Finally, after having waited many years, Sourcecon made it to Europe and around 340 amazing people gathered in Budapest at the beginning of June 2018 for the first (of many) Sourcecon Europe.
If you can spell the word sourcing, you know sourcecon already ( if you don’t…first of all… wtf…but if you were sourcing on Mars, go check sourcecon.com 😉)
1 The Community, the Welcome Wagon and the organisation
Honestly, the European in me must state this: US people don’t get enough paid holidays in a year… this being said, more than 10 amazing people came (some of them with their partners and family), crossed an ocean, just to be there… and be part of the community. And we’re talking no other than 2 times Sourcecon GrandMaster Jim Schnyder, amazing people like Amybeth Quinn, Holly Mallowes, Ronnie Bracher, Angie Veros came just to be part of it, to “support”. Legends like Jim Stroud, Bill Boorman are used to be onstage in front of massive crowd and came… just to be with the community. The “welcome wagon” was incredible.
The organization led by Shannon Pritchett was just unprecedented, caring and just perfect, everything was on time (and I’m from Switzerland).
Honestly… just wow and I haven’t even mentioned one single speaker yet.
Enough amazing name dropping now, let’s go straight to the action, what did I learn from this? This is not exhaustive, I could’nt attend everything and if I wanted to avoid a 7 pages long blog post, I just couldn’t mention it all.
2 Tools are fun, but screw them
Sourcing is not just about tools. Of course everyone is happy to learn about the latest AI and everything it can do but now everyone knows they come and go.
Of course your tech stack is important but more importantly, the shift of mindset and how you use them in a wise way.
“A sourcer with the right mindset and an internet connexion is much more powerful than any stack of extensions/tools in the world”
And this is way you should join these conferences, it’s even more about speaking with people and understanding their mindset than tools dropped.
3 I’m kidding tools are still fun…
when they don’t only speak English
Yes I just said tools are not important but who wouldn’t want an artificial intelligence able to schedule all meetings and interviews for you and save you valuable time? Except, most of the amazing chatbots and interaction AI seem to only work in English. Same for Textio.com, amazing tools, if you write jobspecs in English only… or Grammarly to correct your emails, in English.
Every tool that works around text and interaction is rarely in anything but English, I work in 2 (sometimes 3) languages and constantly switch, someone please solve this now!
4 but as you love them so much, there they are
I know you’d be disappointed if you couldn’t see some tools and the amazing Victor Soroka did just put a list together of all the tools mentioned at Sourcecon. Enjoy and thank him 😊
Accompany / Airtable / AmazingHiring / Amy / Arya / Asana / bit.ly / Blockspring / BombBomb / BrowserLing / BurpSuite / Calendly / Clinch / Connectifier / ContactOut / DataMiner / Dock.io / Email Qualifier / Entelo / Evercontact / Evernote / Feedly / Fleep / FullContact / GitHub / Glider / Grammarly / HelloTalent / Hiretual / HiringSolved / HubSpot / IFTTT / Karen / LemList / Lever / Loom / Lusha / Mosaictrack / Muzzle / Mya / Noisli / Nudge / Nymeria / Outreach / Outwit / Peoplecamp / PhantomBuster / Pocket / Pomodoro / Recruiterflow / Recruiterhunt / Referagig / RescueTime / Ripl / Roborecruiter / ScheduleOnce / Scrapebook / SendCheckIt / Simppler / Slack / Snappr / SociaList / SpeakerDeck / Station / TalentBin / Teamable / Textexpander / Textio / Toggl / Toutapp / Trello / Trove / TweetDeck / Typeform / Vidyard / WhoKnows / WorldTimeBuddy / WunderList / XOR / Zapier / ZenSourcer
5 Transactional recruitment is (finally!) dying
Few years back, recruiters with “sourcing” skills were like this: type this boolean search, get everyone, automate a template message and pray. Just check the names of the early days blogs: BooleanBlackBelt, Booleanstrings etc.. (amazing blogs by the way, read them entirely)
But… this approach is dying because it is just not working anymore. People are fed up with this and the humans are (finally) back!
Shaping your approach is becoming an art that involves skills and creativity (big up to Sjamilla Van Der Tooren for her outreaches, and her talk). Katrina Collier used a great analogy, see how fed up you were with all these GDPR messages lately? This is the normal life of a highly targeted “talent” (#beHuman 😉 )
Using video does instantely give a sense of humanity and using it smartly like Mark Lundgren in your approach is a smart move.
I worship the day were agency recruiters will stop judging how good they are by measuring their sales figures but talking about the people’s life they changed. Thankfully, they were only a handful from agency side at Sourcecon.
6 but we’re not quite there yet…
Sourcers still base most of their research on competencies/keywords whem, on the other hand, they are “officially” looking for people with amazing soft skills. I think reconciling the 2 is going to be the challenge of the future and where tech is really going to help.
Sourcing for soft skill is hard but thinking “social” is definitely possible is sourcing.
I had the immense honour to speak myself and I chose to talk about, what I call, behavioural sourcing and how to avoid looking for keywords but instead for “interaction points” between individuals and their community. It was really cool for me to be on stage, I was so stressed out lol
I was happy to see that Shane McCusker (the one behind the facebook search extension) was using the same approach himself on Facebook and Twitter.
It is still early days but I think this way of thinking is really going to catch by combining the tools and techniques from marketers and growth hackers and reapplying them to sourcing. And we haven’t touched (yet) on the behavioural science PHD techniques and their data science counterparts, data is growing by the day and I’d love to play with it much more!
7 Working smartly
Before this Sourcecon, I thought I had a major problem. My complete and utter incapability of… multitasking. Maisha Cannon’s presentation about the organisation of the work of a sourcer was just perfect and I realised I was not that weird after all and that most of my sourcing friends were also highly segmenting their time to be able to focus!
Damien Hie Coloby showed how he is readapting the Agile methodology to sourcing and once again, it makes absolute sense and works perfectly. Iterations, Sprints, constant feedback, continuous improvement, working in close partnership with hiring managers… everything you can just hope for and work towards as an internal sourcer.
Balazs Paroczay in his opening keynote explained how sourcing is moving from a centralized model to a decentralized model and involving every part of the organization in sourcing/recruiting. Collaboration and involvement is the way forward.
Evelyn Egan showed how she managed to set up a proper international sourcing team looking for crazy hard to find security engineers in Abu Dhabi. I loved the fact that she openly shared successes and failures, tools, methods and organization. So great to have a real “open source” community to learn from.
Sourcers are real professionals, people with extraordinary skills in marketing, digital, social engineering, content marketing, growth hacking. The more I think about it, the more I think we’ll be the last generation to come from recruitment (but more on this later 😉)
Has time passes, forget about the geek, welcome to the professional sourcers, the superhuman with tremendous technical skillset, able to engage is creative ways, work smartly and impact their organisations.
Sourcecon is a community of people sharing ideas constantly inventing new ways, techniques. We’re all together in this journey and it’s great to witness it all.
Let’s face it… we are impacting people lives and we’re doing it better every day…. we’re changing things and we can all be proud what we do as a community.
Long live Sourcecon Europe, next year… Amsterdam 😉
PS: I just could’nt mention everyone in the post, far from it but as a picture is worth a thousand words, you have one of me with Tris Revill and Jan Tegze as a tribute to 2 guys really making a change in this European community.