In my journey towards being a sourcer, I was told by my many sourcing mentors that attending events like conferences and networking functions was a must. With a strong passion for learning more about sourcing, and an eager to network with many brilliant sourcers in the Seattle area, I was excited to attend my first Sourcing7 meeting.
Sourcing7, or S7+, is a sub-group of the Northwest Recruiters Association (NWRA), dedicated to all things sourcing. My first S7+ meeting was held at Amazon and I got to meet some of the greatest sourcers in Seattle. People like Marvin Smith, Amybeth Quinn, Mei Lu, Lilian Fairchild and many more talented individuals were in attendance. Like many S7+ events, this one was geared towards teaching and learning. They had several speakers who each spoke about different topics. After the presentations, there was a round table discussion where we got to sit with each of the presenters and ask questions, see things again and of course, learn. There was also plenty of time to network and meet people.
This event covered the full spectrum of sourcing, from the actual search to engagement, and many more important topics in between. Some of the topics were: Talent Personas, Learning How to Fish, Using GIFs, Pipelining, and of course tools and tricks.
The engagement presentation was fascinating to me, though I am not currently doing much of it in my maturation as a sourcer. The key to this presentation, led by Teresa Colquitt, was the same as I had learned in my training, personalization. Make it about the candidate. What was interesting about this presentation was the approach. While very similar to what I had been taught, the addition of creative things like GIFs and Emoticons was something that had not been really covered but only hinted at. Colquitt was extremely knowledgeable in creative personalization and made it obvious that the use of GIFs and Emoticons was a great technique, and using them for follow ups as well is simply brilliant. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
The presentation on Generating Pipelines Fast was also really impressive. The methodology used by the presenter Lilian Fairchild was very close to what I have been taught but had a few intriguing nuances that made me think. Specifically, what was interesting was the research on the fly that goes down. Fairchild recommends starting your search wide and using those results to do your research, then slowly narrowing your results down. Her approach was very similar to what I’ve learned from the Social Talent Training and my father, Dean.
As you can imagine, all of the tips, tricks, and tools taught and shared was of great interest to me. That said, I already knew about most of them as my father was a presenter and had already shown me most of the good stuff. However, he still found a way to teach me something new. Some of the sourcing tricks he showed were the use of Google Sheets, add-ons, and the use of Blockspring to get the job done.
In one example he showed how you can use Bing search via Blockpsring to find people in a city, with a job title from a company. Once you have that information, you can take it into Email Hunter via Blockspring to find emails addresses, and then take those email addresses and use FullContact via Blockspring to find pretty much everything about a candidate, such as other social sites they are on, location, emails etc. I think the biggest thing I took from this, is that not only can a tool help you, but if you combine tools they can do so much more. The great part is these three Blockspring tools, is that they all have pre-created templates to make it easier.
Another huge takeaway for me was how important it is to get your hiring managers involved in sourcing. In the end, it takes a team and that team must include sourcers, recruiters, and hiring managers. You need to get your hiring managers to do their part by having them use social media to spread the word, reach out to contacts, actually source and network. Now don’t get me wrong, my father has always preached this, but it was great to get to hear it from other people in attendance.
So my first S7+ meeting has come and gone, and I can say, for a fact, that I am a better sourcer now than I was before. I learned a lot and met a lot of great people who were open, honest and very welcoming to me as a new sourcer. S7+ is not just a group or organization, but instead a family. The presenters do this for free, everyone is open to helping others and being there.
As I think more about the event, it reminded me of a team, similarly to my old baseball team. A team is everyone is together, helping and supporting each other to reach a goal. For baseball, it is winning. For sourcing, it is finding the best candidate, and helping each other get better.