Recruiting with Rainman: Definitely Time for SourceCon

The first recruiting industry event I attended was the Social Recruiting Summit in New York City in 2009, then only months removed from actually recruiting for the most magical place on earth.  And I remember how excited I was by having finally met a group of people who were just as geeked out about this stuff as I was.

I distinctly remember hearing presentations about candidate engagement and experience, employer branding and Gen Y from these speakers who I only knew from reading their blog posts (back when that was actually a thing) and being excited, genuinely excited, to have the chance to let my out my inner HR nerd.

Years later, I’m not sure that I’ve stopped letting my recruiting geek flag fly altogether, but literally hundreds of conferences (unconferences, too), webinars, networking events and blog posts later, that excitement has largely given way to largesse.  Apathy, even.

But I’m finally unfurling it again. I’m going to be attending my first SourceCon, an event I actually fought to go instead of being forced to, which is pretty much what happens anytime I have to break out PowerPoint.

The reason is that as events go, I see it as the last possibility of chasing the dragon I felt when I first started doing this stuff.

Perhaps I overstated it in an earlier post when I called it “borderline autistic” – I meant no offense – but I truly believe that there’s a certain mentality that defines sourcers, and those who possess it tend to get really into sourcing. Confession: I’m still one of those people, and always will be.

Sourcing is the one skill, after maybe touch typing, I rely on the most in my professional existence.  Because there’s nothing cooler than being, more or less, than figuring out how to hack your way to that proverbial needle in the haystack.

The fact is, it’s been a while since I’ve sourced candidates for reqs rather than reviews, but finding grist for the content mill and marketing funnel are pretty much the same ones required to build a really targeted pipeline.

There’s something tangible, something real about sourcing that no other element of recruiting can replicate.  Plus, I’m a snoop who happens to be online all day.Since making the move to marketing, sourcing, like everything else, has been disrupted through technological innovation and labor market conditions, sourcing has completely changed.

And while I’ve kept up with the conversation, the fact is that it’s been as an outsider looking in.  But for me, SourceCon represents the chance to be a little bit closer.  It’ll also be a chance for me to shut up and listen, to stop presenting and start learning.

I’m kind of a fan boy of most of the people on the agenda and attendee list, because unlike the summer state SHRM tour or the tech trade show circuit, I know most only by reputation, social media and the standard snooping sourcers do to satisfy some innate need for as much information about an individual as possible.

This is a different crowd than your average HR conference, not to mention an entirely different conversation. And an ostensibly smarter one, too, given the focus on tools and tactics instead of theory and so-called strategy that’s normally prevalent.

I know I’ll be challenged, I know I’ll learn something, and I know that for once, I’ll be full of people who will openly call me out.  And be able to back it up with the data to prove I have no idea what I’m talking about. Game on.

If you made it this far through a clearly self-indulgent and somewhat sanitized promotional post, SourceCon is hooking you up with a hundred bucks.  Save a Benjamin on SourceCon registrations; register here and enter code “SC14ATLRB.”  Just helping a brother out.

Views: 374

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on January 17, 2014 at 1:28pm

You'll have a blast, Matt. The networking alone made it worthwhile.

Comment by Tim Spagnola on January 17, 2014 at 3:58pm
Wait Amy it was not the wine? ; )
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on January 17, 2014 at 7:37pm

it was the wine fueled networking ;) wish I was going to ATL!!! So jealous

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 20, 2014 at 3:15pm

Did you actually say that the skills required for digging up "content" and marketing material are pretty much the same as those required for building a talent pipeline?


Comment by Matt Charney on January 21, 2014 at 12:10pm

Jerry - Yes, in fact, the model upon which I work as an editor IS building a talent pipeline. I've done both marketing and direct sourcing, and essentially, both involve finding someone with a pretty niche skill set (quality writing about recruiting & HR) that's really in demand (the dozens of content factories in our industry reliant on (mostly) unpaid guest contributions) and then working to align professional value prop with personal goals and company objectives and partnering throughout the editorial process to provide feedback, direction and next steps.

It's just a little harder than building a talent pipeline because all needs are immediate, and unlike sourcing, it's very public - and unfortunately, unlike social 'pundits,' most hiring managers tend to do their trolling in private.

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 21, 2014 at 4:28pm

The clear difference between your description above and real sourcing is pretty clear - you are not "recruiting" any of the content contributors to change jobs.  There isn't a big "rejection" factor if you will.  Sorry Matt.  Nice try, but......wrong-o.

Comment by Matt Charney on January 21, 2014 at 4:42pm

Jerry: You're right, I'm not "recruiting" the content contributors to fill jobs. My above example was specific to sourcing, and that's recruiting, which this is most decidedly not - but was not part of the original example or follow up comment.

Comment by Jerry Albright on January 21, 2014 at 4:50pm

OK then.  I must have just misread things.  Sorry.  Carry on.

Comment by Derdiver on January 21, 2014 at 7:07pm
I sincerely look forward to meeting you. I will say though the non attendance of Amy has dulled the experience now...;)
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on January 23, 2014 at 7:33pm

Sigh.... Derdiver, you've no idea. I have been referred to as "the life of the party" at least twice in my lifetime. :)


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