The One About #SourceCon

The first recruiting industry event I attended was the Social Recruiting Summit in New York City in 2009, then only months removed from actually recruiting for the most magical place on earth.  And I remember how excited I was by having finally met a group of people who were just as geeked out about this stuff as I was.

I distinctly remember hearing presentations about candidate engagement and experience, employer branding and Gen Y from these speakers who I only knew from reading their blog posts (back when that was actually a thing) and being excited, genuinely excited, to have the chance to let my out my inner HR nerd.

Years later, I’m not sure that I’ve stopped letting my recruiting geek flag fly altogether, but literally hundreds of conferences (unconferences, too), webinars, networking events and blog posts later, that excitement has largely given way to largesse.  Apathy, even.

sourceconBut I’m finally unfurling it again. I’m going to be attending my first SourceCon, an event I actually fought to go instead of being forced to, which is pretty much what happens anytime I have to break out PowerPoint.

The reason is that as events go, I see it as the last possibility of chasing the dragon I felt when I first started doing this stuff.

Perhaps I overstated it in an earlier post when I called it “borderline autistic” – I meant no offense – but I truly believe that there’s a certain mentality that defines sourcers, and those who possess it tend to get really into sourcing. Confession: I’m still one of those people, and always will be.

Sourcing is the one skill, after maybe touch typing, I rely on the most in my professional existence.  Because there’s nothing cooler than being, more or less, than figuring out how to hack your way to that proverbial needle in the haystack.

The fact is, it’s been a while since I’ve sourced candidates for reqs rather than reviews, but finding grist for the content mill and marketing funnel are pretty much the same ones required to build a really targeted pipeline.

There’s something tangible, something real about sourcing that no other element of recruiting can replicate.  Plus, I’m a snoop who happens to be online all day.Since making the move to marketing, sourcing, like everything else, has been disrupted through technological innovation and labor market conditions, sourcing has completely changed.

And while I’ve kept up with the conversation, the fact is that it’s been as an outsider looking in.  But for me, SourceCon represents the chance to be a little bit closer.  It’ll also be a chance for me to shut up and listen, to stop presenting and start learning.

I’m kind of a fan boy of most of the people on the agenda and attendee list, because unlike the summer state SHRM tour or the tech trade show circuit, I know most only by reputation, social media and the standard snooping sourcers do to satisfy some innate need for as much information about an individual as possible.

This is a different crowd than your average HR conference, not to mention an entirely different conversation. And an ostensibly smarter one, too, given the focus on tools and tactics instead of theory and so-called strategy that’s normally prevalent.

I know I’ll be challenged, I know I’ll learn something, and I know that for once, I’ll be full of people who will openly call me out.  And be able to back it up with the data to prove I have no idea what I’m talking about. Game on.

If you made it this far through a clearly self-indulgent and somewhat sanitized promotional post, I’m hooking you up with a hundred bucks.  Save a Benjamin on SourceCon registrations; register here and enter code “SC14ATLRB.”  Just helping a brother out.

3 Comments on “The One About #SourceCon

  1. Great post Matt. As though I wasn’t already a bit bitter about not going to Source Con and jealous of those who will be attending. I’m going to need at least one follow up post about all of the ways your were called out and challenged during the experience. Sourcing is continually evolving and progressing these people are on the cutting edge and eager to share their ideas and data driven strategies. Keep your hundred bucks that I can’t put toward the entry fee and buy a round for the 3 top-notch speakers! Have fun.

  2. Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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