(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.


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Bill, that could be a good way to go.
bill josephson said:
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
Now there's a shocka. Cracker Jack has only 1 ounce of contents!

Candy coated cow-corn, peanuts and a smile - are pretty expensive.
"...only 1 once of contents!"
You tryin' to tell us sometin', Animal, about our posts?

Papa likes it short:
Thinks a Bozo filter will do
Too smooth to name names

Animal loves all:
goes nuts on the radio
forgets Recruiting Beadle

Karen and Maureen:
one in the practical world
one in ideal world

Recruiting Animal said:
Now we don't all have the cachet of The Sumser Name. But all we need is a few diehard fans. Me, Karen, Maureen, Levy, Bill Josephson, Donuts & Oreos. No one can keep a team like that down.

Do you know how hard it is to find a picture of a dead horse being beaten? You'd think it would be pretty easy......but this is as close as I could get.

Jerry Albright said:

Do you know how hard it is to find a picture of a dead horse being beaten? You'd think it would be pretty easy......but this is as close as I could get.

Maureen, whatever your last comment means I strongly disagree.

What say you?

Maureen Sharib said:

Great ideas receive opposition from the first born.

Einstein was himself a first born child but so were the majority of his opponents. Last born children are much more open to new ideas. I wouldn't have believed it but apparently there are good studies proving it.
Beadle, it's true, I think all the cool kids are posting here.

But I don't like this business of beating horses.
Ami, I keep thinking about something Heather Bussing said a few days ago here on RBC about people being fearful (of guns). It seems to me there's a lot of fear (and anger?) being expressed in here about sourcing. I wonder why.

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