The #SourceCon Hackathon Final Four: Sourcing Tool Decks Included!

Like the four houses of Hogwarts, we sat ready to battle for the title of Top Seeker. This wasn’t a basketball tourney; this was an intricate battle of the nerdiest minds in sourcing and recruitment.

It was another SourceCon Hackathon, and like deja vu, we were sitting at the same table, this time as finalists.

The first SourceCon Hackathon in 2016, I was too intimidated to compete. However, I learned a valuable lesson that day. My Chrome was down, as well as all my “go to” extensions. Looking back, I should have participated regardless, extensions or not; the data is out there. I was too dependent on those Chrome tools, not yet the innovator or builder people term me today. However, that shift in mindset was a catalyst to a new way to search, how I look at things, and new perspectives.

The Hackathon has always been a favorite event of mine at SourceCon. I schedule my entire day around it when I get to attend the conference. When I leaped, put my pride aside, and started participating, that’s when the fun started.

This one in Vegas felt different. Although it was still based on a sourcing game, my thinking was much different. I was going to give it a shot and see how far I got. The other thing was I tried was not to rush. I know it may sound weird, but I take my time when I needed to.

The first round consisted of ten or so multiple-choice questions based on general sourcing knowledge. Many participants hurried and shuffled to get the right answers before anyone else in the room. Shannon Pritchett unconsciously tried to eliminate me the first round, but a fellow cohort brought up the fact I got seven of ten correct to others’ six. So I was “in” for round two.

16 competitors advanced to round two. We were given a job posting for a “Cherry Picker” and were tasked with sourcing two top candidates for it. The catch was we could only use LinkedIn to source.

That “cherry picker” scenario made me laugh.

“Must have experience as a cherry picker be able to drive a forklift.”

I knew from research that this was a forklift driver, warehouse worker, or manufacturing plant worker. I used to work in manufacturing, so I knew the type. Many sourcers were starting with agriculture, not warehouse folks, and quite honestly I would have too if I didn’t know you have to be certified to drive a forklift.

This is how I tackled it:

Using  LinkedIn Recruiter (with Boolean “forklift” OR “cherry picker”), I found 14 profiles. I paired this with this cool extension, Multi-highlight, I was able to scan keywords off the profiles quickly.

I also found a total of 16 candidates locally with a site search (site:linkedin.com/in)

I “cherry picked” the top four, sent them, then I decided to send all 16 because I had a prepopulated LinkedIn Recruiter data extraction tool in place that let me pull the whole list.

Susanna “Gryffindor” Frazier, Mark Lundgren, and Sarah Goldberg’s names were called as finalists, and I heard a few other names mentioned, or maybe I just thought I did. I shut my laptop and powered down. “That was fun,” I thought to myself.

And then I heard Pritchett say my name.

There was no time to #facepalm, I frantically rushed to get plugged back in and powered up.

“Don’t overthink it!”

Question two on the finals stuck us all: I am looking for a Filipino candidate that works in the Cardiac ICU at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

You know how you always know the answer on Wheel of Fortune before the contestant on the TV? How do they no see the answer? It’s so simple, right?! It’s not that simple when you got a bunch of smart nerds with their awesome sourcing tool decks creeping to the answer too.

I’ve never felt more judged in my life, people behind me were telling me to use tools I knew didn’t work with my current laptop setup, so I was thinking of my backups and how to get to the solution.

Search is Back, a web-based Facebook search tool I use as a back-up, found me the person. I would have never gone there if my Chrome hadn’t crashed a few years ago. The Hackathon had come full circle. I lost, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. I’m not usually in the finals of anything, especially sourcing competitions.

Slytherins finally got a seat at the table though, take that Hufflepuffs!

 

The funny thing is the four of us talk quite a bit on the Facebook. In fact, I’m going to tell you what we used so you too can bring it. You know I like tool drops, so here are some of the final four’s tool decks for you to explore. This is great because it shows the different perspectives and ways we innovate. I especially appreciate Mark’s insights since many of our tools in the U.S. work differently internationally.

 

Mark Lundgren

I only have four tools already running Amazing Hiring (search for tech candidates and email lookup) Lusha (email lookup) ContactOut (email lookup) Hiretual (backup email lookup – Not as good in Europe). An opensource version of Data Miner, and URL loader.

 

Susanna #NotAHufflePuff Frazier

Four underrated extensions that I keep up and running at all times:

WebClipDrop, Instant Data Scraper, Facebook Search, Connectifier Social Links

 

Sarah Goldberg (actually a Hufflepuff).

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Momentum Dash and Strict Workflow (introduced to me by Maisha Cannon), Seekout, Discoverly, One Tab, URLopener

 

And of course, House Slytherin must represent:

On my hot list right now are:

Zapier (and ways to automate and streamline pipelining functionality)

Airtable (build your database with import functionality around CSVs and Excel files)

Bubble.is (application building for non-coders, point and drag functionality like WordPress or Wix for websites)

Multihighlight, Autopagerize, and Search-Preview I use every day for screening and review. This combo lets me pull long lists via Google searches, and preview websites without pulling them into a separate tab.

I want to thank everyone who attended the Hackathon, whether you observed, participated, got far or struck out. The lesson is to keep thinking, keep calculating, and use the tools and methods that make sense to you. Even if you are slow and methodical like me, the answer is out there.

There’s a difference between becoming functional with a tool, then working to master it. It’s progressive and takes time, but if you use a tool to its highest potential and fullest extent, you can save a ton of time. Have patience, keep experimenting, and if all else fails, call a friend. A prime example is Dataminer.  Arron Daniels, Josh Jones and I were in a hangout the other day and figured out the auto-pagination functionality within the Recipe Creator. In fact, there’s talk of an upcoming webinar, so stay tuned!

Greg Hawkes

Greg Hawkes is a Strategic Talent Sourcer, Speaker, Author, and Founder of the HRSourcingToolbox. He has worked as both a Technical Recruiter and Sourcing Analyst for healthcare, engineering, biotechnology, manufacturing and many other industries. He has been in the recruitment field for over 10 years, and got into heavy sourcing and headhunting back in 2012. He is an ongoing contributor to SourceCon – with topics ranging from Site Searches and CSEs, to Deep Dives andURL Sourcing. While preparing to speak at SourceCon 2017, he built the HRSourcingToolbox with a large inventory of Free Recruitment and Sourcing Tools. He has recently joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a Strategic Sourcer and loving every minute of it! He is a huge fan of emerging technologies and Boolean Syntax and always willing to share a technique or hack to find the elusive purple squirrel.