We’ve Come a Long Way – A Stacy Zapar #SourceCon Austin Keynote Review

When Stacy Zapar of Tenfold & The Talent Agency took the stage at the tenth anniversary of SourceCon, I could tell something special was about to go down in Austin. Zapar has been there and done that. With years of experience under her belt, and a leader in the industry, her nuggets of wisdom and a view of how sourcing has evolved since 2007 was both eye-opening and encouraging.

Zapar has a knack for finding the root of a recruiting matter and finding a key solution. It was indeed our pleasure to listen to her at SourceCon and benefit from her years of knowledge and experience.

Walking us through some of the histories of recruiting since 2007, in her SourceCon Presentation entitled: “2007-2017 We’ve Come a Long Way Baby” she hit some key points about what has changed and how technology has emerged.

After walking us through the history of change, we have experienced in this short decade since SourceCon started she dived into key focus points for today’s modern talent acquisition professional that we can all take to heart.

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Top Five Take-Aways

  1. Think Creatively and Go Beyond The Norm: The blessed reinvention of our strategy is vital now for success. As sourcers and recruiters, our value-add comes from thinking out of the box. We need to be creative, experiment, reinvent, and try new tools. The tried and true of 2007 no longer works in our modern age. Always must be pro-actively pipelining, changing the approach, building the way forward and driving the process. Going above and beyond is asking key questions, asking business partners “who they know”, and driving referrels.
  2. Intake Meetings are Vital and Set the Stage: Not only should we bring market data to the intake meeting, but as Zapar put it: “take out the red pen” to the job description and reinvent it. We might have to be the “Jiminy Cricket” or “conscience” of our hiring managers and help them think of new ways to engage the talent when we are getting ready to post the job description. We may have to get the hiring manager to see beyond “what they did before” AND chance the approach of engagement in a different way. We need to set the expectation, drive the process, and help the manager get beyond generic job posting titles. We can’t be afraid to push back, or be bold in getting to our goals of filling the position. The intake meeting sets the tone for talent acquisition to be true business partners to the hiring manager. The consultation at the front end of the process can make a recruiting effort that much more effective, and the outcomes that much more efficient.
  3. Sourcers Are Naturally Curious: The modern talent acquisition professional is a bulldog, and naturally curious and doesn’t give up. It is important to always be working and experimenting with new tools, and always be proactively building the way forward. The natural tendency of a successful sourcer to be curious leads to asking questions, and asking questions like a detective with a key to understanding key points of the position is a skill so vitally important today. In a way we “source with a mind for the ideal and work our way out” as Zapar put it. It’s important to ask good questions of candidates, always be closing, and ask the magical question, “Is there anything you haven’t shared in this interview that I need to know about”.
  4. Candidate Engagement Is King: Effective messaging that is targeted to the audience is vital for engagement. She shared key messages that are more likely to get a response are highly personalized and have a “what’s in it for me” approach. Canned messages are never effective. The goal today is to get them on the phone and have a human conversation, the value of our human approach and “back to basics” interactions is even more important now with all the “noise” that is out in the market-place. When in doubt pick up the phone. Humanizing the process is now even more critical. In short keeping candidates informed is the paramount key to effective candidate experience and of course avoiding spam.
  5. Use Time Savers to Become More Efficient: Bunch up meetings, document everything, avoid redundancy. Use calendaring scheduling tools – YouCanBook.Me, ScheduleOnce, or Calendly to cut out the back and forth. The modern talent acquisition professional has to be agile and lean, finding new ways to be efficient.

Finally – We Love our Job, and It Shows. She closed on this note and I agree, there is nothing more enjoyable than being able to help great candidates find great jobs, in essence, the human element is what should drive us. The thrill of closing a candidate and making our hiring managers happy is of course at the heart of everything we do. It was indeed a pleasure to hear Zapar and see the incredible journey that has taken place in the last ten years. Indeed the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Mike Rasmussen, PHR, SHRM-CP is a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with ADP.  Mike works out of his home office in Utah and is a full life cycle recruiter at ADP.  Mike has a passion for Staffing/Recruiting and Sourcing and in his career has helped hire nearly 1000+ professionals in a wide variety of roles from Executive, Technical, Operations, etc.  Today Mike supports Talent Acquisition efforts at ADP in several key Western States.  A contributor to Recruiting Blogs, Mike has been writing regarding Talent Acquisition topics for nearly 8 years.  Connect with Mike via Twitter @MikeRADP.

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