IAMPHENOM Session Highlights: Day 2

In true Phenom People fashion, we wanted to ensure IAMPHENOM was not a normal conference. Day one was packed with actionable sessions and takeaways, and today was no different. This year was all about redesigning the talent experience with mindfulness, innovation, and inspiration—so what better way to celebrate than by starting with a live musical performance by Philly’s finest Mummers?
 

 

After a lively kick-off, Phenom CEO and co-founder Mahe Bayireddi took the stage, revealing how Talent Experience Management can only be achieved with the right technology. Throughout the rest of the day, we heard how industry-leading organizations are transforming the journeys for candidates, employees, recruiters, and talent leaders. IAMPHENOM wrapped up with a fireside chat featuring world-renowned boxer Bernard Hopkins, who shared an impassioned and inspirational message about never giving up.

 

1. Embracing Talent Experience Management Technology

Mahe Bayireddi, CEO and Co-Founder, Phenom People
 

In his second keynote, Mahe discussed how technological and societal evolution shifts are helping people discover their full potential. We must concentrate on creating great experiences with both human and machine in mind—especially as it applies to the entire talent ecosystem, including candidates, recruiters, employees, and management.
 

Mahe Keynote IAMPHENOM

 

 


2. Why AI is Required in Today's Talent Experience Landscape 

Vildan Kehr, Divisional VP of Talent Acquisition, Abbott Labs


To stand out from the crowd and maintain a competitive edge, companies have to make the candidate and employee experience as personalized as possible—starting from the moment they explore your brand. During her session, Vildan covered how Abbott Labs has built out its AI-enabled career site, delivering great business impact and incredible experiences that make candidates feel important and informed.

 

 

 


3. Bringing Our Talent Value Proposition to Life

Sarah Smart, VP of Recruitment, Hilton
 

Hilton is ranked #1 Great Place to Work in the US by Fortune—a recognition that wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing team members they’ve recruited around the world. To get there, Sarah credited Hilton’s Thrive program, which was designed to provide compelling reasons for employees to come to work each day. As we keep the “human” in recruiting, we need to amplify the amazing content and experiences our teams have, from the recruiter to the candidate.
 

Sarah_Hilton_IAMPHENOM

 

 


5. The Third Conversation: What’s Lacking in Our Virtual Communications and How to Replace It

Dr. Nick Morgan, Author & Communications Expert
 

Dr. Nick Morgan presented an interactive session (with our very own Keca Ward playing his pretend wife) about how the half-real, half-virtual world we live in now is contributing to an increase in miscommunication. With a lack of nonverbal cues, we assume the worst—which is why you might want to think twice when you email “nice job” to your direct report, who will likely think you’re being sarcastic. As the virtual world cuts out emotion, it’s up to us to add it back in.
 

Dr. Nick Morgan


 

 


6. Winter is Coming: Navigating Beyond the Wall of Talent Shortfalls 

Caitlin McLaughlin, EVP of Talent Acquisition, PNC Bank
 

If you’re not from Pittsburgh, you probably still think it’s stuck in the industrial age, when it’s actually a thriving technology hub with proud cultural roots. To kick off the afternoon breakout sessions, Caitlin McLaughlin walked through how recruiting in Pittsburgh is no longer a competition but a coalition. At PNC, Caitlin and her team addressed the talent shortage by implementing programs for K-12 students, influencing college students to stay in the city, doubling investment in recruiting for healthcare and technology, and educating employees on training and career pathways.
 

Caitlin PNC

 

 


7. The Deeper Why Behind Investing in Your Candidate Experience 

Lisa Colella, Founder & Chief Strategist, Truist
 

In her session, Lisa didn’t mince words: “Collectively, as a community, we’re being jerks to candidates,” she began. She reminded the audience that candidates are human beings who want to live a better life outside of work. She then did a deeper dive on the significant cost of ignoring poor candidate experiences, and how the most successful companies in the world refuse to ignore experience gaps.
 

Lisa_IAMPHENOM

 

 


7. Breakout Session: Re-Imagining Talent Acquisition at GE: Challenge Everything! 

Tim Brown and Heather Moffitt, GE
 

Global companies are at a pivotal moment when it comes to improving candidate experiences and recruiter productivity with technology and processes. After accumulating 156 HR applications, the GE team realized it was time to simplify. Tim Brown and Heather Moffitt shared how their team re-invented talent acquisition, starting with technology that unified data and functions in a single platform. The GE duo emphasized key learnings from this transition, including the importance of assessing the impact of change, building candidate personas, and creating journey maps for TA processes.
 

GE at IAMPHENOM

 

 


8. Breakout Session: Is Marketing Dead?

Adam Bleibtreu, CMO, Creative Circle
 

Adam Bleibtreu gave a quick talk about how marketers at organizations need to start thinking of themselves as company architects. He asked the audience to consider such thought-provoking questions as, how do we inspire change through the actions we take and the behaviors we model? How do we become a consumer-obsessed organization? Learning how to tell your company story is how today’s consumers will connect with your brand.

 

 


9. Breakout Session: Adopting a Single Platform for Talent Experience Management

Jonathan Dale and Devin Foster, Phenom People
 

Throughout the conference, the importance of merging technology with the human element was a key recurring theme. With most companies using multiple standalone solutions, however, it's preventing us from delivering incredible experiences. Phenom’s Jonathan Dale and Devin Foster discussed how every product within the Phenom platform is interconnected, allowing organizations to transform and manage the entire talent experience—from candidates to employees to recruiters to management—from a single location.

 

TXM_IAMPHENOM

 

 


10. Fireside Chat with Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins, World Champion Boxer & Eric Offner, Phenom People
 

A truly Philly Phenom, world champion boxer Bernard Hopkins and Phenom’s Eric Offner discussed the importance of passion and drive in every aspect of life. Bernard talked about the responsibilities that come with being a champion, growing up in Philly, persevering through life’s challenges, and living with credibility.
 

Bernard Hopkins

 

 



...And that's a wrap! Thank you to everyone who joined us at IAMPHENOM—we'll see you next year!

Part of the Phenom content team, Monica loves connecting people through stories—especially when they involve the talent journey. She is also passionate about music, her furbaby, and the Oxford comma.

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