Posted April 21, 2016 by

TalentBlend, the only conference to TA program managers, is next week in D.C.

TalentBlend logoTwo of my favorite people in the world of talent acquisition are Kara Yarnot and Moe Hutt of Meritage Talent Solutions. Together they have over 30 years of talent acquisition project and program management experience.

I first became acquainted with the dynamic duo back when they were leading the talent acquisition efforts for the massive, federal government contractor, SAIC. A few years ago they apparently decided that they could no longer fight the entrepreneurial bug and so set off on their own to create Meritage Talent Solutions. One of the first things that organization did was create the TalentBlend conference. Unlike other HR conferences which are either quite general or really just targeted to senior talent acquisition leaders, TalentBlend is targeted to an underserved group of very important people: program managers. These people build, optimize, and innovate talent acquisition programs, systems, tools and practices. 

I had the pleasure of delivering a presentation and attending TalentBlend 2015 and am looking forward to moderating a panel and attending next week’s TalentBlend 2016. As well described on the conference page, TalentBlend has a relaxed, casual vibe that encourages conversation so you’ll feel comfortable learning new things and building relationships with your peers. You’ll meet smart, approachable speakers who are happy to share what they know, whether on the stage or during a coffee break. And you’ll leave armed with practical skills you need –managing change, data analysis and the power of pilot projects – to make a difference in your organization.”

Attendees include HR program managers from Oracle, Illumina, Dell, Appirio, Securities & Exchange Commission, Lockheed Martin, SunTrust Bank, Barry-Wehmiller Design Group, SHRM, Capital One, NVR Inc., Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Amtrak, Frontier Communications, Siemens Government Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Shaw Industries, Northern Virginia Family Service, and more. Presenters and panels will deliver information that you’ll be able to take back to the office to help you manage change, measure program success with data, and the lead project pilots.

The panel that I’m moderating features panelists Alton Fox of Lockheed Martin and Temeka Thompson of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Together, we’re going to discuss whether organizations should hire students and recent graduates solely through on-campus recruitment, solely through off-campus (virtual) channels, or some combination of the two. It is becoming increasingly rare for organizations to hire all of these future leaders through on-campus recruitment but there are still some. If anything, there are now more organizations who have abandoned on-campus recruitment in favor of off-campus channels such as job boards and other interactive media so it will be interesting to hear from the moderators and attendees what they’re seeing within their organizations.

Join me at TalentBlend on Wednesday, April 27th and Thursday, April 28th. Pricing is $1,399 for corporate and $899 for government and non-profit attendees, but enter discount code “spring” when purchasing your ticket and you’ll instantly save 20 percent.

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