You know, a lot of the folks who know me today might not understand that I cut my teeth in the world of recruiting and though I didn’t know it at the time, sourcing. You see, we started in tech recruiting and because of a non-compete and an inability to get loans, we HAD no Dice. Twitter wasn’t technically around then and LinkedIn was something another (kind) recruiter told me about early on. But it wasn’t the fertile hunting ground it is today.
Today, again, if you know me, you might be surprised to learn that I sourced Meetups, hacked into technical groups to get email addresses and went to innumerable BORING ASS mixers to find the right person for the job. I had no idea what I was doing when I copied the structure of an email address to try and find the right person at an organization (I’m lucky that the 7-state area in which we recruited is smaller than other large metro areas). I was clueless when I called in to try and get past the gatekeeper and ask for the head of whatever, that I was…wait for it…sourcing.
“I hacked into technical groups to get email addresses and went to innumerable BORING ASS mixers…”
Later when I worked as the head of community and CMO for a community of recruiters, (again, before Facebook became the watering hole for geeks like us) sourcing became something like alchemy to me. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was in awe and impressed by this community of recruiting scientists around me.
But lately, I’ve been thinking. Sourcing is not for just a few of us. Sure, only a select few can be truly great at it, but there’s something very Veronica Mars about sourcing. And it’s why I just cannot quit it.There's something very Veronica Mars about #sourcing. See why @MarenHogan just can't quit it. #SourceCon Click To Tweet
So I’m headed to SourceCon, a community in which I have a storied history. I was there when the deal was brokered to sell it to ERE, not like “at the company” there but literally, “at the table where the deal was physically brokered”. Yep, this time next week, Imma be in Orlando.
Today I am the CEO of a marketing agency, and while I hire people… it’s about as far from sourcing as you can get.
Except not really. Here’s why:
- I have a diversity problem. (It’s hard enough for giants like Google, with upwards of 60% white workforce, to conquer their diversity struggles!) And at a small agency that’s an issue that can only be solved with deep sourcing.
- I do all my own hiring. Which means when I mess up the process, I get to pay every person out of my own pocket. That means any sourcing initiatives need to be amazing.
- I live in a smallish town in the middle of nowhere. I also work in a relatively smallish industry. This requires a candidate experience second to none. When I identify someone as a candidate, I need to make darn sure that there will be at least an offer at the end of the table.
I need sourcing in my everyday life. And if a small agency in the midwest in a niche environment NEEDS sourcing to make sure they are:
- Not messing up employment brand
- Finding qualified talent as quickly as possible
- Building a pipeline for when they do need to scale (hint: for me it’s not all the time)
- Creating a diverse team no matter how long that takes.
Have I solved all these issues?
Nah. But I have found a place that teaches the world’s smartest sourcers…and me, how to do so. And interestingly enough, in a world where media groups have splintered off and consolidated again. In an era where there are a thousand Facebook groups for every discipline and very few focused hubs of information, SourceCon stands alone. As a beacon for new sourcers and experienced recruiting veterans to stand together and learn a new trick or two. A place where each person can use tricks of the trade to create a strategy that will solve their unique problem. A gathering and a community where practitioners PRACTICE right there at the conference.
See you in Orlando…
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