We're Way Beyond Boolean: Sourcecon 2015
[note: this post is sponsored by Dice’s #DiceInnovate campaign]
Last month I had an opportunity to attend my first Sourcecon event in Seattle. If you’re not familiar with Sourcecon, it's an annual event held by ERE that brings together recruiting sourcers from around the world to share best practices, tools, tips, and hacks.
The event kicked of with SocialTalent Co-Founder, Johnny Campbell, sharing tips on best times and ways to reach talent. He brought the data. Sharing specific metrics around things like best time of day to call (6am), best days (mid-week), and some interesting stats around best channels [hint: InMail can be more effective than email].
Way Beyond Boolean
The first thing that was abundantly clear to me after the first day of the event is how advanced the field of Sourcing has become. We’re way beyond Boolean. The level of sophistication and sourcing wizardry on display left me appreciating how specialized the field of sourcing has become.
The 600 attendees were engaged, readily sharing their best tool and tricks during a show-and-tell session to close day one led by two time Grand Sourcing Master Jim Schnyder from Pepsico.
Day one wrapped up with “Sourcecon After Dark” at Gameworks, sponsored by Dice. It was a cool venue with, as you might have guessed, lots of games that were free for the private event. Dice once again showed their support for the recruiting community, as they have time and time again at other events like TalentNet and SHRM.
If you go to a lot of recruiting conferences and events you tend to see a lot of Dice. Their events team seems very conscious about not just sponsoring an event, but embedding themselves and participating. Whether it's "After Dark" sourcing challenges or the "Dice Karaoke" series at TalentNet, they're not just supporting the community - they're participating in it. It's a refreshing approach for a vendor to take.
"Treat Candidates Like People"
Day two kicked off with a session on “Google Dorking”, followed by a interesting job seeker panel led by Kforce’s Glenn Cathey. The panel consisted of five professionals in various roles within technology who fielded questions from Glenn and the audience. It was an interesting look into how the recruiting profession is viewed by technologists, with feedback ranging from “we’re the enemy” to the closing advice offered unanimously by the panelists to “treat candidates like people”. One would hope that’s a given, but given the uniform feedback I think we have work to do.
I had an opportunity to lead the next session on Career Coaching - Mapping Your Next Step. This session gave me an opportunity to interview and share career feedback and lessons from some people whose work I respect - including John Vlastelica, Stacy Zapar, Will Staney, Marvin Smith, Pete Radloff, and Matt Kaiser. It was easily the least technical session, but I appreciate Jeremy Robert’s vision and willingness to take risks and do something different.
The afternoons each day consisted of various breakout sessions from leaders in the Sourcing space freely sharing their best tips and hacks. One of the themes that came up several times, including LinkedIn recruiting leader Brendan Browne's presentation, was personalization. We live in a world where it’s much easier to find people (good), but that ease of access is making it much harder to break through the noise (bad). It’s important to use tools like Dice Open Web, Entelo, Hootsuite, Google and others to learn about the people you’re trying to reach and try to find information that allows you to personalize your outreach. The job seeker panel confirmed it - generic email and InMails with “job” or “opportunity” in the subject and no personalization that shows you did your homework are dead in the water.
One of the session highlights for me included the Chrome extension hack and tools by Dean De Costa and Sara Fleischman. Some of the tools mentioned included: EmailExtractor, GetThemAll, Facebook UID scraper, AboutNumber, Vibe, Zip profile, InBooster, ProfileViews, Extensity, Page Monitor. There were many more, but those are all ones I plan on installing and playing with this week.
The Surprise "It App" Of Sourcecon: Meerkat
Meerkat, a live video broadcast app for iOS, burst onto the scene in a major way at SXWi - leading to a $14M investment by Greylock Ventures. A handful of attendees were live streaming sessions throughout the two day event, and sharing dispatches and interviews of attendees. Viewers joined the live broadcasts from a handful of countries including New Zealand, India, and the UK. There is a lot of promise in this new live broadcast medium, but Meerkat will now be facing steep (and perhaps fatal) competition from the Twitter-owned Periscope app that launched last week.
Another key aspect of Sourcecon is the many conversations that take place between sessions - Gerry Crispin, Sourcecon Founder Rob McIntosh, Steve Levy, Twilio’s Will Staney and Bryan Chaney, Hootsuite’s Derek Isley, and many more. The event is intimate enough that you really have an opportunity to mingle and network with attendees. As a speaker, this was particularly valuable as I had an opportunity to engage attendees who had questions about my session throughout the day.
I really enjoyed my first Sourcecon. It won’t be my last.