#truBerlin 2017 - a WorkShape.io review

Last week was actioned packed for the WorkShape crew, as went to our second recruiting event in 24 hours - #truBerlin2017, the worlds most successful recruitment unconference series. Hosted by Zalando in their amazing offices in East Berlin we gathered together with in-house recruiters from Amazon, IKEA and many other great companies from all other Germany.

The Venue

Zalando are perhaps Europe's biggest story in recruiting right now. A huge e-commerce brand in continental Europe, they are hiring thousands of new employees in 2017, including hundreds in the software engineering teams. And now they have the office to do it in, a spanking new venue on east side of Berlin which houses over 1000 people with space for 1000 more. With plenty of open spaces for group conversations, it was the perfect environment for the managed chaos of unconferences!
The venue

The Event

The first thing to notice is what is not there - no presentations, no product pitches, no vendor booths or booth babes (unless you count Tanc). #tru events are unconferences, a format designed to amplify audience participation and focus on conversation. It works by running simultaneous sessions or tracks throughout the day, each on a topic of interest to the audience. Track leaders start the conversation but don't dominate the dialogue - their role is to facilitate the discussion, with the premise that the brightest people in the room are often those who are not speaking.

The event

Track topics over the day included candidate experience, sourcing hacks, bots & recruitment and the possible impacts of Brexit ๐Ÿ™ƒ. With insights coming from people involved in all areas of HR (and some secret candidates) the discussions were exceptional.

Photos of the event and venue

Some Choice Tracks

AI & ChatBots

Anna Ott (yes, of HR Tech Berlin and hub:raum fame!) and Luc Dudler of JobPal, led the track on the hot topic in recruiting these days - AI & Chatbots helping in recruiting. The conversation seemed to suggest that we are maturing our understanding of what chatbots can do, with a few key learnings drawn from Anna's previous thoughts on the topic.

AI & Chatbots track

Sourcing Hacks

Some tracks have become famous across multiple #tru events. Hung Lee's Sourcing Hacks is a crowdsourced track began as a filler in India when an expected track leader did not show, and it has now become a must attend event at #tru. The concept is simple - Hung says nothing - and everyone else has to carry the conversation by contributing a single, implementable sourcing hack in turn. This is something that they know but suspect others may not. And it needs to be implementable immediately so everyone can improve as a recruiter tomorrow. Well done to Berlin in coming up with 21 tips which we can all immediately use!

Sourcing Hacks track

Developers with no borders

Workshape.io's Tanc Trugenberger took the lead in one of the most popular tracks of the day - the unique draw likely being the fact that it was a developer talking about modern practices and the future of work, along with decentralisation, remote work and distributed teams and the most recent drawbacks in the political scene that seem to be pushing us back towards a world that enforces restrictions over free movement of labour.

Devs with no borderz track

International Recruiting

Andrei Stetsenko has made his recruiting career in moving talent from one country to another. His Relocate.me service is a fantastic targeted job board which focuses on the international nature of tech hiring, giving the ability of employers and developers alike to source / apply from specific territories.

International Recruiting track

Trump, Brexit & All That

Bill Boorman lead the stage in what is perhaps the prevailing topic of the day - the rise of protectionism and nationalism.

Thankfully the conversation moved from Brexit swiftly and focused on how the job market may react to the anti-globalisation wave. The negatives certainly outweighed the positives during the discussion but the fact there were positives was heartening.

Trump & Brexit track

Hiring from Events

James Mayes of ProductTank fame led the track on how we can change the recruiting funnel to the recruiting net. The main value of events based recruiting is the possibility of creating natural conversation environments where both sides can get to know each other without the artifice of interviewing and assessment.

Hiring from Events track

Candidate Experience

Wolfgang Brickwedde started his track with general questions regarding the measurement of candidate experience. The majority of the track then focused on how useful surveys can be and how companies create value from them.

Inevitably, a huge number of companies were producing valuable data from the surveys but not actually utilising it. Wolfgang proceeded to introduce the Candidate Experience awards (focused on Berlin) as a way of convincing companies use their data well.

Candidate Experience track

Wrap up

With the addition of a free lunch the event rushed by with very few people feeling the 7 hours. Overall the Workshape.io team thoroughly enjoyed themselves and left Berlin with wonderful memories. We're definitely going to be back for #truBerlin2018.

Special thanks due to the superb Zalando team who shepherded the 100+ attendees with great courtesy throughout the event, especially co-organisers Joseph de Garr Wilkinson and Matthias Schmeisser whose enthusiasm and energy was an inspiration throughout the day - thanks guys!

Of course, our support of the #truTrain does not end in Berlin. On March 20th, we're seeing the return to The Kings Head for the perhaps the craziest event of them all - #TruLondon2017.

Registrations now open! WorkShape will be there - will you be?

Some of the companies that took part