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Talent Acquisition Interest Group - Understanding Your Market & Differentiating Your Brand
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Talent Acquisition Interest Group - Understanding Your Market & Differentiating Your Brand

*FREE to HRMAC Members* Join us as we explore the difference between company branding and recruiting/employer branding and discuss the benefits and challenges of using internal versus external recruitment marketing partners.

When: Tuesday, December 6, 2016
8:00 am Networking; 8:30 - 10:00 am Program
Where: Morningstar
22 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois  60602
United States
Contact: Lyndy Nierman

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Recruitment Marketing in 2016: Building a Strategy for Success

Marketing and recruiting are more intertwined now than ever, with recruitment marketing emerging both as a distinct discipline and a core competency affecting all aspects of the talent acquisition lifecycle.  The demands of today’s talent acquisition landscape and the challenges with talent supply mean rethinking how we approach recruiting – and recruitment marketing.  Join us as we explore the difference between company branding and recruiting/employer branding and discuss the benefits and challenges of using internal versus external recruitment marketing partners.


Gibson Smith, Principal of Talent, Avionos, LLC

Gibson is an accomplished leader within the Talent Acquisition industry excelling in both agency and corporate environments. Gibson is the Director of Talent Acquisition and Management for Avionos, a Digital Consultancy focused on the Connected Customer. He is responsible for developing innovative hiring strategies for the emerging Internet of Things market.  Prior to Avionos, Gibson was with Acquity Group, a part of Accenture Interactive for eight years managing both the Corporate Recruiting Group and a Multi-Million dollar subcontracting practice. As a system thinker, he believes the key components in building a successful talent acquisition model is to deliver a strong Employee Value Proposition and offer unique career experiences that will not only improve the lives of employees, but also make them evangelists for the organization.  

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Wittenberg University and his MBA in eCommerce Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management.  


Sharon Garcia, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition Strategic Services, Allstate

Sharon  joined the Allstate family in 2014 and currently leads talent acquisition’s employment branding, research, and strategic sourcing team including building and driving TA’s diversity recruiting strategy. She and her team help Allstate’s TA team leverage data and insights to inform and shape recruiting strategies, monitor and manage the reputation of Allstate as an employer, develop and deploy recruitment marketing strategies, and provide strategic sourcing support to identify and attract high demand and hard to find talent.   

With over 14 years of experience in the Talent Acquisition space in the industries of telecom/wireless, food service, and now insurance, she’s had the opportunity to work across variety of areas within TA such as functional recruiting, operations and processes, vendor management, campus and internship programs, and employment branding. Sharon is passionate about changing the conversation and the approach to recruiting top talent.  

Sharon graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, and currently resides with her family of four in the northwest side of Chicago.

Kristy Nittskoff, Founder and CEO, Talent-Savvy

Kristy has over 10 years of HR experience and is the Founder of Talent-Savvy. She consults with growing companies to help them achieve their recruitment and retention goals through implementing innovative talent attraction and employment branding strategies. She coaches executives, corporate recruiters, and HR managers on the nuances of recruitment in order to set them on a path to crush their goals and scale efficiently.

Prior to starting Talent-Savvy, Kristy served as the head of HR for a growing tech firm. She holds an MBA in Leadership and Change Management, as well as an SPHR and SHRM-SCP certification. She loves connecting job-seekers with their ideal opportunities and helping companies fully realize their potential to retain top talent.

Vernon O’Donnell, Vice President of Human Resources, STATS

Vernon is a leader with a background in strategy, training, communications, HR and, now, operations/"data supply chain." Currently, he is the global head of Data Production and Talent for STATS LLC,  a sports technology and data company focusing on the next-generation of products and services to improve team performance and the fan experience. 

In running the global production data team, his team is focused on accuracy, latency, data expansion, process efficiency and having a high-functioning global network. 

Jim Conti, Director of Talent, Sprout Social, Inc.

Jim is the Director of Talent at Sprout Social, a Chicago-based software company.  Starting with a focus on talent acquisition for Sprout, Jim's role currently encompasses talent management and development, human resources, manger training and coaching, company culture, employee engagement, as well as continuing to grow the talent acquisition function.
Jim started his career as a 6th grade teacher in Chicago's Austin neighborhood as part of Inner-City Teaching Corps. Following his time in the classroom, Jim moved on to work for Inner-City Teaching Corps (now called Accelerate Institute) where he held roles in recruitment, program development, and fundraising.  Holding degrees from Boston College and Northwestern University, Jim sits on ITA's Talent Advisory Board as well as serving as Chair of the Associate Board at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.


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Questions? Please contact HRMAC at 312-981-6790 or Lyndy Nierman at




This program has been approved for 1.5 credit hours towards PHR/SPHR/SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) as well as 1.5 professional development credits (PDC's) toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification.