Make the Internet Sourcer and Recruiter Friendly

Article main image
Oct 19, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Last month, I had a coffee chat with a technical sourcing lead at Google to shoot the breeze about talent sourcing, brainstorming ideas about our industry. But I was thrown away when he asked me, “Steven, do you know how much we [Google] pay for finding the best talent in the market?” I didn’t have an immediate answer, but his answer inspired me and opened my eyes to the realities of talent sourcing.

Google hires more than 500 sourcers external and in-house. Let’s do the math. Assuming average technical sourcer hourly salary at about $47 per hour, Google pays $23,500 an hour to source talent! Yearly, that’s over $48,880,000.00 ($48+ million) from a single tech company!


Source: Glassdoor


We always talk about how cool and innovative Google is, but rarely research deeper into how much effort Google puts into finding high potential Googlers and innovators. It should inspire sourcers to know that top companies have a strong commitment to our work.

It’s not just Google. Every aggressive company heavily invests in talent sourcing and recruiting because smart companies understand that ideas are a dime a dozen; innovators always beat ideas, day in and day out. As a result, the tech market triggered by talent sourcing demand has explosively increased. According to LinkedIn’s report, the total addressable market (TAM) of talent sourcing solutions is $115 Billion. Over the past 20 years, technologies came into the recruiting industry to boost the recruiting process over and over again only to get acquired.

From online job boards, resume databases, to professional social networks, we see the past generations of talent sourcing technology. Each evolution is coming closer to the revolution of ‘Professional Internet’ which is made possible with cutting edge technologies like deep learning and applied cognitive science. In fact, we are already in the age of Professional Internet.


The future is now! Exploring the Generations


Generation 0: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Whoever wins, gets the job! No seriously, rocks for hunting mammoths, paper for filling applications, and then scissors to… well, you get the gist.


Generation 1: Online Job Boards

Back in 1988, people advertised their job information in newspapers, forums, and career sites – mostly uni-directional sourcing. The quantity and quality of candidates were dependent on how popular the media were. It also hallmarked the first of online job boards and the first job listing on Usenet.



Generation 2: Professional Database

After ten years, around 1995, there were hundreds of developing platforms that started to explore a professional database to support search and index. Talent sourcing started to be bi-directional. Sourcers and recruiters were active on candidate search and their work became much more efficient and strategic as described in outbound sourcing and inbound strategy.


Generation 3: Professional Network

Without any doubt, LinkedIn has been the dominator in the talent sourcing industry since it’s public profile support launch in March 2006 and the dependence has since only increased. The technology of social networking brought the revolution to talent acquisition. Sourcers and recruiters started to be able to find talent through who they already knew. It brought much deeper and wider sourcing beyond any prior platform. It transformed the professional database from a directory, like Monster, to a graph. So if LinkedIn is a three-dimensional graph, Monster is a two-dimensional directory.


Generation 4: Professional Internet

This year, almost everyone in our community was shocked by the news that LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft and the many acquisitions that followed. It’s the end of an empire. It motivates us to ponder on this serious question: “What will be the next generation of talent sourcing?”

At Hiretual, we believe it’s ‘Professional Internet’ – transforming the Internet into a universal recruiting site, outperforming any single recruiting platform. The secret power behind this evolution is big data and AI technology.

It’s not strange to artificial brain neurologists and scientist that when the network becomes super net, the network node starts to approach a singularity point. Will artificial intelligence reach singularity and create general artificial intelligence eventually replacing recruiters? Our answer is ‘no’, at least not now and not completely.


Source: UndercoverRecruiter


Generation n, {n: 1,2,3 … n}: The Future and Beyond

Technology has transformed multiple industries, allowing one person to outperform thousands of her peers. For example, the medieval farmer became an industrial farmer, essentially a highly specialized tractor driver. I know what you are thinking – self-driving tractors already exist. Anyways, with any kinds of technology, human supervision, and labor will and is always needed until singularity is fused with affordable robotics at which points we can all join hands and sing ’Kumbaya!’ and retire from working altogether. But until then the closest thing that we will have to general artificial intelligence is the human brain.

AI technologies will change the recruiting industry at a normal pace, augmenting and making the recruiting life easier, better. Sourcers and recruiters will have to eventually care and specialize in the things that the machine will not replace anytime soon, such as excellent phone and sales skills, and attend amazing SourceCon conferences to keep their skills up to date! On that note, it’s always a good time to pick up better phone skills and here’s Maureen Sharib, the SourceCon phone master.



Recruiting Technology Today

This is what’s happening to our Internet today. Over the past 15 years, there are 100+ social networks that have changed our life and work. All of them contain tons of private and public information of individuals. The Internet has been an incubator for Big Data and AI technologies and we start to be able to identify professional trends across platforms and aggregate more information to evaluate candidates. Artificial intelligence can be applied to assist recruiters and sourcers to make sourcing easier and better through deep learning (Fortune). Big data and AI is going to trigger a revolution of recruiting industry again!

We believe that the Internet is an excellent resource for any talent sourcing need, and will stay that way, as millennials and homelanders are basically the Internet generations. The only problem is how to make “resourceful” become “actionable.” Perhaps we’re not desperate for a new platform anymore. Instead, we should have a tool that makes platforms to be recruiting friendly. For example, Github is not recruiter friendly, and we make it friendly. LinkedIn is good, and we make it even better.


We make the Internet better for recruiters


Actually, it’s been proved by sourcing pioneers in our community. Beginning year one, we have keynotes at SourceCon to share their innovations on sourcing on new platforms. For example, Angela Bortolussi, our friend at Recruiting Social presented “How to Source on Slack”. Slack was not created for recruiting. However, it can be recruiting friendly with innovations and strategies. Over the years, sourcing gurus like Dean Da Costa or Mark Tortorici kept exploring a new possibility of cracking talent sourcing challenges like the inaugural SourceCon Hackathon. It’s just a small beginning. With emerging technology like big data and deep learning, all the possibilities can be merged and accumulated to build a professional cross-platform to help you outperform yourself.


Parting Thoughts

Today, data scientists, researchers, engineers, recruiters, and sourcers work together to put this vision into practice. We have made some significant progress and the innovation path is endless. We shape our product ideas together with our community like SourceCon and ERE Recruiting Intelligence. We do believe the best recruiting product should be from recruiters. Together with your help, we’re making the Internet recruiting friendly.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.