I Should Have Gone to SourceCon Years Ago

As I sit on my delayed flight in Atlanta (now there’s a surprise) headed home from my second SourceCon, I reflect on the past three days. What it means to experience SourceCon, the takeaways, and what makes this conference different from any other recruitment/sourcing conference.

Two years ago, I attended my first conference in Anaheim. It was then I realized, I’d been living under a rock, because I knew NOTHING about SourceCon or what to expect when I arrived.

A recruiter of 20 years, slowly losing the inspiration for what I did, even thinking about looking at taking my career in a different direction. Possibly leaving a profession, I once loved and had been successful at. I’d lost all inspiration.

When I arrived in Anaheim, who knew walking through those doors was going to change my outlook on my career.

People who know me, know I love to talk. (give me a mic and yeah, you won’t shut me up). I love to share, and I love to learn about people and what makes them tick.

What most people don’t know is that I’m an observer (I think it makes me a good recruiter). I’m partially deaf, I rarely jump in group conversations, generally, I sit back, and people watch, listen in (as much as I can) and observe from afar getting comfortable before taking the plunge.

As I observed, I noticed people from all over the globe CONNECTED at SourceCon.

I saw large groups of people engaged, passionately sharing their ideas, sharing knowledge and on the fly mentoring another. Having fun while growing professionally.

People who were genuinely happy in their career, loving what they did and taking it to another level. It was pure energy, it was infectious like some crazy disease, causing one to become enthusiastic and passionate about what they did.

It’s this one crazy disease you want to catch, and the only way to get it is to take the first step by submerging yourself into the sea of the many amazing, caring and passionate people around you. Feel the energy and opening your mind to the knowledge that surrounds you.

Quickly you find out; you don’t want to get rid of this crazy disease of it, you want it to take over your body and once again.

Feel the energy, the passion and the knowledge flowing through your body.

My first contact at SourceCon was none other than Steve Levy (I’m sure most of us will say the same thing). If there is anyone you want to meet when you arrive, it’s Steve. Throughout my first conference, I’d constantly bump into him, (it was like he was a stalker, duh he’s a recruiter) always asking how it ’s going.

At the Hackathon, I didn’t participate (I didn’t bring the laptop), he came over to my peer and I and on the fly started sharing a couple of tools I had not heard of before (yeah, I was living under a rock). It was refreshing.

What I learned in Anaheim is the culture at SourceCon is all about sharing and learning through peer engagement.

Here I’m thinking I was a life learner but got myself in the mindset of I knew everything as a recruiter/sourcer. As I left my first SourceCon, I realized I wanted more, wanting to be a part of this life-changing organization called SourceCon.

SourceCon provides content, tools, ideas, etc., but it’s the dedicated people who set the tone.

In the past couple of years, I’ve entrenched myself into SourceCon by following contributors, opening my mind and started sharing my knowledge through writing and collaboration in the hopes I can help a recruiter find that lost passion as others in SourceCon have done for me.

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Fast forward to Atlanta, once again life changing.

Name dropping, Tim Sackett, Brett Coin, Mimi Turner, Jim Stroud, Eric Jaquith. You were all amazing, and I’ll be reaching out to each of you and pick your brains (once I get back from Hawaii).

The innovation lab, wow, it’s crazy to think about how technology is getting more advanced every day, making our lives a little bit better.

The exhibit hall with all the vendors, thank you. Some great conversations and lots of hopes to use some of your tools in the future!

What continues to stand out as I reflect on Atlanta SourceCon is the 1:1 conversations with my fellow peers. Revisiting those from two years ago and the MANY new friends! I’m awestruck with the amount of talent attending SourceCon!

As I sit on my flight hoping I won’t be delayed again!

I wanted to share a few thoughts and feelings on what SourceCon has done for me.

It’s life-changing, so if you’ve not attended a conference, written an article, shared a tip or created a video. I urge you! Get involved.

Share and collaborate because what you get in return isn’t measurable, but will stay with you forever.

Thanks to the many people who have made my first two conferences unforgettable! I look forward to meeting more of my fellow peers in this crazy world of Talent Acquisition.

Seattle SourceCon, can’t come soon enough!

Matt Craven is a senior strategic sourcer & program manager at Schneider Electric. With 20 years of experience in talent acquisition in various industries including healthcare, financial services, energy, and technology. He drives results by finding the purple squirrels (not always with technology either) and gets his candidates to accept!

Matt leads various continuous improvement projects that drive talent acquisition as a “strategic partner” through research, data and building relationships. He helps shape how organizations look at recruitment functions.

Passion drives him. When he’s not out hunting for great people, Matt is spending time with the family in the Pacific Northwest, hiking, kayaking and exploring the beautiful beaches along the Oregon coast.

Connect with Matt on Linkedin OR Twitter.

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