By Amy Ala
The most valuable commodity I know of is information, wouldn’t you agree?
-Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
The most over-used word in my house right now is “epic”. My boys (ages 16 and 7) say it about EVERYTHING. World of Warcraft is EPIC. That hamburger was EPIC. I just did an EPIC trick on my skateboard. NO. Glen Cathey’s keynote at Talent42 was EPIC.
I was surprised to hear that Glen has never been a dedicated sourcer. He’s always been a full life cycle recruiter. (LIKE ME!!) Not that Glen has ANY challenges in the credibility department, but I love that he’s played the entire game. He gets it.
Like his keynote title promised, Glen went on to break down the current and future state of sourcing.
Current State of Sourcing
- Heavy focus on tips and tricks and hacks vs. methodologies
- Many ATSs sill offer terrible search capability
- Sentiment that LINKEDIN is “easy” and concern over heavy reliance
- Sourcers seek answers rather than learning how and why
- Few purpose-built sourcing tools (structured, deep human capital)
- Search providers continue to “dumb down” search interfaces and functionality, promise to do the “thinking” for you
- Candidate messaging not significantly different than 10 years ago
Disagree with any of this so far? Nope, me neither. I especially love what he said next – “Stop worrying about how many people are fishing in the Pacific – fish better and actually get some fish before moving to some obscure pond.”
We’re talking to you, LinkedIn is easy audience. Or any job board and social media snobs. The simple truth is that people, and by people I mean potential candidates, are everywhere. Maybe Facebook, maybe GitHub, and yes I’m sure there is some rock star developer living in a cave off the grid with ZERO online presence. Fine. But Glen’s point, or at least how I decided to interpret it, is a great one – stop worrying so damn much about “where” you’re finding candidates and just be better at talking to them.
So we can continue to spend lots of time scouring the deep bowels of the interwebs in search of the elusive purple squirrel that NO ONE ELSE CAN FIND, except there’s one small problem with the internet. A search engine can only give you what you asked for. It doesn’t “know” what you want or need and can’t determine relevance.
Ah, so that’s why my results are sometimes so full of garbage.
According to Glen, we must be able to control our searches. Boolean logic is the simplest way to write a query. (if you have not already, go to Glen’s website NOW with any Boolean questions.) The change we need to see in sourcing is not a better search engine, or longer more intricate strings. Nope, we need to focus on asking better questions. The more we know about our target candidates, the better we’ll be at finding and closing them –
Critical Candidate Variables
- Desired opportunity
We (should) know the unique combination of these variables needed to do the job. Now the problem with traditional postings is that we have no control over the skills/experience of who applies. The beauty of sourcing is that you control who you contact. Which is awesome.
Back to our big pond. Or our Pacific Ocean, if you will. A big chunk of the Talent42 audience uses LinkedIn Recruiter. Most of us don’t use LIR to its full capability. It’s headed towards full CRM – we should be creating tags, custom notes, tons of meta-data that we can create.
Then there’s the new Facebook graph search – cost a dollar to send a message. Unbelievable. It’s in beta right now, so could take time to sign up. Glen says it’s worth it and will give you other search options it thinks you might be interested in. I like options in my sourcing strategies… Glen went on to list a few more –
- Dice open web search
- Entelo – Entelo button
- Talentbin – social aggregation and matching Chrome extension works in Linkedin Recruiter
- Gild – algorithmic Sourcing/Recruiting
Future State of Sourcing
- Heavy focus in sourcing methodologies and disciplined approach to the retrieval, analysis, and action upon human capital data
- Manual mining disappears
- More purpose-built sourcing tools (structured, deep human capital)
- ATS leveraging best in class search/retrieval
- Search providers “smart-up” search interfaces and functionality and involve/communicate with users
- Human sourcers will not be replaced by matching algorithms
- Sourcing (finally!) matches marketing in segmentation and messaging
Glen sums it up with this – “we’ve all got a lot of data. How well you use it is what matters.” He was also kind enough to share a quote I found very fitting –
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
– Max Plank
Amy Ala is a Seattle based recruiter with over 10 years of diverse industry experience. She’s recruited her way across the country living and working in Southern California, Arizona, and Michigan including a 6 week stay in Louisville, KY to open a new staffing office. After several years on the agency side, having specialized in everything from light industrial to executive finance search, she detoured into public service. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter, or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org