By Kristin Hughes
Senior Technical Recruiter

I have been attending TalentNet since the very first conference in 2009, which was held at PepsiCo’s headquarters in Plano. We were talking all about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, why we should be on Twitter and in general how to use social media for recruiting! It’s amazing how things have shifted and evolved in my 11 years in recruiting. And I will say I have been to almost every single TalentNet that has been held here in Dallas (and one in Austin!) – SO, if anyone can give you the value add…. It’s me!

Dallas This past Friday, Nov. 2 at the Tower Club in downtown Dallas marked the 9th year Dallas has hosted TalentNet is a local conference (it was held this year at the Tower Club in downtown Dallas) and is one of the TOP HR and recruiting conferences in the Southwest. It’s put on by a guy most of you may know, Craig Fisher, and offers discussions, tips/tricks, trials/errors and stories from real recruiters.

Why should you attend?

Are you an HR, talent acquisition or recruiting professional? Then why shouldn’t you attend? This is a full day where you can share ideas with your recruiting peers, talk about challenges, what works and doesn’t work, and network with some of the best in the industry. This year offered panel discussions on Artificial Intelligence, Employment Branding and the Battle for Talent (that we are all experiencing).

Who was there?

Craig Fisher is the founder of TalentNet and always the emcee of the event. Craig is with Allegis and handles recruitment marketing and global employment branding. This year, there were TA professionals from companies like American Airlines, Toyota, Whole Foods and Gamestop, as well as agency and consulting partners like Improving Enterprises and Odyssey Information Services (duh!) Click here for the full agenda so you can see what you missed.

Oh…and there was even a sing-a-long at one point courtesy of Andres (Whole Foods).

What were some memorable moments?

I like to hear how other companies are doing things. It always inspires me to think differently about how I attract tech talent. Some of the “cool tools” and tricks that I will be using are:

  • LinkedIn “Nearby” – Think about if you are at a conference or event…. You are wondering who else is at this event with you… do you know any of them? How can you find out or meet more people quickly? If you open your LI app on your phone, click on the “connections” button (second button on the bottom bar), then you will see a button at the top that says “Nearby.” Click the button and it will show you anyone near you that you can connect with. This is SO useful and makes it easy to continue your connection after you each go your separate ways!
  • Trello – This is a free tool that can be used for anything really, but some consulting companies are using it for client interaction and following a candidate from being subbed, through interviews, offers, etc. It’s kind of like recruiting Agile style.
  • – If you have PDF files or lists of attendees or members of a group, this site will convert it to an Excel file easily. Then you can upload 500 at a time into Seekout (another great tool), which will create a profile for each person!
  • – This is also a cool one that I’ll be trying out, but use wisely – it’s a bot creating LI invites for you. So this is really only valuable if it’s targeted. I’ll be using it soon for Cybersecurity Conference invites. I’ll let you know how it goes!
  • One Tab – This is a Chrome extension that tracks your tabs and organizes them down into one place (also saving 95% memory). If you are like me, then you have about 175 tabs open at any given time. OK, maybe it’s more like 25,  but still that’s a lot!
  • OR Calendly – FREE calendar booking tools
  • Yesware and Bananatag – FREE (up to a certain point) – email tracking!
  • iPhone VIP – Expecting an important email? Set up your hiring manager or candidate as a VIP in your iPhone and you can customize alerts, sounds, etc., so you know when they respond.

Network, Network, Network!

YES! Just being in and around other recruiting professionals really makes it worthwhile. The networking alone is worth the price of a ticket. I would encourage everyone to make the haul to Austin in March 2019 for the next TalentNet! In the meantime, stay active in the community. Attend DFWTRN meetings (held first Wednesday of every month), get hooked up with the SourceCon community and the DFW Chapter (meeting currently once a quarter), and follow industry greats, such Craig Fisher (aforementioned FOUNDER of TalentNet), Jim Schnyder and Cyndy Davis (SourceCon GrandMasters), Shannon Pritchett (SourceCon Editor), and so many more!


Kristin Hughes is a Senior Technical Recruiter at Odyssey Information Services. You can reach her at