My Whirlwind Year in the #SourceCon Community

A year ago, I had my first blog published to SourceCon. At the time, I was utterly unknown in the sourcing community, never used Boolean, and had never heard of a Chrome extension. Fast forward to today, and I’ve now spoken at several sourcing and recruiting events, hosted webinars, and written 18 publications. I’m especially grateful and humbled that I will be speaking at SourceCon Atlanta 2019 in September. To say the last year has been a whirlwind would be an understatement and in the best way. For that, I have SourceCon and several mentors to thank for taking a chance on me. My life and career have been elevated in ways I never thought it could be.

So how did all of this begin a year ago? Blogging started as a means to an end and nothing more. I had recently found out three of my co-workers were selected to go to SourceCon. None of them knew what SourceCon was, nor did they want to go. As someone who has lurked on the SourceCon Facebook page for a decent bit of time, it was tough to process. It was then that it occurred to me that I didn’t have to wait on my employer to hand me these opportunities. I decided I was going to SourceCon with the other three recruiters on my team even if it meant paying my way and taking vacation time.

In hopes of earning a free ticket to Atlanta, I started blogging. Being new to the advanced sourcing world, I felt as though I was struggling to come up with any content that I thought others would find useful. Being published next to bloggers and speakers who had mastered Boolean, hacking conference attendee lists, or knew of every cool new tool was intimidating. My first six blogs weren’t particularly groundbreaking, but they were relatable to fellow sourcers and recruiters.  My very first blog was titled How Improv Comedy Shaped my Aptitude to be a Recruiter. It wasn’t full of cool tools or innovative strategies. What mattered was that all of the seasoned SourceCon veterans kept reminding me that no matter where I was in my level of sourcing, I had a story to tell.

By the end of the summer, I had all six of my blogs published, and I was booked to go to SourceCon. A few weeks prior, there was an unexpected turn of events. I received a message from a recruiter that had read my blogs and wanted to talk to me about a talent sourcer position. My most significant concern with accepting the job was whether I would still be able to attend SourceCon since it was close to when they wanted me to start. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only would they be supportive of me going, but my future manager was already registered as well.

The very first week at my new job was attending SourceCon Atlanta, and I can’t imagine a better way to start. It transformed my way of thinking entirely. All of the headlining speakers and roundtable leaders were so approachable and helpful. It always seemed that at any given time, they were sitting down with their laptops eager to show new attendees cook hacks and tips. Brian Fink was still sitting at a table while others crowded around to take notes on his latest methods. He opened my eyes to places I would have never thought to look for talent, like Amazon, Slack, or Instagram. The best way I could describe it was a sourcing boot camp that left me inspired to go back and take on my new job head-on. At first, I thought SourceCon would be a one-time event for me, but after Atlanta, I found myself eager to earn my way to Seattle. If I was going to blog my way there again, I was going to have to take my skills to the next level so I could find some new sourcing methods that would be truly innovative to the community.

During SourceCon Atlanta, I attended Greg Hawkes’ roundtable discussion, and he detailed so many ways to source on pretty much any platform that utilized user profiles. I asked him if he knew any methods for sourcing on my favorite website, Reddit. He said that he was familiar with the platform but hadn’t attempted to dive in yet. It was then that I was inspired. If the legendary Greg Hawkes hadn’t decoded Reddit, then maybe there was an opportunity for me to do some research. What I discovered was a vast goldmine of passive talent, and it was enough to write a four-part series.

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As soon as the installments of the Reddit series started running, I immediately started getting messages from recruiters wanting to learn more. Additionally, I had several organizations asking me to speak about the topic further. Each of these opportunities afforded me the ability to not only share what I had discovered but to also learn even more from other influencers in our community.

By the time Seattle rolled around, I was allowed to lead a roundtable and work the welcome wagon. I saw so much of myself in the first time attendees, and I wanted them to leave at the end of the week as inspired as I was.  This time around I even caught myself suddenly being one of the bloggers that would open up my laptop anywhere and everywhere to give impromptu tutorials to new sourcers on a tool or resource that came up in discussion. I never expected I would be someone that anyone would ask for guidance especially only six months after my first SourceCon

If you’re new to our community, and you want to be an influential voice you can be. There is something unique and special about SourceCon and its people. If you don’t know where to start, some mentors can’t wait to help you.

Thanks for an unforgettable year SourceCon, and here’s to many more!

Erin has been in talent acquisition for the past 6 years and has recruited for a broad spectrum of professionals including SAT prep tutors, costumed mascots, promo models, healthcare workers and IT.  She currently works as a Talent Sourcer for an e-commerce company in the greater Chicago area.

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