(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: 1637

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Money is to be made where you can't easily eliminate, automate, or outsource staffing functions. The more ways there are of finding people (or better yet, knowing where people are), the more emphasis there will be on the high-touch, high-value add functions performed by a small fraction of those (until recently) employed in staffing. Also, we should concentrate on the problems being solved (work to be done) as opposed to the merchandise being sold/rented (placed candidates).

Cheers,
Keith Halperin keithsrj@sbcglobal.net
I'm a beat behind the drum on this post, better late...

When I first read the title of John post, I decided I was not going to like it. The few times I've run into John, I've, well, disagreed with him on whatever it was we were talking about. So it was a surprise when I dug in and read his post.

John was right. But I have a different bend on it.

Sourcing. A verb. Action word. Something that is not yet recoginized by Microsoft Word's spelling dictionary. It is fairly new, yet it is dead? How to define sourcing? What defines something but the majority? Does my company, Broadlook, define souring? Hell no. Broadlook has a few percentage points of the market. Whether I like it or not, sourcing, how we must define it, is what the majority is doing. And what may I ask are the majority of recruiters & sourcers (and I mean ALL recruiters and sourcers) using? Not Broadlook. It's mostly Job Boards and dead databases of one sort or another. So, in a down turn, if you don't evolve beyond average, look to be eliminated. It is that simple. Darwinism.

So I liked John's Post. I had to die a litle bit to take it in. That is the secret to change, to innovation and sometimes to survival. You must be willing to "die daily" in how you look at the world, solve problems and do your job. Who you are today does not define you tomorrow, unless you let it. John: thanks for the post that started people talking.

Sourcers, in order to survive, must evolve and stop fishing in the same fish bowls of candidates. They need to go to the ocean of passive candidates. Most of them won't do it. No matter how much of the workforce is out of a job, the majority of the best candidates will still be employed.

We all know a "top" person who is out of a job. Right? Well the losely worded "top" is ambiguous. I hear that phrase thrown around too much. I prefer clarity. To be more precise. If someone is laid off, and they are truly the "top 20%" of all people in their field. News flash. They will be back to work. These are the people that need to be targeted. For the most part they are not on the Job Boards. I may be off on the %, but I am trying to make a point. Which means SOURCING that is SUCCESSFUL must become a combination of (1)obtaining points of entry, (2)human networking and (3)phone sourcing. Broadlook plays as a piece of that equation.

As an innovator, I must continue to scrap what was working yesterday for what will work tomorrow. It is innovate or die. This is the same thing sourcers must do to survive. My challenge is the many people think they know what Broadlook does, but really have no clue. My fault, and we are trying to remedy that.

For anyone out there who is a sourcer, who is not working, who must reinvent themselves to survive. I want to offer my services. If you will take the time to learn what Broadlook does. To really learn, first hand, what it is that we do. Forget what your brothers sisters cousin's uncle told you what they thought Broadlook was. Be curious. Be damn curious. If you are committed to learning to use technology and process to do passive candidate sourcing, you may want to see what it is all about. The top companies that are multi-year clients of Broadlook have something in common. They are doing well in the down turn.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Sourcing is dead. Long live sourcing.
I'd never used LinkedIn as the main driver of a sourcing campaign until just now. I was looking for a sales rep with office equipment background in Toronto.

I was able to generate a decent list but the information is, to my surprise, dated. I guess that was predictable. Maureen is always telling me that lists degenerate very rapidly. But I was still surprised to find so many people no longer at the firms listed on their profiles.

I guess linkedin is just like every other social network. A small percentage of the people who sign on take the time to participate even when that means merely keeping their own profile up to date.
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.
Animal, I think maybe we've talked about this in phone sourcing class but it is my firm belief that as these networks age a greater and greater percentage of the "member information" is going to age (off) right along with them. There is something (and I don't yet know what it is) very excitable and powerful about "young" networks - RBC and MagicMethod are two cases in point. Beyond that, networks that are very niched - very focused - I can see becoming the "new", more potent forces in social networking. I don't think I'm saying anything that hasn't already been said. One thing though is important to remember, unless you are SUPERSMART it's hard to understand the phenom of how these things work unless you're a part of it and and as yet so few have experienced it I 'spec the whole thing has a whole lot further to go...

I think networks (and lists/directories) are aging faster these days than they did a year ago - instead of 20% a year maybe they're aging at even twice that? This would be an interesting thing to get the crowd's opinion on.

The ONLY way to get real-time, right-now, up-to-the-very-last-minute results is - what? You know the answer to this Animal. What is it?
Steve, I had an ancestor that was burned as a witch...
;)
Seriously.
What kind of mental cases are up at 6/7am on a Sunday morning leaving comments on a posting that already has over a 100 comments?

I've read that the rule of thumb for social networks is: 10% of people who sign on to a social network read the content on a regular basis and only 1% contribute.

Levy told me that without using any numbers the first time I spoke to him. And it hit home for me on RBC when ning told me that I had 300 (or more) outstanding friend requests. Thousands sign on - it's free and easy - but they don't come back to see who wants to be their friend.

I thought that linkedin would be different and maybe it will be in the future but I don't think that people understand how important it can be to them.

It can still provide you with clues on how to find some of the people with dated profiles; after all you have the name. But certain significant percentage of them ought to have a line from Bob Dylan plastered over the top of the screen: "I'm not there."

Maureen the office equipment companies have so many people on one office that on a telephone call, it's hard to find your way around.
What kind of mental cases are up at 6/7am on a Sunday morning leaving comments on a posting that already has over a 100 comments?
You know what they say about pointy fingers...
;)
Yeah. Don't point that finger at me - It's got a nail it.
Animal, I doubt social networks will ever really take off as a great source to find people. Reason?

Most people (myself included) are working twice as hard to earn half as much as previously and thrice as hard in attempting to earn the same. This means I'm logged into a social network most infrequently, and I know the prospects I'm recruiting often tell me it's either ok to call them AT THEIR OFFICE at 8-9 PM or that they'll return home from work AFTER 9 AM forcing this aging recruiter to stay up later and work longer.

Point is "the best" at companies are working their asses off in this economy.We all know, and so do they, a job is not an entitlement. The best remain gainfully employed mainly because they can effectively/successfully accomplish more than one person's worth of work making them invaluable to their employer, and would likely spend the precious little time they have with family/friends than navigating a social network......unless they're out of work.

Just my five cents.....

Bill Josephson
Bill- I flat out disagree; first, social media is generational and the boomers who aren't are replaced by others who are. Of course there will always be those who don't, won't, can't but they misunderstand the purpose behind SM: Community and relationship. Some might offer a great argument (or is it part of a looming debate?) that our current President was elected in part by his strong SM presence

Bill, I look at the sheer numbers of those Facebooking, Twittering, blogging, ad nausem and as a recruiter I know I will be hiring from relationships made through these.

If it weren't for SM, I never would have called you last weekend, right?

bill josephson said:
Animal, I doubt social networks will ever really take off as a great source to find people. Reason?

Most people (myself included) are working twice as hard to earn half as much as previously and thrice as hard in attempting to earn the same. This means I'm logged into a social network most infrequently, and I know the prospects I'm recruiting often tell me it's either ok to call them AT THEIR OFFICE at 8-9 PM or that they'll return home from work AFTER 9 AM forcing this aging recruiter to stay up later and work longer.

Point is "the best" at companies are working their asses off in this economy.We all know, and so do they, a job is not an entitlement. The best remain gainfully employed mainly because they can effectively/successfully accomplish more than one person's worth of work making them invaluable to their employer, and would likely spend the precious little time they have with family/friends than navigating a social network......unless they're out of work.

Just my five cents.....

Bill Josephson
Steve, true that's how you happened to call me.

Except as a Recruiter doing my own sourcing working longer and harder my participation and exposure on these boards becomes less and less. My candidates are more increasingly frequently too busy to even reply to my emails.

My point is as our employment market/economy continues to deteriorate where there are fewer paying clients combined with an increasingly number of known candidates firing resumes off causing increased resistance to using recruiters at all Recruiters like me and the "top" performers at companies I'm searching for will have decreasing time to spend on social networks. My time is spent finding/talking with them. Their time is working and trying to find some family/friend time.

The people using these networks will increasingly be out of work recruiters, sourcers, and employees and I spend my time working feverishly twice/thrice as hard with little/no time to socially network but with some time to occasionally read something. This was my basic answer to Animal's post about why 10% who sign up look at the Boards and 1% respond, which you responded to.

Just my five cents......

Bill Josephson

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

RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2021   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

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