Looking for a Technology Tips Editor

10 12 2008

Would you like to help with editing content on The Source? The editing crew at The Source is looking for some assistance for our Technology Tips articles. If you’re well connected within the Research/Sourcing community and would like to offer up your help, we would love to hear from you!

We’re all a volunteer army over here at The Source so we can’t compensate you, but being an editor with us would certainly look good on your resume 🙂 If you’re interested in helping out, please email the editors and let us know!

The Source Editors





RSS = Really Simple Sourcing

9 12 2008

One of the things I love about being ½ HR and ½ Geek is the ability to apply new technology to existing needs – the idea being that rather than waiting for a magical application to be developed or implemented, we can find smarter and “out of the box” ways to make existing resources more efficient or effective – or just more fun.

Most of us are currently using newsreaders and aggregators to get snack sized nuggets of our information quickly and easily. Some of us have probably opted in to several Google Alerts that fill our inboxes with updates each morning. So in asking around to many of my peers within the Blogosphere I was surprised to learn that many saw no value in news aggregators as they related directly to recruiting – but instead viewed them rather as very simple (or confusing) information dumping grounds. Oh the opportunity!

So let’s take a few minutes to explore just one possible use of RSS and Newsreaders in the life of a busy and mobile and connected Recruiter shall we?

Suppose for the moment that you or a member of your team is working through their keyword (Boolean) searches for that perfect job seeker. You’ve got your favorite Boolean strings saved in a .txt or .doc file on your desktop and you steadily plug them into Google or Yahoo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then sift through the results before moving on. 

Perhaps you’re considered pretty advanced in that you’ve taken the approach of bookmarking the search results page and removed the copy+paste step from your process all together. Maybe you’ve even been so bold as to create a Google Alert to notify you each morning if there are new results to your favorite strings. 

This is a good start… But let’s think bigger.

Take your favorite search string and head over to FeedMySearch.com.  FeedMySearch is a nifty tool that will turn any search results into compact RSS feeds.  (Don’t worry… we’ll get to why in a second.) I’ve chosen FeedMySearch for this example because it’s quick and easy – there are other options like IceRocket that some may prefer to play with, of course.

 For this example I’ve created the following quick and easy string:

          (intitle:resume OR inurl:resume) AND (java*) AND program* AND (Texas or TX or Dallas) AND -sample*

The idea is that you’re looking for resumes of Java programmers in Dallas. While this is a rather basic search string it will serve the purpose of this example – so we’ll pretend it’s returning to you some pretty strong results.

Here’s where you play along with me… Copy the search string above and paste it into the search field, leaving “web search” as the default selection and click the “Feed my search!” button.

feedmysearch1 What will be returned to you should look like a simple bulleted list where above it a large “Subscribe” button is displayed. What you’re looking at is the result of your search query in the form of a RSS feed.  And this is good – because here is where it gets fun.

 Click the large ‘Subscribe” button and select your reader of choice.

feedmysearch2Continuing forward I’m going to use Google Reader for the sole reason that it’s my favorite news reader. You can use any reader you’d like and can probably expect some slightly different variables on your reader settings, but those shouldn’t be too hard to sort through in order to get similar results. 

feedmysearch3 Once your reader opens you should have the option to save this new feed to an existing folder or to create a new one. For this particular import, we’ll name a new folder “Java Programmer – Dallas”

feedmysearch4

After some time you’ll begin to accumulate folders and hopefully come up with a system that works for you to efficiently sort your reading material and search results. Here is a snapshot of the end result of our imported rss with some fancy statistics thrown in for good measure (Yup, they’re Google’s.) One of the better features here is the ability to click on any returned result and be presented with a quick 4-5 line preview of the resume along with the direct URL.

feedmysearch5

I love Google Reader’s flexibility in that I can flag any feeds (or resumes) share them with peers, add comments, email them directly from the reader and even customize tags to provide another layer of filters.

Imagine for a moment how you or your team might use this combination of tools for collaborative sourcing efforts. Picture how this combination of tools better serves you when you’re traveling – since the information is saved on the web and not on a local hard drive it is accessible anywhere you’ve a connection. Connecting on your mobile?  (Also a no-brainer with most readers and newer phones.)

It’s almost a bookmark driven ATS.

 

 

hoyt-chris-photoChris Hoyt is employed as the Associate Director of Talent Attraction at AT&T in Dallas, TX.  It is his honor to lead the Interactive and Strategic recruiting teams that source and recruit globally for AT&T.  His insights can be found most easily on his personal blog, www.RecruiterGuy.net.

 





SourceCon Spotlight: Up and Coming Sourcers – Susan Kang Nam

9 12 2008

susan-kang-namDecember’s Spotlight goes to Susan Kang Nam, nick-named ‘Shuffer Greene’ (from her sister Jenna – it means fast going, always moving, loving green). Susan is currently a researcher with her other sister Grace’s boutique called “Pink Olive Boutique”, and she resides in Northshore, MA with family.

As a researcher, Susan’s responsibilities include engaging in conversations with customers and potential hires via various social media tools. As with many researchers’ job duties, her position varies every day, so she does pretty much anything needed to help out with her sister’s boutique. The current industries in which they operate include retail and education. Susan plans to look for a recruiting/sourcing opportunity in a corporate site full-time in early 2009.

With around 2 years of experience currently under her belt, Susan first got into recruitment sourcing at Harvard University Central Administration HR corporate employment office. Her mentor/adviser at the time, Mary Cronin, Director of HR, advised her to reach out to the HR community. After putting together a SHRM event at Bentley with Mary Cronin as a guest speaker, Susan followed up with a job opening at the Central HR employment office and applied for an entry level recruiting position. After Susan accepted the position, she began taking Mary’s advice and kept up with and reached out to the internet recruiting community utilizing all possible resources available. During that year, Susan was able to establish an ad-hoc internet recruiting advisory committee where all 10 Harvard schools participated in putting together a grant proposal to submit to the special proposal committee at Central HR. With help from her manager, she was able to hire graduate work-study students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to put Harvard on the map throughout all recruiting portals or sites and placed all hard-to-fill reqs in Administration, Research and IT. Susan also met with vendors from various sites to assist her manager in delivering information, negotiating, and providing them to the rest of the Harvard recruiting community. Susan continued to engage in conversations with potential hires via pre-screening and inviting them to Harvard site to facilitate the recruiting procedure for the Central HR employment office.

Susan credits her approach of the Harvard employment office recruiting team with her efforts to revamp the internet recruiting manual as having the greatest impact on her career thus far. That task encouraged her to further explore, prioritize, and audit all sites out there for the Harvard recruiting community to utilize and share. The task entailed interviewing, citing, further researching different recruiting vendors out there to facilitate all information available for Harvard.

For Pink Olive Inc, Susan has reached out to Ladies Who Launch to get Publicist information for the organization and soon to follow a press release for one of first celebrities to visit Pink Olive’s east village location. This has also given her the opportunity to network with other female entrepreneurs around the US.

Susan’s favorite sourcing resources at this point in time are Twitter and Craigslist, with LinkedIn following closely behind. Of course, utilizing Boolean strings over various search sites/meta search sites helps, and ‘Cloud Recruiting’ tools are definitely the future of it all. She is looking forward to exploring other creative sourcing options. When asked about the future of sourcing, Susan believes that best practices in sourcing have to include utilizing social media tools. Without them, it will be harder to find the best talent out there.

Susan’s first love is classical piano. She hopes to use this talent to raise funds for various charity and non-profit organizations. She is also an active supporter and gives back to the community by reaching out to public schools to assist with their needs. Susan supports and follows up with various nonprofit works via Harvard Club of Andover Inc., a couple of alumni organizations/clubs as well as promotions via various fashion-related projects. She also aspires to race cars one day — that would be the ultimate goal!

Connect with Susan Kang Nam:

 





Corporate Talent Management’s Effect on the Recruiting Role

9 12 2008

The current role of corporate recruiting is to mainly look outward in sourcing candidates for open positions.  Typically a recruiter’s compensation is tied to meeting a monthly quota and bonuses are paid out for any placements over that quota.  Placement of internal employees that respond to a company website posting are handled by recruiting but are usually not counted toward their quota.  An open position is usually “pushed” through the company website and it is up to the employee to apply for the position.

Recently I attended a Human Capital Institute half day seminar on Talent Management or Succession Planning and learned that an inward look at employees is increasing at least in large corporations in light of the talent and budget crunch.  Cedar Crestone in their 2008 11th Annual HR Systems Survey showed a business case for this inward look:

“Sales growth for the most part are higher with talent management applications particularly with competency and performance management but not with succession planning.”  Highest sales growth was linked to succession planning scope so that if all employees are included in that process, sales growth could be three times higher than if only executives were included in a Talent Management program. 

In his currently running series on Talent Management, Dr. John Sullivan recently stated on ERE:

Because many organizations have managers who fail to develop their talent, or hold back employees ready for more, it makes sense to let recruiters turn their attention inward, identifying people who can and will assume greater roles externally if not tapped internally soon.

Succession Planning as part of a Talent Management Plan is made more efficient with the IT solutions out there but can still take years to implement.  For many companies it requires a cultural change from top to bottom that might include how recruiters are used differently for internal hiring.  A Recruiter from a large IT company had to say this about my question posted on ERE of the effects of Talent Management on the business and specifically on the recruiting function:

We are seeing this (workforce planning) with many of our clients today. They are asking us to build ATS systems and processes that will support more internal sourcing for positions. There is a closer linkage between recruiting and performance management and succession planning than ever before. We are now looking at not only where the best hires are coming from but what actions are taken to develop them once they get into the company. It is a major cultural shift for many clients to first look internally and be willing to move top performers out of critical roles and on to others.  I would say the (recruiting) role is definitely changing to address sourcing of internal pools as well as external.  I am not sure how compensation would work, since I typically see this being done by internal recruiters.  Their performance is measured by getting the position filled with the right resource at the right time and is different than external recruiters.  We are seeing some forward looking customers allow their internal employees to create “Profiles” in the ATS to be alerted when matching positions are posted. This allows the employees to be passive job seekers within their own company.  (Yet) I don’t see anyone in recruiting acting as search counselors for internal candidates as of today. 

I recently phone-interviewed a Talent Manager from a large retail company asking the lead question.  This company has a different approach for Succession Planning and internal hiring in that their recruiters do not handle the employee application for a position.  Since HR has the relationship with employees and they know them best, their succession planning process is facilitated by them.  Part of their process is to post a job internally first before it goes to external sites or to the company website.  If an employee applies to a position, they go through an HR Manager who handles the end-to-end recruiting cycle of qualifying the candidate, presenting them to the hiring manager and facilitating the interviewing and follow up.  In the event the employee is rejected as a candidate then the HR Manager or Generalist will communicate the reasons and advise what the employee can do to be considered in the future.  This puts them in a coaching role which the recruiter would not ordinarily do.  One can see that for this company the recruiter role does not change much at all keeping them focused on external candidates.  It’s possible that this solves the problem of compensation – the HR staff dedicated to internal hires have positions that are not bonus-tied above quota. 

However, if a company was to allow recruiters and sourcers to look internally first, it could be an opportunity for an expanded role in HR.  This is especially in the FUTURE of recruiting where internal as well as external candidates come to them in light of Web 2.0.  My thinking is that the recruiters/sourcers will have the network that is their currency in the future not the HR people as described for this retail company.  Some thoughts on what this role could be:

  • Recruiters with functional expertise are designated to handle the career development of a segment of the employee population aligned by function
  • This can be facilitated by having Talent Communities as Microsoft had spearheaded and presented in this newsletter by Marvin Smith
  • Compensation will be tied to quality of placement among other metrics
  • Recruiters have employees and outside candidates come to them if they are interested in a job they have been alerted to (assuming skills and other competencies are in their profiles) AND/OR
  • Sourcers first seek out employees that have competencies that match the position and determine if the candidate has to be sourced externally
  • Recruiter role assumes more of a coaching role for career path management

We would certainly like to hear from others as to what they see for a sourcer’s role in a corporate culture that fosters career development when managers are accountable for it.  If you had someone within the company help with your career development, would you stay longer?  Is the result of this inward look going to impact innovation when less of a fresh perspective is coming into the company?  Who determines when to get “fresh meat” as wryly coined by others?

 

 

dorothybeachDorothy Beach is a self-employed Internet Researcher and Networker as well as a blogger at Front End Recruiting.





Be a Contributor to The Source

8 12 2008

Would you like to be a contributor to The Source? We’d love to hear from you! Here are some of the topic areas we want to cover:

 

  • Contract sourcing items (taxes, self employment, marketing your services, incorporation, etc.)
  • Business process and operations
  • International sourcing
  • Diversity / Inclusion
  • OFCCP
  • Military / Federal Sourcing
  • Ethics
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Technology and Tools related to Sourcing/Research
  • Best Practices
  • Sourcing techniques
  • Resources and training
  • Sourcing team management
  • Social networking and new media
  • …and more

Please email us if you would like to contribute to The Source, and make sure you get subscribed either through email or RSS to keep up! 





The Resilient Recruiter: Inner Resiliency

8 12 2008

Part Two of Four: Inner Resiliency
An Interview with Resiliency SME, Michael Ballard

Welcome back to our Resilient Recruiter series.  In part one, we defined resiliency and discussed why it matters.  We outlined some of the skills that assist us in building resiliency.  The great news is that any of us can develop and strengthen our resiliency skills.  As recruiting professionals we can have all the latest tools and gadgets available to us; yet, when adversity hits, it is our resiliency skills that will keep us on top of our game. 

In this part two of a four part series, resiliency subject matter expert, trainer and coach Michael Ballard is going to give us an overview of inner resiliency.  

WENDY:  Michael, you have said that there are four key factors associated with inner resiliency and those factors help us to consistently stay productive and at the top of our career in the midst of adversity.  What is the first inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL:  The first inner resiliency factor is about being purposeful, which involves values, goals, planning and decisions.  To strengthen inner resiliency, it is critical to develop the skill, will and discipline to:

  1. define your values
  2. set goals
  3. create plans which align with your values and goals, and
  4. make decisions.  

It is helpful to create systems around these processes.  For example, you can create a system for setting and tracking goals and for how you go about planning daily, weekly, monthly and beyond.  Ask yourself:  what are the most important things you want to accomplish on a daily basis?  What do you allow to throw you off track?  The daily plan is powerful for keeping you on track each day.  You can even create a system for how you go about making decisions.  You must have first defined your values and goals, and then you can develop a series of questions to ask yourself to help you determine which decision will move you closer to your goals, while aligning with your values. 

WENDY:  It makes sense that if we have defined our values and goals and have established daily planning as an ingrained habit, we will already be “set up” to operate well during times of adversity.  I certainly see how having strong decision making abilities is crucial for resiliency.

MICHAEL:  Yes.  The first thing to do is to honestly assess whether or not you know your values and how well you are currently doing in the areas of goal setting, planning and decision making.  If you need improvement, then get assistance online or with a coach, and find an accountability partner.  Learn how to do these things effectively and then utilize these skills consistently. 

WENDY:  What is the second inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL:  The second inner resiliency factor encompasses resistance skills, or developing self control.  Resistance skills are all about our “won’t power.”   For example, “I won’t eat that extra piece of dessert.”  Resistance skills involve our ability to recognize and control our impulses.  It is one thing to identify our impulses, but it is an entirely different matter to have the self control to resist our impulses.  We all from time to time fall victim to our own impulses. It is important to become aware of what is and is not in our best interest and to then develop the self control, or courage, to stop ourselves from doing what runs counter to what is best for us.  This is another place where accountability can be helpful.

WENDY:  I can see how some people fall into destructive behavior during adversity, if they have not defined their values and goals and then developed self control to stay aligned with those values and goals (what is best for them).  What is the third inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL:  The third inner resiliency factor involves self definition.  If you created a definition for yourself in the dictionary, what words and phrases would you utilize to define yourself?  Would they tell the truth about you?  Would they build you up?  Would they gently and honestly remind you of where you can improve?   To be resilient, we need to know the truth about our strengths and challenges, while being careful about how we define ourselves and how we allow others to define us.  The key is to stay positive yet realistic.  It takes awareness and courage.  Keep in mind that how we define ourselves drives our thoughts, which drive our feelings, which then drive our behavior.  So, if we define ourselves as incapable in a certain area, then our feelings may follow that self definition and we might play it out as true.

WENDY:  I see how a person’s beliefs play a significant role when it comes to self definition.  What is the fourth inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL:  The fourth inner resiliency factor is about healthy boundaries.  It is good to have empathy for others and to show them we care, but only if we can do so without “taking on” their issues to the point of being drained.  Many would call that sympathy.  Your inner world stays more energized – and you are more resilient – when you take care of yourself and maintain healthy boundaries.

WENDY:  Thank you, Michael, for educating us about the inner resiliency factors of  1) being purposeful  2) having resistance skills (self control)  3) having a healthy self-definition, and  3) maintaining healthy boundaries.  In part three we will discuss outer resiliency. 

During challenging times, as for some in our current economic situation, only resilient recruiting professionals will thrive.  As sourcers, researchers and recruiters, we must assess and strengthen our resiliency on an ongoing basis in order to succeed during times of adversity.  Our tools, technologies, gadgets and networks will not compensate for a lack of inner resiliency when the going gets tough.  Whether we are seeking names of candidates, or picking up the phone to make a connection with them, our performance is directly impacted by our ability to bounce back quickly and come out of adversity stronger.  How resilient are you?  Are you purposeful in your work whether times are “up” or “down”?  Do you get discouraged or lose focus during adversity?  If so, obtain help and support in strengthening your resiliency skills. 

In part three of this series, we will discuss outer resiliency.

 

 
As “The Recruiter’s Recruiter,” Wendy Albrecht Kembel enjoys placing recruiting professionals. View Wendy’s profile at www.linkedin.com/in/wendykembel . Her company, Integrity Recruiting Group, Inc., www.integrityrg.com works in alliance with Anderson Recruiting Consultants, Inc. www.andersonrecruiting.com . Feel free to email Wendy at wendy@integrityrg.com.

To find out more about the work and services provided by Michael Ballard and his firm Resiliency for Life, you can contact him at inquiry@resiliencyforlife.com or visit his website www.resiliencyforlife.com.





Ask the Sourcing Dude

8 12 2008

We’ve enlisted the help of the Master Sourcer himself, The Sourcing Dude, to answer some questions that are at the forefront of many of our minds. In each issue of The Source, The Sourcing Dude will respond to some of these questions.

If you have a pressing issue you’d like the Sourcing Dude to answer, please email us and we will bring it to the SourceCon shrine for consideration.

BIG NEWS: over the fall, the Sourcing Dude got hitched! His new bride, known to us only as the Sourcing Dudette, has been described by the Sourcing Dude as ‘the last remaining piece of the puzzle’ for him. Apparently she is also a whiz at research and sourcing, which is what captivated the Sourcing Dude so much. She has agreed to step in and respond to this month’s question. Please give a warm welcome to the Sourcing Dudette!

“Sourcing Dude, what are your thoughts on some of the new social media tools with regards to sourcing? Do you think it’s worth your time to use a resource like Twitter for doing internet research and finding candidates?”

sourcingdudetteAs many new social media tools have become available, it is tempting to want to jump on the bandwagon and do what everyone else is doing by using these resources in your recruiting practice. However, I will caution you against using anything and everything. Each company, team, office, etc. will find that different resources will be of use to them. Choosing to implement the use of a resource simply because “everyone else is doing it” is wrong because your needs will be different from other teams’ needs. My husband, the Sourcing Dude, would suggest that you evaluate new tools as they become available. Take them for a test run, see if they produce any value, and if they don’t, don’t be afraid to discard or set them aside for later use. What works for one team may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to select only one or two social media tools to throw into the mix of your sourcing strategy as well; sometimes less is more.

I definitely think that social media tools such as Twitter can POTENTIALLY be helpful in assisting your sourcing efforts. Make sure you use them wisely – come up with a plan of attack, decide how you want to use the resource before you dive head-first into it, and stick to your plan. Make sure you see it through to completion once you have decided to add a strategy to your sourcing arsenal. And above all – stay focused. It is very easy to get off-course when using social media tools for recruiting purposes!

Make sure you follow the Sourcing Dude (and Dudette!) on Twitter as well: @SourceConDude