Day 3 started early in the morning as we still had so many topics to cover! Everyone seemed to still have plenty of energy though even after two intense day of learning about sourcing and one disco night 😉
How can you become really great as a sourcer?
We started the day with a session about growthhacking and yes, that included a case about hot-dog eating contests! Why? Because you can find inspiration anywhere 😉 Learning from other professionals is really important if you want to become a really great sourcer.
Remember I mentioned a previous session about negotiation skills? That’s just one examples. Growthhackers too can inspire us to do better, but also faster. Look into rapid experimentation and try to use that in your sourcing approach if you don’t already. It’s all about trying new things quickly, implementing the ideas that work and letting go of those that don’t. In a lot of bigger businesses change takes a long time, but as an individual sourcer you can easily apply rapid experimentation to your process.
This brings me to another important point: failure is a necessary part of our job. We closed the day with a discussion about failing moderated by Karen Azulai. How often do you fail? Are you open about it? How do you learn from failure? I was particularly inspired by this session as I strongly believe we need to accept our mistakes to learn from them. Making the same mistakes over and over is trully the only way you can fail as a sourcer.
So what does good look like in sourcing?
I sat in on some of the more technical sessions too. Mark Lundgren walked us through his process of finding amazing candidates in IT. Are you using sources that allow you to target people who don’t necessarily do the same thing you want them to do? (if not, give meetup a try, it’s an easy one to figure out!) Are you giving up when the candidate doesn’t reply to your first message? Try following up and see if you can get your response rate up. And if you’re looking for something even more advanced, make sure to follow Aaron Lintz who showed us how to hack conferences to find niche talent. I will probably need a while to digest it before I can show you what that means exactly, but why wait for that when you can go directly to the source an read more in this article Aaron wrote.
But not all sourcers are so technical, and that’s ok too. Being a great sourcer is not just about your ability to manipulate URLs and digging up candidate profiles online. So what is it about exactly? Andy Mountney in his attempt to answer this question started by looking at sourcing failures (yes, that again!). Andy works with sourcers and recruiters in London who want to move in-house and his analysis of both our weaknesses and strenghts really resonated with me. We need to constantly work on our active listening skills as well as review and update the tools and methods we use.
An interesting case was presented by Natalie Glick from Thoughtworks and Balazs Paroczay who walked us through creating an internal sourcing function from scratch. If you’re thinking of setting up a sourcing function, they said, examine your own motivation. It won’t necessarily help you save money, warned Balazs, but there are many other benefits of hiring sourcers. If you want to know what looks good, make sure to write down your assumptions first and confront the results of the team against them.
I will probably need another week or two to really digest all that I learned. I met lots and lots of people that I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with – the networking aspect of an event is always important! So if you felt like you missed out on a great opportunity, make sure to check out the future SOSU events!