#SourceCon Seattle 2013: Sourcing is Going "Mainstream".

This year has been a year of many conferences for me, most of them being dedicated to sourcing: speaking at SourceCon in Atlanta in February 2013, at Sourcing Summit New Zealand in May, at Sourcing Summit Europe in Amsterdam in September (see a post about it), and just now I returned from SourceCon Seattle October 2-3, which I attended as the prize for winning the sourcecon challenge in February.

This last Sourcecon gave me a brand new impression, very similar to - and eloquently described - by Lance in his post Sourcing: Beyond Cool Tools to Talent Acquisition Evolutionreposted on sourcecon.com as well. It sounds like sourcing is going "mainstream". It seemed like more attendees were there looking to be educated and to compare notes with peers (vs. general networking or business development or representing vendors) as the main goal than ever before. It felt good to be among people who are curious and enthusiastic about sourcing. I met three sourcing specialists from large companies (insurance, retail, and consulting), and two more from agencies, all of whom were on the verge of hiring their brand-new sourcing teams, having management buy-in. It's great news that our profession is getting wide recognition!

What remains surprising for me is that apparently, as Jeremy Roberts indicated in his closing session, in ~70% companies dedicated Sourcers are supposed to pre-screen and warm up candidates before recruiters take over. Is sourcing the new recruiting then?? (Here's a relevant post shared by my friend Jonathan Campbell on our group: What do YOU think the job of a Sourcer is?, with 20 comments.)

The Sourcecon's platinum sponsor Hiringsolved, briefly described in a previous post, was a hit and, as I've heard, they had acquired some new customers at the show. The jungle of available tools is so complicated that some companies now have special managers dedicated to selecting proper tools for sourcing.

I enjoyed productivity tools' galleries for "controlling chaos" presented by Julia Stone and by Eric Jaquith (I hope he'll share his slides publicly as well).

I must say that on the technical side of the sourcing tools presentations SourceCon could do a better job going forward. The presentations should lead the newcomers in our world in the right and up-to-date direction.

The slide below is from one of the presentations.

Readers who use advanced search on Google will notice several questionable things in the slide, inconsistent with how Google syntax works and with Google help documentation, easily available on its home page.

Another presentation recommended to use a metasearch engine to complement search on Google, one that searches "both Yahoo and Bing". This advice is obviously outdated. In cases like this, the satisfaction level of the audience does not reflect on the quality.

It seems like general strategic presentations were appreciated by the attendees.

On the photo above: contestants for the After Dark Grand Master Challenge.

This character was one of the many funny and wild creations of Julia Stone and Lisa Offutt that were supposed to be discovered on the way. I hope to get hold of the great videos created by them as well. Just one of the many disruptions offered along the way were little auctions, where each participant could give another one dark glasses or latex gloves to wear, or to send them on a 5 minutes break. (My performance at the challenge confirms that I source better when it's quiet.)

Some of my other photos from the conference can be found on Google-plus.




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