(Feb 27, 2009) Sourcing, as currently practiced, is a short term phenomenon. There is money to be made in the field today because the techniques required to find people are arcane and confusing. Additionally, with the strong exception of Avature and Broadlook's products, there are no useful tools for the automation of the process.

Meanwhile people are getting easier and easier to find.

The next waves of innovation in social networks will be all about making the membership accessible to each other. Right now, finding additional network nodes, new friends or interesting potential connections is a black art. You've got to be a Boolean Black Belt. You need a guru. There's an entire consulting industry built on specialized knowledge.


You may rest assured that this situation will not last.


The web is best when it tears down the friction that separates information from the people who need it. The folks who work hard mining data manually today will be flipping burgers in the near future. The skills required to move forward are unlike the ones being taught. Contemporary sourcing is a dead-end occupation with little in the way of transferrable skills.


Next generation recruiting is about relating intimately, not about mutual discovery. It's about fidelity and long term value exchange, not one night stands. It's about data that updates itself because the relationship is constantly working. Finding each other? Easy. Building an enduring relationship? Hard.


For a while, sourcing will be a high dollar, easy pickings income source. But, in the relatively short term, the need for the expertise will evaporate. Former sourcing luminaries will be familiarizing themselves with the alarm on the French fry machine and the relative difference between Rare, Medium and Well done.


Evaporate, as in "What air freshener scent would you like with your car wash?"


So, what do you do if you're a sourcer (or any kind of Recruiter, for that matter)?


  • Get really good at being a productive member of an online community. Join stuff, volunteer, get experience.
  • Develop repeatable methods for discovering new communities and joining them.
  • Develop community management skills (Jason Davis is a good role model).
  • Stop acting like an email address is a relationship or a list is a community.

 


I'm on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendfeed. Catch up with me.

 

Views: 1332

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

One more point....to survive what I see as a Depression like employment market will require 14+ hour work days and being in a recruiting niche where demand outstrips supply.

I work frightened every single day and process driven meeting daily benchmark outgoing calling numbers/presentations that are 3 times the level of 10 years ago.

Most of the chance I get to come here is on Sundays.

Just my five cents
Selection Bias: Firms that are no longer clients of Broadlook may no longer be firms: only those that do reasonably well can remain clients. Correlation is not Causation.




The top companies that are multi-year clients of Broadlook have something in common. They are doing well in the down turn.
Bill, perhaps this is semantics (yet perhaps not) but I work excited every day - never frightened. Nothing is deteriorating to me - again, perhaps simply semantics - unless you are referring to the number of recruiters who escape the fire because of the heat.

Practically all of my work and work to come has been instigated through relationships built through online means. If you don't like using social media no one is forcing you to come here only on Sunday's. If you're saying that you're online presence will continue to diminish as a result of the economy, all I can offer is a heartfelt good luck. Spending all one's time online in the presence of just sourcers and recruiters IS a recipe for a downward spiral just as is having the only association meetings you attend be of the HR variety.

Bill, don't give up on SM yet - let's talk this week, ok?

Karen, all I need to say about you and your statistics is that there are estimated to be (by the CIA) 303,824,640 Americans...

bill josephson said:
One more point....to survive what I see as a Depression like employment market will require 14+ hour work days and being in a recruiting niche where demand outstrips supply.

I work frightened every single day and process driven meeting daily benchmark outgoing calling numbers/presentations that are 3 times the level of 10 years ago.

Most of the chance I get to come here is on Sundays.

Just my five cents
Point well taken. What I am seeing from observation is that the companies that took the time to review Broadlook in the early days are doing well. Is is 100% from Broadlook? No. However, these same companies are always looking to improve processes...and it is part of their attitude or "corporate DNA". I didn't mean to wag the dog here. I guess, more accurately, I can state that long term clients of Broadlook tend to be innovators and innovators are still finding ways to succeed.

Steve Levy said:
DD-

This is some statement but it falls into the "burn her she's a witch" category. As much as I appreciate Broadlook's support of RBC, making grandiose statements without supporting data is simply sales. Specific sectors do well during downturns; specific business models too (always look at the balance sheet).

Since we're all part of a performance based function, how can you say this without showing us data?



Donato Diorio said:
The top companies that are multi-year clients of Broadlook have something in common. They are doing well in the down turn.
DD-

This is a statement to which we can all relate - in fact, companies that spend significantly more on R&D do tend to survive the storms in the economy; think of it as a part of a diversification strategy (yes, assuming somewhere there knows about bringing new things to market).

I suspect that if you can demonstrate that companies who invest in Broadlook also have in common things such as a diversified product strategy or a highly targeted sole product focus, a CFO who has implemented a 360 degree financial communications program and a CEO who blogs, you can make a broader claim.



Donato Diorio said:
Point well taken. What I am seeing from observation is that the companies that took the time to review Broadlook in the early days are doing well. Is is 100% from Broadlook? No. However, these same companies are always looking to improve processes...and it is part of their attitude or "corporate DNA". I didn't mean to wag the dog here. I guess, more accurately, I can state that long term clients of Broadlook tend to be innovators and innovators are still finding ways to succeed.

Steve Levy said:
DD-

This is some statement but it falls into the "burn her she's a witch" category. As much as I appreciate Broadlook's support of RBC, making grandiose statements without supporting data is simply sales. Specific sectors do well during downturns; specific business models too (always look at the balance sheet).

Since we're all part of a performance based function, how can you say this without showing us data?



Donato Diorio said:
The top companies that are multi-year clients of Broadlook have something in common. They are doing well in the down turn.
According to CareerXRoads (http://www.careerxroads.com/news/SourcesofHire09.pdf) the percentage of TPR hires/all hires is steadily decreasing in the largest firms (2.7% in 2008, 3.3% in 2007), but there is a tight group of firms that hire 10-15% of their hires among firms who hire 1,500-3,000 per year. Your thoughts....

I maintain that except for some difficult, specialized searches ("Osama in a Cave"), clients needn't pay more than about $1250/mo. for quality internet sourcing or $3,500/mo for quality phone sourcing. Let me restate this: I believe that shortly, there will be the kind of recruiting that costs in this range (virtual, low-touch, low-value add skills that can be easily eliminated, automated, or outsourced) and the type of recruiting where recruiters will routinely make $100k+ year, and not much in between: the "Professional Sports Model" In other words, I believe that if we haven't been making $100k+ yr. as a TPR or a sourcer, there probably won't be much need for our skills.


Keith Halperin keithsrj@sbcglobal.net
In all the replies to this thread there has not been one mention that I can see of how useless any type of sourcing is without an understanding of how the information will be used to engage prospective candidates.

So, I ask: "Is sourcing a means to an end or and end in of itself?"

Candidates sourced from a job board will be approached very differently because they are hyper-active whereas candidates sourced from Amazon because if their interests in subject matter a) and/or skill set b) require an altogether different type of overture.

Where is there any mention of how the job profile, demographics, supply and demand affect sourcing and sourcing strategy? Under what circumstances do we go for abundant active candidates and conversely the passive and disinterested folk? How do these decisions impact our choice of sourcing tools and techniques? Or is it just Broadlook, LinkedIn and/or calling Betty?

I have retraced the comments and I may have missed it but has anyone mentioned the fact that sourcing strategy is determined by a whole lot more than available technologies and preferred techniques?

Are posting jobs online and in print no longer legitimate sourcing strategies or are we to take it that these legacy approaches are, in every circumstance, dead? What about radio, job fairs and employee referral programs, outplacement programs, transitioning military and sticking leaflets on windshields in mall parking lots? Are these forms of sourcing dead too?

Maybe it's recruiting itself that is terminally ill. Or maybe its just how to put things in the broader context of recruiting process and so-called "best practice."

One thing's for sure, narrow-minded empiricism, cognitive bias and thinking inside the box [make that a coffin] is alive and kicking on RBC. Is it any wonder that reading this entire thread would leave one whose job it is to actually recruit with a pounding headache?
Ooooooh, you sound testy today Ami. All I can empirically speak for is telephone sourcing, and I will harken back to numbers that I have put forth before to the distinguished audience with the disclaimer that these numbers are (admittedly) changing somewhat in today's challenged environment. Like the very funny Letter to the IRS I received in my email this weekend (posted below for your enjoyment) that said, "... all is not lost," all is not lost, Ami.

You said, "In all the replies to this thread there has not been one mention that I can see of how useless any type of sourcing is without an understanding of how the information will be used to engage prospective candidates in a dialogue."

When you're telephone names sourcing the following (semi-loosely) applies (but not for challenged industries like defense, some engineering, pharma, biotech and many Big 4 disciplines (like SAP) Those numbers are, in general, less than what I discuss below). That being said - here goes.

If you have a field of 100 telephone sourced names from your telephone sourcer (of people who presently hold specific titles inside specific companies performing specific job functions) it's a pretty good bet that 80+ of them are going to be pretty surprised when you call them. The first thing they're likely to ask you (or tell you) is "How'd you get my name?" (oh please, please ask me that!) or the always refreshing disclaimer, "I'm not looking for a job! (Thank goodness!)

The reason 20 or so won't be surprised is that in the population you have a certain percentage of people looking for jobs anyway so when you phone source you're naturally going to pick those folks up in your broom and dust/pan sweep. It can't be helped. So, let's do these numbers so far.

We have 100 people gainfully employed at companies we admire and would hire people out of in a heartbeat!
We have 80 of them who are truly passive -not looking for a job and too busy with theirs to even think about another job!
Out of those 100, the majority are going to be pleasantly surprised by your novel approach and willing to listen to the opportunity you're presenting.

Nice, huh?

It is true that in today's uncertain environment these potential candidates are more wary than they have been in the past but, to assuage fears on this account, they were never that wary to begin with!

Let's work with the numbers so far.
100 names good-to-go
20 of them actually "looking" - they may or may not have resumes posted -some will. Some most definitely will.
That leaves 80. What do these 80 consist of?

About 10% of these eighty are going to tell you "Not interested," and get off the phone pretty quickly no matter how much you try to engage them. So what. We have 72 left. Of those 72, roughly:
30% of those (about 20-25) are going to say, "Hmmm....I'm not looking for a job (they already told you that, remember?) but that sounds interesting, tell me more!
10-15% (7-10) are going to say "Hmmm....I'm not looking for a job but that sounds really interesting, tell me more!
The remainder, about half of them (35 or so), are going to say, ""Hmmm....I'm not looking for a job right now but you never know what the furure holds - that sounds interesting, tell me more!

Any which way you cut it you may understand that telephone sourced names are going to produce possible candidates that are going to react to your attempt to engage them as a prospective candidate mostly in a positive manner.

Nice, huh? So, Ami, as you can see, truly, all is not lost. Oh, by the way, here's that letter (for your reading pleasure) I referred to when I started this rant:

Actual 'Letter to the Editor' from the February 5th edition of the
Wichita Falls Texas Times Record News...
Dear IRS,
I am sorry to inform you that I will not be able to pay taxes owed April 15, but all is not lost.
I have paid these taxes: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog license tax, federal income tax, unemployment tax, gasoline tax, hunting license tax, fishing license tax, waterfowl stamp tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, liquor tax, luxury tax, Medicare tax, city, school and county property tax (up 33 percent last 4 years), real estate tax, social security tax, road usage tax, toll road tax, state and city sales tax, recreational vehicle tax, state franchise tax, state unemployment tax, telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal state and local surcharge tax, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone state and local tax, utility tax, vehicle license registration tax, capital gains tax, lease severance tax, oil and gas assessment tax, Colorado property tax, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico sales tax, and many more that I can't recall but I have run out of space and money.
When you do not receive my check April 15, just know that it is an honest mistake.
Please treat me the same way you treated Congressmen Charles Rangle, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and ex-Congressman Tom Dashelle and, of course, your boss Timothy Geithner. No penalties and no interest.
P.S. I will make at least a partial payment as soon as I get my stimulus check.
Ed Barnett
Wichita Falls
Thank you again for your valuable statistics, Maureen. Like Maureen, I believe that the more directly you can communicate with someone, the better. A question: approximately how many calls do you need to make to actually speak to 100 identified potential candidates, or conversely, how many identified potential candidates will you be able to speak to the first time out of 100 calls made with proper information?

Cheers,
KH keithsrj@sbcglobal.net
Keith, you asked:
A question: approximately how many calls do you need to make to actually speak to 100 identified potential candidates, or conversely, how many identified potential candidates will you be able to speak to the first time out of 100 calls made with proper information?

Good questions. On the first one (approximately how many calls do you need to make to actually speak to 100 identified potential candidates) I'm not sure if you're asking me how many calls does a phone sourcer need to make to ID 100 potential candidates or how many calls does the recruiter need to make to reach the 100 identified potential candidates that the sourcer IDed (sounds like a Peter Picked Pickles, doesn't it?) Please clarify.

On your second question (how many identified potential candidates will you be able to speak to the first time out of 100 calls made with proper information) the key word in your query is "first". If you have 100 potential candidate names in front of you with the proper and correct information* when you sit down on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (notice I don't recommend Monday or Friday calling) morning whose titles/job skills fit the open position you need to fill, you will reach, on your first call-through of the list, maybe 10-15 of those listed actually answering their phones. On your second list-call through, again, maybe 10-12. On your third and fourth call throughs, maybe 8-12. And it drops from there. A list of 100 may need to be "called through" a dozen times before you actually reach everyone or near everyone. This is a factor of the society we live in -8 out of 10 business calls these days go into VoiceMail! But remember, each time you do a call-through, the number of people you have yet to reach declines. A list of 100 usually takes a dedicated/successful recruiter a couple weeks to thoroughly exhaust.

The word "exhaust" above is a misnomer here - that list of 100 - especially for those who specialize in a specific area - becomes ever more valuable as time goes on. That list of 100, besides more than probably providing a hire or two out of the first set of rounds of calling, is only the beginning of a recruiter's opportunity to get to know and develop relationships with people that will (naturally) turn into additional future hires. I have a saying that it's really the only product I know of that creates increasing returns (instead of decreasing returns ordinarily found in economic theory) over time!

I hope I haven't confused things.

*proper and correct information = name, title, phone number (preferably a direct dial)
Remember, the recruiting's up to you!
KarenM / Hirecentrix.com Bill, you know, when I see the same tired people saying over and over that the Baby Boomers are still planning to Retire, and there is still going to be a crisis on our hands.. I ask - WHAT ARE YOU trying to SELL???? There hasn't been any REAL Indicators that there WAS far less is a war for talent over 5 years, yet we hear over and over that there was.. Total and complete B.S - and it is That B.S that got us here in this mess in the first place. Companies Like Microsoft will continue to Abuse the system of H1-B visas Not because there is a war for talent, but because of the need for cheap labor. Now in Reality it is the Allocation of bring Cheap Labor to America that Will be the death of the American Sourcer, and even the foreign sourcer, as it will take recruiting to bridge that gap as well.


Karen, I have to agree with you. The war for talent is a war for the cheapest talent. The way companies have learned to circumvent the government laws, are coached to write up job descriptions so as to play to foreign resumes of cheap labor deliberately excluding higher paid Americans, and then cry over a lack of qualified workers pleading to raise the H-1B caps has been transparent to I/T recruiters. I won't get into the L-1 Intercompany Transfer abuses I've run into.

As for retirement......maybe Recruiters who aren't married, don't have kids, have professional dual income marriages, got out of the Stock Market early September, and therefore have much lower cost of living expenses or need for serious income have done well enough to be able to retire. As for me, I'm 56 with two currently in college with expenses incurred/accumulated supporting them looking forward into the corporate employment paradigm shifts to outsourced cheap labor overseas, insourced cheap labor here, and corporations likely beginning to move their corporate operations overseas to their future revenue streams (Asia/India) as did Haliburton to the Middle East my bet is I'm working as a recruiter as long as there's a need for us to find passive candidates and I still have my full capacities.

IMO, Both political parties in different ways with different philosophies are working towards the same end result--fewer jobs in the US. GOP with Free Market Capitalism encouraging the corporate trading of US jobs for corporate profit and personal wealth........the Democrats with a communist bent taxing and regulating companies and achievers out of existence.

No retirement here unless in a prone position.

Just my five cents.

Bill Josephson
Karen, re your numbers..
Karen, where did I say "...100 candidates would mean 100 Placements especially if one Specializes.."??

You know, I try to go easy on you but Steve just might have a point about your statistics...

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Subscribe

All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below

Webinar

LIMITED TICKETS

RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

Groups

© 2019   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service