Happy Holidays From SourceCon (And Three Wishes For 2013)

I wanted to use this opportunity to wish everyone happy holidays from all of us here at SourceCon. The last posts of the year will be featuring the top posts of 2012 and I will be using the time to rest, visit family and hopefully kick through a ton of reading I’ve queued up. Any good reading material out there (especially non-fiction)?

I took over as editor 10 months ago and it has really gone so well thanks to the support of the entire sourcing community. I couldn’t do it without all of the great contributors we have as well as some helpful guidance along the way.

We had two of the biggest SourceCon’s ever including a return to Atlanta and traffic to articles continues to improve. We will be repeating our trip to Atlanta next year and I hope to see you all there!  We’re looking forward to announcing the fall SourceCon location as well but I am very excited about the location.

To close out this first calendar year as editor, I wanted to share three wishes I have for sourcers for 2013.

1. Love the one you’re with

HR isn’t sourcing but I’ve had some tough HR gigs in the past that made it tough to go to work and be excited about what I was doing. Inevitably, there are probably a few people out there that aren’t doing exactly what they envision when they chose sourcing.

No matter the reason, embrace what you’re doing and learn as much as you can. In the meantime, network like hell and make a move that will leave you satisfied doing what you’re doing. One of my worst gigs turned into one of my best simply because I immersed myself and made it my mission to learn as much as I could.

2. Rethink thinking about search

One of the themes of the many conversations I’ve had over the past 10 months has been about rethinking how companies think about searching and sourcing. Sometimes, it involves taking on more responsibilities. Sometimes it involves taking less or reassigning resources.

Hiring is going to be as important as ever in 2013 and the way companies are deploying resources to deal with the slow tightening of the labor markets is going to change.

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Sourcing is important and it isn’t going away. Saying that, it is going to continue to evolve to bring in the maximum value for their organizations. Drive that conversation yourself, and don’t let anyone blindside you with it.

3. Look to yourself

If you’re reading this, I have to guess you’re a smart, productive sourcing or recruiting professional. If you’ve taken anything from Glen Cathey’s writings on this site and his own over the past few years, one thing you’ll learn is that he just figures out a lot of things out on his own by being curious or trying things out. As he can surely tell you, he’s probably entered hundreds (or thousands) of search strings that haven’t produced anything. What counts are the ones that work and that he learns something with each failure.

There’s no manual for sourcing. It is taking the entirety of your knowledge and tools and creating magic. You can know how every component and string works but when you’re asked to build something from scratch, that takes understanding of how and why components of a search strategy work. It’s the difference between following the recipe off the back of a Tollhouse Chocolate Chip bag and creating your own cookie recipe because you know what to do with the various ingredients to get your desired effect.

I hope you’ll look to yourself more frequently in 2013 because you are a smart bunch. Use resources judiciously so you’re not reinventing the wheel but if you’re stuck, look at what you know and stretch yourself to think beyond the obvious.

Looking forward to a bright and productive 2013 with all of you!