The Courageous Sourcer; PG-13, the Lighter Side of Steve Levy

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. – Buckminister Fuller

There are some people in our community that just stand out; they rise just a little above the crowd but are not arrogant. They are, in fact, some of the greatest in giving back, paying it forward people out there. Steve Levy is one of those people, and I am honored to call him a friend and at times a mentor. Levy, or as he is known by many, “Uncle Steve,” has given a great deal to the industry and his afternoon keynote at this past SourceCon was no different.

Dare to be naïve – Buckminister Fuller

One of Levy’s favorite quotes to be used when someone he is chatting with describes a problem with sourcing. Levy told us, “Facing the fears we have and thinking outside of the box takes courage,” and he is right we need to face the fire and run towards the problem not away from it. We as sourcers and recruiters tend to bend to the will of managers in fear of reprisal. We say ok when a manager says, “Just send me more resumes; I’ll know it when I see it.” We should be responding to them “maybe you can explain to me what it is that you see so I can do my job more efficiently.”

We should be better at working with these hiring managers to garner an explains to help you better source more efficiently. There should be no intake meeting. Instead, there should be a strategy session with your manager or recruiter to map out exactly what you need to find. We have to start focusing on not calling managers customers or recruiters. These are members of your team with a common goal; hiring the right people with the least friction for everyone possible.

Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them. – Buckminister Fuller

Levy then spoke to a common trait and something I believe many would ask themselves, “Courage is feeling fear yet choosing to act.” Just recently there was an attack on civilians in Las Vegas, and it was a tragedy yet there was hope as the tragedy unfolded. People helped strangers find shelter, a husband gave his life for his wife, and a complete stranger comforted a dying man telling him that she would not let him go knowing full well he was going to die. These people like the firemen that ran towards the towers 9/11 with full gear on because the truck they were on could not get through but they had a job to do. This is courage folks, and it can and should apply to our tribe.

Now I am not saying that you should run into burning buildings, no, not at all, what I am saying is you have a voice. Pick up that phone, make that call, the worst thing that could happen is them hanging up on you. According to Levy, “Phones make phone calls, I know, shocker most people seemed to have forgotten that.” As Levy says, “How do you confront fear in sourcing? You have to take chances!”

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Levy has a keen knack for finding quotes and stories that fit into the conversation we have all been having for a very long time, and that is what makes a great speaker in my opinion and, well a great friend that I call a brother.

Its understanding that if we do not continue the conversation, we will be forever stuck in the madness we allow ourselves to live in.

Derek Zeller

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry and has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing within the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliancy. He has experience sourcing for many skill sets including IT, accounting, nursing, and sales He is the senior recruiting lead for comScore’s west coast operations covering all things IT. He has experience with both third party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of applicant tracking systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Helives in Portland, Oregon.