Recruiting Innovation and Sourcing

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Oct 24, 2011
This article is part of a series called ERE Media Conferences.

Susan Strayer opened up the Recruiting Innovation Summit today by telling attendees not to replicate anything that they learn today.

Say what!?

What that means, Strayer continued, is that the concepts that will be shared over the course of the event, held at Facebook in Palo Alto, CA, are guidelines and attendees need to customize the things they learn on how to bring their recruiting strategies to the next level based on what their individual companies and teams need — not just on what other people are doing.

Matt Millunchick, Technical Project Manager at Facebook, kicked off by sharing some stats about Facebook users this morning (800 million active users per month; 700 billion minutes spent on Facebook each month; 30 billion pieces of content shared… wow) that laid out the future of recruiting (and sourcing) innovation — it’s about data of course, but it’s about reaching people by analyzing and then appropriately applying that data into compelling messaging.

We compete daily for people’s attention with everything in their lives from family to media. People have more ability to filter out things they don’t care about or that they believe to be irrelevant, so we must get more and more creative in what we do to reach people where they’re at as opposed to making them come to us.

As sourcers, we are specifically tasked with these types of activities, as we are so often the first contact that individuals have with a company from an employment branding perspective. We find people in obscure corners of the Internet or via phone trees by dialing in to companies after hours. Finding them is half the battle — but not the part of the war for talent that will compel people to apply for our jobs. That comes with effective messaging and that is where the real innovation is these days. Millunchick mentioned that 60% of people find jobs through their friends. This could change the role of recruiting and sourcing significantly if (or “as”) this trend continues.

How could this happen? Well, from a sourcing perspective we already know that much of the actual ‘search’ portion of our jobs can be automated to a certain extent with a wide variety of tools and resources. (Sidenote: if you are a sourcer and you either don’t know this or don’t acknowledge this, there is a rock you need to crawl out from under.) Therefore, less of our function will involve the actual search and will begin to involve more of the engagement. As a result, it has become imperative for us as sourcers to have refined communication skills. This in turn gets the attention of the individuals we are trying to reach who are being pulled in a million different directions by life and all it involves.

Recruiting is no different. Post-and-pray isn’t going to cut it. Especially not through social media channels (post-and-spray). If you’re not participating in the conversation you are going to be forgotten quickly. Communication skills are essential in innovative recruiting as well as sourcing.

Coming back to the first session of the day with Millunchick, many of these people are spending a great deal of time on Facebook so it seems a natural place to either begin or include in a sourcing strategy. The thing to remember here, as well as any other social technology resource is to get involved. Converse. Let people know you are paying attention to them, and they will return the favor.


With social media engagement, you will find that you have to put a lot in upfront before you can start expecting anything in return. And as Matthew Lavery, Managing Director of Talent Acquisition at UPS said a little later in the morning, social media engagement is a marathon. Be ready for the long haul; but it’s worth the effort to put yourself ahead of the rest of the pack.

If you’re not here today for the Recruiting Innovation Summit, you can tune in live here and watch the sessions.

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