Should Sourcing Professionals go to #SHRM13?

Jun 10, 2013
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Next week is SHRM13, the largest gathering of HR practitioners in the world. I’ve had a few people ask me why I would go when the content isn’t relevant to sourcing. It’s a question that makes sense to anyone who is familiar with the conference as only three session descriptions even mention the word sourcing. I asked some well-known HR bloggers and speakers to share their thoughts on the issue:

6 comments in favor of sourcing professionals attending SHRM13

 “Sourcers need to understand the bigger picture of talent management. Recruiting doesn’t exist in a bubble, so the more a recruiting pro understands about the overall business of HR, the more impact they can make.” –Jason Lauritsen 

“With the rise of social media and internet use, sourcers play an even more critical role in the hiring, recruitment, and retention process than ever before. Sourcers should attend SHRM to learn more about how their role plays into the bigger HR picture and help to facilitate conversations with HR leaders about the importance of what it is they (sourcers) do.” –Jessica Miller-Merrill

“The best sourcing leaders are collaborative human capital experts who understand how their area of expertise comp liments the entire human resources function. SHRM has great sessions that can round out a sourcer’s knowledge of the HR function. But more importantly, how does a sourcer legitimately ignore critical mass? I know that good people are often found in the shadows of the deep web; however, really awesome people of all levels of seniority attend SHRM. A future boss or a potential lead might be in that group of attendees. Ignore it at your peril.” –Laurie Reuttimann 

“The main reason for a sourcer to go is to build relationships with key individuals/organizations in the HR/recruitment space. 20K potential clients all under one roof!” –Victorio Milian

 “SHRM13 is the “State of the Union” address for HR. Over the course of the event, you learn what is happening now, what is about to happen, and how far ahead (or behind) the curve your company is.” –Jim Stroud

“To get better at understanding the foundation of assessment. To see how colleagues in HR are representing you…or not. To learn more about current succession models in order to develop better competitive intelligence capabilities. To learn how to influence upward. Or you could just hang out with me at SHRM13 and have a quality glass of wine and a good conversation.” –Gerry Crispin

One comment advising sourcers to stay away from SHRM13

“They shouldn’t – SHRM is for HR ladies from Duluth – Sourcers don’t wear cat sweaters – stay away!” –Tim Sackett

Why I think sourcing should be represented at SHRM:

  • Like it or not, sourcing is a sub-specialty of talent acquisition, which is a sub-specialty of HR. As a profession, we need to understand the concerns of the HR community, and know how we can help our clients address the issues they face.
  • We need to continue helping HR practitioners understand what sourcing is, and what sourcing is not, so we can all be more productive.

In conclusion, if you want to learn to source better, go to SourceCon in October. If you want to represent the sourcing profession and continue creating deeper partnerships with the HR community, the SHRM Annual Conference is an event you shouldn’t miss.

Chicago Skyline photo from

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