SourceCon Spotlight: Up and Coming Sourcers – Stephen Carlson

Apr 14, 2009

carlson-stephen-photoThe SourceCon spotlight for April 2009 goes to Stephen Carlson, Sourcing Specialist with Johnson Controls in Milwaukee, WI.

Stephen was in the US Air Force, and the last year of his time in the Air Force he was working in the back office doing background checks on people who wanted to visit the bases.  After doing that for about a year he told his boss they needed to hire more administrative people to do that work moving forward. Stephen’s boss put him in charge of sourcing and recruiting these administrative people. Now with Johnson Controls, Stephen has been working in a sourcing role for about 1 ½ years. He supports 12 corporate recruiters nation-wide and provides the sourcing for the positions they need to fill. He also work on positions outside the United States from time to time.

Stephen is one of those sourcers who uses a combination of internet and phone to conduct research.  He uses internet research as a first step in his sourcing efforts, but he prefers to use the phone for the deeper sourcing. He also relies heavily on people who are entrepreneurs and have recently started their own businesses.  They usually like to tell their story of how they got there and what their goals/visions are and also like to refer other people to him.

Being able to provide techniques and sourcing advice to colleagues and co-workers has definitely motivated Stephen to continuing learning. He says, “You can learn so much from networking and sharing knowledge with each other. There is always someone out there that knows more than you and I always pick their brain to increase my knowledge and try to pass that along as well to others.”

Stephen spends a lot of his time on LinkedIn; he is always open to new connections. He says it is a great tool to ask questions, research sourcing tools and build pipelines. It is as necessary to him as a job board is to traditional recruiters. He is also a big proponent of tracking information and being able to show your results. Stephen’s current company does a great job of tracking data and showing value. He is a fan of creating spreadsheets, pivot tables and charts to track candidates contacted, sources being utilized and turnaround time between initial contact and phone screens. 

carlson-stephen-photo-2Another tool that Stephen believes in is cold calling. Cold calling, he says, is always his suggestion to other sourcers and recruiters. He says it is hands down the tool that everyone sourcer and recruiter should be using. There is a large fear of cold calling, but Stephen thinks with the right training, coaching and motivation it can be an enjoyable task. He is always open to holding cold calling listening sessions with his team so they can have their questions answered or deal with their reservations/fears head on.

Like many of us, one of Stephen’s biggest frustrations is bad data on the internet. The internet has such a wide array of resources that it is inevitable that you are going to stumble upon bad email address and bad phone numbers. But he says that by having a large amount of tools to use to validate information, you can definitely reduce your frustration. He uses Mail Testers online to validate email address or just pick up the phone and call to see who answers the phone. Going back to cold calling it is the best way to get up to date information and immediate results.

Outside of work, Stephen enjoys cooking with his wife. He loves tackling the difficult recipes for a great dinner at home with family or friends. He says it helps to get him away from the phone and away from the email for a while.

Connect with Stephen Carlson on LinkedIn.

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