On Thursday, September 8th, I hosted my first SourceCon webinar, Sourcing Like A Salesperson. It was a great experience, affording me the opportunity to become acquainted with many great sourcers from many great corporations. As a courtesy to all sourcers, I have written a brief summary and key takeaways from the webinar. For those, who are interested, you can view a recording of the webinar and the slides by clicking here.
Key Takeaway #1 – Be A Moneyball Sourcer & Achieve Sourcing BLISS
Whether one is a baseball fan or not, I think Michael Lewis’s 2003 book titled Moneyball and the 2011 movie of the same title starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, is one of the best books/movies for sourcers to be inspired to reimagine a better way for us to evaluate our candidates and ourselves. Therefore, I opened the webinar by introducing attendees to Moneyball and a new concept for recruiting metrics I like to call “Sourcing BLISS.” BLISS is a double entendre, meaning bliss, as well as being an acronym for Business Line Independent Sourcing Statistics.
From Moneyball, sourcers can learn that most traditional statistics, whether in sports or in business, do not properly measure the true value or performance of an individual. New metrics are needed. Metrics that matter. In Moneyball, among numerous other new statistics, we learn about DIPS, which stands for “Defense Independent Pitching Statistics.”
Moneyball showcases how the Oakland A’s discovered that traditional baseball pitching statistics such as Earned Run Average (ERA), opponents’ batting average, and wins were largely influenced by factors outside a pitcher’s control; everything from the weather, the ballpark, the speed and defensive skill of his teammates, or just plain randomness or luck. Similarly, I have found that most traditional statistics used to measure sourcers’ performance are misleading, as they rely on many factors outside sourcers’ control.
Sourcing BLISS entails a series of new sourcing statistics and/or applying traditional sourcing statistics in new ways that are not dependent on the business partners, the line of business or line of communication the sourcer is operating under, or the randomness of the marketplace for the talent that he is sourcing from. Below is a picture of one of the charts I used in the webinar to explain Sourcing BLISS.
I invite readers to revisit the webinar recording for a more detailed explanation of my reasoning for adopting these new statistics as “metrics that matter.”
Key Takeaway #2 – You Can’t Source Like A Salesperson Or Get Any Value From New Metrics Until You Learn to Think Like A Salesperson.
Continuing with the theme of drawing sourcing inspiration from Hollywood, I offered webinar attendees three of my favorite sales inspiring quotes from Hollywood movies, and followed-up with a detailed explanation of what they teach us as sourcers in regards to thinking like a salesperson.
From the first quote, we learn that we must not love recruiting in slices, any of our candidates in slices, or any of our business colleagues and partners in slices. We, as sourcers, gotta love the whole pie in regards our jobs and our people.
From the second quote, we take the loving in slices concept to the next level and learn that if we don’t lover everybody and everything about our job requisitions, we can’t source anybody. We have to be enthusiastic in order to source like a salesperson. If we, as sourcers, are not excited about our jobs and our employers, then why should our candidates?
From the third quote, we learn to adjust our way of thinking of how we approach sourcing. Rather than thinking in terms of finding the best fit, on paper, to source for our jobs, we should think in terms of finding the right fit. The best candidates on paper for our job openings are rarely the same candidates who truly are the right fight for our job openings.
Key Takeaway #3 – Thinking Like A Salesperson & Using Metrics Like A Salesperson Are Meaningless Without Planning And Monitoring Ourselves Like A Salesperson
Only about a third of the webinar was actually spent discussing the actual “metrics that matter”. I chose this approach intentionally, because of statistics, graphs, charts, etc. are boring and confusing, and metrics are meaningless without the right attitude, planning, and tracking being in place. In regards to planning and tracking, I focused on two important aspects, daily planning and tracking, and candidate pipeline planning and tracking.
For daily planning, I made one simple unequivocal declaration, “get a journal!” I advise this for several reasons. As sourcers, we are constantly communicating with a wide variety of people and constantly delivering conversation notes and details. Anyone who played the game of telephone growing up knows that simply relying on memory and verbal communication can result in severe misunderstandings and communication down the road. A journal can be used as a daily diary to take notes of all our conversations and activity.
Speaking of activity, I advised webinar participants that daily tracking and monitoring is like a diet. If the diet is too complicated; if it fails to take into account real-life human nature to have cravings or eat out socially, where we have less control over the food we consume, then the diet plan will fail. It is important that we, as sourcers, to keep our plans simple, achievable, and flexible. To that end, I provided several examples of daily, weekly, and monthly simple achievable activity metrics that sourcers can choose to target. What activities sourcers choose is their choice and is rather immaterial. What truly matters is that they make sure to consistently have daily, weekly, monthly achievable activity goals and to actively work to track and achieve them. Below is one sample chart used in the webinar. It shows an example of a 10, 10, 10 chart sourcers can use to make sure, no matter what happens, no matter how busy or distracted they get, they track and achieve 30 simple sourcing activities before heading home for the night.
In regards, to pipeline planning, I provided similar advice. One simple and achievable metric I advised for sourcers is to make sure they have a complete funnel of target candidates on every search and to complete a spreadsheet, like the one example shown below, to make sure they do everything possible to connect with every target candidate possible via whatever communication medium possible, and to track their activity and progress in sourcing each individual on the list.
Key Takeaway #4 – Don’t’ Reinvent The Wheel. Have A Systematic Way Of Doing All Your Sourcing Activities
As sourcers, we know that every search is unique, every candidate is unique, and every conversation is unique. However, that does not mean we, as sourcers, cannot develop a systematic approach for every search and every candidate profile. The above spreadsheet picture is just one example of a system sourcers can use on every search. Every – single – one.
Another system sourcers can use for achieving their sourcing metric success is to have a primer or format we use for every single profiling call and the notes forwarded on to the hiring managers. Below is an example of a format/primer I shared on the webinar. Having a systematic way in which to approach each profile call, allows our profiling calls to be more natural and complete while being less awkward and less inquisitive. This approach has the added benefit of, over time, providing sourcers who are, by nature, uncomfortable on the phone the comfort and confidence they need of what they are going to say or ask on every call.
Key Takeaway #5 –Being A Moneyball Sourcer Comes Down To Two Things Things: Execution & Satisfaction; Hiring Manager Satisfaction & Self Satisfaction
I concluded the webinar with the end story of a hypothetical sourcer who adopted and executed the suggested tactics and metrics. The final message I had then for webinar attendees, and what I offer now to you dear readers, is that none of the above matters if it ultimately is not used to achieve satisfaction for both our hiring managers and ourselves. We should strive, as sourcers, to achieve 100% satisfaction from our hiring managers on every search with those aspects we can control on every search: our effort, our service level, and our attitude. When looking ourselves in the mirror, all that matters, whether the reqs are successfully filled or not, is if we know we did absolutely everything within our control using the metrics that matter (i.e. Sourcing BLISS) to achieve sourcing success for our hiring managers on 100% of our searches. In short, we as sourcers, should not and cannot properly judge ourselves on any hiring related decisions and outcomes when all we can control, as sourcers, are our own sourcing related decisions and efforts. We must all remember that hiring & sourcing are not synonymous. A true Moneyball Sourcer always knows not to take credit or blame for anything outside of his control. He only focuses on the metrics that matter for himself and his hiring managers.