#TruLondon 3: Why I’ll Be There

by Etienne Besson on 13 February 2011

in Recruitment,Unconference

Next week I’ll be at TruLondon 3, The Recruiting Unconference about recruiting and social media. So what is a Recruiting Unconference and why am I going?

I attended my first unconference in February 2010 (TruLondon 2). I was so fascinated that I also went to TruManchester in September and joined the HR focused ConnectingHR that took place in London in October.

What Is A Recruiting Unconference

TRU was founded by Bill Boorman (UK) and Geoff Webb (Canada) in 2009. Since then Recruiting Unconferences have taken place in Europe and the US with plans for a TRU in New Zealand this year.

Recruiting Unconferences are based on the unconference principle and the goal is to avoid having one speaker with a few questions at the end.

Instead, there are sessions – called “tracks” – with an expert giving a short introduction on a topic in order to start a discussion. From this point on anything is possible and everybody is encouraged to participate with questions, ideas and opinions.

The topics are based mostly on recruiting and/or social media.

The Rules

There are a few simple rules:

  • No Powerpoint
  • No Dress Code
  • No Name Badges
  • No Pitching
  • No Presentations

Aside from that you can do pretty much whatever you want. For instance, it’s not considered rude if you spontaneously join or leave ongoing tracks. And of course you’re strongly encouraged to participate.

The main goal is to learn and to share ideas. You’re also welcome to disagree and although I experienced a few heated discussions, they always remained polite and respectful.

What’s So Cool About It

A Recruiting Unconference is a truly unique and very intense experience. Actually, I believe that you need to experience it for yourself to fully understand it.

You spend 2 days with up to 100 people in 2-3 conference rooms (plus various pubs at night). You can choose from a vast selection of topics and attend the tracks you’re most interested in.

You also get a ton of new information and ideas. And it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert. I’m always impressed how every question and opinion is respected and taken seriously.

It Doesn’t Matter Who You Are

Another thing I noticed is that there are no groups. At other events you would have the HR people in one corner and the recruiters in another (while the vendors would be outside making phone calls and checking their emails. Or trying to sell you something ;-)).

There’s also no separation between “simple employees” and executives / company owners or between youngsters and veterans. At the TRU’s I attended everybody is engaging with each other regardless of level of expertise, age or career.

Social Media Is Actually Used

You can already follow the #TruLondon hashtag on Twitter and join in the discussion. No matter whether you will be physically attending the event or not.

One thing that always fascinates me is how many people use their mobile phones at TRU events, yet only very few make phone calls.

Just before the event there will also be a lot of Tweets like “On my way to #TruLondon. Can’t wait to get there!” or “What’s the address for #TruLondon again?” followed by a reply with a Foursquare link.

It’s also not uncommon that’s somebody says: “Hey, here’s a question from somebody following our track on Twitter.” Of course followed by a reply with the result of the ensuing exchange.

Why I Shouldn’t Go To Recruiting Unconferences

  • I’m not a recruiter
  • I’m not using social media professionally
  • I’m not good at networking and prefer one-on-one conversations rather than events with dozens of people


Why I Still Go

  • Recruiting has always been an important part of my professional activities
  • I love the Internet and social media
  • HR Professionals have always been welcome at TRU events
  • The most important thing is to participate in the discussion and nobody really cares about your CV or your business card

And my absolute number 1 reason why I love TRU events: it’s the one place where I can meet people who share my passion for HR/Recruiting and Internet/Social Media!

TRU Events Are Perfect For HR Professionals

Recruiting Unconferences are actually the perfect event for HR Professionals (i.e. introverts who don’t like mass events) and are interested in social media.

They’re relatively small events in a casual setting where you get to talk to many people who share your interests and actually want to hear what you have to say.

More Info About TruLondon And TRU Events

Bill Boorman’s Recruiting Unblog is where you will find the latest information about TRU Events, but it’s also an incredible resource for everything regarding recruiting and social media.

It looks like there are still a few tickets available on Eventbrite (attendance limited to 100 participants).

Even If You Can’t (Physically) Attend TruLondon…

The discussion has already started. You can use the #TruLondon hashtag on Twitter to follow and join the discussion.

After TruLondon: TruStockholm!

The first TRU Event in Sweden will take place from 9 to 10 March 2011 in Stockholm!

See you in London and/or on Twitter!

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