2008 has been a bang-up year for me. Many of you know a year ago I made the jump from a contract sourcing role in the defense industry to working for my current employer, and a couple of months later, I hopped into the blogging world with Fistful of Talent. My sourcing has gone to a different level – that’s for sure! My day job has been a super intense boot camp for sourcing and admittedly, 95% of the services and sources I use now are free, or have nominal (say less than $20) monthly fees attached.
One of my big take-aways from year one? Know your Boolean. Know it cold. If you want to become a Boolean Blackbelt – you have to practice and you have to be patient. Penelope Trunk’s advice during a recession? Get educated. And once you’re educated and understand the strings that will make your life easier – get organized. If you have not created some kind of RSS/Reader account, make it your New Year’s Resolution.
I’ve also learned to leverage technology and take advantage of new products and services online. Yes, I roll my eyes when another “networking site” comes out, but as sourcing and recruiting professionals, we know one site doesn’t contain all our potential candidates, and you truly need a smorgasbord of sources to get your job done – so check that site out. Just don’t spam me with invites while you do. I still consider LinkedIn the “big daddy”, though I have also found, depending on the project I’m working on, some sites fit my needs better. Be conscious of that and think about your demographic as you source. And even more importantly, look at every site and determine if it can be a source. XRay can become your BFF too!
If you’re a die-hard IE fan, this next year may be the one for you to tap into Google Chrome – its speed is amazing. And even though out of beta, it still has kinks to work out, I think it will. So, be patient, and read up on it. There are plenty of advanced Chrome users out there ready to help. And while new high quality search engines seem to be few and far between, Viewzi continues to update and tweak its site and gives us so many fantastic ways to view information online. Are all useful from a business sourcing standpoint, maybe not, but it definitely leaves us with many options.
This probably goes without saying, but 2008 has been a HUGE year for networking. I use Twitter to find people (this goes back to knowing Boolean cold), but I also use it as my virtual watercooler. I love it that we have to get our point across in 140 characters or less. Makes you think and choose your words carefully. But more importantly, it lets you connect. And I’ve enjoyed chatting with all of you, especially the FOT gang. There is not a better team of bloggers to write and exchange ideas with, and for that gift in 2008, I’m extremely grateful.
And with that, I wish you all a very Happy Holiday and all the best in 2009!
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.