A funny thing happened to Pam and me last week while we were attending Sourcecon.  For those of you who don't know who Pam is - she's one of TechTrak's sourcers – in fact Pam is one of the best phone sourcers in the world and is the star of the video posted on the main page of the MagicMethod Network.

If you’ve never seen the “Impossible Mission” clip it’s over on the right at the site, down some and it’s called “Phone Sourcing YouTube Video.”  Go watch it.  It’s not long and it’s fun and it kind of sets the stage for this story and I’ll be here waiting for you when you get back.


Back so soon?   Fun, huh?

Anyhow, Pam and I ventured down to the AfterDark event and the following event transpired.  It’s the first part of a series I’m writing about phone sourcing.   This is a TRUE STORY about phone sourcing based on real characters and this time, names have not been changed to protect the – well - we won’t call them innocent or guilty because, to tell you the truth, the participants really had no idea what they were getting themselves into!

All that being said, here we go.


Sourcecon Seattle just ended and I have a story to tell.

For those of you who have attended SourceCon After Dark, the place where Sourcecon revelers meet on the event's first night to mingle and tingle you know the fun goes late into the dark night where all sorts of nightmarish scenarios tipple on the edges of sourcer/recruiter imaginations.

You know, the kinds of things that take the fun out of living.

One such nightmare became reality around 8:30 on the first night of the unparalleled and innovative sourcing event for Sourcecon attendee Bill Staadt (Twitter: @macwin11se)

My associate Pam and I had arrived around 9pm to a lively and jam-packed room where most of the crowd gathered around the Sourcecon Grand Master Challenge Bar where several contestants were earnestly whaling against each other for the industry’s treasured crown based around Internet sourcing. 

Pam wandered off while I went to get a cup of coffee.

young man with a light-grey hoodie pulled up over his head with a half-open laptop in his hands approached Pamela and said to her, very seriously, “I need a phone sourcer.”

 “What’s wrong?” Pam asked, noticing his troubled expression and serious countenance.


I just got an email from my boss.  He’s angry.  A candidate we had scheduled for a second interview tomorrow just pulled out of consideration.  The client is ready to make an offer and we don’t have a back-up!”

“She said she’s accepting another offer from another company.”

About this time I walked up to the two standing there, off to the side away from the madding crowd and, noticing the earnest discussion going back and forth, nudged Pam and asked, “What’s goin’ on?”

Pam leaned out sideways and quickly brought me up to speed on the situation and I asked the young man what he thought could be done to remedy it.

“I know she has three coworkers.  I’d like to find out who they are,” and with that he sat down and opened his laptop fully and the bright screen revealed that old, familiar LinkedIn profile of a young woman whose right column connections were being eagerly harvested as potential fill-ins for the candidate who had the nerve to just drop out.

“You think they’re in there?” I quizzed, pointing at the laptop screen with the bright LinkedIn glare.

“This might be one – this looks like it could be one – she’s a consultant who works at the airline the candidate works for,” he replied, hopefully.

The tale grows dark.

“A consultant?  This woman is a consultant working for an airline?  What consulting company does she work for?”

“I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head ominously.

“Your client was about to make an offer and you don’t know what consulting company she works for?”

He blinked.

“Let me see her resume.  What does her resume say?” I asked bossily, thinking maybe he overlooked it and surely with my old phone sourcing eyes I’d see what his young Internet sourcing eyes had missed. 

It wasn’t there.

All that was there was that she was working as a “Project Manager” at a major Midwest airline in their IT Loyalty Integrated Marketing organization.

“She and probably about a thousand others,” I thought to myself.

“Do you have her work number?” I asked.

“I don’t,” he admitted.

About this time our presence had attracted the attention of two other phone sourcers and we all began excitedly poring and pecking and pawing over and at one another over ways and means of attacking this problem.

We had our own Phone Sourcing Grand Master Challenge going on at the other end of the room (near the bar) and nobody even knew about it!

What’s worse, and what niggles at me in my dark hours, is the belief (my own stinkin'thinkin' - the thing I'm always warning others against) that nobody would have cared (or understood, really, what was going on) even if they did know! 

Over the next few days I’m going to regale you with the tale of how two lowly phone sourcers with the help of one extremely dejected and worried Sourcecon attendee at 7:15 the next morning successfully found not only the Consultant with the missing work phone/company affiliation but also the three Consultants (and their direct dials and company affiliations) who worked with her, their manager and the other people in the same group who were employees of the airline and also several managers, senior managers and the entire group (all with titles/direct dials!) under another manager as well as the director of the Loyalty Integrated Marketing organization group they all reported under. 

All names this poor dejected and worried Sourcecon attendee could send to his own boss by 11 that same morning and learn by mid-afternoon that two of the names had been not only phone screened but also scheduled for interviews the very next day (Friday, October 4)!

Stay tuned.

Bill has promised to keep us apprised of developing events.

This story is exciting.

You’re going to enjoy it.

I guarantee it.

I’m going to tell you how we did it and Bill is going to bear witness to the facts, as he hinted in his October 3, 2013 tweet from Sourcecon to the world:

Bill Staadt ‏@macwin11se 3 Oct

#sourcecon I just witnessed Phone Sourcing magic! You guys rock! (you know who you are).

Yes, Bill, we know who we are!

Part II

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