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SourceCon Washington DC 2010 – Few Words….

October 17, 2010 3 comments

For last 6 years sourcing has been a real passion for me. I would proudly say that SourceCon and community around SourceCon has been one of the prime reasons for this. I can still remember me and few of my team members at OS2i spent an entire night in 2007 solving SC challenge. I came 4th in challenge while others also completed the same. Lot of learning we did in Sourcing at that time was by following in lights of Barbara Ling to Shally’s. We were actively using those techniques and spreading them into our sourcing team (80+) in form of regular training. For long time – it was my dream to become part of SourceCon.

Last year we pushed SourceCon into management and they finally decided to go this way. In March this year Capgemini India Recruitment leadership team attended the conference and were impressed enough to send us this year. In fact, I wasn’t the original choice to go for this year’s conference – it was my fate and strong will which brought me through here. Me, my executive sourcing crime partner Sachin Borde and our India Recruitment Head – Satyajit Iyer flew to NY on preceding weekend. Interestingly – it was our first visit to USA. While we did some sightseeing – I was very much looking forward to Washington DC. We arrived in Washington DC on Sunday night and were ready for our first day @ SourceCon.

After some spying around in the area we finally reached International Spy Museum where SC was organized. While at reception I met Scott and Michael Nataro. It was great to see all these guys whom I have only saw on internet. We got our stuff and went in. It was such an amazing sight with so many familiar faces and interesting community inside. Eric was already setting up a stage for a great conference ahead. While I would love to give a running commentary – it would be more feasible to highlight flashing points in the conference.

Glen Cathey

I’ve been following Boolean Black Belt for 2 years now and Glenn’s sharp insights into Boolean techniques and LinkedIn always made sure that I am updated with new comings. His 5 levels of talent mining was an excellent set up to further course of action where he spoke about very basic though important / creative ways of conceptual deep searching. He took us from “Title Search” to “Finding a wrong guy to find a right guy” very easily. A good sourcer needs more of a deep mindset to sourcing than anything else. He also introduced us to Human Capital Intelligence. This is where this conference was different than previous one. We started with basics of internet searching, and then social media last time and this SourceCon spoke about CRI and Human Capital Data Intelligence. This is where sourcing 3.0 will lead all of us. He provided a very powerful insight to intelligence part of sourcing. He also admitted though that though this will be more of a scientific way of sourcing – “ARTS” factor will always be there as non-separated human element.

Shally Steckerl

Shally’s presentations have always been most-awaited and he did not disappoint us. He carried on where Glen left. He spoke about competitive intelligence side of sourcing. I can relate to this very easily as being in Corporate Recruitment we are always asked to provide such information. We also have special sourcers who carry this out in detailed manner for our competitors. The focus of presentation was to gain competitive advantage to source very specific information about specific companies. His sourcing toolbox also opened various new (at least for me!) sites like Yauba, follow finder, usernamecheck, knowem, maltego etc. He also gave few smart tips to google few of information like using phrase such as “Walmart sucks”. It’s amazing as to by using these terms you can have a great data of your competitor. It’s there available easily yet not very simple!!! That’s what fun in sourcing is!!!

Tim O’Connor

Tim is one of those very few sourcing leaders who have understood a global sourcing concept and implemented it successfully for various companies. He along with Chris presented Hewitt’s way of Sourcing. Tim spoke about an entire process of identifying, training and utilizing his India based sourcing team to create a global recruitment model. He answered few of very inquisitive questions from audience regarding managing remote / offshore teams along with managing different cultural aspects. His Delhi based team now supports international recruitment including non-Eng speaking continents like LatAm. Interestingly Chris also spoke about mistakes they made in the process and how this was an entire learning experience for them. Kudos to Chris for bringing out these points out in open for everyone to take away. Tim also showcased Hewitt’s Social Media strategy. Interestingly he mentioned that they never post jobs on Social Networking but attracts right traffic to engage them. I specifically liked his Alumni concept – engaging old connections to make new ones. Impressive!!!

Shannon Myers

This was first time for Shannon to make a public appearance but her presentation was a smooth affair. People would have never realized if she would not have been so candid. Shannon spoke about managing a huge data / tools / links for a successful sourcing professional. You tend to get lost in flood of new tools but Shannon effectively shown usage of Google Docs to manage this data in real-time. She also opened her sourcing toolbox with some interesting nuggets such as FireFox Add-ons, Yahoo Pipes, Rollyo, Aardvark, zuula.com and thousands of others. I’m sure it will take me some time to digest all of these. You may not use all of these at once – but you need every possible tool with you for right time and right search.

Gary Conaway

It was time for AIRS to occupy the centre stage. Gary is a national Trainer for AIRS – An RightThing Company. He represented AIRS in SourceCon which was a natural collaboration as AIRS was one of the very first online sourcing training companies. Gary ran us through concepts like RSS Feed, some new tricks, using bookmarks, Google Custom Search Engine in detail, Google Reader etc. These were simple though very important tricks for sourcer to effectively manage large data with innovation. His Google CSE presentation was specially well-received.

Maureen Sharib

This came as a fresh air after lunch. Maureen made sure that audience is “listening” to her phone calls ;). She presented her concept in very light and delightful manner. It started with live example of telephone sourcing video by her colleague Pam and then she took the concept further. Her message was very clear – be honest and straightforward if we have to get information. Treat gatekeepers’ well and build a relationship with them. Be smart and innovative in your approach. And never ever give up!!! With proven concept that not all information is on internet – she re-introduced a old school concept of picking up telephone for headhunting. She also re-iterated that rusing is not necessary to get information. It was great refreshers for everyone – giving message go back to your basics!!! Great show Maureen and Pam.

Michael Notaro

It was a big miss for people who left early that day; as SourceCon preserved their Ace-Card for the very last presentation. A tech gig – Michael delivered a superb presentation about how technology and sourcing can do wonders together. He spoke about his own creations @ Accenture for twitting their jobs, explained Yahoo Pipes in great detail etc. He started from Google Docs, Live Forms, Dlvrt.it and surprised audience with his ability to automate sourcing to new heights. I am sure half of his techniques were total bouncers (over the head) for attendees but he was kind enough to share their details as crash-course in his presentation. It was just awesome to see what great things technology can offer and excellence you can create by your own innovation. Michael ended SC with very high note. Kudos to organizers for keeping the interest till the last minute.

The other presenters were also equally effective to present their own topics. However, for me above were highlights of the conference.

A special mention has to be for Eric to keep the entire conference engaging and interactive. Also to Amybeth and entire ERE team for superb conference arrangements and speakers. However, I have to mention that I missed meeting Jim Stroud, Reitesh Nair, Jeremy L, and Suzy Tonini to whom I regard very highly in sourcing world. Unfortunately I missed the reception as I caught a high-fever that evening but recovered fully to attend day-2. I could not meet Tim and Shally as they left early. It was great fun to meet everyone else and make new friends. This was a high-energy conference with a power to change sourcing perspective for future.

I believe conference like this has a great power to unite people of same interest i.e. Sourcing to create an excellence model. To move this further – it would be great if SourceCon can be a global phenomenon. Sometimes by nature sourcers and introverts and they need a little push to become next Glenns and Shallys. Our Capgemini group represented Asia this time and will continue to do that in coming conferences. I’m sure in coming times we will see more variety in terms of concepts, geography, people of varied backgrounds etc on this platform.

For me – I have taken back lot of new things, new people / relationships with me. Now I will have a greater responsibility of using this information and continuing innovation in sourcing for Capgemini. For me Sourcing is a continuous journey with extremely interesting twists, turns, hidden nuggets, technology and above all a mindset. By organizing this event at Spy Museum it also throws a hidden message about what sourcing is. I’m hoping to come back here next year with loads more expectations.

Competitive / Talent Intelligence are Mantra for now….

Sarang Brahme

 

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