Well, hello there! Back in the early days, a monthly PDF was sent out via email and it included one or two interviews with members of the SourceCon community. Consider this a rebirth of a new series that spotlights talent sourcing professionals within the SourceCon community. We aim to showcase individuals for who they are and create space to get to know your peers.
We’re all unique. There isn’t one defining fact and we are multi-faceted creatures.
Be on the lookout for each showcase, take the time to learn more about them and connect. Let’s get started with our very first member profile. Do you know her? Has it been a while since you’ve last connected? Consider this your sign to reach out and introduce yourself.Amybeth Quinn has spent over two decades within talent acquisition, in both agency and corporate environments. Once upon a time, she was also serving the community as Editor at SourceCon. She’s worn recruiting and sourcing hats as an individual contributor as well as a people leader.
With over 70 articles at ere.net and over 200 articles at sourcecon.com you might’ve met her at a previous conference or read one of her publications. Or maybe you met her when she collected her illuminated purple squirrel trophy at the Spring 2019 Advanced Hackathon.
SourceCon: Where did the nickname “Research Goddess” come from?
Amybeth: That’s a fun story. Back when I was working in agency, I was a part of a LISTSERV community for internet researchers specific to an agency franchise org that I was working for. When I left that company, I didn’t have access to the LISTSERV anymore. That’s when started a blog, called SPI research, which later caught attention of Jim Stroud and he reached out to me, took me under his wing, and was an early mentor in my career. He told me it would be in my best interest to not tie the name of the blog and my online presence to an employer and to find something more uniquely me. Then we ran through ideas and I jokingly said, Research Goddess, and he cracked up laughing and thought it was awesome. If I call him today, he greets me with “Hello Goddess” or “What’s up Goddess” and its a silly name that just stuck.
What is your best personality trait?
That’s a great question. My best is my curiosity! Because it leads to so many opportunities to learn new things, meet new people, better understand different situations. Without a curious mind, it’s hard to gain knowledge and wisdom.
What is your worst personality trait?
Pride. It’s something that can manifest itself in a number of ways. In arrogance or conceit, which is most common but also rigidity to opinion or position or being controlling. Candidly, this is a struggle that I have in form of being in control of everything. You and I both know that is not true and I believe God is in control. Pride can cause you to miss out on so many wonderful encounters with people and surroundings and have you unwilling to step out on faith.
How have you overcome those moments?
Always with God. By peeling back the onion and realizing the more I tried to control situations, the more I lost control of them. It was a painful learning experience. Then I got to a point where I just trusted God and learned things will work out for my life and with the people that I encounter also.
What do you love most about working as a Talent Sourcing professional?
There are different aspects I like for different reasons. I love looking at things through multiple perspectives and finding trends and patterns. One of the fun things about talent sourcing is that you have to translate skill requirements and ‘nice to haves’ into standard terminology, keywords and phrases to find what that looks like in different places, that will lead to different paths of talent discovery. That curiosity I referenced above feeds this and helps me understand the world from different perspectives.
It’s why think people who have educational backgrounds in language mastery would transition into successful talent sourcers because you have to understand language to understand how it was developed and how it translates into other things.
What do you like the least about working as a Talent Sourcing professional?
How very different talent sourcing continues to be defined at every single company. Also, overcoming assumptions that come along with bringing different teams together. This has been something I’ve witnessed through entirety of my career. The more talent sourcing changes, the more that stays the same. Some teams involve candidate engagement, some research and competitive intelligence, some are doing just about everything except extending offers and closing the candidate.
What is your favorite memory of SourceCon?
Two come to mind. First, was my very first SourceCon, and it was an honor to be there as a newbie and as a presenter. Suzy Tonini and I split a hotel room, and that was the first time we’d met in person. There was a smaller group of around 100 in attendance. I was nervous, and almost tripped over wires at front of room. I’m forever grateful to Jim Stroud who suggested that I speak. Honestly, I can’t ever thank him enough for that.
My second favorite is the very first conference where I fully programmed it as the Editor, in New York City in 2011. Chris Hadnagy spoke about social engineering and it was an unforgettable session that people still talk about today. I vividly remember the general ambience of the room and the sessions topics were tangents of talent sourcing and how social engineering played into that as well as the monitoring of social media accounts, trends and patterns. I’m so proud to have been part of that and people still talk about that particular event, #SourceConNYC.
How do you define success?
I feel one can be successful as a person and as a team. When individuals find success, the team will, but as an individual it’s when you seek to improve yourself and stop comparing yourself to others. You look at your own baseline and where you can improve. The baseline can be a role benchmark but each person is at a different point, so making improvements among your own baseline, that’s where you reach satisfaction and success. Hypothetically I could look at my neighbor and think I’m more successful than them, but I don’t know where they’ve started at, and what they’ve went through to get where they’re at.
How do you define failure?
It comes back to pride for me. When you’re unwilling and/or unable to learn the lesson in every situation. It’s getting back up from a setback and not staying there and feeling sorry for yourself forever. Failure will happen as everyone comes across hardships. How do you deal with failure and do you move forward and not dwell there? Move beyond it.
What is your greatest failure?
Waiting too long to forgive and move beyond situations where I feel I’ve been slighted or disrespected.
What is your current state of mind as it relates to the current state of sourcing?
We have to be aware of not losing our humanity! In Talent Acquisition, we have a tendency in general to swing the pendulum so far towards personalization that is not scalable and swing so far to automation and we lose authenticity as human beings. We’re swinging that way now because there’s a tendency to train on tools vs fundamental skills and concepts and if we’re not careful, we will lose humanity. We’ve got to think critically and leverage tools as augmenters of what we do as opposed to replacements. Remember there are human beings on the other side of a job search & conversations we have about different motives and different experiences candidates have gone through to help us understand the best way to find a good fit for someone. We find out what their motivation is and not pigeon hole them into something we want them to be.
Who is one person in the community, that people need to know, besides yourself?
My wonderful, former partner in crime Jessica ‘JJ’ Joseph. She’s a lovely person and was a great sourcing leadership partner. We had so much fun working together! I think the world of her and don’t talk to her as much because I haven’t reached out, but I have so much respect for her as a working parent and spouse. Her career journey has been impressive! She also recently spoke for the first time at SourceCon Spring 2023 in Dallas, TX.
What is a current hobby?
I’ve been really trying to develop my green thumb here in Tennessee and grow vegetables and herbs! I’ve got raised garden beds, basil, leafy lettuce, dill, chives and cilantro that I’m looking at right now. I’m growing it so that I can eat what I produce. Things have thrived such as beans and tomatoes, and they were good. If you grow from a seed and if you follow the recommended manner of planting and nurturing, they should grow.
You won a SourceCon Hackathon in 2019. What was that like?
Exciting! That year, we had rounds that started with individual qualification, then competing together in teams, then the final round the winning team competed amongst itself. The best part was being there in the final round with two team members from Nike and an additional friend from the sourcing community. Don’t get me wrong, while we’re all friends I am still competitive so I wasn’t going to go easy in the final round. Any of us could’ve won, and the best part was working together as a team so we could then compete with each other.
Amybeth Quinn (AbQ) is…