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Tony Blake

Tony D. Blake is the chairman of the ERE conference in the Fall of 2010, held October 26-28 in Hollywood, Florida. He is the Vice President, People Services at DaVita, a company that was the 2009 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award winner for the department/function of the year.

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5 Things Keeping Recruiting Leaders Awake

Tony Blake
Nov 2, 2010, 2:26 pm ET

Last week I had the pleasure of serving as the chairperson of the Fall ERE Expo in Hollywood, Florida. During my opening remarks, I discussed five things that are “keeping senior recruiting leaders up at night.” The list seemed to resonate with the crowd at the Expo, as many took time to talk to me about it. It was created at a “Recruiting Summit” hosted by CareerXroads on August 17th in Oak Park, Illinois, and Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin get the credit for pulling many different responses together into these five coherent themes.

The survey, while not scientific in manner, included input from over 20 powerhouse organizations, including Wal-Mart, Lockheed Martin, Kimberly Clark, Lilly, Campbell’s, Limited Brands, Cargill, State Farm, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Target, and others. The five items, along with my commentary, are presented below: keep reading…

From the Conference Chairperson: 11 Tips for Getting the Most From Your ERE Expo Experience

Tony Blake
Sep 15, 2010, 1:04 pm ET

Six weeks to go until the fall ERE Expo! Momentum is building. Early registrations are going strong, but there is still time to register and book those less-expensive flights into Ft. Lauderdale or Miami.

My leadership team and I put our heads together to put together the following menu of ideas to maximize your ERE conference experience. Hope you enjoy them! keep reading…

Three Reasons to Make the Fall Expo a Priority

Tony Blake
Aug 3, 2010, 2:23 pm ET

The Fall ERE Expo is less than three months away (Oct 26-28 in Hollywood, FL to be precise). Maybe you’re thinking about coming, but you’re still firmly straddling that fence. Maybe you’ve already ruled it out. In either case, here are three reasons why you need to make this a priority.

Take Time to Think Strategically

Years ago when attending a week-long management development class in the foothills west of Denver, I had the chance to participate in an interesting exercise. We were told to “go outside, walk around, and think strategically.” For the next hour, I meandered around in a daze, and my brain started to hurt. Was I really thinking strategically? How did I know for sure? Was I confusing tactics for strategy? What would I report on to the class when the exercise was over? Would others laugh at me and say “THAT’S NOT STRATEGIC!” Well, you get the idea.

In the end, the point of this exercise was simply that if you don’t separate yourself from the day-to-day minutia of your job (and life), it’s really hard to take a step back and think strategically.

During my career, I’ve attended seven ERE Expos (side note … I should propose a “Frequent Attender” loyalty program: attend nine conferences, get the 10th free!). Anyway, each one gave me a great opportunity to step away from the day-to-day craziness of running a recruiting team and deeply reflect on what we were doing, and where we were going. From personal experience, I can tell you that sitting on a beautiful beach in South Florida is a great place to do this reflection.

Here are three suggestions to get you started on your beachside strategic thinking: keep reading…

Confessions of a Twitter Skeptic

Tony Blake
Apr 10, 2009, 2:20 pm ET

I confess. I’ve been slow to warm up to Twitter.

Another confession. That is a major understatement. In fact, a year ago at the Spring ERE Expo I was totally annoyed by the “tweeting” going on during presentations. It was distracting. Twitter quickly became a four-letter word for me.

However, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I’ve had a Twitter account for less than two days, but I see now clearly see the enormous potential for recruiting and branding. The morning after I set up my account and did my first tweet, a great blog post was sent to me, written by Jessica Meher. Very nice work, Jessica.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter at I’m planning on tweeting regularly about leadership, recruiting, DaVita’s culture, and random funny stories.

Along the way, just maybe I can do some “brand building.”

Some of my recruiters already have followers — they clearly “got this” before I did. Kudos to them. I’m thankful that we’re a great TEAM that learns from each other. Especially when their leader is (way) too slow to jump on the bandwagon.