Sourcing Sleuth or Truth Seeker? – Justen Baxter

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Jul 1, 2021
This article is part of a series called SourceCon Digital Conference.

What if you took your super-sleuth skills as a Sourcer or Recruiter and put them to use in different ways other than just finding talent? Justen Baxter walked us through how information today is being disseminated so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with what is real and what is fake.

As Sourcers, we can leverage our skill set in unique ways that can be useful in preventing the spread of false information. The research skills we use daily allow us to peel back layers of information about candidates, leading us to the next bread crumb of information that determines fact from fiction.

What Justen explained is we have the potential to take these skills and apply the ONSIT methodology in order to strengthen candidate relationships, brand integrity, competitive research, candidate outreach, and potentially uncover talent who lack a social media presence.

So what does information, false or true, spreading like wildfire mean for us? It can impact where the talent we are searching for is networking. The three top platforms candidates use to network for jobs, as well as staying in touch with their friends, families, and connections are seeing a rapidly growing rate of fake profiles.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are hammered with scams and false information that can affect how people interact on their platforms. My jaw dropped when Justen took a popular hashtag used from Twitter and entered it into the tool Hoaxy. This tool gives you a visualization similar to a heat map you can decipher based on a scale rating on which tweets are coming from bots.

Having tools like Hoaxy at your fingertips can help you uncover more truth by analyzing data and empower you to report it to the originator’s platform. With this knowledge, we can add yet another patch to our “Sourcing capes” to put a stop to AI scam bots and misinformation.

If you’re working to uncover candidates in hard-to-source categories such as governmental agencies or if Justen just struck a nerve in you to be curious, the following are some of the tools he covered throughout his session at SourceCon Spring 2021:

  1. Open Source Intelligence Techniques – A book recommended if you would like to further your education in the intelligence arena.
  2. Botometer – Checks the likelihood of the source being a bot, based on its activity.
  3. Skopenow – A paid tool using AI to search social media, open web, and public records to pull relevant information associated with someone.

As Sourcers and Recruiters, we work within the realms of social networking. These tools mentioned help us disseminate the information we’ve obtained. It’s also important to remember some simple steps while active in the digital space.

Think before you post or reach out to a candidate.

Take the time to analyze and verify, not just the information you’re letting in, but also the information you’re putting out.

If you would like to learn more from Justen you can find him on LinkedIn and Twitter where you can read and learn more about what Justen is doing to uncover hidden talent in the defense industry.

This article is part of a series called SourceCon Digital Conference.