„I hope, I’ll get all of you confused“ – Bill Boorman im Interview mit Wolfgang Brickwedde (ICR)

Bill Boorman

Fast jeder, der Bill Boorman zum ersten Mal begegnet, ist überrascht: Ein jovialer, charismatischer Engländer, der allein schon mit seinem Erscheinungsbild sich in kein Klischee pressen lässt – und der in sekundenschnelle einen persönlichen Touch in die Begegnung bringt. Anzugträger – Fehlanzeige, Hutträger – aber immer, Visitenkarte – überflüssig, es gibt doch Google.

Und wenn Bill Boorman mit seinem Vortrag beginnt, sind die Zuhörer schon von der ersten Silbe an gebannt. Sein Auftreten entspricht keiner Personaler-Konvention, seine Thesen und Argumente genau so wenig. So ist Spannung und Unterhaltung garantiert – aber auch Reflektionen über Boormans Argumente sind notwendig.

Wolfgang Brickwedde, Institute for Competitive Recruiting

Wolfgang Brickwedde, Director des Institus for Competitive Recruiting (ICR) in Heidelberg, hat sich mit Bill Boorman unterhalten. Hier ist das Interview.

Bill Boorman, the founder of the #tru events (the recruiting unconference), and described as „explosive chaos“ and the “King of Social Recruiting“ is finally coming to Germany with the first  #truDüsseldorf on July 8th 2013.

The ICR is happy to get some insights in this new style of recruiting conference and some answers on the questions, what people can expect and wether this conference fits within the German ecosystem. Here we go:


„A #tru recruiting unconference is half best practice, part test practice“


ICR: Hi Bill, thanks for sharing your insights on this, for Germany new, “unconference-style” event. Although we enjoyed already two HR Barcamps in Berlin in the last years your events seems to be significantly more “radical”. But firstly, since the tru events are new to Germany, could you briefly describe what is awaiting recruiters on the recruiting unconference #truDüsseldorf on the 7th of July?

Bill: You can expect to be having the conversations about areas that will become mainstream in 12 – 18 months. You can also expect lots of different viewpoints because we have always intentionally included everyone from product people, consultants, agency and in-house recruiters, candidates, students etc. Everyone has a stake in the people side of what we do, but most events are insular and less inclusive. #Tru is about the participants, where as most conferences are about the presenters. Expect more questions than answers, with the opportunity to start networking with people who can give you the answers.

ICR: What do you mean by no powerpoints? People are used to get at least an intro into a topic if not a whole presentation on powerpoint slides.

Bill: Its dead simple, no presentations, no superstars. A formal introduction sets out what the conversation is going to be. We want the conversation to evolve naturally, and it does. You dont walk in to a bar and say “before we talk, here is my presentation about what we are going to talk about.” Everyone has an equal part in shaping what gets talked about.

ICR: Then who will be the experts, participants can learn from and adapt the best practices for their daily work?

Everyone is an expert in their own area. I know that the smartest person in the room will turn out to be someone nobody knows yet. It is half best practice, part test practice. Everyone has their own perspective to share from their own experience.

ICR:And this thing with no name tags and no dress codes. Conferences in German are rather formal. We are used to wear suites and greet and introduce each other with last names. Will you get all of us confused?

Bill: Hopefully. No dress code means you can wear a suit and tie if that is what makes you comfortable. If the participants decide they want to introduce each other by name, they can. if you want to do a track in German you can. If you want to put your name on a sticker and put it on your shirt, you can. The participants decide individually what works for them. We don’t apply any rules. People are grown up enough to figure that out, but my advice is that if you dress and behave in a different way to how you are required to be at a normal conference, you won’t fall in to conference thinking. Being a participant is very different to being a delegate. Language is another area, We don’t dictate that. tracks can be in German or English. The participants decide.

ICR:In the agenda, there some track leaders mentioned (me, Wolfgang Brickwedde, being one of them) What would be our role?
Bill:That is going to be slightly different according to each track leader. We leave this as open as possible. Different track leaders have different styles of opening. I like to share a lot of data and examples to kick things off. The track leader hosts the discussion, then opens things up for everyone to listen to. It is up to you how you open up the conversation.

ICR:You have done more than 150 #tru events all over the world. What took you so long to come to Germany?

Bill: When I founded #tru 3 years ago, the plan was to have one event, so there was no grand master plan. Two years in I teamed up with Aki Kako, and now Craig Fisher. When there was only me, events revolved around my availability because I had to be there, and this means we have much greater scale. There is no reason that we couldn’t have 3 or 4 events around the world on the same day. It has always been really important to me that #tru is much bigger than Bill Boorman. Now that we have achieved this, we can get to more countries, and Germany fits in with this. I think this is going to be a great event.

ICR: Planned topics include Active Sourcing, Social Media Recruiting, Mobile Recruiting. Who should attend #truDüsseldorf? Recruiters, Heads of HR or social media recruiting geeks?

Bill: Anyone who wants to. Recruiting and work touches just about everyone in one way or another, The wider the range of participants, the better the conversation, and as the participants shape the conversation, the content will always be relevant to whoever decides to attend. This is one of the big differences to a normal conference, where the content and presenters are tied in to a narrow area of focus, with pre-determined outcomes. I can’t wait to get the conversation started.

Thanks Bill and good luck for the first unconference in German

Wolfgang Brickwedde


Who Is @BillBoorman?

I never wear a suit and I always wear a hat. I was the first person in the UK to register a business with @ in the name when I launched @BillBoorman in 2009. I’ve always worked in and around recruiting for the last 30 years or so. I think others would describe me as challenging the norm in most of what I do. I take a different approach to recruiting and networking. I have a great posse of connections who I can call on, and who can call on me. I used to have a real job as a Training and HR Director of a national recruitment business. I worked there for 12.5 years, before launching a traditional training business. When the recession came, I had no work and I discovered social media, the rest is history.

From pin stripe suit…
… to hat
Foto: Heather Bussing

…and leather jacket


If you’re around on July 8th, make sure you don’t miss this one of a kind unconference!

Join as a participant, track leader or partner – all great minds are welcome to join the discussion! Register below.

Although the event is officially taking place 9am-6pm, we think you would like to reserve the evening for joining us for #truDrinks, where we will continue the discussions over a drink or two.

Don’t forget to bring good mood and an open mind!

Register in English or German


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