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DEAMcon24 Recruit Rooster attendee experience New Orleans, renowned for its vibrant culture, rich history, and culinary delights, is one of my favorite travel destinations, so I was delighted to hear that I would be attending DEAMcon24 in The Big Easy. As a first-time attendee, the event promised to elevate my knowledge about HR practices and recruitment innovation, while providing the perfect setting for networking and spending quality time with coworkers.

What is DEAMcon?

DEAMcon is a 2.5 day HR industry conference led by DirectEmployers Association. The sessions throughout the conference are designed to help professionals grow their knowledge and experience in the many functions of HR — from OFCCP compliance and recruitment marketing to accessibility and efforts to amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion. Previous conference locations have included Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Washington D.C., Denver, and Las Vegas.

My First-Time Attendee Experience at DEAMcon24

As I stepped into the Intercontinental Hotel and conference center which served as the location for DEAMcon24, a sense of anticipation mingled with a hint of nervousness. To be honest, being a first-time attendee felt both exciting and daunting. But as things started rolling on the first day of the conference, any apprehension quickly dissipated as I was greeted by the friendly DirectEmployers team and the warm smiles from all the HR pros in attendance.

The Executive Director of DirectEmployers, Candee Chambers, took to the stage to kick things off and set the tone for the days ahead. After that, renowned thought leaders in the industry delved into the evolving landscape of HR, emphasizing the importance of adaptability in the face of technological advancements and changing workforce demographics and psychographics. Some of their words resonated deeply, some flew over my head, but all ignited a spark of curiosity in me to explore the innovative solutions and ideas discussed throughout the event.

One of the highlights of DEAMcon24 was the diverse range of sessions and workshops tailored to address the multifaceted challenges facing HR professionals today. From discussions on leveraging data analytics for talent acquisition to workshops on fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, each session provided invaluable insights that would help me in my role as being a provider of recruitment marketing technology and solutions.

Presentation Highlights at DEAMcon24

Navigating Veteran Recruitment & Retention

One of our clients, United Rentals, delivered a presentation about building a military-friendly workforce. Kelly French, Marine Veteran and Veteran Talent Acquisition Program Manager at United Rentals, spoke about the veteran-focused recruitment initiatives, training opportunities, and ERG at his company. Their military recruitment efforts extend to their website, built by Recruit Rooster, that includes a page dedicated to military recruitment, a military occupation skills translator, and the ability to search for jobs based on military base location. He also showed off veteran employee testimonials that his team recently recorded using Recruit Rooster’s product, Talent Attract Video. The videos are used on their site, social media, and recruitment campaigns.

Kelly French from United Rentals presents at DEAMcon24 in New Orleans

Recruit Rooster’s Inaugural Sunrise Award

Near the close of the 1st days presentations, our CEO, Heather Hoffman, stepped onstage to deliver Recruit Rooster’s first-ever Sunrise Award to a deserving client of ours, Gentiva. The award recognized Gentiva’s outstanding efforts in the field of recruitment marketing. Heather noted that Gentiva is the first client to utilize all lines of Recruit Rooster’s products and services while welcoming Paul White, Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition, to the stage to accept the award. Stacy Sanchez, the VP of Talent Acquisition, was also a recipient of the award.

Heather Hoffman from Recruit Rooster presents the inaugural Sunrise Award to Paul White from Gentiva

Striking the Right Chord in Recruitment: How Employers Can Build Talent Pipelines & Engage Top Candidates

Recruit Rooster’s very own Elliott Obermaier and Tyler Poling delivered an exciting presentation about using technology to orchestrate personalized experiences during the recruitment process. Elliott opened the presentation to the surprise of attendees by playing a slick blues rock guitar riff. After waking up the crowd, he was able to relay his experiences as a professional musician and relate them to connecting with job seekers. He provided the example of how Spotify, a music streaming giant, curates playlists tailored to individuals based on meticulous data analysis. Tyler revealed how the same data-driven principles could be applied to recruitment marketing. Together, they explained how Recruit Rooster’s Talent Engage software can be used to collect candidate data and deliver personalized job seeker experiences.

DEAMcon24 New Orleans, Tyler Poling and Elliott Obermaier from Recruit Rooster presenting on stage

Networking and Engagement

The opportunity to engage with industry experts and fellow attendees during the networking breaks proved to be equally enriching. Exchanging ideas, sharing success stories, and forging meaningful connections with like-minded individuals underscored the collaborative spirit of the conference. As an underwriter, Recruit Rooster, had a booth in the demo hall, and it was a pleasure to speak with attendees about our recruitment marketing products, Talent Attract and Talent Engage, as well as our career sites and creative services. Amidst the whirlwind of presentations and networking opportunities, we found moments to explore the vibrant city of New Orleans. Recruit Rooster hosted an evening event and dinner at the National WWII Museum. The US Freedom Pavilion/Boeing Center has WWII aircraft suspended from the ceiling and various tanks, trucks, and jeeps on the floor which provided an amazing backdrop while hosting our party. In addition, we were able to explore the French Quarter and Jackson Square, enjoy the cuisine from several local restaurants, and take a stroll down Bourbon Street. Every moment added a layer of richness to my DEAMcon experience.

DEAMcon24 New Orleans, Nathan Zarse

A Journey of Growth and Inspiration at DEAMcon24

As DEAMcon24 drew to a close, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the amazing experience that it offered. The team at DirectEmployers Association really knows how to put on a great event — with unique food offerings, fun activities, evening events, excellent speakers, and plenty of networking opportunities. The conference helped equip me with practical knowledge and tools to enhance my role and bring positive change to my organization. As I bid farewell to New Orleans, I started to eagerly anticipate the opportunity for continued learning and growth at future events.

I hear planning for DEAMcon25 is underway and will be held in Scottsdale, AZ. I’ll be staying tuned for updates and developments. Maybe I’ll see you there next year!

Before you go, check out this amazing DEAMcon24 recap video that my teammates Jordan and Sierra put together for DirectEmployers.

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