Update on how’s life without a paid Linkedin account.

It’s been a week since I cancelled my Linkedin account. I know many people are waiting to hear how this is going – and I will not keep you in suspense – It’s GOING GREAT.

The only thing that’s somewhat hard to let go of is – “Who viewed my profile” feature.
I can still see the top three and I can still see the number of people who viewed my profile. I no longer know who they are.

I have less filters to search with. I am not worried about it as I am using Hiretual and/or AmazingHiring and/or HiringSolved and/or Sociallist and of course, I always have xray for free 😊

My connections stayed intact and are my own, I can still export them.
I can still search within my 1st connections’ connections.

Another thing I had to deal with when closing my account were the two historic sourcing groups I lead in Linkedin. They asked me to transfer the admin to someone else or close each one separately. If you are leading an active group on Linkedin know that you cannot be the owner any more. That may be an issue for some.

In the process of leaving, I stumbled into the list of apps I have given approval to access my Linkedin profile. I cleaned up quite a few of them and I suggest you do the same.

In the past week I’ve had several people tell me they will not leave Linkedin as LI stepped up their quality of results and they no longer feel the need to quest outside of Linkedin.

REAL SOURCING can NEVER go hand in hand with recruiting or researching ONE SOURCE. Don’t call this sourcing. Call it what it is -You are recruiting from Linkedin. Anyone can do this.

There’s a whole world out there of social networks where you can find more people and learn about them. LI is not tapping into that (yet?) That’s a HUGE no no to me.

You can manage sourcing without advanced tools and without paying a dime. But you won’t be efficient.

We have some advanced sourcing tools out there. Try them. Use them. They not only tap into Linkedin they tap into dozens of other sources. I know I sound like I am trying to sell you something? I am not. I’ve been using the advanced ones since their first days in the market. I genuinely believe that is the way to effectively source.

To those of you using Linkedin Recruiter – I will say here – It’s great! Did I just say that?…Yes I did! Really is. The full version of Linkedin recruiter offers a myriad of options: projects, managing your jobs, reports, campaigns, engagement, great features, filters and some insights. Some of them already embedded in advanced sourcing tools, some not and vice versa – Tools hv features LI recruiter doesn’t have.

To those of you using the premium/Business/Recruiter Lite versions – It’s a no brainer. You are limited by the results you see, either by network or by the plan you are paying for.

I am writing to those people who know and understand that relying on one source IS NOT ENOUGH.
You understand you don’t have access to the full pool of potential candidates.
You understand you are playing in the same sandbox as everyone else.
You understand that all these amazing features cannot hide the biggest caveat  of all – This is only ONE SOURCE and not everyone is on it.
You understand it makes more sense to pay tools that search other sources, Linkedin is only one of them.

I hope I have given you something to think about?…

Karen Azulai  – Global Sourcer | Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder at HRTech NationIMG_0883
https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenazulai/

 

I canceled my Linkedin Subscription!!

Smart toggle switch image with hi-res rendered artwork that could be used for any graphic design.

I decided to “put my money where my mouth is” and go for it. I CANCELLED MY PREMIUM LINKEDIN ACCOUNT.

I tell everyone that sourcing without Linkedin is do-able – Let’s check if I’m talking nonsense or is this really do-able. I have access to advanced tools like Hiretual AI-Sourcing and AmazingHiring, Hiringsolved, Social-list and more. I believe that these advanced tools + xray search, should be enough.
The logic – Why pay loads of money for 1 tool and 1 source when I can pay the same amount of money more or less for 1 tool that can search many other sources AMONG THEM Linkedin. We all know that not everyone can be found on Linkedin, we also know that there are far more niche-oriented websites where we can find professionals – So what’s the logic to use LinkedIn only? The answer is? THERE ISN’T ONE.

In the next few weeks, I will be sharing my experiences with you on what it feels like to be a sourcer without a paid Linkedin account. You and I are going on a trip together!!

I won’t lie…Clicking on “Cancel your subscription” wasn’t easy….I took a deep breath and DID IT!

So the first thing Linkedin does is to scare the hell out of you…

1.     “You’ll lose all data stored in your Sales Navigator account and access to premium features”
2.     59 InMail credits
3.     Messages you’ve sent and received
4.     Saved leads and accounts
5.     Access to Premium features including Who’s Viewed Your Profile, Unlimited Search and Extended Network Visibility
6.     Plus, you’ll miss real-time insights on saved leads and accounts

I wasn’t aware I won’t be able to see “who viewed my profile” I like this feature…Let’s see if I will survive without it…

With a pounding heart, I went on to cancel the subscription… Now Linkedin wants to know WHY I am canceling…
They suggest all kinds of potential reasons. I chose – “It is too expensive”*.

The little Astrix offered an explanation that “many employers find Linkedin so valuable that they will or just may pay for my membership”…So they offered a copy of my purchase history so that I can use it to file an expense report. Linkedin will try to be very nice and helpful now that they see you are on your way out…They also offered immediate help with their support team… (perhaps that’s the place to go to when you are not getting answers to your support requests to them…)

I stayed on course and clicked on “Cancel subscription”. I’m now Linkedin-less…

The message “you can re-activate your account by the 7th of Dec (the end of my billing cycle) soothed my somewhat anxious heart….I won’t lie…
Within a nano-second, I received an email from Linkedin. They are sad to see me go. And a sad smiley too ☹.

After cancellation, they say, I will still have a Linkedin account with continued access to my Linkedin profile.
For the last time, they asked me if I perhaps changed my mind..And a “Keep Sales Navigator” icon to click on in case I need my Linkedin hubby back.

I can’t say they tried their damnest to keep me there.…No treats nor candies in the shape of discounts to stay…No phone call. Nada.

More to come!

Karen Azulai is a Global Sourcer and a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HRTech Nation (website in construction).

Exponential Thinking and The Future of Recruiting

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The bottom line of my lecture about “the Future of Sourcing” in “Trendforum Recruiting” in Cologne (21 sept, 2017) was that I envisioned most of the stand-alone applications we see today, advanced sourcing tools and HRtech applications, becoming part of a “mega one-stop-shop platform” (there can be several of them) that will be so user-friendly that basically ANYONE who needs to recruit and will have access to such platforms will be able, in 1-click from his mobile phone to launch a search and qualify potential candidates WITHOUT the aid of a sourcer or recruiter. That means – that the PROFESIONAL MANAGER, hell, ANYONE will be recruiting for him or herself. Sourcers and recruiters are null and void.

Everyone will be able to recruit for themselves.

I based my conclusions on a “gut feeling”, an understanding of the industry and seeing what’s happening. I manage two FB groups, one about talent sourcing and the other about Israeli HRtech and I’ve stumbled into random questions from people wanting to join those groups that never came up before. I felt those sudden and unexpected questions were predictive of what is going to happen. Also, the obvious advancement in sourcing tools such as Hiretual and AmazingHiring and ARYA and smart recruiting chat bots and many other HR, AI based technologies and applications were indicative of it. I also discussed it with some of my peers (Thank you Moshik Raccah for giving “my hunches” a name!) Besides that, I had no diagrams, I couldn’t in any way, shape or form “prove” what I am saying and I had no “scientific models” to apply it to.

The "6Ds of Exponentials" apply in the recruiting industry

However, as I was reading on the Singularity University website today, I stumbled into a model that I felt applied to my predictions just perfectly…It is called – The “6Ds of Exponentials” – And it’s a powerful framework that explains the exponential journey of digital technology and can help us identify and better anticipate disruptive trends.The 6 Ds are: Digitized, Deceptive, Disruptive, Democratized, Demonitized and Demateriliazed. To my surprise, I immediately felt that I can apply this model to my “gut” predictions, and I am happy to share it with you.

1. Digitized – “That’s when Something becomes an information science, which allows us to use computers to manage it. An example of our sourcing industry” – We see manual processes such as sourcing being automated and digitized. We see tools such as Arya automating the whole sourcing process and smart chatbots such as Mya, Wendy, Stanley and others taking it even further.

2. Deceptive – “This is the early stage of exponential growth, which is hard to spot. The technology is advancing, but is not yet being used widely” – We are sooo totally there…Some of my peers and myself are constantly frustrated by the recruiting industry being so behind when we have such advanced possibilities to start implementing and by that I mean the gazzilion HRETCH applications. In TRU Tel Aviv I mentioned that the adoption rate of HRtech applications is extremely low, although the variety and supply are IMMENSE. So we subscribe to this second phase as mentioned by this framework (Jacob Sten Madsen – an answer to your question on why we are not there yet).

3. Disruptive – “When a technology breakthrough hits a critical point, it begins to have dramatic effects, outperforming the previous paradigm in both effectiveness and cost”. It is obvious to me that this will be the next phase. Once our sourcing/recruiting tools will be able to reach extremely targeted and accurate results, as well as the plethora of HRETCH applications will begin to assemble into one-stop-shop platforms where we have all that we need in 1 click to get a full picture of the potential candidate- This will become DISRUPTIVE.

4. Dematerialized – “Items that were once large and unwieldy can now fit easily into our pockets or in the cloud.” I will translate that into “dematerialization” of staffing and recruiting agencies, head hunters, recruiters and sourcers into automated processes that we will be able to perform from our mobile phone.

5 and 6. Demonetized – “The cost of producing and replicating software is dramatically cheaper than creating the physical version of it, and the economies of scale associated with the sensors allow them to become eminently affordable” and Democratized – “Products, services, and information that were once only available to wealthy nations, research labs, or companies, are now becoming accessible by an ever-increasing percentage of the global population”. This stage, to me, means that perhaps those 1 stop shop platforms that I am talking about will become more accessible to everyone, thus strengthening my prediction that ANYONE will be able to use it and access it and it will be as easy to google someone to hire 🙂

Thinking about the future of anything and based on the first signs of advanced technology in our industry means we need to adopt exponential thinking. Out of the ordinary growth. Linear train of thought can no longer apply and will hinder our understanding of where we are going in our industry as well as our future.

Of course, we cannot ignore many issues such as things we don’t know that we don’t know and cannot expect, the future of other industries near ours, regulations, ethical issues, privacy issues, AI “black box” issues and more – that may alter this “prediction”.

We must adopt EXPONENTIAL THINKING when discussing the future of recruitment.

In a previous post in Facebook I mentioned that to me, it feels like the future is simply happening to us and I asked if perhaps some of us should start discussing how WE WANT THE FUTURE OF RECRUITING TO LOOK LIKE, as well as how to prepare for it. We can no longer live like ostriches and bury our heads in the sand and continue to discuss how afraid we are about robots going to take our jobs away from us – This is exactly the DANGEROUS, LIMITED and LINEAR thinking I was talking about. We are having a problem to digest this “unintuitive growth”. The discussion is no longer if a robot will replace us as sourcers and recruiters (because it is and it will. Period.) or if it will empathize or not – The discussion should be about – IS THIS THE FUTURE WE WANT and if we feel we can’t “do much about it” how to prepare for it, on a society and personal level.

I welcome your opinions, ideas and input so that we can take this discussion further.

Karen Azulai Is a passionate Global Sourcer, Int’l Lecturer, HRtech Evangelist and is mesmerized by futuristic technology. Feel free to connect with me or write to karen@everythingsourcing.com

The Fascinating World of Smart Chatbots and Recruiting

chatbot recruiter

I am fascinated by the Chatbots Revolution. And yes, we can call it a Revolution as it seems it is turning out to be much greater than the apps revolution! The numbers of chatbots hosted on Facebook Messenger alone are over 100,000 within 1 year! Chatbots technology is hailed as the disruptive new comer and it seems it will be greater than anything we have witnessed to date. I will add on the same note that not all is alive and well in the chatbot kingdom as Facebook also released that these bots have just hit a 70% failure rate…But I will be very forgiving regardless as I believe it only mirrors the natural process of a technology evolution (According to Gartner) – Innovation, inflated expectations, disillusionment, enlightenment and finally a ‘productivity plateau’, which refers to mainstream adoption. It seems we are now experiencing stage 3.
I will remind you that downloading apps was going through the same process, now that the hype and excitement is over it seems that out of the dozens if not more apps we downloaded – We actually don’t use more than 6 apps on a daily basis…(I have 8 screens on my iphone, loaded with apps I hardly ever use..)
All this compiled with the fact that messaging apps have an unbelievable adoption rate (over 2.5 Billion People hv at least 1 messaging app and many using several on a daily basis..) can only point out to what will, for sure, become a norm in the not-so-far-away future.

Pondering and wondering about this topic and how this revolution will affect recruiters and sourcers, I decided to give my friend Alon Mei-Raz, a Chief Product Strategist at HPE and a very sought after machine learning & chatbots key note speaker, a call and luckily managed to lure him for a quick lunch meeting with me so I could get his view on this topic.

Alon quickly distinguished between the “gofer bots”, “stupid bots” or “purpose based bots” – Simple decision or rule based tree bots that answer simple questions and carry out simple tasks and cannot answer anything it wasn’t designed to (reach a dead end) and the rising smart bots, based on machine learning, big data, AI and other advanced technologies that not only conducts a discussion in natural language but also “observes” the conversation and provides insights.

For example, when we tried to find examples in the recruiting world Alon mentioned the goal to be able  to write or speak to our bots in natural language – “Find me a “pretty senior” candidate with “vast” experience in software management” and have the bot answer back to us – “Here’s that candidate, but I also have this candidate, who doesn’t comply with all of the criteria but based on what you said about this company in the past, I think he/she could be interesting for this role”.

Alon points out that the reason there is such a dramatic surge in smart and insightful chatbots is that it’s a good time now – AI has been around for many years but in the last couple of years, it reached an accuracy level as never before. Data quantity also grows exponentially. Numerous cloud based machine learning platforms were introduced lately offering strong capabilities, such as NLP (The natural language technology), sentiment analysis and more.  And of course, the great adoption of messaging platforms (such as Facebook Messenger), that host large number of bots as a one stop shop.

Let’s talk abit more about smart bots. A smartbot is a bot that has added value – it is INSIGHTFUL. For smart chatbots to be good – you need to teach them. They need to learn. Sometimes they can arrive with knowledge from the “factory”, but you need to customize it to your own needs (the analogy that comes to mind is from the movie “The Little Shop of Horrors..“Feed me Syemour!..Feed me all night long”…).
Another feature to help it succeed is PERSONALITY. There is an ongoing discussion on the personality of chatbots. We are now also able to “EMOTIONALLY CHARGE CHATBOTS” (Work of Hao Zhou and his team at Tsinghua University). For me that means we are getting one step closer to saying “Empathy WILL PROBABLY be automated”. Users will stop using a boring bot that doesn’t emotionally engage with them. An emotionally aware chatbot could significantly change the recruiting industry!
Scripting an engaging bot conversation that makes users come back for more is the task in hand.
“Personality” in the bot world means defining the purpose, matching required characteristics and a suiting INTONATION.
They also have to be ENGAGING and prepared for “what’s the meaning of life” and “is there a god” questions.
The bottom line is that the recruiter or sourcer’s “Minny Me bot” will have to be engaging, have a great personality, empathic intonation and insightful. Piece of cake…

“The basic added value and purpose of a chatbot is to replace human repetitive tasks” Alon said. “Bots don’t have a schedule, they are available 24/7/365 and they don’t require an employment agreement…”
Where does this formula apply in the recruiting world – What are those repetitive tasks that we carry that can be replaced by smart chat bots. Without thinking too much, here’s several such tasks…

1.  Searching my ATS for potential candidates
2.  Screening and reviewing CVs and profiles
3.  As much as I hate to say it…Searching Linkedin and the web for potential candidates
4.  Engagement – Initial and screening phone calls to potential candidates
5.  Rejection letters
6.  Interviewing
7.  Maintaining an ongoing relationship with candidates in any one of the recruiting stage

In order to understand what is already happening in our space, I stepped into the web, as well as spent time on several demos. I am not mentioning the simple bots that mainly deliver roles according to your search criteria. I wanted to see what are the more advanced options out there today.

1.  Mya  – By FirstJob – Someone wrote about her “The moment I met her, I was hooked. She was sensitive to my needs, responsive, inquisitive, direct, and had a sense of humor. Most importantly, she improved my chances of getting the job I want. The only problem I’ve encountered so far: I won’t be able to take her out to lunch to thank her”.
Mya boasts a whopping 75% automation of the recruiting process. improves recruiter efficiency by 38% and increases candidate engagement by over 150%. Even more impressively, candidates are 3 times more likely to hear back from a recruiter if they respond to Mya’s questions.
She instantly engages with applicants, poses contextual questions based on job requirements, and provides personalized updates, feedback, and next-step suggestions. She is able to answer any question a candidate has related to the employer, including topics about company policies, culture, benefits and even the hiring process. When she can’t answer a candidate question, she queries the recruiter, gets back to the candidate, and learns how to respond the next time.
Ultimately, the platform takes the data that Mya obtains through her conversations and turns it into quantifiable intelligence around the engagement level of each candidate and how closely they fit the target profile.

2.  Job Pal – This white label chatbot is available on FB Messenger, Skype, Slack and Telegram. Their machine learning and NLP powered chat bots enable companies to automate candidate engagement, pre-screening and interview logistics. At this point their chatbot is not very intelligent but it is learning and growing as we speak…Everytime it encounters a question it cannot answer, it is forwarded to the recruiter who answers the question and the machine, in return, learns how to answer next time.

3. Lara Bot –  Lara Bot was launched by the dating service Match.com. It communicates with more than 280,000 users per month in 10 different languages. At some point the company was looking for an intern and decided to create a new mission for Lara: ‘Lara the Recruiter’. It was finished in one weekend 🙂
Rather than using a ‘classical’ method for the internship, sending a CV and motivation letter, they told the applicants to use Lara. To their grand surprise, within a few weeks, Lara had interviewed around 400 applicants, around a hundred of them serious candidatures. Very rarely are the bots capable of “undersanding”, and thus of responding to open-ended requests. First, Lara detailed the mission of the internship, which teams would be involved and the practical details. Then, she would ask some questions, open-ended or closed (“Why is this internship right for you?” etc.).

4.  RAI – From HiringSolved
Rai is an experimental AI interface. You interact with it like a human assistant. It can find candidates for your job and even help create and send messages to them.

5.  XOR (pronounce EX-OR) – A chatbot recruitment assistant. It’s Available 24/7, so it immediately responds to every candidate.  Guides every candidate through the application process.  Asks pre-screen questions.  Provides information about the hiring process.  Updates candidates if the application status changes. Informs candidates, if a vacancy is closed. Delivers recruiter’s messages to candidate’s messenger.  Provides onboarding and training materials.  Available on Messenger, Viber, Telegram, Slack and by SMS.

The following is my view on chatbots and sourcing/recruiting  (besides loving their very cool new age names…)

1.  Market adaption – To me, it seems that it is just a matter time, that smart chatbots will infiltrate and conquer the sourcing/recruiting industry like some kind of a (good?) epidemic.
The only serious caveat I see is the hard work needed to translate the professional recruiting world into information to “feed” the chatbot. This may, perhaps, slow down adaption.
2.  Augmented Self – We will become super recruiters and sourcers, suddenly able to process much more information much more quickly. Scalibility is the norm.
3.  Involvement – Hybrid Chatbots will keep us aware and still involved when the person in the other side wants a better answer than the bot can deliver at that moment.
4.  Availability – We will be more available to deal with stuff that we want to be on top of – such as closing the deals, strategies etc.
5.  Red flags – I cannot overlook the very much needed way to be able to frequently QA all these processes. How can we know that our chatbot is not taking “too much liberty” in learning new stuff and come up with answers that we do not agree with (as a company?) This whole topic is still a major “black box” and we are already finding out problems.
5.  Linkedin Chatbot – Shannon Pritchett mentioned chatbots in relation to Linkedin – “It would be a huge win for LinkedIn to experiment with this technology for recruiters and sourcers to help with tedious tasks like scheduling and reminders. A LinkedIn chatbot would surely have its critics, but it could reduce many nuances on the website such as recruiter spam”.
6.  One-stop-super-smart-people-aggregators chatbots – I predict, that there will be a time when the super advanced recruiting chatbot will MERGE and REPLACE tools like AmazingHiring/Aevy/Talentbin/Entelo, Crystal Knows etc – Once a potential candidate converses with our chatbot – All his information will be presented to me on the spot – As I see it today on my supercharged (full of gazillion chrome extensions and tools) Linkedin/Facebook etc public profile.
Remember where you heard it first…

Karen Azulai is a Global Sourcing Evangelist and HR Tech Enthusiast. Karen, lectures in sourcing conferences and conducts advanced sourcing training in Israel. Feel free to contact her at karen@everythingsourcing.com.

“Rocking” The Sourcing Boat – Do we need to “re-calculate” and re-evaluate some issues in the sourcing industry?

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My intention is to, first and foremost, make us stop for a second and take a hard look at ourselves and what is going on in our industry. We are all creatures of habit and most of us swim with the current, some of us because we don’t want to create any waves (or don’t have the time to do so…) and others because we do not necessarily notice the undercurrents. And as far as I am concerned, there are definately some of those going on.

I have read many truly enlightening 2017 trend articles and posts, but there are some topics that I have not seen anyone discuss (and I apologize if someone did and I have not seen it) and I feel compelled to bring them up even if I will, as we say in Hebrew, “slaughter some sacred cows” during the process …
Perhaps reflecting here together on these issues will prompt us to “re-calculate” our route and bring in some needed changes (IMHO).

1.  How to educate the recruiting/sourcing market
Challenge: Regardless of the huge advancement in the sourcing arena and technology, a whooping massive percentage of the recruiting market is still very traditional – They source via Linkedin and Boolean searches only, not aware of the huge benefit and effectiveness of the ever evolving world of sourcing technology.
Getting new information through “to the masses” is not very effective. Allocating time to read professional material from all over the internet in the various different websites and social networks is challenging and tedious. The sourcing Conferences are doing an amazing job out there, but are extremely expensive and inaccessible and are the privilege of the few. The “Sourcing Message” does not seem to reach the recruiting/sourcing “masses”.

Solution:
Leading sourcing conferences should introduce live streaming (fee based if you wish) and virtual sourcing conferences should grow in numbers (Introducing the First Virtual Summit on Sourcing Talent 2017, Jantje Bartels), so that focused information and knowledge becomes within reach for everyone.

2.  Cost of sourcing tools
Challenge – Some of the great sourcing tools out there are super expensive. Regretfully, founders are not eager to accommodate those that their tools are not within their reach.

Solution
– Introduce convenient price models for sole recruiters, smaller companies etc. I believe, that beyond the materialistic goal (which is fine and they can charge corporates and successful companies as much as they want) they have a social responsibility to enable every recruiter/sourcer out there to be able to use them. There are social revolutions all over the globe to make housing and everyday necessities more affordable. As I see it…Sourcing tools should not be an exception!

3.  Get more people involved
Challenge – The sourcing industry (as well as Sourcing Conferences) are mostly led by the same few. They are an elite unit, impacting the profession and designing and paving the industry to what it is today. They take us to “where no one has gone before” and deserve all the recognition in the world. However, they are the voice of the very few, many others out there are also doing amazing work and are not part of the mainstream “buzz”.

Solution – We have to find a way to get more people involved in our industry, perhaps via unconferences, such as TRU HR (Bill Boorman) and other local initiatives such as Meetups (Kasia Borowicz) that will enable a less intimidating venue for those who are considered “less sexy” (as they are not affiliated with a known brand) or are intimidated to speak in front of hundreds of people to shine their true colors and then for “conference scouts” to invite them to speak in an international conference and share their message and “out of the box” thinking.

4.  Sourcing Professionals Road Map
Challenge: Since Linkedin, chrome plugins and tools are available to and for everyone – Companies tend, more than ever, to hire low level and inexperienced sourcers in house to do the job. The more professional sourcers (with a higher price tag) are approached less often and if so more for higher level, managerial roles (build and lead sourcing teams, for example).

Suggested (interim) solution – Experienced sourcers will reposition themselves as mentors, consultants, Sourcing Trainers, researchers or even “sourcing recruiters” (Jan Bernhart). Some will continue with the craft, but will deal with the more complex roles, rather with the low complexity ones.

 

I realize we are all building our industry as we go along, as it is in its infancy. We are all doing the best we can and in the best way we know how. But we should also take the time to check ourselves as a collective (Sourcing professionals, vendors etc) and see what it is we can do better, for the sake of all of us in this amazing profession.

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About me: I’m a passionate Sourcing Professional, Advanced Sourcing Trainer and International Lecturer. I love to share my thoughts and ideas on everything and anything sourcing 🙂 Don’t hesitate to connect with me on Twitter @karenazulai, Linkedin and Facebook, or email me at karen@everythingsourcing.com.

Sourcing failures have never been formally discussed in a sourcing conference until last week at SOSU (The Sourcing Summit in Amsterdam 27-29 September, 2016).

I feel very fortunate to have been able to air this topic and share my thoughts about it. I’ve had many sourcing successes but also some projects that have failed. I always felt there were so many reasons to why talent sourcing can go wrong and I wanted to share those with my community and moreover, have them share their failure stories. Judging by the plethora of posts and presentations on this topic as well as by the nodding heads and smiling faces during my lecture, it was very apparent to me that no matter from what country we are from, we all struggle with the same issues.

To date, most lectures, webinars, and workshops are all about what works for sourcing great talent. As to why it sometimes does not work, we are requested to do some “reverse engineering” on our own, sort of speak…and extrapolate from what works, what it is that does not work.

However, that is not the way to go about it. There is a myriad of reasons why sourcing can go wrong that have nothing to do with a bad engagement email or not using the right tools.

For the sourcing process to function like it should and produce positive results, there are so many pit holes we need to avoid. Should we fall into one, the whole process will be compromised.

IMHO, these are the main (meaning there are others but I believe they are of less importance) factors for potential failure points on the company’s side:

  1. The role is not well defined (including incompatible compensation)
  2. Hiring managers are not engaged
  3. Company has no or very little branding to show for
  4. Process in-house takes too long
  5. Responsibilities between the sourcers and recruiters are not well defined

And where we as sourcers may go wrong:

  1. Not asking the right questions before the search begins
  2. Not using all of the available resources as well as creative ones
  3. Not doing a good enough job on the first impression with the potential candidate
  4. Working on too many roles
  5. Not raising a red flag quickly enough when a search is not yielding results
  6. Not defining success

To go through a sourcing process that will be considered a success for both sides, I believe these 4 high-level ingredients need to be present:

  1. Ask the right questions
  2. Manage expectations / Define success
  3. Find those places in the process that seem not to work well and fix them as you go
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate – Hiring managers HATE surprises!

Knowing this will enable you to launch a sourcing project and address the problematic issues BEFORE they develop into something that will hinder the process and the sourcing success.A friend who is also a pilot, told me that both pilots review a checklist before take-off, to be sure they are not forgetting anything to ensure the safety of the flight. But what’s more interesting is that they review other checklists at different stages of the flight. If pilots are doing it? We can also have such a checklist before we embark on our sourcing project, to ensure, as much as possible, the success of the sourcing process.

My main message though is, we as sourcers HAVE THE POWER TO INFLUENCE THE PROCESS. We do NOT hide behind the recruiters. We have to UNDERSTAND the business we are in (the competitive arena). We must air our opinions. We must follow up on our potential candidates as they go through a process within the company to ensure they do not get stuck in “bottlenecks” and slowly but surely disappear from the radar.It is our responsibility to do the best we can to make the process WORK and to be able to explain to our business partners why it failed.

I hope that we can keep this discussion open and share our stories, so we can all learn and perfect the Art of Sourcing.

(My presentation will be uploaded to my Linkedin Profile and my website everythingsourcing.com within a few days. Check back again soon!)

 

Unconventional Sourcing Methods coming through! Make way!

Heads up people, something different is going on in our sourcing world!
The shortage of talent pool calls for creative ways to widen the talent pool.
Two weeks ago I mentioned I was going to harness CrystalKnows to find potentially suitable candidates by no longer searching for experience and skills, rather for character traits that will indicate this person may be suitable for the role (Within the industry).
To expand a little bit about that: I was searching for a Field Marketing Manager for a very well global company. It’s a very difficult task as they are based in a remote area, relevant candidate pool is scarce. Without using big data to support my assumption (…) those people who perform marketing roles are mostly outgoing, first class communicators, team players with a tendency to be data driven. My task was to find super professional TECHNICAL people with no apparent marketing experience, but, according to Crystal Knows, possess those personal traits. Those people, as we know, ARE the VERITABLE purple squirrels, unicorns, name it what you wish…As CrystalKnows still does not enable access to big data, I have to do a lot of legwork…I’m  still working on that.

My post generated some sarcastic remarks, but I am used to it as I always talk about things that are not mainstream until they do, sooner than later..become exactly that 🙂

I was happy to learn about Bryan Chaney‘s SourceCon session “Weird Science: Turning Talent Attraction Into Sourcing Success” – Where he described a successful sourcing adventure using Facebook Advertising. They were able to close a role that’s been open for 60 days within one week, not only by targeting the usual and expected variants like current employer and previous one but also by their follows/interests and likes (such as liking a company or even liking Lady Gaga or TV series) on Facebook. Facebook enables employers access to big data about prospective candidates. Lucky for them!

Yes, I know the two examples are not the same – Bryan was using scientific Big Data and CrystalKnows is still “frowned upon” (Although I am sure big data will be part of it soon as well)…
My point is – We have to think out of the box to tap into talent pools that we did not think about before. Start strategizing your searches in 3 tracks – Traditional, data-based and creative sourcing techniques and find those “unlikely” candidates to fill in your roles, in a quicker timeframe.

(I’m speaking on how to avoid sourcing failures at the international, Pan-European Sourcing Conference SOSU in Amsterdam 27-29 Septemeber!  Come by to say hello!!)

When did we become so insensitive?

Two weeks ago, I, like many of you, was approached by a Sourcer/HH, who suggested I consider a new opportunity. A new role. I’ve received such requests in the past but not one of them was in any way as challenging and as exciting as this one.

It made me pause and think it over – I am a freelancer, my own boss, extremely content and happy with what I’ve accomplished so far. Why should I contemplate becoming an employee again? Why am I even thinking about this? I surprised myself…This move was definitely not on my “road map”.
I made a few calls, consulted with some friends, researched the company online. I continued to think and toss the idea back and forth in my mind. I did not get back to her with an answer because I didn’t know what the hell to do with this idea she planted in my mind. I was sure (and still am) that I am living my dream job! Can it be there is something else that is as fulfilling and exciting?
After a few days, she wrote again asking to know where I stand with that role. I shared my thoughts with her and told her I needed a few more days. I also asked about the salary, hoping that would make it easier to say no. Alas, that was not the case…

After several more days, I decided the challenge was too big for me to pass on and decided to, at least, start the interview process and see if it’s right for me and for the company.

What goes on from here, is really not important. What is important is that I got to walk in my candidate’s shoes and I got to FEEL how it is on “the other side”.

In our sourcing/recruiting/HH industry, we are full of axioms, tips and tricks on how to get your candidate to engage quickly. We also learn that if they didn’t answer within 24 hours, we are probably doomed. Others think that following up is the best thing to do, “at least 4 times” (as one slide claimed), “Call them if you don’t hear from them” others say. Now that I’ve been there? I can say –

IT’S OK OUR CANDIDATES DON’T ANSWER IMMEDIATELY.
GIVE THEM SOME TIME AND SPACE TO THINK YOUR OFFER THROUGH.
GIVE THEM RESPECT.
HONOR THE PROCESS.

Yes, you have to recruit 6 employees by the end of next month, yes, your boss is measuring, collecting and reviewing data on how effective you are, how many you approached and what was the return rate. Percentages, numbers on a board, excels.

Companies that hire my services ask me how many candidates can I provide and in what time frame…Again numbers and more numbers.

We mostly interview quickly (generalizing here), checking skills sets, other facts on their resumes. But before we sit down to interview ( Via phone, skype or f2f) do we take a deep breath and really try to know the person in front of us? What their wishes and likes are? Do we really enable a stress-free, non-judgmental environment where they can check out this new role that we presented to them (and they did not ask for?)

We chose to work in an industry that deals with PEOPLE and their LIVES – HUMAN RESOURCES.

Let’s be HUMANISTIC on how we source, on how we approach, on the time we give them to PROCESS our offers. Being empathic and respectable can exist side by side to being effective and goal oriented. They are not one instead of the other, they are both a 100% stand-alone.
We can definitely help them reach a decision, but let’s do it in a respectable manner, acknowledging their difficulty to decide. It’s about THEM. Let’s not forget that.
It’s also ok for them to ask about the salary – It’s their prerogative. It doesn’t make them greedy and all about the money, it’s only one other component in their decision making process, a process they were not asking for. Understand that.

This experience has changed me as a Sourcer reaching out to potential candidates and it is clear to me that my outreach emails and my whole professional demeanor will express this new found wisdom.