The plethora of conferences that revolve around our industry has always amused me. There are the same recycled speakers with the same recycled topics and decks that they wrote four years ago. That is until you come to SourceCon and look at the speaker lineup. Granted there are always fan favorites, but these orators bring new and inventive topics each and every time. This is probably why I go to SourceCon twice a year; It’s simply worth it. The topics are relevant to the times, and some speakers are just not to be missed.
One of those keynote presenters was Glen Cathey, and he is one of those speakers that is not to be missed, especially if he is speaking at this particular conference. SourceCon is where he got his start, and this was his ninth conference presenting! Cathey has a quiet confidence, and his timing is always impeccable. You can tell that he has taken the time to put together an incredible presentation and even though he speaks about, what could be a boring topic, you just giggle to yourself while he presents.
The thing about Cathey is that while being wicked smart, he can relay his thoughts to those who don’t sit on the same ethereal plane as him, he can dumb it down without making you feel stupid in the process. Cathey initially spoke about the one thing I love and have loved for years, working your database. There is a great tool, Restless Bandit, that can make even the worst ATS repositories bearable in a search, I am looking at you Taleo. The reality is, as Cathey explains it, these are usually the best places to find people because you have all the pertinent information at your fingertips. The biggest problem you have in finding them though is you, let me explain.
Cathey says, and I wholeheartedly agree, you need to know what you are looking for. If you are looking for a software developer with JAVA, for example, the candidate you are searching for may not have the word JAVA. That, or they only put in on their resume or profile once, pushing the resume to the bottom of the pile, where you may never get to see it. Their resume might have the essential tools that are used on the JAVA platform, i.e. J2EE, beans, or applets. These are forms of languages within the framework of the actual language of JAVA and if you are thinking like a programmer are not adding these words to your search. You have to think and feel like the candidate, not your job description.
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Keep in mind that while you source, you are looking for people based on your title, not necessarily their title, and that too is a huge mistake. Once again with our software position, titles can range from a developer, engineer, engineer leveled, like one, two, or three, or even analyst.
Cathey is one of those cats that is sitting on another level than most of us, yet he will take the time to sit with a total stranger who is a super fan and extol knowledge to her like she was an old friend that he had known for years. Just like his presentations he brings you gently to his level and lets you fly in his space, and it is a great place to be. Come to Austin, Texas September 25-27, and you might get to meet Cathey. For me, I will be the one in the front row ready to soak up the knowledge from a sourcing legends. Are you going to be there?