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Oct 16, 2017

In the hours leading up to Maisha Cannon’s keynote, there was a lot of buzz and chatter from SourceCon attendees. I overheard comments like, “I can’t wait to hear Maisha speak,” “Maisha is so awesome,” and “She takes the most complex things that I’m dealing with as a recruiter and simplifies them.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Cannon took the stage with a primed and ready crowd of talent acquisition professionals, clapping and cheering loudly for the highly anticipated keynote of the day. Cannon talked to the crowd like she already knew them with an eloquent, yet matter of fact speaking style. She has a unique way of injecting humor, personal stories, statistics, and thought-provoking facts.

In her keynote, “Facetime Unplugged: Sourcing before Social Media,” Cannon took attendees down memory lane by revisiting three old-school recruiting techniques and asking the audience to think of the new school version that would work best in today’s recruiting world.

Here are the top three takeaways – but trust me, there were plenty more!


Collaborate Continually

Cannon’s ideas for collaborating with hiring partners including hosting internal sourcing parties and recruiting alongside hiring managers. She also recommended participating on social media and of course, attending conferences like SourceCon to meet like-minded individuals.

Cannon emphasized how recruiters and sourcers need to remember that what we do is not a solo sport. The beauty of being in this industry is that we have a supportive community always willing to help when we get stuck.


Refresh the Search Regularly

One example of a successful old-school sourcing technique was mall-walking to recruit retail managers.

The crowd voted on ways to modernize the search, and overwhelmingly, the audience chose to launch a social media campaign. What a refresh! No more aching feet from mall walking and tons of time saved by utilizing the internet.

Cannon also highlighted the concept of six degrees of separation to bring home a simple point that people know people. When you are hitting a wall in recruiting and sourcing, it’s important to remember that you are, at most, six introductions away from your ideal candidate.

To illustrate her point, Cannon shared a picture of the day she photobombed Oprah Winfrey. Can’t help but chuckle as I recall the picture! Not to rub it in, but it really is one of those times that you just had to be there.


Invest in Techniques over Tools

After stressing the importance of sourcers participating in the strategy session (intake meeting), the hiring process design and the debrief meeting, Cannon reassured the audience that tools are still cool.

To show support for using tools wisely, Cannon threw in one of her famous swag bags for the audience.  After the presentation, everyone had access to download the resources referenced in the talk, including RecruiterHunt, Calendly, and IFTTT.


Challenge for the Crowd

Cannon challenged the audience to choose one sourcing strategy of their own that could be refreshed once back in the office.

Were there any takers? Absolutely! It was like a virtual light bulb shined in the room to illuminate all of the aha moments.

In summary, this was another enlightening and uplifting keynote flawlessly executed by Cannon. She left the audience with an opportunity to go back to their offices and refresh techniques that they have previously used. And as always, she invited them to connect with her and share the results. The great thing is that she really cares and wants to hear how it goes. All the more reason why she is a crowd favorite.

If you want to experience a talk with Cannon, you can catch her at SourceCon Vegas 2018. Sure hope to see you there!

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