SourceCon Is Back For The New Year!

“In an interstellar burst, I’m back to save the universe”

Welcome to the future, my friends!  Your Editor for SourceCon is back and wants to look at some of the trends over 2019 and how they will influence 2020.  None of these trends really started in 2019.  Like everything in life, they have simply evolved with each iteration and become more prominent in our everyday jobs.

Boolean is not dead

I get a small chuckle every time I see an article that says Boolean is dead and you don’t need it for sourcing.  If I had a dollar for every expert who wrote that, then I’d have…about $12.50.  Yes, we saw a greater rise of AI sourcing tools in 2019, but you can’t just let them take the wheel and drive.  Artificial Intelligence algorithms are only as good as the engineers who write them.  So you will still need to know Boolean logic and you will need to know how to translate a job req into a great search.

It’s definitely easy when your AI tool gives you candidate suggestions based on the learning algorithm.  But you still should know why and how those candidates are found.  A great candidate database without the ability to search is like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.  So keep your search strings sharpened.  You still need them!  If you need help learning how to do this for ANY site, there are many resources available including SourceCon Academy!

Sourcinator 3: Rise of the Machines

I know I just finished saying that you shouldn’t fully trust your AI software, but that doesn’t mean we ignore it.  Many new AI software tools were created in 2019 (and some older tools adapted AI search to their platforms) and the trend will exponentially increase beyond 2020.  Artificial Intelligence software has been integrated into everything that sourcers might use including: scheduling, chatbots, application process, ATS searching, sourcing, email composition and more.

Much of our job involves tasks that can be automated.  So if you are not looking at AI solutions for your sourcing and recruitment process, then perhaps it’s time to start.  You might be able to cut some costs when it comes to recruitment coordinators, resume screeners, or even sourcers.  And no, I’m not saying that we will REPLACE any of these workers.  Instead, these workers will work with and operate the AI software, like a master puppeteer.

For example, you could be in charge of an AI solution for recruiting like Mya, AllyO, Paradox or Arya.  You could customize your recruitment or application process with the questions and parameters that you decide. You could integrate workers real-time into the process to make sure it runs smoothly and allows for questions outside the norm.  Yes, some these tools are only a few years old, but they are getting better and better.

For sourcing, there are many tools that have an “AI-like component” to their search. The easiest way to understand this is to think of your Netflix or Amazon accounts and how they work so well when suggesting titles that are of interest to you.  These tools are also getting better and better. Which means that once you calibrate a search that works for a req, the AI software can “know” what you’d like to see more of.  And the software can also remove result types that you don’t like (as long as you know why those results are wrong).  So take a look at platforms like AmazingHiring, Hiretual, Hiring Solved, SeekOut, etc.  You can also look at some up-and-coming AI sourcing tools like Fetcher, Upsider, Arya, CVViZ, Eightfold or AvaHire.

It’s all about the Benjamin’s (and the data, mon’)!

Another trend that we saw in 2019 (and every year before) is the power of data.  In other words, who has it and who has access to it.  All the power players keep amassing candidate data while others are just using someone else’s data to fuel their software app.   Of course nothing is really free in life, so there may be costs associated with how you access this data.  That cost may be for a sourcing tool (with its own database of candidates) or it could be for accessing an API (that connects you to candidate data).

Data enrichment was big in 2019 and it will be even bigger in 2020.  You will have access to billions of candidate names, but there may not be enough information connected to those names.  Connecting names to matching professional data will be a task that consumes many sourcer’s lives.  Tools like FullContact, Blockspring, ZapInfo and Phantombuster are great places to start.

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As we see more data privacy regulations like this law in California, we will need to do more work when building out our candidate profiles.  We may source names from a conference list or a user group, but we’ll need to connect those names to LinkedIn or another social network in order to complete the picture.  Keeping your ATS data current is also something that sourcers and recruiters will need to stay on top of.  Data enrichment solutions will help you there.

Message in a Bottle

Candidate messaging and personalization is definitely not new for 2019, but it’s something that we’ve seen become more important than ever.  There are more sourcers and recruiters now than ever before (run a simple search on LI for sourcers, recruiters or talent managers and it’s over a 1 million people):

And companies are battling with each other for the best talent.  The candidate messaging needs to stand out and the email blasts need to be cut down.  Your candidates are receiving dozens of messages a day.  They are tired of being seen as a number and they have seen every bad email template there is.

Personalization is going to only help you get a response.  That, and some good composition skills.  So look at some known tools that help you write like Boomerang, Textio, Hemingway, Just Not Sorry, and Grammarly.  Many of these tools are also Chrome extensions, which means easy integration into Gmail, Apple Mail or Outlook.  Using NLP and AI, these tools can help you compose emails (make sure you don’t follow every suggestion blindly) and help you choose the right wording in your outreach.

Gorgias and Hubspot are also great for customizable snippets of text that you can call upon and change based on your needs.  Of course there are also many email campaign tools that you can also use to track your emails and give you reports so you know which outreach messages work best.

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the important trends that will continue from 2019 into 2020.  If want to stay ahead of the competition and improve your sourcing game, then you should take a closer look.  We didn’t even include ongoing trends like critical thinking, research, training or programming.  But those are just as important!  What other important trends can you think of that will continue in 2020?  Please comment below!

Mark Tortorici is the Editor for SourceCon.  He is a training, recruiting, and sourcing manager who has been providing expert-level training for sourcers and recruiters since 1997. Mark is also the founder of Transform Talent Acquisition, which specializes in training for high technology computer concepts, advanced active & passive sourcing techniques, and full life-cycle recruitment process. He has created and delivered robust training programs for companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Ebay.

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