Closing out 2018 With Lessons Learned on the Job

The year 2018 has come and gone, and it’s been an interesting year here at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. We’ve shifted gears, changed the status quo, and become much more dynamic in recruiting and sourcing. We’ve gone from the “what is a sourcer” mentality to sourcing and outreach becoming a major focal point in our day today.

Through this, I’ve worked as a sourcer, a full cycle recruiter, and now a hybrid of both. I’m now recruiting for three different countries, and although Dublin is six hours away and WebEx and Skype have become my fast and free friends.

The last year has taught me several lessons, about myself, my team, my leadership, and the managers we partner with.

When I look back and see this team of two expand to a team of seven, and see us sourcing for all areas of the organization, it is amazing. Here are some lesson learned over the last year, it’s been one fast and furious sleigh ride for sure.

Lesson 1: Expect the Unexpected

When I took over the full cycle in the interim, something clicked in my brain, and I went back into full cycle mode. I was checking reqs and making sure they were posted strategically to increase the active pipeline. However, I also sourced, and even it was quick and dirty sourcing, the balance of active and passive candidates was important in the effort. I wasn’t defined by a title; I knew what outcome we needed to achieve and worked the roles like a project. I wasn’t expecting my sourcing mindset to help as much as it did, but it REALLY did!

Lesson 2: Anyone can be a Teacher, Even the New Employee

Two people stand out in this respect, some of you have already read some of Michael Vroman’s work. He and I talk about tools all the time, and he’s brought things I’ve never seen to the forefront like this Octoparse thing, like OSINT tools that stalked me super hard in seconds. This guy is for real, and I’m honored to get to work with him and see him published on SourceCon. Dude, looking forward to seeing more.

Zach Bonfonte, who came into engineering when we were shifting jobs, running a ton of events, and running at super high speed. When I prescreened 17 candidates in a week, he was able to prescreen 19 through our events. That’s a huge number of prescreens for our engineering group, and it wouldn’t have been possible if we haven’t been working outside our job titles and job descriptions. Zach has taught me so many lessons the past few weeks when it comes to resolving, determination, and what true partnership looks like.

Lesson 3: Turn Stress into Power with Automation

Seriously, if I didn’t have my scraping tools, I don’t think I could have handled 40+ engineering reqs globally. However, all that tinkering, those sourcingIRL videos, all the experimentation I did as a dedicated sourcer helped me maintain the candidate flow from both sides, and allowed my team to ramp up and train as they needed. Time was our biggest enemy, but with these tools, we were able to utilize our time effectively and stay on target. You can find many of the tools we use on a daily basis here (scrapers included): https://hrsourcingtoolbox.wixsite.com/main

Partnering with People is Very Pleasant

Not too long ago I co-authored my first article ever with Erin Mathew, and what that’s led to set up several webinars with multiple people. I’ve been using the term partner quite a bit inside and outside of HMH. Sometimes when you ask people to help or work with you on a project, you get an overwhelming YES. Maybe its just because I’m turning 40, but that kind of energy around internal projects and open source initiatives for the community makes me want to build more tools for everyone.

Which leads us to the last lesson.

Lesson 5: Always Scroll to the Bottom of the Article

So I wanted to leave something old school and new school that pulls it all together. Here are a few gifts for the SourceCon readers.

Santas new X-ray list

Site searching or “x-raying” had become a common term in sourcing. This means is using the site: operator in a Google (or another search engine) to look through a specific website for keywords. Often, I’m looking for profiles, so I’ve saved quite a number into my bookmarks lately. However, after chatting with Dean Da Costa about Startme and the ability to share, I’ve made some of the newer searches public. This way you can see how I’ve built them. In addition, I’ve included a link to the raw data I used to build the HRSourcingToolbox (with several resources not listed on my websites).

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Newer X-Rays

Older Xrays

New CSEs Gift Wrapped for You

One can build a custom search engine around some of this syntax. The profile jargon can get a little sketchy, so oftentimes I build these out for future reference. These CSEs can aid you in searching if Boolean is not on your want list. These CSEs are free to use and are targeting to search for profiles, not jobs or companies.

Reddit Profile Search

Quora Profile Search

Kaggle Profile Search

Nursing Network

It wouldn’t be the holidays without sharing some recipes. I’m not the best cook, unless the entree includes data harvesting. Here are a few new recipes I’ve made public via Dataminer. You’ll have to look these up in Dataminer based on the site you are searching.

  • Hawkes CSE Extractor #SourcingIRL
  • Greg Hawkes Sched Extractor #SourcingIRL
  • Greg Hawkes Meetup Members #SourcingIRL
  • Hawkes #SourcingIRL Google Search Results
  • Hawkes #SourcingIRL Githubber

Greg Hawkes is a Strategic Talent Sourcer, Speaker, Author, and Founder of the HRSourcingToolbox. He has worked as both a Technical Recruiter and Sourcing Analyst for healthcare, engineering, biotechnology, manufacturing and many other industries. He has been in the recruitment field for over 10 years, and got into heavy sourcing and headhunting back in 2012. He is an ongoing contributor to SourceCon – with topics ranging from Site Searches and CSEs, to Deep Dives andURL Sourcing. While preparing to speak at SourceCon 2017, he built the HRSourcingToolbox with a large inventory of Free Recruitment and Sourcing Tools. He has recently joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a Strategic Sourcer and loving every minute of it! He is a huge fan of emerging technologies and Boolean Syntax and always willing to share a technique or hack to find the elusive purple squirrel.

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