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I was MC at the ATC Sourcing Conference in Melbourne last
week. It was, as usual, an excellent day of learning with a varied array of
speakers who made the audience think carefully about the future of recruitment
through the lens of sourcing.


Here’s a summary of the major points I took away from
the Conference, thanks to the keynote speakers, Mark Tortorici, Fiona Anson, Matt Charney, Karen Lawson, and Derek Zeller.


1. Sourcing is a skilled job with different core competencies to those
of a traditional recruiter  

Sourcing Master Trainer, Mark Tortorici  suggested that in hiring a
person to train as a sourcer, the core competencies and interests to look for
include: technology aptitude, ‘hacker’ mentality (likes to take things apart),
interest in data, research and/or puzzle games. These competencies could be
developed through hobbies and scholastic pursuits, not necessarily work.


2. A learning (and unlearning) competency is important in all employees  

Mark said what is critical in hiring the right people and inducting
those employees effectively, is to teach those employees how to continually
learn (unlearn) in the workplace.


3. Marketing nous is critical for all recruiters  

Research indicates that a job seeker will review a job ad for
approximately four seconds to decide whether to consider the position more
closely. The consequence of this is that you need to use bullet points and
intros in your job ads like you might for a movie poster (eg Catch Me If You
Can: The real story of a true fake) to hook job seekers in those first few


In creating marketing material specific to a desired candidate market,
the core messages that must be contained in your content are:


#1 Advancement  : quality people
want a career not just a job

#2 Money  : quality people expect to earn

#3 People  : quality people want to work
with people like them

#4 Technology  : quality people
want to work with cool stuff

(Matt Charney)


4. Define a niche. Create engaging experiences for that niche  

The future in social networks is specific or niche networks catering for
very defined markets. This will lead to the decline of general networks. (Fiona


The purpose of building a social network (to accomplish a recruitment
goal) is to build brand desire. Focus on the candidate experience and that
mostly means, feedback! If candidates don’t want to be associated with your
brand then even if they are in your network, they won’t engage with you and
won’t become a candidate for a vacancy. (Fiona Anson)


Personalised marketing content resonates when it:


surprises me

knows my struggles

knows my

generates emotion


Far too much of what goes on within companies in recruitment marketing
is better described as ’employment blanding’; it’s all far too generic and
distinctly unmemorable. (Matt Charney)


5. Your own database is almost always the best and most under-utilised
resource for candidates  :  

Setting up a ‘next action’ flag or task in your database (and then
acting on it) is the single most important thing you can do to ensure that you
maximise the value from an asset (ie candidate) you have already invested time
and money to capture and assess. (Derek Zeller)


6. If you are in any sort of third party or intermediary business (eg
recruitment agency, travel agency, stockbroker etc) collaboration with
customers is critical to avoid your business becoming irrelevant  :

Companies have to evolve their business model to avoid disintegration by
customers who connect with each other. (Karen Lawson)


I leave you with some questions you might do well to
ask yourself as a recruiter:


How much is my future linked to
my capability to source high calibre talent?


Do I know where to reliably
find high calibre talent?


Am I a better sourcer of high
calibre talent than 12 months ago? Two years ago?


What am I doing to ensure my
sourcing skills are better than my competitors and my clients?

Your career as a recruiter almost certainly depends
upon your answers to these questions.  

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