Date: 17 August 2018 ISV were fortunate enough to attend TREC 2017, the REC’s recent flagship conference. It was the hottest ticket in town and not just because the 2017 heatwave blessed London with scorching temperatures of 34 degrees. Senior HR and Recruitment professionals headed to the Grange Hotel, Tower Bridge for the Talent, Recruitment and Employment Conference (and made the most of the air conditioning).The theme for this year’s TREC was Attract, Recruit and Retain. As such, the agenda was fit to burst with engaging speakers including the likes of Technologist Dave Coplin and award-winning Times’ journalist Matthew Syed. Here are the 'top talking points' from #TREC2017 The Cost of a Bad Hire. Kevin Green, CEO of the REC, kicked off the day launching their latest report, Perfect Match. It delves into making the right hire and the cost of getting it wrong. 85% of HR decision makers surveyed admit that their business has made a bad hire. The feeling in the room was that this figure is much higher. Haven’t we all made a bad recruitment choice at least once in our career? The full report gives much more detail including tips and tools on how you can get hiring right, more often. This includes introducing candidate testing, something we bang the drum about a lot here at ISV. Flexible working was another hot topic. More workers have flexible arrangements with their current employer. When they look for a new role, they want to take these flexible arrangements with them. We all want balance, whatever that might look like and regardless of generation or circumstance. Why aren’t we talking about this and offering it more – it opens the door for a more flexible, diverse and inclusive workforce! I have no idea how to describe Dave Coplin. His twitter bio says Technology Alchemist, amongst other things, so we’ll go with that. Dave’s keynote speech ‘Rise of the Humans’ was energetic, funny and full of passion. He asked, ‘Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over the world? Will we as recruiters and people-people be redundant?’ Thankfully it was a resounding no. Algorithms and AI cannot and will not give transformational experiences. Whilst many tasks can be automated, 3 major human skills cannot be replicated by machines. Empathy, Creativity and Accountability. Stick these on a post-it note today and model all 3 (just to make sure you are indeed, invaluable). Award winning journalist and former Olympian Matthew Syed was next up. He is an expert on the science of high performance and also known as the Ping-Pong guy! The best example Matthew shared was around how breaking down a process into all its component parts, then improving each part by just 1% makes a transformational difference. Add all those parts and 1% improvements back together and you have a high performing process. We also heard how bathroom breaks are frowned upon when you’re in the Tour de France support team! To round off TREC, there was a panel discussion considered Emerging Talent. It was so refreshing to hear the likes of EY and CapGemini talk about removing academic filters on their intern programmes. No longer do candidates have to be Oxbridge material or from a top ten University. A great angle of discussion asked whether candidates should now be more street smart than book smart. Charlotte Johns, Head of Recruitment for TfL, talked about how their apprenticeships offer different entry levels, opening the door to more of London’s workforce and creating more opportunities for them. TREC2017 was full of engaging and thought-provoking content. We left hot under the collar and fired up with new ideas… only to melt when we emerged into the sizzling street above. A day or so later, cooled and composed, it’s time to digest all the information received and make it count!