(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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Maureen, just because you didn't say it doesn't mean you weren't thinking it. Read your Freud, baby.
RA -now you're reading my mind?
Donuts & Oreos said: "the companies that took the time to review Broadlook in the early days are doing well."

This suggests that a Broadlook user group would be a good source of clients. But these guys can, presumably, find X % of the people they need online using the Broadlook technology.

And if X % is a high # they don't need us.
RA, I'm gonna say this out loud because, after all, it's the 800 pound gorilla in the room that nobody really seems to want to talk about and is at the root of why we're having all this discussion about sourcing being "dead."

UNLESS you're willing to invest in yourself to learn the extraordinary online search techniques being espoused by people like Shally and GlenC and GlennG (and a few others) Internet search (as a profession) is going to continue to be decimated (and denigrated because of) board scrapers who put this activity forth as "sourcing".

THIS IS NOT SOURCING - THIS IS BOARD SCRAPING.

AND UNLESS you're willing to get off and over your fear of the telephone and LEARN TO PHONE SOURCE you will NEVER MAKE a million dollars (and more!) in fees in any one year. You won't even come close and that's a fact, Jack.

SORRY to burst your bubbles but this ain't Kansas anymore.
Karen:
Deflection? You want to talk about deflection? Remember this?
Maureen, board scraping is a form of sourcing. And I don't care how good your internet sourcing techniques are the people have to be online for you to find them. And not everyone is online
Hmmm. Polishing up your burger-flipping skills yet? All that work with a headset is transferable to the drive-thru position. No particular expertise with statistics is required. You do have to be able to make change.

My point was never that capable people who deliver value will be out of jobs. Rather, as RA points out, that automated tools are emerging that replace the more manual use of arcane internet search strings.

Warning: Off topic sarcastic content follows.

Have you ever noticed that there tends to be an inverse relationship between word count and value in these exchanges? It's not always true, of course. Only 61.3% of really long repetitive posts are badly written, irrelevant and factually inaccurate. A recent survey said so.

In some systems, there is a tool called a bozofilter. In the best implementations, this sort of tool allows users to maintain freedom of speech while I continue to exercise my freedom to ignore. Really cool bozofilters promote diversity in the conversation while allowing each participant to manage her own irritants. ie, You may not wish to read my comments but you are dying to read Steve's and so on. As much as I appreciate the universe's willingness to help me develop patience, sometimes I want a little insulation.

End of off topic content.
Hey, Papa, no one pushes the recruiting animal around.

If I want to discuss this topic till the cows come home no bozofilter is going to stop me.

You're going to close it off? Anyone can open it again. All you need to do is repost the main idea with a link to the original posting.

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.
A little testy today, Maureen?

I'm afraid the evangelists of Boolean, myself included, will not save sourcing as we know it from dying. Prosthetics like Broadlook will not help. Advanced search syntax and its automation is no more a panacea for internet sourcing than telephone sourcing alone is for profiling talent.

The only thing that will save sourcing is the application of innovation and intelligence to a creative process that is driven by competitive advantage. For those of us who intend to survive this period of forced introspection, unfortunately marked by the catatonic ramblings of the industries most vocal whiners and piners, the future looks rather peachy.

War for talent - bah! Let's circle back this time next year and see who's left standing. That might be as good a time as any to start counting the dead and bayoneting the wounded.

Maureen Sharib said:
RA, I'm gonna say this out loud because, after all, it's the 800 pound gorilla in the room that nobody really seems to want to talk about and is at the root of why we're having all this discussion about sourcing being "dead."
UNLESS you're willing to invest in yourself to learn the extraordinary online search techniques being espoused by people like Shally and GlenC and GlennG (and a few others) Internet search (as a profession) is going to continue to be decimated (and denigrated because of) board scrapers who put this activity forth as "sourcing".
THIS IS NOT SOURCING - THIS IS BOARD SCRAPING.

AND UNLESS you're willing to get off and over your fear of the telephone and LEARN TO PHONE SOURCE you will NEVER MAKE a million dollars (and more!) in fees in any one year. You won't even come close and that's a fact, Jack.

SORRY to burst your bubbles but this ain't Kansas anymore.
RA- agreed on all counts. Board scraping is a form of sourcing if that's ALL YOU KNOW.
But, again, the gorilla in the room speaking: You can't rely on that anymore cause - why? It's going to produce the less effective result when there are so many more effective sourcing techniques. And therein lies the rub - who wants to invest the time, effort and/or money to learn them?
NOT MANY.
And that's another fact, Jack.

REMINDER -If you're considering using the services of a "sourcer" ask that sourcer SPECIFICALLY what their process(es) entail. Ask them about their experience/ask them about their training. If they tell you they "telephone source" ask them what do they mean by that? Are they calling on the telephone and "checking" info they've "found" online? Are they calling candidates they've "scraped" off the boards to see if they still have a pulse? Guess what? THIS IS NOT TELEPHONE SOURCING! This is a variant of Internet sourcing (a very weak variant) that "checks" Internet sourcing results. Don't be fooled.

Telephone sourcing is when you call into a company, with or without starter information, and find out the names of people inside that company who hold specific titles doing specific jobs. MOST OF THESE NAMES will not be found anywhere online in a capacity that will identify them in the manner that a telephone sourcer IDed them:
Name - Correct Title - Telephone Number
There is ONLY ONE VERSION of the real thing and that is it.

Recently I saw someone say (I think it was in this string) that about 3% of the workforce can be found online. I happen to agree with that estimate.
Maureen, did you book Glen Cathey for noon?

Hey let's exchange all of our messages on this threat. Actually this is a relevant one.

The Boolean Blackbelt himself is open for target practice on The Recruiting Animal Show. This Wed March 11 at NOON EST. http://www.recruitingshow.com
Ami, I'll volunteer to count the dead but bayonet the wounded? That always bothered me...

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