SourceCon Wrap Up

Wow, what a week. I’ve returned from my third trip to SourceCon over in the US, and it just gets bigger and bigger every year, with over 500 sourcers rocking up to learn and share their tips on sourcing. The agenda was packed with great sessions, and once again I’m returning to HRX with a range of new tools and tips, and ideas to try out. Unfortunately not everything translates to the Australian market, though and it’s easy to get a bit jealous of all the additional networks, tools, and emerging products that our US counterparts can utilise.
Some of my highlights:
SourceCon Denver
The struggle to actually define sourcing. There’s a lot of interpretations as to what a Sourcer or Sourcing team is responsible for, and where the line is drawn between a sourcer and a recruiter. It’s an interesting question, and based on the debates across twitter something I don’t think we’ll see an agreed on as a standard any time soon.
The range and variety of tools and networks available. There’s very few tools or products specifically developed for sourcing. This is starting to grow with introduction of new sourcing CRM’s, and people aggregates, but it’s impressive how many tools can be ‘borrowed’ from other industries and applied to sourcing.
A tool is just a tool, and engagement is still king. To be effective you need to stand out from the crowd and master the approach that will lead to a successful conversion. It can’t all be about me me me.
It’s not the government you need to hide from, it’s Watson. As a big data platform, it’s got some impressive capabilities. When’s the best time to contact prospect A, B, or C? What platform should you use? What are their key interests? How active are they? Watson knows all. I really want to play with this!
Is your job safe? That depends, can you/your boss demonstrate the value that you add to the recruitment process and show an ROI? If not, then answers probably no. We heard from a number of sourcing leaders who were willing to remove and rebuild their sourcing functions bigger, better, more focussed because they were unable to show an ROI. Sourcing has been around for a few years now and it’s time to step up and show your value.
LinkedIn is still #1. For most people, their own ATS/CRM falls behind LinkedIn as a sourcing tool. Why? Limited search functionality> You have a database, it’s yours, and you have access to unique information in there that nobody else has. Yet for many the first point of call is still their LinkedIn account.
The other networks are growing though with over 50% of sourcers regularly using facebook and Twitter to source candidates.
Where are the mind maps. Martin Warren presented on optimising your sourcing strategy through building a mind map. Something I take for granted that happens here in Australia, surprisingly few people in the US had heard of. Unfortunately i didn’t get to see the presentation, but heard some great feedback and answered a lot of questions about mind maps during the breaks.
The tools, the toys, API’s. So many much to experiment with I’m not really sure where to start.
It’s not just about the presentations though:
At a conference like this, you learn a lot of from the presentations, but one of the things I really love about sourcing is the willingness of everyone to share, and this isn’t just the presenters, talking to the other delegates during the networking breaks and at the After Dark event provides a whole new wealth of information and a unique learning experience for everyone.
The SourceCon challenge. Loved the idea behind this year’s challenge. Take 5 of the best sourcers in the world, add a hard to fill role for a charity, let the loose and see who can put forward the best candidates. Congrats to Jim Schnyder on winning this, but if anyone’s interested in looking at doing some charity work, I think this is a great way you can offer to help out your preferred charity
If you can make it to SourceCon next year, I highly recommend it. If you can’t, why not check out one of the SST events this November and see some of the speakers while they’re out here. You can register for the event in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

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