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Top 5 Sessions from DisruptHR Boston 1.0 & 2.0


DisruptHR 3.0 is coming to Boston Thursday, September 20!


Talent Retriever is partnering with DisruptHR for an evening of spirited, focused presentations by Boston's top HR and recruiting professionals who will share their disruptive ideas on how to move our collective thinking forward when it comes to talent. ."


The event runs from 6:30 - 9:30 PM and will be held at Turbonomic headquarters. 


This year's speakers include a medley of Boston's top HR and recruiting professionals. Here's the list of speakers and information for attending the event. 


Disrupt takes the brilliance of TED Talks, adds a pinch of energy from Ignite events, finishes it with a dash of "talent." Each speaker is given 5-7 minutes to blow your mind on topics relevant to the human experience in the workplace!


The information shared at these events is can't miss for all HR and recruiting professionals. Take a look back at some of the key takeaways from the speakers in past years from DisruptHR Boston 1.0 and 2.0. Here is a summary of their awesome presentations!

Ed Nathanson

Founder, Red Pill Talent


"Investing in learning and development can be your secret weapon.”


We need to think about our internal people first, before we think about external candidates. The war for talent is over – we (employers) lost, they (employees) won. We must accept the fact we live in a “gig economy” and employees have more power than ever before – when it comes to their jobs they act as consumers.


The adage that people leave companies because they are “quitting their managers” is false. People leave for better opportunities, promotions, money and for their careers. Employees are not signing up for the company dream. They’re signing up for their dream.


However, “Investing in learning and development can be your secret weapon.” But that requires you having to shift your thinking about training in that it’s not about your company and it should not be a mandate. It's about your employee. 


6 Steps of what to do.

  1. Ask – don’t tell: What do you want to be - what do aspire to do?
  2. Foster their aspirations
  3. Look internal before external: Even if they don't get the job, the message it sends to the rest of the company is powerful. 
  4. Hire for roles with learning as part of the process: Even when looking externally - you don't have to hire people top of market if they are being hired with the expectations of training.  
  5. Highlight successes and nontraditional changes: Talk about the promotions. 
  6. Make it as part of their job instead of on top of their job:  Do not mandate someone to learn after hours, do it on the company's time. 


Camille Preston

Founder, AIM Leadership

camille preston

“Engagement isn’t about perks. It’s about being in flow.”


There are 2 problems with the way we tackle employee engagement.

  1. It becomes the responsibility of corporate leadership - and when the metrics don’t come back in a positive way, it’s typically the leaders who are most concerned about it.
  2. Engagement is “done” to employees. Leaders come up with strategies and programs to get people engaged and they feel like automatons – but they’re not getting to the root of the issue.

The key to engagement and reaching peak performance is being in “Flow.” When you are in flow you are up to 5x as productive and 7x as creative. When you’re in “Flow” you feel more present, mindful, you feel engaged and you are making an impact. 15-20% more time in flow = 100% productivity gain.


The answer to better employee engagement is not ordering pizza – it’s getting people in the driver’s seat where they feel they are performing their best.


You need to determine - how well your talent is able to adjust and are they are able to tackle the tasks at hand. Are they self-aware? Do they know how to ask for the ideal environment to set themselves up for success?


Start to measure the agility of your organization. If you look at recruiting – do you have the ability to adapt and respond so that you have people that can adapt. Once you start doing this, it changes the game for managers – but they have to know their employees.


Bernd Leger

CMO, Checkmarx


bernd leger

“Take your talent brand to the next level with humor and heart.”


Trying to find recruiters who think like marketers are like finding unicorns. There are old school recruiters who don’t know where to get started and how to get marketing engaged, they don’t know how to get the resources that they need. Then there are those who know that you have to stand out to be effective.


Every company has something unique. Talk to your employees to figure out what makes them tick and why they want to work in your organization.


The things that create the most buzz are humor and heart.


When we started marketing campaigns within recruiting, it drove 10x more applicants in 6 months and created 5x more hires.


Amy Parker

Sr. Director, Global Talent, Acquia

amy parker

“Potential triumphs over brains”


When you write your job description – do you write them thinking about where you need to go in the next 6, 10, 12 years? We push kids by telling them to dream and to think about the future. Not putting any boundaries on what they want. Why don’t we do that with our employees? Why do we let the bottom line drive what is important to us? Potential is the ability to adapt to an ever-ever changing business environment and grow into challenging new roles. The role that you’re hiring for is going to change in a year.


5 key measures that make up potential:

  • Motivation: From selfless perspective – people with high potential are going to be looking at how to impact the company and others in the company. They care about their own interests, but they also have a collective care for others.
  • Curiosity: Being insistent on finding things out. Curious people that want to solve big problems.
  • Insight: Ability to look at data and find insights that will drive the future forward. Not just enough to look at what the problem is - but also looking at the data to solve that problem. 
  • Engagement: Being all in. thinking differently - being able to connect with people with a rational and emotional side. 
  • Determination: Someone that is going to finish


Ask your people what they want to do and put them in uncomfortable positions, it’s going to allow you to look at what they’re able to do, what they want to do and where they can go in the future.


Chip Luman

Co-Founder, COO, Hirevue 

chip luman"Build out high performance teams with these 5 leadership principles" 


Be authentic

As a leader, be the real you when you show up to work every day. When things get tough, the real leader shows up and they’re exposed. When it doesn’t match the image that’s been given to employees, it creates culture and trust issues.  


Question authority

Not just those being a Devil’s advocate that ask opposing questions. It's about have a point of view. Share your opinion - be willing to debate it, defend it but also be willing to change.


Shake up the status quo

During orientation with new employees – give them the mic. Ask them after 2 weeks of being here – what’s wrong with the company? We hired you for a reason – we trust your opinion. We want you step outside what you think might be your boundaries.


Do it yourself

As a leader you can’t do things that you haven’t done things you haven’t done or aren’t willing to do. Even if you aren’t the one down in the trenches – being there and supporting team during times of hitting goals hard, builds trust to be there together. When everyone is willing to it together, they all feel they have an equal share in success.  


Build a community

Diversity is more than nationality. You want people from different backgrounds and different skills sets. Those that came from big schools, small schools those that are introverts, extroverts, process people, creative people, technical talent, etc. Have different points of view to get things done. 

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