You may have seen my longer post on specific buzzwords that you are seeing in the space and what they mean.  If not, check out our Buzzword Guide here.

And as an add-on to this series, I also wanted to write a shorter post on one of the most important aspects of evaluating technology especially in the recruitment marketing space.

What we really need to focus on as organizations is about embracing the complexity of the solutions that are available and the problem that you as recruiting organizations are trying solve.

I think we can all agree that finding and recruiting qualified talent is not easy and requires a multi-faceted strategy to be successful.  You can’t just post to job boards, run a web search or set up a mobile application process but need to set up a strategy that utilizes many different channels and ultimately connects these initiatives.

So when you go about talking to providers about their technologies, it’s important to check your checklist mentality at the door (no pun intended) and embrace the gray area that exists with every solution you evaluate.

Tips for Making the Most of the Exhibitor Floor

Here’s my tips for making the most of your time with vendors:

Educate Yourself Beforehand: It’s incredibly important to have a plan when attending a conference.  Not just earmarking the sessions that you want to attend (which is a must) but also determining the vendors that you will want to check out during the event.  Go through the exhibitor list and do a quick run of the websites of every exhibitor.  This will help you narrow down your list and give you at least a basic understanding of their offering.  From this base list, you will ensure that you speak with all of these vendors about their offerings.

This list will also most likely grow as you hear speakers experiences and technologies they are using.


Make Your Own Checklist: Yes, I told you to “check your checklist mentality at the door” earlier but what I was talking about there is a checklist that barely scratches the service of the problems you need solved.  Your checklist shouldn’t read “Career Site”, “Branding”, “Social” and/or “Mobile” and have it end at that.  But it should go deeper into each category.  So for “Mobile” it should focus on all aspects:

  • Does the solution provide a Mobile Career Site experience?
  • Does it enable organizations to capture talent via mobile at events?
  • Can we send SMS communications to candidates?
  • And many more questions on mobile

To start, take a look at your strategy.  Determine the gaps in you have today (not getting enough qualified candidates, our mobile experience is terrible, we don’t have good analytics, etc.) and start forming key questions that you ask solution providers in how they help fill these gaps.

You know your needs better than any vendor and need to work with them to see if their solution is fit for your unique needs.


How do they measure success?  With any technology built to solve a problem, they should have a way to measure success through Analytics.  Recruitment analytics help you improve your process and determine the worth of the investments in time and money you spend on campaigns and initiatives.

Ask how they measure what they do and how these analytics integrate with the analytics you capture in other systems you use including point recruitment marketing solutions and your ATS.


What makes your solution different?:  A simple but great question.  As you walk through any exhibitor hall, you’ll more than likely see solutions that do similar things on the surface with a ton of buzzwords flying around.  But in many cases what’s underneath is wildly different.

This question gets to the heart of it.  And any good technology should be able to answer this in a compelling and meaningful way.


Good Luck

I just want to wish you with luck as you look to improve your strategy and processes over the next few months.  The more effort you put into your evaluation process, the better prepared you’ll be at having meaningful conversations with attendees, speakers and exhibitors at the events you attend.

SmashFly will be exhibiting in Booth #111 at the ERE Spring Conference next week so make sure to add us to your list of companies to see.  And put us through your checklist wringer 🙂

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