Meet SourceCon Fall Panelist Jon Bischke

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Oct 1, 2013
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Jon Bischke will be participating in a panel this week at SourceCon in Seattle. I caught up with him recently to learn more about him. 

Tell us about your background, how you became a sourcing professional, and what you do currently.

My background actually isn’t HR and recruiting. I mean, I’ve done a bunch of recruiting of course but I’ve never worked professionally in the industry. But I am from an industry that has a lot of overlap with recruiting and that’s education. I think of education as “pre-recruiting” in many ways and it’s an interesting perspective to have as the leader of a company that’s trying to change how companies find talent.

Entelo sprung out of a strong belief that people were increasingly being found by the work product they were putting online. Engineers posting code to Github, designers throwing up designs on Dribbble or Behance, someone answering questions on Quora. We believe that’s the new credential and, if this plays out to its logical conclusion, a disruptive force in the education industry.

We’re psyched about a future where people are much more than their resume. Resumes put people in boxes and while they are helpful part of the hiring process, they are far from the only way to evaluate a potential candidate. The best recruiting organizations are waking up to the fact that if you look beyond the resume you can recruit a much stronger team and we’re doing our best to empower that at Entelo.

Tell us about the presentation you have planned for SourceCon. What takeaways should attendees expect?

Controversy? 🙂 I’ll be on the Big Data panel on Thursday morning of SourceCon and while I’m sort of joking, I’m also somewhat serious. I hope we can be a little provocative. There’s a coming sea change with the rise of big data. I really don’t think any of us on the panel fully know what changes are going to play out in the next decade. But that doesn’t mean we won’t express our strong opinions!

One of the things that I think will be at the center of the buzz around this panel and other discussions of this topic is whether we’re moving towards a world where most of the high-value professional data is centralized on a single domain. The folks at LinkedIn probably believe this and if they’re right, LinkedIn should be a $100 billion company within five years and you should all be buying its stock.

We have a different opinion at Entelo. We think LinkedIn is doing a great job executing but if you look at the whole pie, that LinkedIn’s “market share” of professional data is actually shrinking over time. The exponential growth of all of these other professional networks is a really interesting trend. Our goal is to build products that take advantage of this explosion in data. It’s the top of the first inning or maybe just entering the bottom half of the inning and we’re looking forward to seeing how this ballgame goes.

Why would it be unwise for someone to miss your session?

If I do anything in our session, it will hopefully be to throw out some notions of what’s possible. It’s our feeling that most sourcers and recruiters are working inefficiently. And that’s not at all a knock against sourcers or recruiters!! Rather it’s a reflection that the tools for recruiting haven’t evolved as fast as the tools for sales or marketing. But at the end of the day these are all pipeline-based activities and there’s no reason why best in breed recruiting tools can’t offer the same capabilities and power as the best sales and marketing software.

Have you been to SourceCon in the past? What are you most excited about?

SourceCon was one of the first conferences I went to in the recruiting space. I remember trying to convey to the team what a “Sourcing Hackathon” (After Dark) was. Cool stuff!

I’m looking forward to connecting to next-gen sourcers and recruiters. I always learn a ton of cool stuff. I think sourcing and recruiting is about to be elevated as a profession in a big way. As the impact of good sourcing and recruiting becomes more quantified (thanks in part due to tools like Entelo and the other vendors represented on the panel), organizations will be better able to see the ROI from their efforts.

It’s a foolish notion to think that these next-gen sourcing tools will make recruiters or sourcers obsolete. I throw up a little in my mouth whenever I hear someone say that. Did Hubspot or Marketo make marketers obsolete? No, they actually did the opposite. Marketing automation software elevated the profession. So I’m excited to see that continue to happen in recruiting and honored to be on a panel at one of the conferences that is helping to make that happen.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that has nothing to do with what you do professionally.

My wife and I do work with the Clinton Foundation and had an opportunity to visit Africa in July with a delegation to see first-hand the work the Foundation is done. We were joined by President Clinton and Chelsea and it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’ve been to Africa three times and each time I am left with the same feeling. It’s a continent full of hardship and full of opportunity. And the spirit of the African people is unmatched. I’m looking forward to being able have a larger impact there in the future.

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