SourceCon Spotlight: Up and Coming Sourcers – Lisa Offutt

Nov 12, 2008

offutt-lisa-picOur November Spotlight is Lisa Offutt, Internet Researcher and Recruiter at BizWerks in Mossville, IL.

Lisa has been with BizWerks, a small agency in Madison, WI, for a year. The company, owned by Julia Stone, employs four people and works primarily on technology positions – software developers and the like.

Lisa got into sourcing because Julia thought she would be good at it. She met Julia and her husband Brad through a community effort they were all involved in when they were living in Peoria. As part of that effort, they worked together on researching and putting together a document of evidence, and she believes that may have been the beginning of it all.

Initially, Lisa’s work was almost exclusively sourcing. She has been encouraged steadily to broaden her involvement and extend herself. According to Lisa, she is not naturally gregarious, so calling passive candidates on the phone was a huge step for her. She thought she would get chewed out or hung up on at least once, but instead she had a number of interesting and pleasant conversations. Lately, she has been doing more recruiting work, in particular using sites like BountyJobs and TalentMaze. Recently she placed two candidates, having taken them through the process pretty much independently for the first time.

Considering that Lisa had never thought about internet research as something one would be paid to do until she broached the subject, meeting Julia is one of the most impactful events Lisa notes that has affected her research career. Lisa had been a stay-at-home mom for several years at that point, and she worried that any paying work that would really fit into her life would be something boring and minimum-wage, or involve inviting friends to her house to buy things. She is thrilled to have work that’s interesting, rewarding, and that continues to challenge her.

Having worked in some larger organizations in the past, Lisa says that in those settings oftentimes it was hard to feel like what she was doing was terribly important to the organization. She likes the fact that with BizWerks she knows that when she does well, it’s felt and it really makes a difference; it’s very motivating.

When it comes to sourcing tools, Lisa mainly uses Google, LinkedIn, and the Broadlook tools. Lately she has been using Shally’s LinkedIn hacks a lot. She has also used Twitter searches to find people from time to time. What she uses depends a lot on whom she is looking for, of course.

Lisa is one of the lucky folks who gets to work remotely. She says that she loves it; the flexibility makes it perfect for her right now. She did say that it’s a bit isolating, though, and sometimes she thinks her learning curve would be a bit steeper if she were around other sourcers more. It helps a lot to have online communities like SourceCon, Recruiting Blogs and Sourcer’s Guild, so she tries to make time to check them out regularly.

On a personal note, Lisa has two sons, a 4th-grader and a 7th-grader, and she volunteers at their school. She is also very active in her church, particularly with children’s religious education and social outreach activities like cooking for the homeless. In addition, Lisa is active in Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste, an organization working to prevent the expansion of a hazardous waste landfill on the outskirts of Peoria. Just for fun, she reads a lot (maybe too much), likes to hike in the nearby Illinois River bluffs, and every Tuesday evening she goes listen to live jazz at one of her favorite hangouts, Panache.

Connect with Lisa Offutt: