Yesterday on the Secret Sourcing Group, a newbie recruiter asked for advice. There was an outpour of insights from some really smart folks so of course, I wanted to collect all that information in one place. This is an ode to our community of sharing and the people who are so dedicated to making other people better at recruiting instead of telling them why they suck. 

If you have advice, please post it below. As your prompt, here's the original post from Robert:

Dear secret sourcing group,

I am a new recruiter, going at it for almost a year now, and I am honestly starting to feel lost.

All the ways people are sourcing on here I haven't used or learned. My boss cant teach me things he never learned (aka true passive sourcing, utilizing Twitter etc.) and the Internet in all its glory is hard to sift through.

I am an outside recruiter (is that even what you call it?). We search for potential clients and candidates in the mortgage industry. Very small company as it is just my boss and I. We don't have a true big boy / expensive ats. I use LinkedIn recruiter a lot but have a hard time staying organized without the proper tools to do so. My boss has been doing it for 25 years and all of this comes very natural to him to take notes on a legal pad and just remember things. It is not as easy for me.

Most research I do leads me to articles that are full of fluff or pointed at someone in TA in an actual company looking to hire within, not a tiny recruiting firm like mine.

Are there any good places to look for knowledge in terms of recruiting in 2016? Is anyone willing to let me shadow them to see what it looks like?

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. I will succeed one way or another but any advice on learning to run and not crawl would be great.

**sorry for the long post, I wouldn't waste everyone's time if I didn't truly need it**

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You sound like someone ill-suited to the Recruiting profession.  Literally speaking, there are so many sources of information available to new recruiters ("wanna-be's") that no one could possibly read through all of them even at a rate of 20,000 words per minute with 90% comprehension.

If you aren't even good enough at "searching" out good texts to read, you definitely won't be good enough at searching out moving objects (such as candidates).

Conversely, if you are excessively good at 'finding' great books on Headhunting to read and study, you won't be spending enough time recruiting to actually learn the skills.

Probably you meant something a bit different from the way I have interpreted your post.  I hope so!

Why not go to your nearest bookstore and grab up all the volumes for sale on "Job-Hunting"?  or "Resume Writing?"  That would at least be a start.  Anything "Industry-specific" on Headhunting would be great. too.  How about reading "Heads" by Russell Reynolds?  "The Headhunters" by John Byrne was good, too.  "In Search of Excellence" and "Corporate Messiah" are worth reading...  Lester Korn's "The Success Profile" was a good book.

Good luck!  If you really are a Headhunter, you'll figure it all out, anyway.  These are just some good, juicy books to start with.

Why would you comment with this? In a forum prompting support and help, you took it to a really negative place and I'm really disappointed. The kid reached out to the recruiting and sourcing community for help. This is a community based on having a network and you build your network by helping people connect and grow. On Facebook where this was originally posted, almost 50 different recruiters reached out almost instantly, ready to help in any way they could with their contact information or resources where he should start.

You said yourself, there are so many sources of information available. As someone who has read half those resource, I get why the kid would ask for help.... because most of that junk is crap. If you've never recruited before, you don't know what is snake oil and what's worth your time so he turned to a community of people who might.

Nicholas, I don't get your rationale, AT ALL. 

Not only did this man ask for help, he went to the right groups to do so, where some of the most active practitioners in the space gather the share info. In my opinion, that's pretty gosh darn smart. Where better to start, than the place where some of the greatest minds in recruiting are? 

As for reading one of these books...they will focus more on the perpetual "Pollyanna" of recruiting situations, which are most often not correct. And given that your name is rather infamous with tech recruiting, you're probably not the best source for this candidate either. As a gentle reminder...

1. http://www.eremedia.com/fordyce/memo-to-tech-recruiters-they-really...

2. https://gist.github.com/dhh/7226428

3. https://twitter.com/dhh/status/395374841806589952

So, let's stop bashing people entering the industry who are relying on people who have excellent reputations to teach them. It's the smartest move I've seen in a while from someone like him. My door is open to him if he has questions, and I told him so. 


Nicholas Meyler said:

You sound like someone ill-suited to the Recruiting profession.  Literally speaking, there are so many sources of information available to new recruiters ("wanna-be's") that no one could possibly read through all of them even at a rate of 20,000 words per minute with 90% comprehension.

If you aren't even good enough at "searching" out good texts to read, you definitely won't be good enough at searching out moving objects (such as candidates).

Conversely, if you are excessively good at 'finding' great books on Headhunting to read and study, you won't be spending enough time recruiting to actually learn the skills.

Probably you meant something a bit different from the way I have interpreted your post.  I hope so!

Why not go to your nearest bookstore and grab up all the volumes for sale on "Job-Hunting"?  or "Resume Writing?"  That would at least be a start.  Anything "Industry-specific" on Headhunting would be great. too.  How about reading "Heads" by Russell Reynolds?  "The Headhunters" by John Byrne was good, too.  "In Search of Excellence" and "Corporate Messiah" are worth reading...  Lester Korn's "The Success Profile" was a good book.

Good luck!  If you really are a Headhunter, you'll figure it all out, anyway.  These are just some good, juicy books to start with.

Hah!  I stand by my answer.  All the texts I named are legitimately very solid books.  If there's one thing to be learned from the abrasive candidacy of Donald Trump for Presidency, it's that there's never a need to apologize for speaking your honest thoughts.

90% of search is about research.  You can sometimes get an inkling of a person's research skills by watching them ask a question which seems to indicate very little time spent considering the question.  Nonetheless, I did say "Probably you meant something a bit different from the way I have interpreted your post.  I hope so!" and "Good luck!  If you really are a Headhunter, you'll figure it all out, anyway.  These are just some good, juicy books to start with."

I'm tired of whiners.  I'll also note (for the record) that I am the only person who has actually suggested ANY reading matter at this point, which seems to disqualify the objections I've read above.

Pete Radloff:  You are bringing up old stuff that has since been totally, totally debunked.  There is not a word of truth in any of it, so you are merely spreading malicious and stupid nonsense/gossip.

"Baptism of fire" is an expression that has its roots in the experience of 'running the gantlet'.  In the world of search, there can be no better teacher.

All the same, thank you Katrina and Pete for contributing your cognitive dissonance.  I would find your critique much more valuable if you had bothered to contribute any actual answers to "the kid's" questions, though.  Is there any reason you didn't?  You would seem to be able to do so, if you wished.

By the way, I'm not the only one who is lucky to be 'infamous':  Stephen Hawking's latest paper boasts about how he has become the most infamous Physicist in the history of the World.  Not such bad company to keep, is it? 

Hawking's Confession: He finally comes clean!

"Forty years ago, one of the authors ['he who shall not be named' i.e. Hawking himself-- ed.] argued that information is destroyed when a black hole is formed and subsequently evaporates. This conclusion seems to follow inescapably from an ‘unquestionable’ set of general assumptions such as causality, the uncertainty principle and the equivalence principle. However it leaves us bereft of deterministic laws to describe the universe. This is the infamous information paradox."

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1601.00921v1.pdf

Katrina, I also want to point out that it certainly does not bode well for Recruitingblogs.com that the inquisitive novice recruiter received 50 answers to the question on Facebook, and only mine, on Recruitingblogs.com.  That's obviously the real problem, here.  Participation is much too low.

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