(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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Dearest Michael - a few thoughts:
1. this is more of a conversation of the AND versus the OR. Community management alone will probably not be sufficient and shouldn't be a sole strategy. It will play an increasing role however AND there will also still be a need for targeted, direct sourcing and recruitment.

2. being a community manager to land a job and being a community manager to find talent and make hires are two different scenarios. Paul DeBettigines is an excellent example of a community manager that has turned his work into hires. I can't speak to Dennis' situation specifically but wonder if this is also more reflective of company's not fully valuing the role of a community manager and what it can do for their brand. It may also reflect that recruiters/sourcers are not fully utilizing all the channels they could to find talent.

3. community takes time to build - I est 6 to 12 months. There's a longer time commitment to show an roi. Companies have to be very committed to staying the course and investing to build the community. Investing in this case is more time than direct expense, but yes it does mean $$ investing in supporting a community manager role.

Recruiting Animal said:
Susie, sweetheart. I was in your tutorial at the Recruifest when you talked about the coming importance of the Community Manager. It sounded great and Dennis Smith, who was there as well, was really taken with the term.

Since then, however, he's made no effort to hide the fact that being the manager of a large community on ning has not helped him to find a job. I can't tell you how surprised I was to hear this. It was a lesson for me.

The niche recruiter who walks a regular beat has the benefit of getting to know the people in his neighbourhood. And that is of real value when you go looking for people. But the idea of a community can sound better than it really is.

Regards from me.
Tricks are ways to get around someone when you want something from them and you dont know how to get it honestly in a straightforward way.
You call John whos a reference for Jack and Jack gave you his information for a reference Only. then you try to get names from John and to recruit John and the reference check is not the point of the call its just a stepping stone

Hey, Everyone . . . ever seen "Field of Dreams"?

"People will come, Ray."

Build it and they will come. If we keep saying that in unison, maybe we'll build a new market and make a few bucks while we're at it.

Ok, now All Together Now: "People will come, Ray!"

Has Kennedy Info been participating in the chat today? They just announced a free webinar on the Future of the Sourcing Function....

Enjoy the weekend everyone,
Mary Beth
The Death of Sourcing?? No, that's too simplistic. The evolution of sourcing? More likely the case. As many have pointed out, merely finding someone is a small part of the equation. How do you reach out to them; what do you say and how do you say it? What industry/function/geography are you representing? What levels? What are the demographics?

As an example of how different candidates/consumers behave, we've done several surveys of Professional Services candidates and the overwhelming response is they would prefer a 1st contact via email. And yet personally, I would much rather be contaced by phone.

Painting with broad strokes is never a good idea...

Like John Cotter states : Competitive advantage comes from that which is hard to duplicate.
John Sumser Sumsered it up with this line: "Finding each other? Easy. Building an enduring relationship? Hard."
The candidate experience is one of many factors that go into developing that relationship. After any given touch point, has your process compelled or repelled?
Think about it.
have a great weekend
Joseph P. Murphy
Shaker Consulting Group
Developers of the Virtual Job Tryout
Susie, honey, I have a feeling that somebody is going to dissect this argument all over the place on The Recruiting Animal Show this week and it might be a really ugly mess so those who want to contain the damage just might want to be there.
Hey - I forgot to call you Mikey! Sorry to be so formal.

Dearest Mikey - This may be the most interesting uninvitation I've ever received ;-). I'll try and make it. On a serious note - its an important conversation to have. There are transformations taking place at the industry, business and societal level that will influence the future. Does anyone have the answers now - probably not. There is a lot of value in having the discussion because it opens are eyes to new possibilities. Staying in the dark and believing that things won't change is not healthy. Most important is to be curious, seek understanding and then create new possibilities.

btw - think you would enjoy this archived webcast with Matt Miller on his book The Tyranny of Dead Ideas

Recruiting Animal said:
Susie, honey, I have a feeling that somebody is going to dissect this argument all over the place on The Recruiting Animal Show this week and it might be a really ugly mess so those who want to contain the damage just might want to be there.
Several things are inevitable on a very short horizon line:

- More and more people will have obvious and useful online identities.
- Growth rates for social networks are accelerating.
- As the tide swells, finding them will become easier.
- We're past the tipping point.
- Online identities will be as common as email in less time than it took email to become common.
- The arcane methods we currently use to find people will get automated.
- That will be the end of complex hunting and esoteric internet techniques.

If you are spending your time learning how to find candidates online using complex search techniques, you need to learn how to say "Is that for here or to go?"
I've always wanted to be post #62 in a thread about something that has very little to do with how I make a living. Finally - here it is. My dream!

Sourcing has about as much to do with the way I generate value for my clients as my ability to catch walleye when others can't.

I do not use an ATS. Why? Because there are far more current candidates readily available with just a few mouse clicks. So yes - "sourcing" as a service is most likely going to be less in demand. Though the mere simplicity of an act does not mean that we all want to do it. I "could" change the oil in my truck - but others have mastered it and I'd rather let them handle it.

I guess for that matter when the Flo-Bee came out many hairstylists worried about their futures. Alas - their feers were short lived....(in most parts of the country)
There is SO much truth in this. I hate to say it. Relationships are going to be the most important part of the sourcing process and those who are the most relatable to their target audience will be the ones the candidates flock to.
Amy, honey, I told Susie that we are going to trash anyone who says stuff like that on the recruiting animal show on Wednesday so if you want to come on and defend your outrageous views this is your invitation.

And those jerks from ning who screwed up the chat box without checking it out with any of the users. There's going to be hell to pay for them too.

Jerry, that's how I spell fear too. "feers". It's the British style isn't it? Or is it Appalachian?

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