#SourceCon – Two Perspectives

Two of our regular contributors wanted to share their experiences from last week’s SourceCon conference. Their experiences were night and day, because one was in attendance at the conference, while the other observed parts of the conference from the livestream that was provided. Here are Marvin’s and Andrea’s reviews of their SourceCon experiences…

Ladies first – Andrea!

Watching SourceCon from afar I couldn’t help but be impressed by how polished the conference looked, almost as much as I was impressed by the quality of the speakers and the depth and breadth of information. The speakers presented a holistic view of sourcing that really reasonated with me as it is something I try to push as much as possible. Starting off with Sheila Greco‘s presentation around phone sourcing and process was a great way to set the scene. Sheila said a couple of things that stick in my mind; the main one was “find the tools that work for you”. This is key to the sourcing process and something that I kept thinking about throughout the conference. Sheila also mentioned that “research is a talent”, and both of these statements were reiterated to me when Shally said “even the greatest, most expensive tools do not a sourcer make”. I had expected SourceCon to have a focus around the tools, but was surprised to see it was really balanced. Not that I don’t love tools, I love internet research and discovering cool tools that help me to better find and connect with people. Eric Jaquith‘s presentation was jam packed with tools that serve this exact purpose, so much so it was hard to keep up. I have yet to watch Eric’s presentation again but I will, and this time I will be writing down every cool and unusual tool that he highlights.

I liked how Shally gave us the strategic view with statistics from the Recruitment Genome project as well as the more tactical Boolean “goodness” that he is so great at. Speaking of Boolean, Glen Cathey‘s presentation showed how we could leverage semantic search applications in conjunction with Boolean and your own intelligence and natural curiosity and to find the right candidates.

Social media was also a focus, both from a tools perspective and for building relationships and communities. This was highlighted by Marvin Smith as well as TerriGail from Intuit. Terri and Gail showed that social media can be used to find and place candidates from all levels, and that it is important to have a strategy to “engage the candidates where they’re at”. I think that Marvin’s session was a great way to sum up and to show that with all the technology and cool tools we need to make sure we keep the human element in recruitment.

Marvin

Looking back on SourceCon 2010, one week removed, I have some random thoughts on the experience.

My initial insight is on the weekend that daylight saving time rolls in, do not take an early morning flight.  Even coffee with @researchgoddess did not fully awaken me and prepare me for a very busy Sunday.

I think ERE did a great job of keeping the DNA that Leslie (and Rob aka the sourcing dude) rolled out in the previous two events.  ERE retained the event talents of Kate & Crew, so everything went off without a hitch.

Jim Stroud continues his run as SourceCon Master of Ceremonies.  Between hawking magazines and giving away cash, Jim  kept things light and the agenda moving forward in a timely manner.

Eric Jaquith made a return visit to SourceCon and was insightful and thought provoking as usual.  Honestly, I do not know where he gets some of his techniques.

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For me, meeting Glen Cathey was a was a real treat.  He had a great presentation and lived up to his billing a entertaining speaker and a sourcing thought leader.

I also was impressed with Terri ColiganGail Houston with Intuit.  As a fellow traveler on the talent community pathway, I enjoyed hearing about their workstream.

There was some new ideas used at SourceCon.  The Firefox Lab with Russ Moon and John Turnberg was very cool.

I thought the sourcing labs sessions were intriguing and seemed to really resonated with the sourcing community.  Interestingly, one of my colleagues went the lab on Sunday and I never saw him again.  I am not certain what went on there, but GlennShally & the rest of the lab presenters seemed to keep people captivated.

I think the streaming the SourceCon and ERE events over the internet is just plain cool.  A big shout out to ERE (and their sponsors) for making that investment.  Personally, being streamed live over the internet is interesting.  It certainly impacts how one answers questions from the audience.

My biggest disappointment at SourceCon was not being able to listen to my friends Kay KelisonMarie Journey present as we were scheduled at the same time.

I must admit, I had a great time last week.  Next Sourcecon will be my 4th and I look forward to gathering with the sourcing community to catch up on the great work that is being done in global talent identification and the tools and techniques to do our jobs.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter and SourceCon.com with ERE Media. She currently works as Sr. Manager, Technical Talent Sourcing for Walmart eCommerce. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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