Continual Education Is Important, But Sharing What You Learn Is Crucial

Someone once told me that for every day you are at a conference, it takes one week for each day that you are there for the excitement to wear off. I was at SourceCon for two days; it should be gone by now, but I love what I do and am continually excited about implementing new tools for my team to help make my company more successful, so it seems to be lasting. The content, the people, and the synergy made SourceCon a conference I want to make an annual tradition. I find the challenge that we all face after attending conferences is to gather our thoughts, implement our takeaways, and share with others so that everyone else is successful.

Last week in Seattle, we had a gathering of sourcing professionals for a roundtable discussion of several conferences that took place this fall. On Tuesday night at Expedia’s HQ in Bellevue, there were about fifty people who attended and a waitlist of over twenty people who couldn’t RSVP, as it sold out in five hours. Five panelists presented highlights, takeaways, and tricks of what they learned from the various conferences they attended in the past few months, including LinkedIn Talent Connect in Las Vegas, NV, SourceCon in Santa Clara, CA, and the Recruiting Innovation Summit in Palo Alto, CA. Jeremy Langhans and James Temple spoke on Talent Connect, Candice Zaniewski and I spoke about SourceCon, and Mike Johnson discussed the Recruiting Innovation Summit.

LinkedIn Talent Connect

Jeremy and James highlighted some of the main points from the LinkedIn conference, including the introduction of the rollout of its new CRM solution, Talent Pipeline. Everyone is looking for the one magic solution for a CRM and this may not be it, but some of its functionality is amazing and makes so much sense. Why have a system that doesn’t automatically update candidates whose information is out there already? This is the first step to hopefully the next generation of CRM/ATS that can integrate with the cloud, keeping it current for us rather than us having to continually manually update the information. The technology is there, and I can’t wait to see when the devs will make it happen!

Jeremy also talked about content vs. engagement and how the two intersect. He used to say that content was king; now the new motto is that engagement is king, content is queen. With LinkedIn, and many other social networking and microblogging sites, it is so easy to ingest and get lost in the amount of content that is available. With all of this content, what good is it if nobody continues to share it, discuss it, leverage it with their peers, and engage their communities? How do you present information in a way that it will engage your networks? Do you simply Share articles on LinkedIn? Do you add a little comment? Do you microblog about your take on the article? These things are all so important to do to keep your networks engaged. The trick is to make sure that doing this doesn’t take over your whole workday. It is so easy for social media to take up our time. Jeremy has a schedule where he “does a little social media” at a few key points in the day to not only stay engaged but also to remain focused on what he actually needs to accomplish in the day.

James discussed how hiring managers are advocates and how important it is to have them on board for your hiring practices. As we all know, not everyone is on LinkedIn. For those of us who are, we all realize the importance and advantage of having a full profile and using our profile and connections to reach and attract talent. If hiring managers aren’t evangelizing jobs, posting job descriptions to their pages, and helping you find candidates, your company is losing out. Managers are generally well-networked and by not utilizing that resource, your company is being sold short. If networking and referrals are such a significant portion of how companies hire talent, why wouldn’t you want to reengage your network to find the best fit for your company?

Recruiting Innovation Summit

Michael Johnson discussed the Recruiting Innovation Summit that was held at Facebook. He discussed the differences between sourcing locally vs. globally. It is important to be aware of global sourcing techniques and strategies. Sourcers in other countries might be doing things differently and having high success with those techniques, but if we only pay attention to how we do things, we will never know those techniques. Global awareness is key, and learning from what others share is of the utmost importance.

SourceCon

Candice and I spoke about our experience at SourceCon. Candice gave a great overview of what SourceCon was for those who had either never heard of it or never attended. She came away with a few great tools that she has been using since she returned. She highlighted a Google Plus tool called findpeopleonplus.com, which is a search tool to find individuals on Google Plus through their messages and profiles. She also highlighted a business intelligence tool called Wanted Analytics that provides real-time data on the employment market. This tool is the place where talent supply and talent demand intersect and is a great tool for recruiters, sourcers, researchers to save time and money.

I discussed some strategic and a few tactical takeaways. Sourcing is a partnership, not a support function, and it will take awhile to change the perception of how that is viewed. Sourcing is not just an entry-level role; in fact, many highly skilled recruiters often transition into sourcing as a career path. It is important in your organization to show the value that sourcing provides, gain manager buy-in, and partner with your fellow coworkers. (Sharing what is learned through educational opportunities like the Roundtable can assist in this process.) I also talked about a few tools that I came away with: ZoomInfo Community Edition and Outwit Hub. ZoomInfo is a website that allows you to view contact information and profiles of B2B contacts in their database…for FREE! Outwit is a data scraping tool that can grab, extract, and export data. For example: say you perform a Google search to find java developers. This tool can extract documents (.doc, .pdf, etc) from websites and extract them so you can download them. This is a great time saver!

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I love information sharing and learning. I know most sourcers do. I think that these types of information dumping sessions are key to our success. It’s great to attend conferences, webinars, and workshops and then bring back information to share with our companies and our fellow sourcers/recruiters, and then to distribute that information widely so that as many people as possible can learn from it. When I think of my job duties, the following equation comes to mind:

(Research + Information Analysis + Consulting+ Strategy + Networking) x Information Sharing = Success For All Involved

We sourcers have a great type of job function: we get to feed our technical geeky research side while also networking with others and sharing information to improve our skills. As long as we continue to share information with each other, sourcing will continue evolving and become the cornerstone of every recruiting department. I look forward to being part of this emerging trend with all of you!

What are some ways in which you or your team share with other sourcers? Do you feel it is important to share sourcing strategies, even if they are considered a “secret sauce?” Please share in the comments below (deliberate pun).

Teresa currently works at e-commerce startup HDS Global as a Lead Sourcer. Prior to that, she has worked at Cloudera, Amazon, Rylem Consulting, and Parker Technical in sourcing roles. She is on the SourceCore advisory committee and you can find her at the Welcome Wagon too. She likes riding her beach cruiser on the beach, traveling, and spending time with family and her four Shih-Tzus. You can find her on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/sourcingbeast or teresa.colquitt [@]gmail.com

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