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)?
At the same time, there will continue to be a need for a few, world-class sourcers (both telephone and internet) to perform the "Osama in a Cave" type searches. However, these are becoming fewer and fewer-
BREAKING NEWS: OSAMA BIN LADEN STILL DEAD
Blowed up in 2002 @ Tora Bora. No proof of life since then. Not gonna be any.
Can't source the dead ya know !
Keith Halperin said:At the same time, there will continue to be a need for a few, world-class sourcers (both telephone and internet) to perform the "Osama in a Cave" type searches. However, these are becoming fewer and fewer-
finding a job on the job boards is like winning the lottery.. maybe the changes are a little bit higher
John Sumser said:
25% (ish) of American workers have college degrees (about 35 Million people). That's exactly the number of people that wikipedia says have linkedin profiles. (I keep hearing 40 Million). I'm certain that the overlap is perfect.>
John, I keep thinking about your sparse data remark. I asked over on LinkedIn if there was a way to discern what proportion of LinkedIn’s membership comes from each country. Three days later, I get an answer from Brian Tietje. He wrote:
Simply type in a country in the people search. The # of results will be listed on top.
So that what’s I did and this is what I found. Remember, LI’s current membership is touted between 35 and 40 million people (March, 2009). What I found was that HALF the total population is in the United States with some surprising representations elsewhere. India’s low number surprised me as did China. Remember, they have, respectively, almost four times (1,147,995,904-India) and almost five times (1,330,044,544 –China) the populations of the United States (303,824,640). Country populations are from July, 2008 estimates.
LinkedIn representations/country by country:
Canada 1,053,353 results
India 1,543,438 results On my second check about 1/2 hour later the number had increased to 1,543,734.
Bangladash 14,961 results
China 185,191 results Same thing on the ½ hr later recheck – an increase in population to 185,205
Hong Kong 92,206 results
Singapore 180,051 results
Cambodia 2,169 results
Indonesia 71,594 results
United States 18,038,205
Mexico 158,911 results
France 696,464 results
United Kingdom 1,886,094 results (I checked this twice!)
Netherlands 1,012,828 results (I checked this twice too!)
Belgium 411,135 results
Denmark 396,152 results
Germany 423,647 results
Ireland 117,641 results
Australia 600,419 results
New Zealand 100,304 results
Japan 106,969 results
Russian Federation 118,097 results
Argentina 208,899 results
Bolivia 5,350 results
Colombia 42,950 results
El Salvador 4,224 results
Barbados 2,425 results
Bahamas 3,457 results
Afghanistan 3,358 results
Bahrain 11,062 results
Israel 164,357 results
Egypt 38,912 results
Central African Republic 153 results
You get the picture and if you want to check your own country you can do so at LinkedIn by doing what Brian suggested above only watch your fields – you want to locate “in or near” and you want to remove any postal code if there is one showing up in your “Postal Code” box. Scroll through the “Country” box for the country you are curious about.
Do any of the above findings surprise any of you?
By the way, I hope this firestorm catches fire over at LinkedIn - here. It looks like it might.
For an irony, this is exactly what Danny Cahill said at Sourcecon 2007 - yep, during the peak of Sourcing Kool-Aid. IMHO, it took balls to say it then, not now. Today, the cat is out of the bag - companies like Deloitte, MS, Google, etc. have cut their sourcing programs down to nubs. During the keynote, Danny mentioned something to the tune of, "Pretty soon, nearly all the names will be findable through consolidated tools . . . and once again, history will repeat itself as Recruiting once again returns to its roots as sales, and more importantly, persuasion." That's not verbatim because I can't remember it perfectly, but it's along those lines. As I've said before, you could have heard a pin drop as mouths hit the floor. That wasn't an empty motivational speech - that was a body-blow reality check that has come true.
Strategic Sourcing initiatives are seen as short-term initiatives. It's the 80/20 Pareto Principle at play. If it takes 1 hour and $5 to rake 80% of the leaves in the front yard, there is no point in spending another 4 hours + $100 to rake the remaining 20% of the leaves. That's why we're seeing Strategic Sourcing initiatives (and teams/architectures) going the way of the Dinosaur today. As the 'names' (or better, 'data') becomes outdated and obsolete, then you can revisit and rake the 80% again.
As for Recruiting becoming all about communities, I'm not drinking that Kool-Aid quite yet. The reason is that there are large pockets of individuals who could give two hoots about a social network or community. While we're firing off tweets and debating communities on RBC, they're teaching their little boy to throw a baseball, having dinner with their wife, or helping their daughter with homework. The point is that some people's lives are more about physical proximity than the web. Not everyone I know owns a Crackberry or iPhone. Anyone who says there isn't opportunity cost when your life is more about a social network than your actual real-life circle of friends and family is badly mistaken.
Over time, as Gen-Y ages, we'll see this mentality die off . . . because the Internet has been interwoven into their lives since a very early age. But that day isn't today, and it won't be tomorrow, or even when we begin climbing out of this recession.
What I find funny about the mindset that "The Future of Recruiting is all about the Community" . . . is that it ties back to a revenue stream. The more we speak about 'communities' and 'social networks' at conferences, the more we can build a market, sell new technologies, and offer consulting assistance. As a result, we all make more money by collaboratively telling the same story over and over. I love how history repeats itself as markets creatively destruct and are reborn.
P.S. There are sourcing automation tools beyond Avature's and Broadlook's suites. I'm not saying they're great, but they're out there. At some point, though, somebody has to pick up the phone and talk to another human being - without conversation, a 'relationship' is another overused buzzword used to sell the invisible. I wonder when our market will once again affirm that technology is an enabler . . . but will never replace human interaction when it comes to Recruiting.