How to Get Your Boss to Let You Come to SourceCon: Making a Case to Attend

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Aug 19, 2011
This article is part of a series called ERE Media Conferences.

Obviously I’m biased, but I think SourceCon is the best, most comprehensive sourcing conference out there. Why? Well, I’ll bet you didn’t know that while I’ve been in charge of the SourceCon website/newsletter for four years now, I did so from 2007-2010 on a voluntary basis. That’s right — I believed in the mission and purpose of SourceCon so much that I did it for free for three years — in addition to working full-time. I think that anyone who touches sourcing in a recruitment organization can stand to benefit from being amongst other sourcing professionals and learning in a collaborative environment such as the kind provided at the SourceCon conferences.

And it even says on the event site — there’s something for everyone. There will be high-level leadership sessions, tactical hands-on workshops, and new tool introductions to satisfy everyone from the greenest sourcer to the most seasoned veteran; from the ‘lone wolf’ individual contributor to the global sourcing leader.

But since I know my (biased) opinion simply isn’t enough, I want to provide you with some tools to help make a compelling case to your boss to attend the conference. In your heart, I know that you understand the value of attending SourceCon — but I also know that it isn’t always easy to convey that understanding to your higher-ups.

Whatever your challenge may be in making the case, we’ve come up with a handy document describing in language that will resonate with your boss why you should be at SourceCon. You can either forward this to your manager or print off a hard copy to hand to them.

We hope to see you in Silicon Valley this October, and let us know how else we can help you get there!

Click here for a printable document

SourceCon 2011 — Silicon Valley

When: October 12 – 14, 2011
Where: Network Meeting Center (Techmart), Santa Clara, CA
How Much: before Oct. 12 – $995; on-site – $1095
Hotel cost: $152/night (tax/fees included) at the Avatar Hotel (we have made special arrangements for this rate; book early! But there are several other hotels in the vicinity)

Who Should Attend: Researchers, sourcers, candidate lead generators, recruiters, and talent acquisition professionals, as well as those who manage them.

Conference Schedule:


Chris Gould
Global Strategic Sourcing Leader, Aon Hewitt RPO

Topic: Corporate Sourcing Leadership Workshop
*extra cost for attending this workshop



Conference Chairman: Carmen Hudson
Engagement Manager, Sourcing and Social Media Strategy for Recruiting Toolbox and Founder and CEO of Tweetajob, Inc.

KEYNOTE: Tito Magobet
Manager, Global Talent Sourcing, Research in Motion (RIM)
Topic: Global Talent Intelligence: Developing An Actionable Intelligence Framework

General Sessions

Carl Kutsmode
Partner / Recruiting Solutions Consultant, talentRISE LLC
Topic: High Volume Sourcing Trends: Harnessing the power of CRM and Talent Communities

Shally Steckerl
Chief CyberSleuth & EVP, Arbita
Topic: Mind the Gap! Evaluating the Effectiveness of your Sourcing Function

Greg Lindahl
Co-founder and CTO, blekko

Topic: The Future of Search: How to Stay Relevant in Sourcing

Mark Tortorici
Training and Sourcing Manager, netPolarity

Topic: Building a Sourcing Engine: Tools, Components, and Gears of Search



KEYNOTE: Jillian Snavley
Vice President, Sr. Recruiting Manager, PNC Financial Services Group
Topic: Revving Up Your Sourcing Function: How PNC Built Its Sourcing Function from the Ground Up in Less Than Two Years

General Sessions

Diane Hill
Technical Recruiter, Palo Alto Networks
Jim Schnyder
Sourcing Leader, PepsiCo
Irina Shamaeva
Executive Recruiter/Partner/Chief Sourcer, Brain Gain Recruiting
Chris Murdock (Moderator)
Co-Founder and Senior Partner, IQTalent Partners
Topic: Panel: Getting the Most out of Your Paid Resources

Michael Notaro
Sourcing Consultant, Accenture
Topic: Automation 201



SourceCon After Dark: a late night ‘hackathon’ that will be hosted at Yahoo!’s Building C / URL’s Cafe on Thursday evening, after the Networking Reception. After Dark is for those who want to participate in a “show-and-tell” sourcing session after everyone else has gone to bed. All participants will have the opportunity to flex their sourcing muscles and share their knowledge with anyone who wants to get in on some extra-curricular sourcing.

Sourcing Lab: sponsored by Arbita, the Lab will be a live working “lab environment” happening in 25-minute segments throughout the conference. You can come and go as you please. Industry leading sourcers from the Arbita Sourcing Center of Excellence will present and facilitate special guest appearances from some of the top minds in the sourcing industry.

The Tangible Benefits of attending SourceCon Silicon Valley 2011:

  • Take the mystery out of sourcing — it’s not a ‘cloak and dagger’ profession, and the skills needed for sourcing are also needed to be an effective recruiter.
  • Learn best practices that are now available in the profession.
  • Observe step-by-step procedures to successfully prepare for, implement, and evaluate any sourcing initiative; even those emphasizing “soft” skills.
  • Learn how to make critical planning decisions that will guarantee (or vastly improve the likelihood of) success within a sourcing function.
  • Be provided with practical, time-saving, proven research, sourcing, and candidate generation techniques that will give you the confidence to tackle any sourcing situation.
  • Better understand your own resources and how to get the absolute most out of each of them individually, and all of them collectively.
  • Design effective data collection and automation systems; including some very creative ideas never previously made public before.
  • Learn the important aspects of automation tools, yet also how you are a critical factor in their success.
  • Learn how to turn “fuzzy” sourcing expectations into measurable results.
  • Interpret sourcing performance criteria and then determine the best course of action.
  • Become resourceful in finding convincing evidence of the real impact of sourcing on the organization.
  • Build a compelling case for the value of your sourcing.
  • Learn how to design custom training programs for your office in order to train other sourcers or recruiting teams on sourcing methods.
  • Observe case studies and personal examples of social media’s usefulness in sourcing.
  • Demonstrate duplicatable marketing methods to improve upon existing strategies for reaching and engaging potential candidates.
  • For managers (regarding the Corporate Sourcing Leadership Workshop): Build trusting and lasting relationships with other sourcing leaders and learn from others’ struggles and victories how to develop team metrics, select appropriate tools, partner with other business units, and build successful and lasting sourcing teams that will provide value to multiple business areas — not just recruiting.
  • Bring your new knowledge back to your professional peers in order to benefit your entire organization.

The Costs of attending SourceCon Silicon Valley 2011:

  • Money: the attendance fee plus lodging, plus travel, plus other miscellaneous expenses.
  • Time: 2-3 days plus preparation time, travel time, and whatever time is appropriate to lead or share the lessons learned with your professional peers.
  • Direct monetary cost may range between $1,200-$2,000+ depending on the length of your travel/hotel stay and daily expenses.
  • Estimate: the total costs for attending SourceCon Silicon Valley 2011 could easily be offset by achieving only one additional quality hire that would not have otherwise been made. And the inherent economies of scale could be unlimited.

** The average placement fee today ranges between $15,000 – $20,000. By attending SourceCon Silicon Valley 2011 for less than 1/10 of this amount,

  • As a corporate recruiting professional you will give yourself the opportunity to learn information to help minimize this expense by bringing more search projects in-house;
  • As an agency recruiting professional you will give yourself the opportunity to learn information to help multiply this fee by equipping yourself with the tools to excel in a high-volume work environment.

The Results of attending SourceCon Silicon Valley 2011:

  • You will be able to lead more often on more organizationally-essential talent acquisition initiatives.
  • You will be able to share some of the “nuggets” with your professional peers and thus “pay it forward” and keep the rest of your team abreast of the latest sourcing techniques.
  • You will be able to partner with marketing, PR, and communications teams on improving employment brand through initial outreach initiatives.
  • You will be able to streamline your sourcing procedures and be more time-efficient in your research efforts.
  • You will be better equipped to make decisions for your own career path, knowing what options/opportunities are available to you given your unique skillset.

Note: some potential attendees may see resulting higher expectations as a benefit. They are. But the risk of being unable to lead or unwilling to share lessons learned might also be considered as risks.

The greatest risk, by far, is in remaining at your current organizational status quo in the broad set of talent acquisition programs and initiatives while other organizations have made commitments to improve. The “war” for talent is over.  Talent has won. If you are not now willing to invest in your own success, why would anyone else?

This article is part of a series called ERE Media Conferences.
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