We’ve been back from SourceCon Europe for some time now, and I have to say what an event! A lot of people are opting for a digital pass when thinking about going to a conference, but the truth is that they’re missing out on something fundamental: connecting with people.
SourceCon is a fantastic place for meeting some of the best sourcers and recruiters in the world, developing your brand and networking. The sourcing community is very open-minded and based on sharing knowledge, which makes it very easy for any newcomers to join and feel accepted and valued. Something that resonates with me since the event is what Dov Zavadskis emphasized during his session with Mark Lundgren, “Stories from Global Sourcers”: no matter what you want to share, someone somewhere will learn from it.
This very same session is the start of my story of how Dov Zavadskis met and connected with one of his role-models in real life thanks to a tweet. This is also the story of how I’ve met Dov and the fantastic conversation that followed.
On Wednesday morning during the last session before lunch, Mark Lundgren is on stage with Anna Golubchenko, Dov Zavadskis, Evelyn Egan and Kim Lokenberg. They’re discussing their stories, sharing experience and advice.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m listening carefully to what is being shared, but something keeps catching my attention. I can’t ignore the fact that Dov (Talent Sourcer at Expedia Group) who is wearing the speaker t-shirt, really looks like Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory (yes I’m a big fan of the show, not even trying to hide it).
Don’t you think? Quick montage on my phone and it’s on Twitter:
The tweet got pretty good engagement, which I’m not used to; I’m not a professional user of Twitter. My usage of it is limited to stalking people (come on, we all do it!), looking at the daily trends and tweeting when I’m attending conferences. I love using it but always think that other people have more exciting things to share.
Back to the original story!
After a tasty break, we’re all back in the ballroom for the next topic presented by Guillaume Alexandre: The Journey of PMI Towards Global Transformation. The audience is very engaged, and everyone loves Guillaume’s natural speaking skills. I’m having a quick look at Twitter at the end of the presentation and am noticing a new comment:
Glen Cathey (SVP Global Digital Strategy and Innovation at Randstad) has secretly taken a selfie with Dov, commenting that he’s sitting with a celebrity! I went over to them and took one last picture to end the Twitter story:
Afterward, Dov and I got a coffee together and talked about the professional and personal impact that some of the people presenting at SourceCon had made in his life. He’s telling me his story, but also thanking me for creating the conditions that led him to a casual chat with Glen. I remember Dov telling me that he was wondering what Glen was doing during the presentation because it looked like he was discreetly taking a selfie with him.
Glen: “Oh sorry, I’m just taking a picture with a celebrity.”
Dov, looking around and confused: “With who?”
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Glen: “With you.”
Dov: “With me?”
Glen: “Have you not seen on Twitter?”
We always talk about storytelling, how people don’t remember facts but will remember emotions, how you made them feel. This is a good example: Glen and Dov have a story in common, a moment that they’ve shared, that is unique and personal.
Starting a conversation with someone you don’t know is not always easy. Some people are more comfortable, remember faces and names better than others, we’re all different.
Once again, let’s get back to the story
We were on our way to the next session and bumped into Glen again. This time, we’re discussing his presentation from the day before, letting him know that we’ve enjoyed it. He’s telling us that it’s good to get feedback as it’s challenging to evaluate your performance. We have an excellent discussion about sharing knowledge, developing yourself, being more active in the recruitment community, and how your development is not anchored to your current company.
Meeting sourcers from all over the world, with different backgrounds and levels of experience is truly inspirational. Without Twitter, I would have probably not had that discussion with Glen, and probably wouldn’t have met Dov either! Social media interactions can be a real tool to approach people and connect with them in real life. If you’re not an extravert and talking to someone you don’t know for the first time sounds stressful to you, that could be a way to break the ice and avoid a dead silence.