Don’t Fill Pools, Build Pipelines

Pipelines by Contando Estrelas

Talent pools, talent sourcing, talent pooling…

We (sourcers of the world) all hear these phrases batted around all day every day by our peers and hiring managers. Some more than others, no doubt! But generally all companies, whether start-ups or large corporates, want an immediate supply of top talent screened and ready to go. And why not? We have so many tools available to us that this immediate talent tap should be ever flowing, right? Sadly not! I’m sure in some cases top talent pools do exist, but I would beg to differ.

A pool, by definition:

  • A small body of still water
  • An accumulation of standing liquid; a puddle: a pool of blood.
  • A deep or still place in a stream.

Immediately you will see that “pool” means still, it doesn’t move. So, when you think of the meaning of pool and then associate it with the next generation of talent driving your company, it seems completely barmy!!
Here in the Research team at Sky we build talent communities. These are managed in a way that they could be “named” a talent pool but I would like to elaborate on the differences.

Top talent = a human being! Us humans have a certain something that even sourcers have no control over, their brain. Anyone who has ever worked in recruitment/sourcing will know from experience that people change their minds, and generally change them a lot, usually with no advanced warning or reason. This leads me onto why talent communities (pools, if it pleases you) need to be fluid, not static, as the talent we watch over needs constant attention and nurturing.

From experience, if I have a candidate is prepped and ready to interview then it needs to happen as quickly as possible or the said candidate is likely to do one of 2 things:

  1. Lose interest and look for another role (passive candidates are renowned for this!!)
  2. Find the long winded process tiresome and decide your company is not the dynamic, innovator sold to them by your good self (4 weeks for role sign off!) and withdraw – sound familiar?

I manage a team of sourcers/researchers and we manage our talent sourcing by building communities, these communities are segmented by discipline (using database tags) and managed accordingly by level of interest to us (top talent = highest level of engagement, good candidates = steady comms, and so on…).

We use LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline tool as our database, managing our communities with tags and using the InMail function as the starting point to keep in touch – then moving onto twitter, Google+, email and (wait for it…) the phone! This level of contact, in all variants, keeps our future candidates engaged with our brand and us as a recruitment function. On a personal level, it also keeps us sourcing professionals, who just want to talk shop, very happy. It makes it super easy for us to reach out to these individuals when we have real requirements, pulling them straight into the recruitment/interview process, as our relationships are solid, current and credible.

This way of keeping in touch with your potential new hires is easy, effective and improves the candidate experience. You have talent to tap into whenever you need it – it’s just old fashioned networking, using today’s tools!

Keep in touch, know your markets and make sure your market knows you.

T.

Image via Elentlr on Flickr.

LinkedIn has closed the door on a useful group member search hack

Closed on Flickr

I wrote about a LinkedIn URL hack on The Undercover Recruiter blog several months ago.

This little trick was brought to my attention well over a year ago by the very knowledgeable Martin Lee. This allowed anyone with a LinkedIn account, Basic or paid for, to search the members of ANY group.

To search the members of any LinkedIn group with a basic LinkedIn account, you will need to have two windows open in your browser, both looking at LinkedIn. In the first window, run a simple search looking for the keywords you hope to find on profiles. In the second window, find the group whose members you want to search (for those keywords).

Once you have found the group you are interested in and opened it up in your browser, you need to look in your browser’s address bar at the URL of the page and find the groups ID number. The URL is usually in the format:

http://linkedin.com/groups?gid=TheNumberYouWant?trk=…

Copy (Ctrl +C) the group ID number from the URL, the number is usually 4 to 6 digits long.

Now return to the keyword search you did in the first tab. Using the filters on the left hand side of the screen, select one of the groups you ARE a member of to filter by (it doesn’t matter which one). Now look for that group’s ID number in the URL of the sear results page – The number is often right at the far end of the URL – so click in the address bar and hit the End button on your keyboard to go straight there. Replace it with the number of the group you DO want to search.

Hit enter and voila, you have searched members of your chosen group for the keywords you need without needing to join.

This was working three weeks ago, as I demonstrated the work around to a group of Executive Researchers, but LinkedIn had closed the door by Thursday 14th November when I came to show the trick to another group.

To be honest, I am quite surprised that LinkedIn did not fixed this bug sooner. Still, it is a little trick that I will miss having up my sleeve.

For now, it seems our best method for finding members of a groups we cannot join is to do an X-Ray site: search of LinkedIn looking for the group logo displayed on public profiles. This will not find all group members, of course. Not everyone will choose to display all the groups they are a member of on their profile, not all group members will have a public profile and Google is unlikely to have indexed all of those that do.

Image credit.

Do you take sourcing more seriously than your competitors?

half deflated by mr.enigma

I recently went to a conference full of HR and Recruitment Leaders. I felt like I was totally in my element, talking to peers and influencers of our markets and shaking hands with industry heroes etc. During our discussions we inevitably we came to the topic of direct sourcing and began talking about it.

All I can say is I was very surprised, in fact, I was absolutely dumbfounded when I discovered how little recruitment leaders knew about basic Direct Sourcing; never mind the more complex issues that are associated with it.

I had several discussions with different people who explained to me the role of a researcher was to learn the “how to of recruitment” and then to progress to a recruiter level position and begin stakeholder management. Essentially that was their career track. Or, “yes we do direct sourcing through social media” Q: “Like what?” A: “Oh you know, we are on the Professional networks”.

I was fuming and disappointed all at once, I almost felt like a half deflated balloon. But then I began to think about this a little differently. If direct sourcing is not done well, is that a big problem for you and me?

Well, no, in fact it is totally the opposite. It’s a great thing. Let me explain:

I used to work with a team of sourcers and occasionally we would come across a search that was done to death, you know the one, you have placed three or four candidates and the business needs two more. All of our media was over used and the market had not refreshed yet. I was asked to step in (with fresh eyes) and my colleagues explained to me what they had done so far. A few days later I came up with a list of another forty potential candidates. There were looks of awe and disdain all rolled into one. First reaction was: “how did you find these people?”

Now let me make this clear, I am probably a “medium” when it comes to skill level at technical sourcing. But I know that using different information sources and cross referencing with professional networks like LinkedIn, will usually yield you some results that are not keyword searchable on that platform. A lot of professional profiles are just a name, job title and company (if that). Those profiles are unlikely to come up in most keyword searches. I explained this to my colleagues; I think someone called me a “nerd” and took the list to go transact it.

Here is the theory:

If I know my competitor organisations are not taking candidate sourcing absolutely seriously and are adopting half measures approaching this issue; this is great! It means that they are not going to find the people that we are both looking for. This means I get first pick of a pool of passive candidates that no-one really speaks to, and I am going to find candidates that don’t already have 5 offers at any one time.
So when that question comes out in conversation, “so Ralph, what do you do for a living?” I am torn between a few ways of answering it. Should I say that I am a humble researcher (tongue in cheek), or “I’m your biggest competitor that you did not know of”?

Image credit.

Why Xing Should Demand Your Attention When Sourcing in Germany

Over the last couple of weeks I have been helping to conduct some market mapping for a client in and around one particular German city.

Out of 20 technology companies that were identified as being of interest to them, we started by gathering some rough numbers from LinkedIn and Xing. We were interested in employees within a 50 mile radius of the city center – this was easy using LinkedIn search parameters and Xing’s filters.

It didn’t take long to notice that LinkedIn did not stack up against Xing when it came to coverage of employees in our target area.

Out of those 20 companies of interest, Xing had more coverage in all but 2 cases. Here’s a graph to make that absolutely clear:
Xing v LinkedIn graph

According to Xing, they have around 13 million members worldwide – over 6 million of whom are based in German-speaking countries.

Is Xing a part of your sourcing strategy?

Feel free to connect with me on Xing if you have a profile.

UK Sourcers News – 11th February 2013

Sourcing & Recruitment Events

A large, dedicated Sourcing event in London?
Last week we asked if there was demand for an event like this. At the moment there is not a geeky sourcing event coming up in the UK for us to look forward to. Let us know if you think it’s a good idea, if you’d like to speak (or lead a discussion) at the event or if your business would be interested in sponsoring such an event.

Recruitment Agency Expo
The Recruitment Agency Expo is taking place at Olympia in London on 26th & 27th February.

#TruLondon 7
#TruLondon returns the City Hotel on 6th & 7th March. Come along to be a part of the conversation.

Social Media

Where LinkedIn Members Live - Feb 2013LinkedIn
LinkedIn totally shattered their financial predictions. Recruitment accounted for 54% of its income last year. It was reported on the SourceCon blog that LinkedIn intends to raise its process for recruitment customers in the US and “some other areas” in the second quarter of 2013. Having announced 200 million members not long ago and engagement levels on the site rising exponentially, LinkedIn look like a formidable force.

Vine
Vine is the hot new thing from Twitter. If you have an iPhone then you can share a tiny six second video clip with Vine. Some brands have already been getting in on the action and creating some Vine videos. I saw quite a lot of updates on Vine from SourceCon in Atlanta last week too. Do you think you could make a Vine job ad or recruitment video?

Twitter Search
Now when you search for a keyword of interest on Twitter you will see results from further back than just seven days! Last week twitter extended their search results to include the most popular updates for your keywords tweeted at any time in the past – try searching for something obscure and see the results! Great for us Sourcers that are looking for rare skills.

Job boards

6 fast rising job boards in EMEA
At the end of January, eQuest published a list of job boards showing extraordinary growth in the number of jobs posted on them between 2011 and 2012.

On a lighter note

A street address worthy of a Sourcer – Wouldn’t you just love to live here!

Boole Heights

UK Sourcers News – 7th January 2013

UK Sourcers News

We have our second UK Sourcers Meetup this week. On Friday, Amazon will be hosting us at their new Development Center in London. We are delighted by the interest in these events and regret that everyone that requested a ticket did not get one – but by keeping the events small, we make sure everyone gets something out of it and has a chance to share.

Our second New Year Sourcing Assignment will be posted in the UK Sourcers LinkedIn Group on Thursday. This week we will be looking at improving the job ads we write with some great tips from Alastair Cartwright of Ingenium.

Toby Culshaw from Thales won our Christmas Sourcing Challenge! Well done Toby – we hope you enjoy your Cadbury’s Chocolate hamper from Sourcing Hat Ltd.

We posted a list of our top content from 2012 – have you missed any of it?

LinkedIn

Want to know who has viewed your LinkedIn profile? Here’s an interesting little “hack” from Life Hacker.

Have you clicked on a University name on a LinkedIn profile recently? An interesting feature that you might have missed.

Last week we asked if you are making the best use of links on your LinkedIn profile.

Social Media

We have a fresh Social Network Map of The World for 2013 – Facebook now dominates in 127 out of 137 countries.

World Map of Social Networks - January 2013

Search

10 Ways to Speed up and Beef up your Google Searches – Another useful list from Lifehacker.

Detailed clarification on some of the finer points of Google and Bing search syntax from Boolean Strings

Is there anything I have missed? Do let me know if there’s something you’d like me to share in a future News post.

Are you making the best use of links on your LinkedIn profile?

This post is inspired by today’s New Year Sourcing Assignment.

Today we’re looking at improving your LinkedIn profile in 9 different ways to get you more views, more business and a higher response rate when you contact people.

Here is a breakdown of just one point from the 9 point LinkedIn profile checklistin today’s assignment:

Making the most of Links on your LinkedIn profile

The Contact Info on your LinkedIn profile

You can add up to three links to your LinkedIn profile in the Contact Infosection. Here are some ideas of what you might link to:

  • Your company website
  • Your company’s career pages if you work in an in-house team
  • The jobs section of your website if you work in an agency
  • A Facebook page or a LinkedIn group that you want to promote
  • Your own personal webpage

You should also customise the text of the links. Company Website does not tell people anything. Something descriptive like Careers at XYZ Company will make people much more likely to click as they know where they will end up. To customise the text of the link, select Other from the drop down menu rather than Company Website or My Blog.

Change the anchor text of links on your LinkedIn profile

This is also good Search Engine Optimisation for the sites you link to – Google will see a link from LinkedIn (a reputable and popular website) with relevant keywords in the anchor text.

If you have the new style LinkedIn profile then you can also add links to videos, pictures or presentations to enhance your profile. This is a good way to drive traffic to any corporate videos you might have made or presentations you send to prospective clients or candidates.

Join the UK Sourcers LinkedIn group to see the full LinkedIn profile checklist and join in with our New Year Sourcing Assignments throughout January.

UK Sourcers News – 8th October 2012

LinkedIn

The Skills & Expertise section of your LinkedIn profile has undergone a significant change. You can now give easy one click endorsements to your connections. This has not come without controversy. Many people are comparing this feature with +K from Klout. As endorsements from happy clients are given no more weight than completely bogus endorsements from people you might never have met, this is open to gaming and the potential devaluation of connections. In short – it sucks, but you should do it anyway.

TruLondon 6

TruLondon has become one of the most looked forward to events on the calendar in recent years. This time around we are being treated to a Souring Lab that looks like it won’t disappoint. Everyone who is anyone in sourcing from Europe and beyond will be there.

Get your tickets for TruLondon on 22nd and 23rd October while you still can.

Sourcing Contest

A little bird tells me that Recruit Buddy will be running a little sourcing contest in a couple of weeks time. Follow @recruitbuddyuk on Twitter for more details.

UK Sourcers News – 24th September

Talk like a pirate day logo

UK Sourcers News

Last Week we ran a competition for Talk Like A Pirate Day in our LinkedIn group. The runaway winner was Ralph Meyer of Gartner who submitted an incredible list of over 6,000 pirates with LinkedIn profiles! Ralph will soon be receiving a shipment of buried treasure.

Events

Onrec logoThe Onrec Conference and Exhibition takes place on Thursday 4th October in London. The speaker of most interest to Sourcers will likely be Laura Stoker of AIRS, talking about Revolutionary Resourcing. You can still get yourself a ticket to the conference or attend the exhibition for free.

Also coming up in October is #TruLondon 6. If unconferencing is more your style then this is the event for you. Get your ticket for two days of fully disorganised learning at The Recruiting Unconference.

Social Media

Twitter has launched new profile header pictures – to set yours simply go to twitter.com/settings/design, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Change Header” to upload an image. This will automatically update you to the new profile layout.

Twitter profile header pictures
I really enjoyed this post by Bill Boorman on the Colleague blog – Recruiters: What do you contribute?

LinkedIn made some changes last week too – your 3rd degree connections are no longer visible to you when you are signed in to LinkedIn on a Basic account. Read the full scoop on Mr LinkedIn’s blog.

What a 3rd degree LinkedIn contact now looks likeI did not spot any new opportunities for sourcers this week. If you did, feel free to let me know.

UK Sourcers News – 17th September

4 out of 5 UK Professionals are now on LInkedIn

A couple of Social Media links

LinkedIn announces 10 million UK users – There’s a pretty infographic too, if you like that sort of thing.

Will Geekli.st become the go-to place for hiring developers? – Thanks to James Peters for finding this insightful blog post. You can find us both on Geeklist. I am, as usual, TheSourceress.

Is YouTube the secret ingredient for successful recruiting? – Another infographic for you to easilly digest with your morning cuppa.

Social Media Week 2012A note about Social Media Week

Social Media Week is an event that takes place in cities all over the world from 24th – 28th September. This year the UK will be hosting a number of recruitment related events during Social Media Week. Check out these:

Why Use Social Media for Recruitment – Tuesday 25th September in Glasgow
Social Recruitment – Tuesday 25th September in London
Developing a Social Recruitment Strategy – Wednesday 26th September in Glasgow

There are a total of 136 events in London and 90 events in Glasgow, so whatever your Social Media queries, I’m sure you can find an event to suit your needs.

I’m afraid that I haven’t spotted any opportunities this week 🙁

If you have a job or an event that you’d like to share with the UK Sourcers community, just get in touch.