SourceCon Fall 2016 – A Sponsors Perspective

Conferences are always slightly different for sponsors. There is usually a fair amount of dead-time at the booth, you’re charged with throwing around business cards like confetti and you often get a nagging suspicion that people are only talking to you for your “booth stash.” SourceCon was a little different, though.

Not only the friendliest conference I’ve attended, it was a melting pot of ideas, innovation, and excitement. Everyone we met had something interesting to share and was ready to listen, whether we met them at the booth or over a beer in the evening.

Here are some of the key things that we took away from Anaheim (alongside a LOT of Indeed branded gear!)

 

Location, location, location

LinkedIn seems to be many recruiters’ favorite place to hunt for talent, despite the slating that it gets from time to time. The world’s biggest professional network is exactly that, big (i.e. full of candidates).

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Despite that, there are plenty of other options. Facebook is becoming increasingly popular (it’s free), and we heard about a litany of other websites that can bring home the proverbial bacon.

If you’re feeling creative, you can try anything from Goodreads to conference attendee lists (watch out guys), to face-to-face (shocking that IRL recruiting works too!)

If in doubt, the SourceCon community is stuffed full of awesome ideas on this and more than happy to share.

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Research matters

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Recruiters send a LOT of messages – how many of them are actually worth opening?

Everyone has an equal opportunity to stand out when they communicate with candidates. The secret – research.

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The best sourcers (and there were a lot of them in Anaheim) invest a LOT of time in “sharpening the ax” and making sure they know what makes a candidate tick before they even think about getting in contact.

Look for the kinds of personal details that no one else would even think to mention. This lets you bring the heat with “extreme personalization” when it’s time to contact candidates.

 

Engagement is king?

It isn’t just finding candidates the candidates that no one else can that makes a sourcer great – it’s what they do next.

Engagement was on the top of the agenda at SourceCon, with everyone sharing tricks, tips, and tactics designed to get candidates’ attention. Thankfully everyone seemed to be well beyond the tried and tested “I was impressed by your profile” opener!

For a company that’s trying to help recruiters take engaging and nurturing candidates to the next level, this was both heartening and exciting.

The range of imagination was incredible – from industry jokes (Steve Levy), to mail order BBQ (Steve Morris), to Liam Neeson memes (Kerri Mills).

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If you’re looking for a key takeaway, here it is: don’t be afraid to blend the personal and professional and let some of your character shine through with your recruiting messages. Or, as Mike Chuidian puts it: “don’t be a boring, corporate recruiting robot”!

AND, if you’re looking for another: your messaging style doesn’t just affect the number of candidates that you can submit, qualify or even hire, it has a huge knock on effect on your employer brand, candidate experience. Get it wrong at your peril!

 

Marketing and branding matters

Recruiters have more control than they think over the Employer Brand – in fact, they may be the primary stakeholder here.

Your brand is driven by the human interactions that you have with candidates, (not the scale initiatives that your branding or marketing team run). Sourcers are the front line of your brand, and every touchpoint you have with candidates is an opportunity to shape that brand for better or for worse.

Candidates care about the kind of company that they’re joining, and their interactions with your recruiting team are one of the biggest insights they get from your brand – don’t mess it up.

To quote Kathryn Minshew’s presentation:

“Your Employer Brand is a promise to present and future employees”

It’s simple – if you want to attract the best candidates, you need to be promising the right things, and your messaging needs to be consistent from throughout your company.

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Going back to Cali?

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It’s safe to say that we’ll be heading back to SourceCon next year – are you?

 

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