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247 Takeaways from SourceCon 2020

December 8, 2020 Kingsley Abraham

To stay on top of the latest recruiting trends, The 247 team has participated in several (virtual!) conferences throughout 2020. Earlier this year some of our staff attended SourceCon, an event which we sponsored in 2019. For those of you that don’t know, SourceCon was started in 2007, and has become a go-to place for sourcers and recruiters across a variety of sectors.  Once a year the organizers invite thought leaders from around the globe to share their expertise and insight with fellow attendees.

By now, we’re all at least somewhat familiar with coordinating a large virtual meeting. Despite this difficulty, the organizers of SourceCon Digital were able to effectively manage more than 500 online participants. Though the meeting was conducted virtually, it was highly interactive, and I was still able to still network and feel connected with peers. I was excited to see the whole sourcing community come together from the comfort of my living room!

There were 34 live sessions in total. Speakers hosted a range of session topics, and not surprisingly the effect of the pandemic was a frequent theme. 2020 has changed the game for everyone, so it wasn’t a shock to see several sessions focused on those challenges. A big reason we attend SourceCon is to keep our skills sharp and current. And as expected, this year’s speakers didn’t disappoint.

Session Highlights:

1) Personalization is crucial to candidate engagement. Many of us know this but may not practice it as well as we could (or let it lapse recently) . It’s a good reminder that good candidates are still inundated with DM’s and emails, and recruiters must personalize their approach when working with talent in 2020.

2) Recruiters need to learn more about the positions they’re recruiting for. They won’t be able to sell top talent on a company name or job title alone. Candidates, especially highly qualified ones, want to know about the organizational structure, growth opportunities, and company culture before making a decision.

3) Millions were furloughed and laid off due to the pandemic. When the market started to rebound and talent was looking for work, sourcers started thinking about new solutions to improve data-driven recruitment.

4) From M&T Bank, Greg Hawkes’ presentation on “The Paradigm Shift: Sourcing Tools and Resources For the New Reality highlighted shifting trends in the industry. Typically during the recruiting process, recruiters will receive a requisition and find a candidate to fill it. Today it’s reversed. With higher unemployment, recruiters will partner with a job seeker first and then find a position that fits their skillset.

5) We can get the layoff list directories from job sites to help recently out-of-work candidates secure new positions. Recruiters & sourcers have also begun to identify job seeker communities & other online directories to make new placements.

6) Sourcers are fortifying their pipelines.  We can utilize Chrome extensions and data extraction tools to help us better implement strategic recruiting campaigns.

7) Top talent still rarely have to apply for job, that’s why passive search continues to be a successful strategy for recruiters to pursue.

8) Having a diverse, multilingual workforce from varying ethnic backgrounds is an asset for companies that want to expand markets locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. In fact, diverse organizations are 70% more likely to capture new markets than organizations that don’t actively recruit from under-represented groups.

9) Don’t rely on chatbots. They can be useful in many situations, but companies who rely too much chatbots risk losing candidates put off by the impersonal first contact.

Thoughts & Takeaways from our Managers:

I enjoyed SourceCon a lot. I gained useful tips on sourcing tricks apart from the traditional ones, and got to know many influencer personalities in our industry. It gave me a spark: why should I not become an influencer or a speaker with all my experience in the industry? I will work towards it and attain it in the near future. I learned from the speakers’ experiences, what they went through and what they suggest doing when similar situations arise. I remember a young recruiter who was just 2 or 3 years in the industry. She was less experienced than the others, but the confidence which she showed when speaking at the conference was commendable, and admirable. She set a great example for other young, passionate recruiters. The most enthusiastic session was the Hackathon. I saw our entire team working towards a common goal to win the contest.  I haven’t had that much fun at a work- related event to date. Urgency, trust, team bonding, emotion and competitive spirit were all running high during that session. On the whole it was a great experience and I look forward to attending again. –Shanawaz Mallick, Executive Manager, 247Headhunting.

The virtual learning experience was very well set-up. The trivia questions in the chat kept it engaging. For a live format like this, the ability to put a question in the chat  –which is answered whenever  there is a logical pause in instruction–  makes for a more seamless learning experience. Interaction with other members in different countries was top notch.  – Rahul Nishanth, Engagement Manager, 247Headhunting.

I really enjoyed participating in this conference. I would recommend  this type of event for a sourcer working in any industry, since there was a lot of insight provided on various techniques and tools which would be helpful for finding more qualified candidates regardless of sector. I’m looking forward to attending more conferences like this in the future!  – Rajashekar K, Delivery Manager, 247Headhunting.