and Nathan discussed the importance of embracing innovation beyond AI. Jeff highlighted the value of adopting a growth mindset and constantly seeking out new ways to improve business processes. And encouraged businesses to embrace innovation in all aspects of their operations.

Doubling down on resilience in a competitive market

One topic that deeply resonated with this year’s Engage Sydney attendees was the idea of personal resilience and using resilience as a differentiator in the recruitment space.

Matt Hughes, Principal from Ripen, discussed the importance of personal resilience as it relates to creating strong teams and a positive work environment.

So what is resilience? “Resilience is not about enduring more and more stress. Chronic stress leads to exhaustion, which leads to burnout. Resilience is not about working 100% of the time,” Matt explained. “Resilience is actually about moving ourselves forward. It’s about having a healthy set of abilities that enable us to get the job done and become a better version of ourselves in the process. The better definition for resilience is that it’s a set of abilities that enable good outcomes despite serious threats. ”

Matt continued, “Most of what makes us resilient in work and life is learning skills, tools and habits that shape our perspective, our behaviours and our outcomes.”

External keynote speaker Nedd Brockmann closed out the day with an inspirational talk about how he leveraged his own resilience on his journey to run across Australia.
Nedd ran across Australia raising money for homeless charity, completing the run from Perth to Bondi Beach in just over 46 days—an incredible effort averaging over 80km a day for the nearly 4,000km run.

Nedd’s shared his personal mantra with the audience: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” He explained that has adopted a philosophy about finding purpose in everything you do, no matter the obstacles and provided advice for attendees to take with them: live every day to the fullest, give back with no expectation of return, and get out of your comfort zone.

So, how does the idea of resilience and overcoming obstacles connect to the recruitment industry? Recruiters with strong resilience are well-equipped to navigate uncertainties and bounce back from setbacks like losing out on a key placement or facing client pushback. They can adjust their strategies in response to shifting market demands or new regulations, enabling them to maintain a positive and proactive approach, even in challenging situations. And in turn, resilient recruiters can attract candidates who exhibit similar resilience. Candidates who can overcome obstacles, learn from rejections, and keep pushing for their career goals are highly sought after.


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