Digging Into RecruitingBlogs.com v2.10: Sourcing Dead, Horse Lives

(March 13, 2009) It's been an interesting week,

Like a mold that you just can't seem to get out of the refrigerator no matter how much you clean, the comments for DRBC v2.08 continue to accumulate. I now get routine mail from readers who hope that I can help them stop the deluge of notifications that someone has added another comment. I tell them to go to the bottom of the post and press the stop following button. It doesn't work very often (the instructions, not the button, the button always works). Many people need to be told several times how to do this.

As the content in the comments matures it's interesting to see it taking on a sort of Noah's ark quality. First, there were just the boors. Then came horses, pigs. chicken and Cheech and Chong. As the survivors spoke amongst themselves, a conspiracy began to emerge. Like an attempted escape from Stalag 13, various Recruitosphere luminaries plotted the development of a new conversational group (network) featuring, you guessed it, them.

I'm sure that the original content had very little to do with the accumulated comments. Some combination of bad economics, job insecurity and the industry's need for a deep tutorial gave the adventure its energy. The real power in the comments comes from that tight group of potential escapees. What is really clear is that they enjoy each other's company. And they seem to know what they're talking about. Competence and camaraderie is fun to watch.

In the meantime, I've been swamped by vendors who want to demo sourcing automation products. Much of the work currently performed by hard working sourcers is going to become push buttoned in the near future. The time and energy associated with using the internet to source names is in the process of declining. Here's a great free tool for making search strings more easily.

My big take away is that while sweeping generalizations are great conversation starters, the truth is always more nuanced. It would be great to take Maureen Sharib's comments out of the post and publish them separately. They make a fantastic tutorial introduction to the world of telephone sourcing.

So, the next big frontier is how to make Recruiting a strategic function. This is hard when it's agency or contingency work. While Recruiting could be the way that companies really transform their operations, most of it is brute force tactical crap. "We're filling this position to these requirements" is a to do list, not a strategic plan.

I recommend taking a very close look at whatever you can find out about Novotus. This RPO is standing the agency business on its head. They take all sorts of work at a 6% fee and guarantee 100% fill on as many requisitions as you'd care to give them. As a result, they get invited to participate in the company's strategic dialog. The company gets really interested in seeing them succeed.

It's a good business model that simply requires discipline, sourcing automation, process control and commitment to delivery of results. It will be duplicated quickly by a variety of competitors and admirers. It makes me wonder if TPRs will be elbowing their way into the job application lines, trying to get in front of the Internet sourcers.

There are two key pieces involved in prospering during the rest of this economic turmoil.

  1. Get used to the fact that there's nothing left to lose. This is a grand time of reinvention. The consequences of failure are much lower now than in good times. Experiment; get out of the box; assume that you need to retool completely and enjoy the transformation.
  2. Get to know your customers better. If you are just taking orders, you are profoundly disposable. If you are a part of the path out, you are indispensible. Notice that filling a requisition is the way that you get paid, not what you do. Focus on what you do, not on getting paid.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendfeed. Catch up with me. There's interesting stuff on Strategy at johnsumser.com

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Oh, John...I can't make my mind up. Which is worse: Not knowing where to begin or fearing if it will ever end.
Novotus? Please. How is outsourcing your recruiting function via an RPO considered "strategic" or groundbreaking John? The next big frontier you mention is the same frontier recruiters and HR have been trying get to forever. It's pretty simple (if you're motivated and willing to put in the work), make your role less transactional by knowing the business as well as the executives you support. That means getting up from your cubicle (if you're internal) and going out and talking to people in your organization about what keeps them up at night. Take away their pain and suddenly you are elevated to a whole new level in their eyes. I came up with a simple acronym that has served me well LCLVD (Listen, Challenge, Listen, Validate, Deliver) That's the only way you will be viewed as a peer/partner and not an order taker. At the end of the day, there will always be a low cost provider that can provide short term cost containment. I'd be curious to see how many fall offs within the first year RPOs like Novotus and others have. Hmmm....all of the sudden that bleeding edge RPO solution doesn't have that rosy fragrance.
My big take away is that while sweeping generalizations are great conversation starters, the truth is always more nuanced. It would be great to take Maureen Sharib's comments out of the post and publish them separately. They make a fantastic tutorial introduction to the world of telephone sourcing.
Thanks, John! I'm doing just that over on the MagicMethod Phone Sourcing network. Here's the first installment (from that post). There is an entire library of information on telephone sourcing over on the network - if you've ever wondered how we telephone sourcers do what we do, I invite you to join!

What is really clear is that they enjoy each other's company.
Yes, you're right! This is the real magic in networking!
******
WATCH for the returning T and TH noon (EST) MAGICMETHOD CLASSROOM CHATS - coming very soon!
Are you aware of what is going on in this country?
First some recruiters sought to make a mint by redefining Recruiting and taking it away from successful recruiters who would not engage in the new model nicely called cybersleuthing or sourcing yet in the back room it was really is really just plain Hacking
So that was done and some key people profited hugely
Now in this time where there are mostly companies laying people off or reducing work hours or introducing furloughs - there is a new conversation that says Forget what we said about recruiting = sourcing cause sourcing is dead

What I want to know is in all of this where is the integrity?

Judy golden
Bill wrote, "Take away their pain and suddenly you are elevated to a whole new level in their eyes." For many, their pain is about the budget; for better or for worse, we know this is how many assess recruiting - how much is it going to cost me?

[more than a few managers also are fear making bad hiring decisions but this is fodder for later]

This is the average or worse recruiting organization we're talking about Bill; for these, the RPO solution is likely to perform no worse than the existing solution and if it costs less and the brand is retained (the brand retention element is critical and probably worthy of another discussion), its a business decision.

But for the truly superior organizations with superior recruiters and a comprehensive recruiting strategy with management buy-in, a global RPO solution is not likely to add value (I haven't seen many RPOs who know how to create, sell and manage a recruiting strategy that includes what it should include). However, these organizations are few.

Bill, my question to you then is do you believe RPO solutions should even be considered by companies?

Judy: Calling cybersleuthing "hacking" sounds like sour grapes - I'm wondering why you seemingly believe it is unprofessional to use a simple Boolean to find a resume or an attendee list from a conference and then call these people versus smiling and dialing and potentially taking far more time to come across similar information.

Can you explain why you have such a venomous dislike for these types of sourcing techniques? And how does this relate to lack of integrity?
I was never a user of what I call the tricks of the trade
When you set up a string to get into something that you do not have access to - that is hacking - when you call as in a Ruse that has a different name same purpose same methodology
Its a blind spot for many recruiters
cants see that its a solution for a problem that lacks integrity

if I want to get thru a door and I dont have the key and I really want to gain access and entry
I get the key thru less than legitimate means
or I ask someone for the key and explain that I want to get access and entry
when I ask I can get a no or a yes
if I get the key thru less than legitimate rightful means and Im clever good bag of tricks I get the key

Judy
Bill/Steve: You might enjoy David Sandler's book: You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar. His analysis of "pain" in this context is classic.

Judy: Here is a Sandler quote for you, a favorite of mine as it happens...

"If you live a straight life in an unstraight world you're going to get killed."


You don't have to agree or disagree. You just have to understand what it means.
Well said.

Sandra McCartt said:
Judy,
Setting up a string to find information that is posted by someone on the internet is not hacking. It's like using the Dewey Decimal system to find a book at the library. It's not a trick.

I have read several of your postings and it seems like you are having a hard time being hirable because you are not up to speed on computer searching. There is so much information out there in the public domain Google developed a search engine so we can find what we are looking for without spending weeks. Hacking takes a lot more computer know how than most recruiters ever will have. I hate to see anyone become bitter by refusing to learn something that is new, then shoot themselves in the foot by calling it unethical. As the world changes we have to change with it or become lost in the dust of progress.

If we didn't develop new tools and learn to use them civilization would still be growing food by poking a hole in the ground with a stick to plant a seed. Give yourself a chance, learn something new and make yourself more marketable just as you would tell a candidate to go take a class so they would be up to speed on the latest technology.

Think about it, please, instead of calling it witchcraft could it just be something new that you should learn?
When faced with anyone who denigrates progress, I'm always reminded of this wonderful oration by the Henry Drummond character in Inherit the Wind about the Scopes teaching-of-evolution trial:

Yes, there is something holy to me! The power of the individual human mind. In a child's power to master the multiplication table there is more sanctity than in all your shouted "Amens!," "Holy, Holies!" and "Hosannahs!"

An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is more of a miracle than any sticks turned to snakes, or the parting of waters.

But are we now to halt the march of progress because Mr. Brady frightens us with a fable? (to the jury)

Gentlemen, progress has never been a bargain. You've got to pay for it. Sometimes I think there's a man behind a counter who says, "All right, you can have a telephone; but you'll have to give up privacy, the charm of distance. Madam, you may vote; but at a price; you lose the right to retreat behind a powder puff or a petticoat. Mister, you may conquer the air; but the birds will lose their wonder, and the clouds will smell of gasoline!" \

Darwin moved us forward to a hilltop, where we could look back and see the way from which we came. But for this view, this insight, this knowledge, we must abandon our faith in the pleasant poetry of Genesis.


Judy, if you want to learn there are people here who will gladly teach you. Why don't you ask us?
I thank you for your thoughts and I know you all value your approach and your boolean strings. Im not saying anymore and I think its funny that Im seen as someone who is in grave need of help and a dinosaur who can barely turn on her computer. Poor me! Thats all for now signing off on one of my four computers. Judy
http://www.meetup.com/Unemployed-Jobhunter-Meeters/
Permalink Reply by Judy golden 1 day ago
Delete Are you aware of what is going on in this country?
First some recruiters sought to make a mint by redefining Recruiting and taking it away from successful recruiters who would not engage in the new model nicely called cybersleuthing or sourcing yet in the back room it was really is really just plain Hacking
So that was done and some key people profited hugely
Now in this time where there are mostly companies laying people off or reducing work hours or introducing furloughs - there is a new conversation that says Forget what we said about recruiting = sourcing cause sourcing is dead

What I want to know is in all of this where is the integrity?
----------------------------

this was my message i didnt say i was upset frustrated or angry
and i didnt take offers of help as insult
lets move on

im ok just made some comments on how recruiting changed

j
Judy, I asked the following questions regarding your remarks over in that "sourcing is dead" string and maybe I missed your response - the string became pretty convoluted and I apologize in advance if I did miss it! Because your remarks here seem to again reference the concepts you posited over there, I ask again:

Judy, I am really, really fascinated by your thought process and would like to hear you expand upon the following:
I am Judy and I doubt that you want to hear my thoughts on this
I do - I absolutley do, Judy!

cause you will then need to reconsider the whole package you put together.
We'll see.

The whole change in Recruiting came about when a few people got an idea to make a lot of money by redefining the space and in redefining it the occupants lacked the skills for that redefined space so they had to take trainings and classes and learn lots of tricks to do what they had done without any tricks.
Isn't this what's normally referred to as progress, Judy?

Then a whole new group of people came into the space that might not have come into the older space.
There are always new waters flowing into every stream, Judy. That's the natural way of things, isn't it?

Its really fascinating when you think on it how someone or some movement can wipe out what exists redefine it and set up requirements that have to be learned taught for a fee.
I think it depends on what your definition of "fee" is. If it includes long, hard hours of head-banging learning, Judy, then I would agree.

This can only happen in a field where there are no standards guidelines
Judy, what would you suggest to correct this injustice?

And then you go and further intrigue me with your answer to my question about what “tricks” you’re referring to. You say:
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
Judy, can you explain some more? The technique you reference is one that I think some recruiters use routinely as a networking tool to find other people (personally I don't see horrid travesty here - as long as Jack really is being considered - I see this more of a culling technique that brings forth a healthier species) but it's not really one used by sourcers as sourcers aren't usually getting all that cozy with their "targets"; talking to them in a "reference check" capacity to get names of others. There are other (honest and straightforward) ways that sourcers use.

PostScript: I hope you'll also call in/stop by, Judy, on Recruiting Animal's Radio Show on Wednesday (March 4) at noon EST -I just know he's gonna rip into this "sourcing is dead" subject! Call in: 646 652 2754
I'd be fascinated to hear your comments on the show and I really appreciate your forthrightness!

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