Recruiting In 3D

WTF is THAT? Staying Curious While Sourcing

I’m a curious person by nature. I’m not generally satisfied with what’s on the back flap of the book – I want to know what’s inside. I’ve also lost more than one laptop to this curiosity. I, like many sourcers, was one of those kids who broke their toys as a kid to see if they could figure out how to put them back together. About half the time, the answer was “yes”, I could put them back together. The other half resulted in my mother asking things like “why is there a half melted G.I. Joe figure on the light bulb?” As you’d assume, I gave a plethora of answers to these questions, but no answer I’d give would ever suffice. This carried into my professional life, and as a sourcer, this innate curiosity has served me well.

As sourcers, we’re researchers at heart when you think about it. We can come up with a thousand ways to dissect profiles, absorb trends, siphon copious amounts of data off of public (and some not-so-public) websites and apps. But many of us seem to falter in an area that, while a little left of center of our core duties, is essential to our success. We can’t speak to technology as adeptly as we should be able to. We fail frequently to glean ample insight into the technology being used by those candidates we so covet.

The argument here for some may be that they don’t interact with candidates often, or at all. And while a firm grasp of specific technology talking points may be slightly more beneficial to those who are talking with candidates each day, those of us doing pure research can also benefit as well. By understanding the landscape of the technology we’re searching for, we are able to find similar, translatable skill sets that can meet the needs of the teams you are supporting. Read More

Maybe Size Doesn’t Matter

I spent the vast majority of my career thus far, working in small to mid-size companies. I always carried a bit of trepidation about working for multi-national conglomerates, so I stayed in my comfort zone. In retrospect, this wasn’t unlike how I chose where I was going to go to college back in the day. I was hesitant to go to a huge school and sit in a lecture hall with 500 strangers, mainly since I came from a smaller high school. Something about being lost in a sea of bodies was particularly offsetting to me, and this carried into my career.

Living in a Small Pond

Working in small companies, I had the chance to know my co-workers on a more personal level. It was also more comfortable to build relationships and move things through the decision tree process. If I needed to prod something along in Tech for a recruiting effort, going to the CTO and sitting down for coffee was as easy as me typing on this keyboard. In essence, the access was always there.

If I had technical issues, I’d parade myself down one floor to the support team and get the help of people whom I’d most likely sourced and hired into the company. One could liken it to the FastPass at Disney parks – straight to the front of the line. The same can be said for any system and procedural issues, whether that is a busted CRM, a benefits data snafu, or just getting office supplies, it was all at my fingertips.

The flip side of this, of course, is that with visibility comes accountability. There’s nowhere to hide in a small company when you mess up. You have to own it because there isn’t anyone else to pin it on. It seems trivial, and in most cases, I felt that was a good thing because it kept me on my game. Read More

HR Tech Today Is a Lot Like Pitching Credit Cards to Impulsive College Students

When you’re 18, it’s fair to assume that you know absolutely nothing about anything. What’s inconvenient is that most real knowledge really only comes in hindsight, which is about as useful as a majority of HR Tech ideas being floated in the industry at any given time.

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Back in the 1990’s, credit card “pushers” were visible in the student union on nearly every college campus in America. We were living in a time of ‘have fun now, pay later!’ and kids like me were their ideal target audience. We bit hungrily like fish who had been frozen in their parents’ lake of adolescence in suspended animation for 18 years.

Now we had access to our own credit, money, and bills to pay without anyone looking over our shoulders.

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I’m not a great sourcer, BUT…

I am not an expert sourcer. Pony

That feels good to say, after so many years. I’m a good sourcer, but I’m not going to be building APIs and hacking into the back end of databases this week. This isn’t because I don’t have the curiosity to do so, but because my role expands beyond being a pure sourcer. In other words, it’s just part of my job, albeit a part of my job that I tend to love. This is mostly because nothing is more self-satisfying for me than finding gold among the internet rubble and coming out the other side with the right candidate. But time also gets in the way.

Aside from the usual suspects of time and desire, my role requires me to be able to provide a high-caliber end-to-end experience for the candidate as a representative of my company. We (like most other companies) run lean on the recruiting and sourcing side. Therefore, I have to make sure I’m covering all the angles and proverbially leaving no stone upturned. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good, and I absolutely subscribe to that. But when I meet people newer to the recruiting industry, and more precisely the sourcing function therein, they often turn to tools first. And while logical, you still need to “crawl before you walk.” So many recruiters and sourcers want to be “in the know” with the latest and greatest, while forgetting, or outright not having mastered the basics. Hence, this is advice I give to new recruiters and sourcers. Read More

The 5 Stages of Recruiter Grief

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Each year, those of us who still have some burning passion for Hollywood (for whatever reason), gather to watch the Oscars.

For 3-4 televised hours, there’s excessive backscratching and a celebration of the Cult of Personality going on. Inevitably at some point in the show, there is a tribute to those in the industry who have passed on since the last gathering of the cinematic lemmings.

In the music ecosystem, its very much the same, and we’ll likely see tributes for the Chester Benningtons of the world at the next Grammys. Rest in peace, Chester Bennington, but I’m not sure why people are acting as Led Zeppelin‘s surviving members just went down in flames.

But I digress; that’s not the point.

Somehow, this all got me thinking about the families, co-workers and fans, and what they go through when they lose someone they were fond of. Having been there myself, and having been a Psych major back in college, I was already familiar with the Kubler-Ross stages of grief and bereavement. I wondered what the equivalent for this would be in the recruiting world, since we lack not for drama and a plethora of interesting situations to find ourselves in with this profession of ours.

The irony of me writing about this is not lost on anyone who has known me for a long time.

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