What changed my reception of the whole event this year was quite clear that I was a speaker! I already knew the level of hospitality that most guests receive at SourceCon events. However, having some VIP flavor made my trip all the better. And that comes on top of being able to share our tricks of the trade with the wider recruiting community and getting feedback from the creme de la creme.
Bee Talents sent a three-strong delegation to the conference, which took place in Amsterdam. Michał and Karolina were tremendous partners on the trip, and Michał whipped up his competitive spirit and beat dozens of great sourcers in conference Hack-a-thon! He showed great proficiency in unearthing little secrets that the internet holds – a crucial part of our recruiters’ skillset. Also, both of them published great posts on SourceCon blog. I will link to them at the bottom of this text. Not to bore you with descriptions of picturesque landmarks of the city, I am jumping straight to the highlights of the conference.
But first – a little pat on our (Bee Talents) collective back. Presentation after presentation of the best out there passed and we… we are right there both in terms of technology, skills and process organization. This is a confirmation that we are in fact not only going in the right direction, but we are among the pioneers. After all, my presentation was centered about our innovation, Team Sourcing which received great reviews and stoked some competition interest 😉
Notable presentations/roundtables and key takeaways
Glen Cathey Storytelling Is the Key to Effective Referral Sourcing
During the first day, a couple of presentations captivated my attention, but perhaps none more than one by Glen (his awesome blog can be found here). Hard to expect less from experts on storytelling! While a lot of knowledge that the presentation was packed with is quite obvious – we all know that referrals matter and that stories persuade – but the devil is in the details.
For example, analysis of data from Entelo shows that asking candidates for referrals in the first email decreases reply rates dramatically. Avoid this before establishing a better relationship or simply first getting the gist of candidates plans. This helps you use the candidate to do a bit of searching for you 😉
Next, Glen spoke at length about breaching the walls our lazy brains build around us. Statistics? Forget it, only around 5% of people remember facts from your communication with them. On the other hand, a whopping 65% will be able to follow and recreate a story you tell them. More on this topic can be read in this blog post. In another research, Glen found that narratives are more than 20 times more memorable than facts. What is the lesson?
You need an authentic company story. Not some sugar-coated marketing pamphlet, but a summary that is a strong contribution to the company Employee Value Proposition. Candidates see through fake stories, and even worse – new employees will immediately see the truth. In the era, where employee branding is a must, you cannot allow this to happen. To understand how stories really affect people and how to use our evolutionary make-up to help build deeper connections with candidates, Glen recommends a book “The Art of Human Hacking” by Christopher Hadnagy.
Sofia Broberger Automation – Making Our Lives Easier
Machines are coming! Worry not – they are still there to help, not to take over the planet. Recruitment and sourcing are tasks with some elements that are very repetitive. There is large potential that machine learning solutions will enable sourcers to do much more in a shorter amount of time and we are excited about this possibility.
There is a lot of little stuff you can do right now to speed up some boring aspects of your daily work. My favorite was If This Then That (IFTTT), which is essentially a between-app translator – if your calendar can’t synchronize with, for example, your smart home device – IFTTT has rich integration capabilities and speaks to dozens of different APIs. It can be used in recruitment in order to quickly and effortlessly share your job ads on different social media sites with one click. Marketing teams use such automation all the time and many tools exist that can fill this function.
Automation will assist recruiting teams in maintaining strong personal brands that many times are of great help to sourcers. Caring about our online image and profile takes time. I know that some of our recruiters would prefer to focus on candidates 110% instead of writing blog posts. Fully understandable! Thankfully Bee Talents brand is very robust and well received, so our team does not have to fight for recognition as hard as some freelancers must.
Zapier and Dataminer are great tools to smoothen the edges of social media management. Just remember to use your team as an asset in promoting your brand. At Bee Talents, we have a battle-tested solution. It is an #upvote channel for when a recruiter wants to boost a job offer he/she just posted or we want to increase the reach of our knowledge-sharing.
Sofia also shot out an idea that I like, as a fan of distributing responsibility wide between team members. She mentioned companies where employees rotate as admins of organization Instagram profiles, giving it a fresh taste every couple days!
Candidate engagement roundtable – led by Hung Lee
Since Hung was carefully taking notes from the roundtable, I do not think I can offer you a better summary than he will – if eventually, the notes will appear in his must-subscribe newsletter, Recruitment Brainfood. Hung not only is an awesome guy in-person, but his social media are also a mine of recommendations for podcasts, tools, and communities that any recruiter will appreciate, so do not hesitate to find him!
Jan Tegze – Our Worst Enemy in Recruitment
Oh yes! Tegze! THIS Jan Tegze! Author of a book we really respect and a person who we continuously stalk for new knowledge. Apart from the book, which review will be coming up on our blog soon, Jan gave a great presentation. It touched issues of work organization and habits. And Habits are a huge part of our work – 40% of activities are habit-based! This is nothing to be afraid of. What we should watch for are bad habits and habits that masquerade as efficiency boosters but actually live their own life already.
Jan also gave some tips on recruiting for specific geographical needs through using radius maps. Also, he advised me how mixing local and international/foreign names in sourcing candidates results in uncovering a lot of good candidates in his experience.
Angie Verros Storytelling & Sourcing Unplugged
Angie’s presentation was mostly centered on enriching our communication with candidates and making our interactions more immersive and palatable. To truly take care of the candidate as we all should, you cannot simply push dozens of job offers in a short period of time. This is simply bad business for all parties. Listen and be precise with offers you send.
Some lose points from the presentation that is worth remembering would be to add videos to your job offers. They bring the job to life a bit thanks to a more personal touch. Also, she suggested using tools like Videomyjob and Recruit’em among her favorites.
The Journey of PMI Towards Global Transformation by Guillaume Alexandre
There are challenges in recruiting that go above and beyond a typical set of problems we help companies solve. Guillaume recounted a client of his that had several very harsh internal rules. They did not play well with typical recruiting. This company has banned all web browser extensions. Did not use any of Gmail/Office365, most websites were completely blocked and sourcing culture was, well, nonexistent.
What Guillaume did was work hard to convince the IT department to lift some of the unnecessary padlocks. This underscores that recruiters need to be very flexible and be able to change work styles for a specific client if necessary. Be creative!
Finally – my own presentation @SourceCon 2019!
I had a blast being a speaker at Sourcecon. I hope you see some of this joy when watching my presentation (thanks to Triss Revill for being a good soldier and recording a lot of the presentations including mine). For more of our work, check Karolina and Michał posts on Sourcecon blog here and here, and do not hesitate to scour our own blog for more.
If you would like to comment on the issues I talk about in my presentation, write to me on LinkedIn. Leave me some good feedback 🙂
Congrats to Michiel Wiersema for winning it all (he looked like Jon Snow with his sword when holding the SourceCon Hack-a-thon trophy)! Although during this weekend everything resembled GoT to me, as I was incensed with the final episode – to put it lightly. During Friday networking I engaged everybody furiously, including the bartenders – and they all joined willingly! As you can imagine – the atmosphere of the whole event was fantastic thanks to such nights. And obviously – having Karolina and Michał join me for the entire trip! :))