The Sourcing Mentors; There Are More Than You Think

The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people. – John C. Maxwell

I will honestly say that I read the SourceCon website every weekday. It’s an excellent source of information and ideas from our industry both sourcing and recruiting from our tribe so I would never want to miss it. On, August 3, 2018, I hit my hyperlink to the site to find quite a surprise on my screen and one that I did not expect to witness.

There was a picture of Steve Levy, Dean Da Costa, and, well, me. The photo was from the SourceCon we all attended in Austin, Texas. In the world of selfies even three old guys can get into the game I suppose. The article was about getting a mentor and how the three of us have helped shape Dean’s son, Jeremy Da Costa into a better sourcer, land a gig, and communicate better within the industry. I was taken aback as I was not told by anyone, not Jeremy, not Shannon Pritchett, no one. I have to admit I got a little emotional reading it and if you know me, I am an emotional cat no matter how much I look like the Dude. I sent Steve a text asking if he had seen it as I know he has been just as buried as I.

Uncle Steve, a solid moniker for him if there was ever one has helped so many people in the industry and is always willing to try and take a few minutes out of his day to help someone out with advice or a search string to help narrow that purple squirrel. He has, over the years become a very close friend and consigliere over the years as has Dean. I called first; I always call first, only to get voicemail, so figuring he was on the train I sent a text to let him know to check out this website nothing more. I got a text back a few minutes later, “awwwwww, Uncle Derek.” Having my little twin sisters pregnant at the same time, AND, knowing that I am going to be an uncle to them is pretty amazing, so that meant even more to me to have that moniker bestowed upon me.

I don’t have an ego to speak of, and I would say that either Dean or Steve do either. We are proud of our accomplishments and accept our failures; learned from them over the years as well. Either Steve or I have children, well, none that we know of that is, so we look at the younger folk, sometimes whether they want to or not, receive advice from us. Dean, being a father naturally, and now a grandfather, knows how to dispense advice, and he has raised a great son.

One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.  – John C. Maxwell

This is what you get within our community. So many of us try to lift up others, every SourceCon I go to is like a family reunion where we don’t have to explain ourselves to those who don’t know what we do. Well, accept the newbies out there and those new to the conference. I remember one conference where Dean, Steve, Pete Radloff, Shannon Pritchett, Maisha Cannon, Glen Cathey and I were chilling at the Welcome Wagon and registration table just chatting and laughing telling stories as we do. One of the new WW member’s eyes was darting back and forth, and I watched her walk off. I wondered about that but not wanting to pry I just thought she might need to make a call or something. We are after all people who find people and work is work.

A few minutes went by, and she came back to the booth with a smile. I waved, and she came over to some of us that were left and had not yet made their way to the happy hour that is put on before the show begins the next day. She could not stop smiling and blurted out that she had run to her room because she could not believe that she was meeting and chatting with all these people that she has read on this site and sites on Facebook the last year or so and she just wanted to scream. I honestly never understand why people read my rants, but they seem to. I can say for all of us that post, respond to emails, pick up calls, answer questions on posts, or take a few minutes to sit and chat with you at lunch, a break, drinks, or dinner. We do it out of a passion for giving and love.

A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you; then you see in yourself and helps bring it out of you.  – Bob Proctor

We are all here for you and this tribe, this community, is filled with incredibly amazing people who honestly care about each other and WANT to make you better. I have two appointments set up to talk about technical recruiting and terminology in the coming weeks. So, as Jeremy wrote in his thoughtful and loving article, get yourself a mentor OR if you have been around this world doing what we do then maybe become one. Trust me; there is no feeling like the one you get when you get a smile, a hug, OR a simple thank you.

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#payitforward #truestory

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry. The last 16 years he has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing in the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliance. Currently, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions for Engage Talent. 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. Derek currently lives in the Portland area. Now, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions and Channels with Engage.

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