Hello! I’m Vadim Liberman, ERE.net’s editor, and I think it’s awesome that you’re interested in writing for the site or speaking at a conference. I love hearing from talent acquisition practitioners and other professionals who are eager to advance TA and recruiting ideas and practices.
But before we start collaborating, please check out the guidelines below. They exist to help both of us work together to create terrific content and presentations.
Writing for ERE.net
Got a great idea for an article? Please pitch it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — after you read the following:
Our readers include TA professionals and enthusiasts at all levels, at all types of companies, from in-house and agency recruiters to HR practitioners and employer-branding leaders to you-name-it. They all share a single commonality: a desire to engage with content that will inform, inspire, and empower them to push themselves, their peers, their functions, and their organizations forward.
Never ask me what topics I’m interested in or what our readers care about. Why? Because I don’t want you fitting your thoughts into a box. Pitch me something about which you are passionate, because that is the best way to ultimately produce a fantastic article. Just keep in mind that the piece should be relevant to talent acquisition professionals.
Too often, I get pitches that focus on talent management (building culture, employee engagement, performance management, etc.) rather than talent acquisition. If your idea emphasizes the former, consider sending it to ERE.net’s sister site, TLNT.com, by contacting email@example.com.
Generally speaking, I’m most interested in publishing stories that are:
- Different. No one wants to read the same recycled “best practices” appearing every 10 seconds on Forbes.com, Inc.com, or countless other outlets. Candidates Hate Ghosting! Millennials Crave Flexibility! 9 Reasons Your Business Needs an ATS! Please, no. Just, no. Pitch me something everyone is not already repeating. And a special note to vendors: I’m open to your submission, but if it reads like content marketing — and we both know that most content marketing is horrible — it won’t work for ERE.
- Specific. I love a solid, fleshed-out pitch. For example, a story about “improving the candidate experience” tells me nothing. Please be über-specific about how to improve the candidate experience. I’m not saying I need some Venn diagram, (please, no to that too!), but I do need clarity so I can give you the deference you deserve when evaluating your pitch.
- Contrarian. Tell me why a given idea, practice, person, company, or everyone is wrong. Challenge the status quo (or, fine, even defend it). Go hard! Just do it with respect and professionalism. I love an unhinged Amazon review as much as the next person, but this is not Amazon.
- Researched. Facts, stats, figures, and other findings go a long way toward establishing credibility and making your case. Please take some time to infuse your pitch and article with current research (preferably within the past two years).
- Investigative. I love, love, love a story that truly investigates a trend or an event that’s presently impacting — or should be impacting — talent acquisition. In addition to conducting secondary research (see above), talk to TA leaders. Get their views. Dig deep.
- Newsworthy. Does your idea piggyback off of current news and events? Good!
- Opinion-Oriented. Is your idea different, specific, researched? Good!
- How-To. Advice pieces represent the most common type of pitch I get. Most of the time, submissions are general and generic. Again, the criteria above will help determine a how-to article’s potential. Also, think about couching your story in a real-life success story that takes readers on a journey through a problem, action or solution, and outcome. That will help people envision how they might be able to address similar challenges at their organizations.
- Why You? Can plenty of other people write this article as well as you can? I hope not. Tell me why you are the ideal writer for your story.
Other Important Points
- This Is Major. Be willing to work with me. We both have the same goals. We both want your writing to shine and to provide value to readers. My edits are always suggestions, not mandates; you should always feel comfortable challenging me. I promise that as long as we both keep open minds and remain the professionals we are, the end result will be great.
- Original Content. All work must be original. We do not re-publish content. However, you are free to re-publish your ERE.net article on your or your company’s website, but not elsewhere. (Full details are in an author agreement that we will ask you to sign should we decide to publish your work.)
- Format. A byline, prose article is the most common format, but we can also explore doing an interview to transform into an editorial Q&A, as well as pod- and webcasts. (Additionally, we have an amazing webinar program. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.)
- Length. If it takes you 500 words to tell your story, nice! If takes you 1,500 words to tell your story, also nice! The actual length of your piece is less important than how readers feel reading it.
- Payment. You mean getting to work with me isn’t reward enough? Of course it is!
- Audience Engagement. We’ll promote your article. We’d love for you to do the same on your social channels with the #ere hashtag. If you have a LinkedIn blog, we recommend posting the first three paragraphs of your article there, and then adding a link to click over to the rest of the story. Additionally, we encourage you to respond to reader comments on the site to nurture conversation.
Speaking at an ERE Conference
Got a great idea for a presentation at a conference? Please pitch it to me at email@example.com. We accept submissions on a rolling basis for our two annual conferences (in April and October). Here’s what you need to know:
We look mainly for in-house TA practitioners to lead sessions. Most of our attendees are themselves practitioners, and they love hearing from their peers about ways to improve professionally and personally.
And while we welcome speaking submissions from anyone, standards for vendors and other non-practitioners are different — that is, there must be a very compelling reason (presentation of proprietary research, for instance) for us to choose someone other than a practitioner to lead a talk.
Ultimately, our conference attendees really appreciate that, as former ERE.net editor Todd Raphael points out, “We’re not a software company looking to put a conference on. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We’re not putting on our event to subtly push a recruiting-technology product. We’re not beholden to any one vendor.” Put otherwise, no speaker has paid for the mic at ERE.
Key Questions to Address in Your Pitch
Did you scroll past the above “Writing” section because you’re more interested in speaking? Well, scroll back up! Most of criteria and other factors cited above are the very same ones for developing a killer presentation pitch.
For example, as with article ideas, I prefer for you to come to me with a topic rather than me foist one upon you. Additionally, your submission should answer the following questions:
- Are you promoting your company, product, or service? If so, stop everything you’re doing. We have no spots for you. If attendees feel like you’re pitching them, they will hate you, I will hate you, the world will hate you. But fear not! There are sponsorships and other ways for you to get involved with our conferences. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
OK, now let’s really get into questions your pitch should address.
- What is your topic? (Hint: I’m a sucker for a great preso title!)
- Will your talk be specifically relevant to ERE attendees? Too often, I get pitches for talks given previously to other audiences. Your presentation should be original to ERE, not just tweaked here and there.
- What is the precise angle you plan to take? As in, precise.
- What will make your presentation different and stand out? What are you doing at your company that is unique?
- What will be the most important takeaways for attendees? Three max, please. It’s just like your organization’s core values. Do you remember more than three? Exactly.
- Will your content be actionable? You know, without forcing people to invest $500K on new software.
- Why are you the best person to present on this subject?
The Bottom Line. Please hyper-tailor your pitch to ERE. Please hyper-tailor your pitch to ERE. No, repeating that sentence is not a typo. It is to underscore that a broad, generic pitch stating that you are adept at keynoting about Topic A and are willing to customize for our audience is a nonstarter. Such customization should start with the pitch itself.
Other Important Points
- Hitting the I’s. Your presentation should be interesting, informative, inspiring, interactive. You can have the best idea, but it will inevitably be only as good as your ability to connect with the audience. Remember, education and entertainment are not mutually exclusive. Don’t be your real self on stage. Amplify your best self!
- Tension. Your pitch and presentation should ideally have some. If everyone ends up agreeing with you, you’ve probably done something wrong.
- Format. Our conferences include traditional individual-led sessions, fireside chats, panel discussions, roundtables, and workshops. Likewise, we have keynotes, general assembly talks, and breakout sessions. Have an idea for a different format? Let’s hear it!
- Length. Most sessions range from 30 minutes to an hour. Workshops can run longer.
- Audience Interaction. Most presentations include time for Q&A. However, we also encourage you to engage the audience throughout your presentation. Similarly, we’ll work with you before and after the conference to promote your talk, keep the conversation going, and build greater community.
Please reach out to me with questions at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing your amazing ideas. We’re going to accomplish awesome things together! And we’ll have fun doing it!