Friday, 8 February 2013

Sourcing Hobbiton

hobbit-48fps.jpg  I've been following the updates from Sourcecon - one of the conferences around the world I'd love to get to someday (mainly just because of the people there).

There have been a few interesting tweets - I particularly liked the participants' responses to Glen Cathey's questions about who there were introverts - it seemed that most were (though not so introverted they weren't prepared to raise their hands) and the suggestion that sourcer teams need to be presented with riddles to keep them focused and engaged (which led to my tweet wondering if we could compare them with hobbits).

And there have been a few interesting posts - e.g. Irina Shamaeva's on dream software.

But I've probably learnt less from the tweets than I'd hoped.  However, I am learning - as I'm currently taking Irena's Sourcing course (though I'm a bit behind).  We've been through Boolean (which I really should know quite well by now), social networks (which I do know, although Irina's techniques are a lot more efficient than what I normally do) and tools (which I don't have much experience in).

It's all good stuff, but I still feel somewhat in awe at the sort of riddles sourcers can solve, and from my previous sourcer encounters, e.g. with Glen at Intalent, Jim Stroud, Kathryn Robinson and others at TRU Sourcing, and Craig Fisher at HREvolution, HR Tech Europe and elsewhere.  And I'm still not sure I'd get that far in Irina's sourcing contest.

Never mind - I don't need to do this for real.  But I still feel frustrated about how many recruiters, at least those in the UK, don't know anything about all this.

I brought it up again at HRTalks, where it was quite clear most companies there weren't doing anything like this.  And it is important, I think.

Sourcecon have been looking at this as well.  John Sullivan has been suggesting that sourcing is dead (along with careers sites and a few others and bits and pieces - so there won't be much left of it at all soon).  But I'm with TRU's Bill Boorman - we need more of this, not less (again, at least in the UK).  That's not just because we can't do the same as Glen, albeit that this is certainly true.  It's not just about efficiency, it's very much about effectiveness as well.

So yes, it's about quality of hire again.  I talked about this at HRTalks as well.  Traditional recruiting is a great approach to get good people, but it's rubbish for getting the very best.  They're just not going to be available at the time you're looking, or they're not going to be interested enough in you and your company.  So if you get them at all, it's only going to be buy offering them lots of dosh,.

Instead, you've got to find the people you want, engage them, nurture them, develop your relationship so they're keen to join you as soon as you've got a vacancy that fits.  You can't find these people through advertising.

And it's not just about passive vs active recruitment.  Even the right active candidates aren't necessarily going to be interested in you.  And you're leaving the decision making to them.  You've got to be interested in recruiting the people you want - not just the people who want to work for you.

If you're competing on talent, on human capital - and I'd argue that most organisations are these days, you've got to be out sourcing.

Leave advertising to the orcs!


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