Sourcing News and Knowledge – Beyond the Obvious

Social Media

Is There Life After Twitter?

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(Editor’s note: we originally posted this on The Fordyce Letter but felt it was applicable to recruiting researchers and sourcers as well. Enjoy!)

Back on July 1, Amybeth Hale posted about a recruiter named Jerry Albright who’d decided he’d had enough of Twitter.

I caught up with Albright on the phone to ask him whether his decision to give up on tweeting was a good one. We also discussed:

  • The sky-high expectations of new Twitter users, and social media users in general
  • Whether Twitter is work or personal
  • The convergence of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Whether you really need to quantify your social media efforts

On some old browser versions, you may have trouble playing the podcast.

Could you quit Twitter? Do you need to in order to work more efficiently or just cut back on the time you spend using it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Social Media, Technology & Resources

Location, Location, Location!



LBS (Location-Based Services) are the new ‘black’ when it comes to shiny new sourcing tools. Everyone (including me!) talks about how we can (and should) be using services like FourSquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Yelp, and Britekite to enhance our mobile recruiting activities. Some have even talked about using these types of services for putting pins on locations where companies have job openings. In fact, many folks in our industry have written about the significance of this:

Let’s take a look at a location-based resource that was designed specifically for recruiting: ZubedJobs, a product of

Leadership, Metrics

The Good-Fast-Cheap Model – A Job Aide to Better Decision-Making

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The Situation

You are a researcher or sourcer and you need to convince your boss to make a change.   So, you ask yourself . . . How can I convince the decision-maker of this change in our priorities that are best in this specific situation. And how can I avoid the selection of the priorities that would cause this initiative to fail.


First, all decisions are a trade-off of one form or another.  It’s a fact.  You can look it up.

Second, the decision is being considered to address a concern, deal with an issue, or to solve a problem. Let’s define a problem as the gap between what you now have and what you want; it’s the gap, disparity, the variance, the difference, or for you whiz kids in Math, the Delta.

Let’s take a quick look at the model

A simple Equilateral Triangle. In the center of the triangle is a decision point. The labels at the three angles are “Good”, “Fast”, and “Cheap.” And there can be an “Arrow” signifying the direction of your organization.

The Terms

  • Good: refers to quality or effectiveness, perhaps quality of hire
  • Fast: refers to speed of delivery; time to deliver; perhaps time to fill
  • Cheap: refers to total resources used; money, people, supplies, etc.


Making Your Case to Attend #SourceCon Fall 2010: Proving the Value to Your Organization

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Many of you have shared with us that while you would love to attend SourceCon in September, you’re not quite sure how to pitch it to your boss. Perhaps you’re uncertain of how to prove the value to you and your organization as a whole. Whatever the reason may be, we’ve come up with a nice business case for attending SourceCon that you can either forward to your boss, or print off a hard copy to hand to them.

We hope to see you in Washington, D.C., and let us know if we can help you get there!

Click here for a printable PDF

Corporate Sourcing, Leadership

Fear Leads to Failure – Building Trust within your Team

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– Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust

My sons and I were watching a Star Wars movie marathon last weekend when Yoda (my favorite character) said something that caught my attention. “Fear is the path to the dark side….”  Now in our world, fear doesn’t lead to the dark side, but it can lead to failure. It inhibits us from taking chances and makes us question our own ability. The moment we have an idea that could be the next big thing or even a minor improvement to an existing process, the next thing we usually think of is “what if people don’t like it?”  Our ability to control our fear allows us to determine our professional and personal success.

Edward Deming, regarded by many as the leading quality guru in the United States, refers to eliminating fear as one of his 14 principles of quality management. Deming states, “Encourage effective two-way communication and other means to drive out fear throughout the organization so that everybody may work effectively and more productively for the company.”  Eliminating fear is crucial to innovation.

Social Media, Technology & Resources

Talentag: the Social CV Site for “Friends” Only

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There’s an FAQ on the new site, Talentag, that asks the right question: “What is Talentag and why do you need it?”

Precisely what I was wondering after reading the TechCrunch Europe post about this site. The answer to the first half is straightforward enough. Talentag is the online equivalent of the afterwork social hour; think of it as what LinkedIn would be if it was more like Facebook and less like, well, less like LinkedIn.

Of course that’s not how the site explains it. The answer there is more of a description of what it does. For instance: “Your co-workers and friends can tag you with words or a badge and they can also vouch (for) a particular role you worked together.”

In other words, it’s a way to create a social CV. Talentag connects to your profiles on other social media and will import your work history and friends lists. Then you can connect to them on Talentag and ask them for feedback, get tagged, and, for grins, award and receive badges.

How useful is this to a recruiter? Probably not a whole lot. You can’t use it [directly] for sourcing, since searches are limited to your existing inventory of connections from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Your Talentag friends are pulled in from Facebook, which aren’t too useful for those of us who use Facebook strictly for fun. It’s a point TechCrunch makes, too. [Editor's note: I'm sure one of our savvy readers could figure out a Boolean string to do this... any takers?]

Vouching might have some usefulness in keeping candidates honest. But the feedback and tags? Probably not even as useful as the list of references a candidate supplies.

That said, the site may well evolve into something recruiters might find helpful. For instance, corporate recruiters with a Facebook page could create a Talentag profile, import those Facebook friends, and invite them to create their own “social CVs,” as TechCrunch calls them.

That’s just one for instance. Right now, it’s a long way to go. Don’t count it out though. TechCrunch says the founders are building in more utility. They are the same folks, by the way, that launched, the social media job posting service.

this article was reposted with permission from

Technology & Resources

Glass Houses

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Not too long ago, someone asked me a question about spelling errors on resumes and cover letters, and how I felt about them when I was looking at a resume from a sourcing perspective. I’m going to be more forgiving of someone out of school a couple of years than a senior industry candidate.

If I’m reading a cover letter, I’m probably a bit more forgiving about spelling errors. I’ll give you one pass, especially if it is a homonym like “there” or “their”. On a resume, some things are a bit more ambiguous. For example, I’m in IT recruiting, and the spelling for Unix or UNIX has changed over the years. Same with Xbox or XBOX. I don’t care very much. However, I was looking at the resume of a former employee a few weeks ago, and he spelled the company wrong. That is unforgivable. (He is also active on several of the social networking sites I am on and is a deplorable speller…*hello*…spell check…) I’m also not very forgiving of industry terms and titles used incorrectly or misspelled.

I don’t care all that much about spacing and grammar, as long as you are fairly consistent. (i.e. if you are using bullet points and capitalize the first word but don’t use a period at the end, no big deal, but keep the same format throughout)

We are human; spell check doesn’t catch every error, and there *are* some mistakes that humans tend to gloss over, even if we have it read by one or two people. But when it comes to job descriptions or candidate communications, I must say I am a stickler for perfection. So imagine my surprise this week as I was looking at external job sites and candidate communication templates with major errors on them. This week’s offenders:

  • P&L Analist
  • WIndows (on the MSFT external career page!)
  • “This person’s primary responsibly will be to …” (From a candidate phone screen confirmation).

OK folks, these are stupid errors! They are singularly unprofessional. I know a lot of recruiters that are much less tolerant and lenient than yours truly when it comes to spelling on resumes and cover letters. We seem to be living in glass houses here if the above stated examples are any indication of what’s going on.

So, are we dealing with a problem with tools? Is it human error? Or something else?

Last month I wrote a post over on ERE titled ‘“App For That” Erosion‘. I hypothesized that technology is making younger professionals unable to function in a business environment, that they don’t have the basic skills to perform at the high level that their older colleagues do. And I assert that this sloppy spelling is also a symptom of not learning the basics, including proofreading with human eyes and doublechecking the end result before it gets published onto a public-facing website. There is simply no excuse for using a job posting template with mistakes in it.

Until we are literally “letter perfect” on our own publications, I say we keep our stones on the ground.

Metrics, Social Media

Tools & Techniques for Writing Strategic SEO Job Postings



I get it; typically someone in sourcing gets called in when ad response just isn’t getting the job done. As most sourcers do when they get a new req, we evaluate the situation; find out what’s been done, what has worked, and what has failed. However, so many times when you look at the advertisements, it’s pretty clear to see that a “lack of proactive sourcing” is not the only problem. I’ve literally seen sales ads get run on multiple paid job boards without the word “sales” in it. You might as well make your ads invisible.

And while there is usually a lot of talk on best practices for advanced search string theory, it is refreshing when that same analytical approach is applied to producing competitively written job advertisements. Because ideally, for every one candidate that applies on their own, that saves a company both time and money in proactive outreach.

When it comes to advertising jobs more effectively, there are two primary steps that I go through:

  1. Keyword Selection (How do you select the “best” keyword terms to use in your ad?)
  2. Keyword Density (How do you measure your keyword use in each ad?)

Below are some tips and tools of the trade for writing strategic SEO job descriptions.

Editor's Corner, Technology & Resources

Data, Information, and Knowledge

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  • Data: a collection of facts
  • Information: data that have been processed into a format that is understandable by its intended audience
  • Knowledge: the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension

Progression: data is gathered to provide information in order to gain knowledge.

We have exposure to more data today than we ever have in the history of the world. Back in 2006, IBM put out a white paper, The toxic terabyte: How data-dumping threatens business efficiency, stating that by 2010 the amount of data available in the world would double every 11 hours. Last year, a British news source reported that the world’s digital content was equal to a stack of books stretching from Earth to Pluto 10 times. (this is just the digital data, mind you!) If you want some really mind-blowing facts on data, check out Tim Berners-Lee’s talk from the TED conferences in 2009.

Back in the late ’90s, Michael Lesk, a renowned professor of Library and Information Sciences at Rutgers University, conducted a study trying to estimate the amount of information available in the world. He drew this conclusion which reflects the world we now live in:

“Today the digital library community spends some effort on scanning, compression, and OCR; tomorrow it will have to focus almost exclusively on selection, searching, and quality assessment. Input will not matter as much as relevant choice. Missing information won’t be on the tip of your tongue; it will be somewhere in your files. Or, perhaps, it will be in somebody else’s files. With all of everyone’s work online, we will have the opportunity first glimpsed by H. G. Wells (and a bit later and more concretely by Vannevar Bush) to let everyone use everyone else’s intellectual effort. We could build a real `World Encyclopedia’ with a true `planetary memory for all mankind’ as Wells wrote in 1938. [Wells 1938]. He talked of “knitting all the intellectual workers of the world through a common interest;” we could do it. The challenge for librarians and computer scientists is to let us find the information we want in other people’s work; and the challenge for the lawyers and economists is to arrange the payment structures so that we are encouraged to use the work of others rather than re-create it.”

Industry News, Technology & Resources

Google “Wave”s Goodbye

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At 2pm Pacific time today, Google posted on its official blog that it would discontinue developing Wave as a stand-alone product. It states however that it “will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.” Google says that “Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked.”

Many in the sourcing and recruiting community made attempts to develop Wave into candidate communities and spread the word – like the LinkedIn group called “Google Wave for Recruiting!“. This is not unlike the exponential rise in popularity of niche Ning communities for recruiting purposes. Just take a look at the number of professional communities to tap for candidates on Ning just by doing a simple “inurl:ning inurl:professionals” search – nearly 3,000 results.