When I think about going to SourceCon, I think about the fantastic time I am going to have with others like myself. In September, when I attend the SourceCon Atlanta, it will be the ninth conference I have attended during my career in the recruiting industry. It would take me hours to describe all the things I’ve learned, and the people I’ve have met along the way. While I love the personal benefits of being fortunate to attend this conference, my company wants to be sure that they have a good return on their investment (ROI). That is a return on me attending the conference.
Frequently, I hear “My company will not pay for me to attend,” or “There is no real value in me going,” and so on. I have been tracking my work performance and the skills and tools I had learned since my very first conference back in 2013, and I want to share my personal experience regarding how attending SourceCon helps bring value to the agency where I am employed.
First Time Attendee to A Repeat Attendee
The very first time I attended SourceCon was in February 2013, which coincidently was held in Atlanta at the beautiful Georgia Aquarium. I was not sure what to expect. After all, I was very early in my sourcing career and knew no one. At the time, I was supporting a team of two recruiters with sourcing needs in one division at my employer. I remember meeting Dean Da Costa and Steve Levy, who graciously gave me advice on how to find semiconductor professionals in ways I had never heard. Upon my return from the conference, I brought back ways to find candidates’ email addresses and phone numbers, using patent and publication sites and a site called Jigsaw. Of course, I am sure there were a lot of other tools, but it was a bit overwhelming to me, and I was starting small. Word got around in the office, and I started helping the other three divisions in my company.
Fast-forward to my last conference attendance, which was in Seattle 2019. I am still sourcing for the same agency, but things have evolved 360. I now know how to source from practically anywhere, including LinkedIn, Meet Up, and other sites. Boolean strings I can build in seconds – but with fabulous tools like Dean Da Costa’s start.me site, Chrome extensions, data scraping, and a handful of other tools, including Hiretual, I am now more productive during sourcing. AI is now a term in vocabulary when, six years ago, I would have looked at you with a deer-in-the-headlights look at the mention of it. No, robots have not taken over!
You would think that going to the same conference twice a year is not worth it, but it is. I am continuously learning new ways to improve my search methods and what tools can help me do them effectively.
Benefits of Attending SourceCon
An attendee of SourceCon has many opportunities during the conference to learn during sessions called “tracks.” A couple of my favorites include the “Purple Squirrel track” for identifying potential candidates, and the “Innovation Lab,” which is perfect for those who are interested in the latest and most in-demand technical tools. I particularly loved learning about SourceCon Academy and Hiretual (which my company purchased this year) when attending past conferences. You can find vendors showcasing their new tools as well – maybe there is the one you have not heard about that could help you be more efficient and profitable.
Meeting Industry Experts
You can find plenty of opportunities to network with peers during events, such as the SourceCon Kick-Off Happy Hour. Everyone is approachable – industry experts can be found taking time to speak with individuals one-on-one and even connecting with you after the conference. I love meeting new people and seeing familiar faces. SourceCon is genuinely a family reunion! Get to know the folks on the Welcome Wagon. Volunteers are available to help you get started, introduce you to others and they even have cool stickers!
Since attending my first SourceCon, I have had many opportunities from the encouragement of others to get out of my box. I have now written over twenty articles for SourceCon and have presented locally in the Dallas area. My goal is to speak at future round tables, and one day, be a presenter at a session. I also have the opportunity to share my knowledge with others who are new in the industry, and that is the greatest honor of all.
I know there is a manager or owner of a company who is wondering what the financial return is from attending. In the five years, I have been tracking my stats. I have increased overall ROI contribution to the company by 89% and consistently exceed my yearly quota by almost 40% for the last three years. Take a chance and go to the conference to experience the incredible benefits of attending SourceCon – you will want to keep going back!