Sourcing like a Sith Lord by @GregHawkesMDACC

Attending Sourcecon last month was one of the coolest experiences of my career. Getting to meet some of the sourcing lords face to face as well as learning new tools and tricks in hunting down purple squirrels was awesome.

As I’ve been in this world for several years now, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on my own process and hope sharing it will inspire others to dive in this realm of X-raying and Boolean string crafting.

Research at the Jedi Academy

Whenever I start a search I research the client/department, job description, and the products and projects. This helps me to identify candidate profiles and develop my keywords and Boolean Strings for my outreach. For example, with Construction jobs, I make sure to understand the projects and developments and ask myself questions like “Do they build roads, houses, apartments, monorails, or Star Destroyers?” Projects and company websites are great areas to pull key words you may not be aware of. For example, I pulled “bridge design ” and “rail lines” from a company site when I was sourcing for monorail design engineers in the past. These keywords were vital to finding the monorail experience that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. for over 20 years.

Tap into your Inner Protocol Droid

Sometimes a single keyword or specific certification can retrieve an amazing group for a targeted skill set. For example, try plugging in GxP or GMP when looking for biotech or medical device manufacturing. Looking for fire suppression engineers? I have one word, NICET!

Know the resources, you must….

A strong recruiter must know what resources work best, even if the candidates are few and far between. For instance, use free state engineering boards to pinpoint a specific type of engineers, find free resumes and postings on the ladders, and target specific social networking sites like Archinect for architects to help strengthen your candidate pool. I was surprised the other day when I some strong nursing leader resumes on the Ladders (that just goes to show you any resource is worth a try)!

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Consult your Jedi Council

When the proper channels are unclear or unknown, consult your teammates! I don’t know how many times a different perspective got me past a wall. Whether a Boolean string, resource list, or alternative strategy for a deep dive, a different approach can be a life saver! Whether I bounced my Boolean string off Arron, developed a outreach pitch with Josh, learned a new Facebook trick from Brittany or talked tech with Monali, my teammates made me a better Recruiter. Although I’m on a new team now, I’m learning more about healthcare and clinical research I could ever imagine. My neighbors are an immensely powerful resource and a huge reason my transition to this new realm has been a smooth one.

Find Balance in the Source

Full cycle recruiters deal with offers, interviews, screening candidates in addition to sourcing, so balancing between hunting for candidates and the rest on your desk can be challenging. What I’ve found is the more you dive, the more aware you are the next time that job comes down the line, which saves a ton of time especially if you did your research on the front end. Even if you only have 15 minutes, take a bit of time in the front end to learn and analyze the job, develop target profiles and your keywords, and it will all come together in the end!

Image Credit: StarWars Sith DARTH MATT

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.

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