Build a Recruiting Roundtable to Keep Creativity in Hiring

In the fine line of collaboration and competition, as practitioners we should look deeper to our end goal. When I pass candidate referrals to other organizations, I always use the same language “It’s not always about us, it’s about the candidate and what’s best for them”.

Build a Recruiting Roundtable to Keep Creativity in Hiring

I recently became reengaged with a group in the Milwaukee area, Milwaukee’s Recruiter Roundtable. This group meets once a month to share best practices, with an end goal of helping each other recruit and keep the best talent in Milwaukee. Obviously, we are not sharing propriety information but, ideas, tips and language. In fact, this last session I picked up the term “rising sophomore, rising junior”. “Rising”, meaning an intern was going into their sophomore year. I now use this term daily.

OK, sounds like a great idea right? Where do you start?

Start with your current network – I am sure you know people at other organization in a similar position, start there. Reach out to them and gage interest. Be sure to have a plan, this plan should include a topic, agenda, location & date.

Encourage other to share the invite – Once you have peeps from your network excited, encourage them to share the email invite (this was the calendar invite you followed up with after you gained interest from your network, you had a plan, this was the follow up of the plan). Ask participants to accept the invite if they are attending, this will give you a number to work with for conference room space and or refreshments.

Plan Ahead – Did I mention you should plan ahead? I love to wing it, unscripted, it’s a rush right? Ok, don’t do that here… everyone’s time is valuable, plan ahead this will set the stage that your session/group is worthwhile and value added.

Topic Selection – Like you, many of the others in the room may have the same hurdles or questions. Chose a topic you have personal interest in learning what others are doing but also have something to contribute. #topicsuggestions, campus sponsorships, career fairs – what are the best in our area?, Tough area? Where do you find candidates?

Keep it lively, on topic – I treat our roundtable sessions as I do any seminar I go to. I get to visit a new building or location, more often than not. I take notes, I also carry 3 different notebooks on different topics but, that is for another blog post. In this case, I take notes in my notes/ideas notebook. I reflect and chose at least 2 takeaways I can work on TODAY.

Consistency – Most groups don’t meet during the holidays however, be consistent every month, and have a meeting every month. Just like a restaurant or retail space, be open when you say you will be.

Building this type of group won’t happen overnight, I think of it as activity on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is daily, -weekly activity to build a presence, view this group in the same light, it will take some time! Good Luck!

When will your next round table be? 

Jen Ray Fun Fact: – My best friend is my little sister, I call her grasshopper. We are family, she can’t get rid of me!

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Jen Ray, PHR

Jen Ray, PHR is professional relationship builder by day, general contractor by night. Her experiences come from the retail, financial services and banking industries. Outside of the office, you will find Jen remolding her home in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Connect with Jen.


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