It’s Australian for Sourcing, mate

Helloooo everyone, I’m back!  Now most you are are saying to yourself, “when were you gone?”  But I can tell you that I have been on a tour with Derek Zeller (@derdiver), Matt Charney (@mattcharney), and the rest of the ATC Events gang (@atcevent) speaking at the Sourcing Social Talent conferences.  #SST2014

Australian

It was a whirl-wind adventure visiting Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland within the space of 10 days while speaking at a conference in each city.  I wanted to share my observations with everyone about the state of sourcing over there, the industries they focus on, the types of reqs they get, and the solutions that we came up with.

The Conferences

The reason for my semi-cheesy picture on this post is for a very good reason.  The 2 speakers that I was with had some very good content woven into their presentations.  Matt Charney presented the reasons why recruiting is so far behind marketing in terms of messaging and content.  And this included the USA!  The message was simply (and brilliantly): recruiting = marketing = sourcing = recruiting.  Anyone who argues against that fact doesn’t understand their job very well.

Derek Zeller talked about candidate interaction and the power of candidate bonds.  You may not end up placing that candidate, but do the extra work to make them feel like a person (rather than a metric) and it will pay off for you.  Also, Derek asked the audience who the best sourcer was and then put up a picture of Professor Xavier.  Hence, my funny picture reference to Australia (please don’t get mad at me, NZ for lumping you guys in with AUS, but I didn’t have time to write 2 separate posts!) Continue reading

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The Power of TMTOWTDI in Talent Acquisition – Part II

Part II of Our @ATCevent #SST2014 Series

Last week we talked about the power of TMTOWTDI (pronouced TIM-TOADY) in sourcing.  The idea is that there is more than one way to source for a req.  Now today we will talk about the next steps in the process: Candidate Engagement and Attraction.  TMTOWTDIWhen reaching out to candidates via email and the phone, what is the correct way to approach them?  What is the best way to message them?

The real question you should be asking is: What do you have that they want?  This is a very simple question with a host of complex answers that are changing all the time.  There is only one way that you will get the answers you need.  By PICKING UP THE PHONE AND TALKING TO THE CANDIDATE!

Now I know that I sound angry by typing in all caps, but I’m really trying to drive home this point:  Too many sourcers and recruiters are afraid to pick up the phone and instead only do what is called “email recruiting”.  The problem with that method is that it’s difficult to get an honest (or close to honest) read of the candidate.    We live in a world where people can hide.  They hide behind emails, they hide behind social profiles, they hide behind comments on websites.  This technological separation between people allows them a certain level of protection and feeling of bravery.  The downside is that the candidate’s answers are not spontaneous, they are edited many times over, and sometimes they are not even their own answers! Continue reading

The Power of TMTOWTDI in Talent Acquisition – Part I

If you are a programmer, you understand the meaning and power that TMTOWTDI (pronounced TIM-TOADY) can give you.  It originates from the world of Perl but also programming practices in general  it means that for every solution to a problem, there is more than one way to do it.  There are different ways to write the code in order to achieve the desired results.

Now before I receive an onslaught of emails from programmers, I also agree that the simplest, cleanest solution is usually the best for coding and low overhead in a software program.

But for candidate attraction, we need more than one way to find those candidates and attract them to the company.  How many ways can this be done?  The answer is as many as you can imagine.  Even if you use the simplest method in the world for finding candidates, that does not necessarily guarantee a hire.  So instead, you picture what the perfect candidate profile looks like, and then devise many different paths to get to that candidate profile.  If you just rely on one method, whether simple or esoteric, you are missing out on candidates and possible hires.

It Starts with the Req

Let’s take this Environmental Engineer req in Sydney, Australia:

” Track record in  power/energy and civil infrastructure projects.  Senior Environmental Engineer with heavy civil engineering experience. Continue reading

Follow the Process…Even in an Ocean of Candidates

open_water

Mark looking for potential candidates

While having an email exchange with my friend Lisa Amorao (@leese), she mentioned to me a certain req that she needed filled.  As we talked, I figured out that this was a req unlike most.  As we went back and forth about what she was looking for, I was reminded about always sticking to the sourcing process, no matter what the req.

Here’s a quick background about Lisa for the story: Besides being an avid Social Marketer in the staffing industry, Lisa is also an open-water / cold-water swimming fanatic.  Whether it’s around the SF Bay Area, or anyplace that she travels to (provided there’s a nearby ocean), she will be there swimming.  She mentioned to me that she needed to find a Cold-Water Swim Coach, or as she put it, a Cold Water Sherpa.

Now I immediately realized that the “Cold Water Sherpa” title might not be an officially recognized one, so I did what any right minded sourcer would do, follow the sourcing process:

  • Conduct the req intake meeting (or as we call it, the req huddle)
  • Ask questions during the req huddle to clarify, and pitch alternative profile ideas
  • Find out what the “must haves” are, and think of multiple ways to find those qualifications
  • Talk about places that these candidates might hang out at (besides the beach…DUH!)

The Req:

So here is what the req ended up being: Continue reading

It’s Tool Time: Google’s Personal Blocklist

tool_timeThat’s right, ladies and gentlemen!  It’s Tool Time!  That is, tools for your web browser and tools to help automate your sourcing life.

Last week at a conference, I was talking to a like-minded sourcing guru/technophile.  You know him by his real name: Dean Da Costa.  As we talked about sourcing tools, add-ons, extensions, and whatnot, we talked about blocking domains from search results on Google.

Now for years I have used a Greasemonkey (or Tampermonkey for Chrome users) script called “Google Domain Blocker”.  It’s a very cool script that blocks domains of your choice from showing up in your Google results.

Setting this up was a 2-step process: Download Greasemonkey (for FF) or Tampermonkey (for Chrome) and then go to userscripts.org to find the javascript.  The process wasn’t all that difficult.

But after my conversation with Dean when I told him about the Greasemonkey script, he told me about Personal Blocklist (by Google).

This new extension is a very good thing.  Not only is it a one-click effort to add it to Chrome, but just like with the Tampermonkey script, you can import & export your list of blocked domains.  And also, it’s apparently made by the big G.

Now why is this the most important thing in the world for you?  I’m glad you asked! Continue reading

When the Boss Asks for the Inconceivable: Sourcers Must Call Candidates!

inconceivableIf you’re a sourcer and thinking about this headline, you might start having an anxiety attack, sweating profusely, talking like Porky Pig, or begin planning how you will get out of your current contract in order to avoid the phone.  (And if you weren’t thinking about this before, you certainly are now!)

Fear not, true believers!  This is something that you have experience with already.  It’s called: communication.  You’ve been doing it your whole life since you could talk and believe it or not, it’s been with people that you’ve never spoken to before.  Of course as we grow older from our childhood into adults, there are seemingly more roadblocks, timing issues, and weird personalities to deal with.  But really it still boils down to a simple exchange of information between two people.

When sourcing first started, it was usually a name generation or pure research role.  Sourcers “supported” the recruiter through their candidate generation efforts.  But over the last decade that has progressed.  The sourcer is also becoming a candidate engagement specialist or even the recruiter.  Now I realize this is not the structure in every company, but times are changing and will continue to change.  For budget reasons, headcount, or to speed up the hiring the process,   we will continuously see the roles of sourcer and recruiter blend.  The recruiters will get better at sourcing even if it’s only for a short time during the day, and the sourcers will get better at contacting candidates and speeding up the hand-offs in the hiring process. Continue reading

Guilty by Association

Guilty-By-Association-Fitted-HatProfessional Associations and organizations are a great source of passive candidates.  These groups focus on an industry or a discipline, and allow people with similar interests to network together.  The group’s focus can be technical or functional (G&A).  The larger ones have local chapters throughout the nation.

Functional (G&A) Examples:

  • AAA (American Accounting Association) – For Accountants, Finance Specialists, Controllers, etc.
  • AMA (American Marketing Association) – Dedicated to serving the educational and professional needs of marketing executives
  • CSCMP (Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals) – Worldwide professional association dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of research and knowledge on supply chain management
  • SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) – Largest organization for HR professionals including HR Generalists, HR Managers, HR Diversity, HR Business Partners, Compensation, Benefits, Employee Relations, and University Relations

Technical Examples:

  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) – Known for Mechanical Engineering, but also collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, standards, and certifications
  • IACSIT (International Association of Computer Science and information) – For Computer Science and Information Technology
  • INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) – Dedicating to the advancement of systems engineering
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) – The largest engineering association in the world with a focus in Electrical and IT/Systems Engineering Continue reading

Sourcing is like an Onion…you must peel it back

We live in a world of automation.  We want to speed things up.  Or at least that’s what we want when we’re doing mundane things that are wasting our time.  It comes down to 2 things: FRUSTRATE or AUTOMATE.  FRUSTRATE: sitting in traffic going 3 MPH and watching squirrels walk faster than you.  AUTOMATE: adding a 360-degree jet-propulsion system to your car and flying over everyone.  FRUSTRATE: using a sourcing method that is cool…but takes too many steps for it to be worthwhile.  AUTOMATE: cutting out the extra steps, getting to the specific information you want, and easily repeating the process.  digital onion

For instance, it’s no big secret that there are many different coding user groups and exchanges on the internet.  And if you source/recruit for the world of computer science, then you should already be aware of the potential use of these sites.  As sourcers, you should always remember the basics because they will help you.

Now take a site like Snipplr or Google Code, which everyone knows about.  They are sites for developers; with tools, code, discussions, and other technical resources.  Whenever you approach ANY site, the first things that should go through your mind are:

  1. What is this site’s purpose?
  2. Who uses it?
  3. What user information is available?
  4. Can I search for users while still focusing on specifics?
  5. Can I speed up my search process while still maintaining the integrity of my search?
  6. Can I search this site from another source? Continue reading

How to Source without Saying a Word

WordSearchPuzzle
Let’s face it. Some people just don’t want attention. It’s hard to believe that. Especially in this over-hyped, over-socialized, and over-advertised world we live in.  But there are candidates on Linkedin, Twitter, websites, and job boards who don’t feel the need to cram tons of information about their experience in one place.

Other engineers do not put certain words on their resume because to their peers, the inference is common knowledge.

In fact, some candidates go out of their way to be shy, coy, or minimalistic about their experience. But some of these candidates could be very good. They might just not want to advertise to the world’s recruiters about who they are and what they do. So how do we find them? How do you find a C++ or C engineer without saying “C++”? How do you find a ruby developer without saying “Ruby” or “rails”? How do you find an accountant with Fixed Assets experience without saying “Fixed assets”? Continue reading

To Source, or Not to Source…

arnoldhamlet

“To Source, or not to Source…that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler for recruiters and sourcers to suffer
The Postings and Campaigns of outrageous Recruitment life cycles,
Or to take up Sourcing against a sea of difficult Reqs,
And by sourcing fill them: to close, to fill
No more; and by close, to say we hire”

So I may have altered the soliloquy from Hamlet by a few words here and there, but there is a good reason.  For all the recruiters and sourcers out there who contact candidates, you probably have more than one req you’re working on.  In fact, if you work for a mid-size technology company, a recruiting agency, an RPO firm, or a start-up then you probably have anywhere from 5 to 25 open requisitions.  These can range from entry-level engineers all the to software engineering team lead.  All of these reqs need attention from you, but it may not be feasible to give each of them equal attention.  There’s only one of you!  So what do you do? Continue reading