How to Know if Sourcing is Your Passion…

Kelly Dingee Candidate Pool, HR (& Life!) Advice, Kelly Dingee, Sourcing

A while ago I was listening to a blogtalkradio interview and one of the interviewees said that HR wasn’t her passion. Now I’m paraphrasing – that’s not a direct quote and it was months ago. But what stuck with me is that her former profession was not her passion. She felt the things in her personal life were more in line with being things she felt passionate about, but professionally passion was not happening for her.

Now I’ve found that if I’m going to work, I better darn well enjoy what I’m doing. I’ll never make millions for what I do, but if I can really enjoy it and want to get up and start my day there, that’s of huge value to me and to my employer. I listen often to thought leaders and sometimes recruiters who think sourcing is passé. Most times I think they just don’t get it – they haven’t been in the trenches, they don’t understand automation speeds the process but doesn’t replace the sourcer, they don’t get how it can play successfully into their recruiting program and they don’t really enjoy sourcing themselves. And then there are the people who want to have the whole active v. passive discussion… all I can say is, get over it.

Was I in love with sourcing when I first started doing it? Um, no. But I started in the dark ages when instead of an ATS, I turned my chair around and opened a massively OCD organized file cabinet and pulled out my last 5 batches of Accounting Managers. And then flipped pages. And tried to ignore the handwritten notes. And then realized my supply was tapped out and it was off to the advertising agency to draft a display ad for the Washington Post. From there we would just hope for good response.

So when did I realize it was my passion? That I loved the game? The first Technical Instructor I hired after sourcing them online. I was hooked.

These days, I am meeting more and more people like myself – who really enjoy sourcing. Whether they do it full time, or as part of their full desk recruiter role. And in April, I attended one of the few conferences I will go to this year. I loved it. Sure the content was great and the venue superb but what I enjoyed most was talking to people about sourcing. I got to moderate a little sourcing panel featuring Geoff Peterson, Miranda Hinshaw and Mike Wolford. What became apparent to me as I spent time with the panelists, and the audience, is that there are people, just like me, who really love sourcing. So here are some of the things that you’ll see when you find a sourcer who is passionate about what they do…
  • We think about sourcing all the time. Which means whenever we see meet-ups, conferences, web sites, etc. that allow people to gather or be accounted for, we’re looking for a way to dig into that information and turn those people into viable candidates. We’re more than happy to rifle a site for one name, or 100. 
  • We talk about sourcing all the time. Well we’d like to, most of us have a filter and won’t totally goober out on you. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, in LinkedIn groups or chats, we do like to talk about it. And preferably with people who appreciate the “wow” moments, like when Mike Wolford found an incredible list of companies that employ people with top secret clearances. And Mike doesn’t even work in that industry. But he found it to share it, which brings me to my next point… 
  • We share what we know. Sourcers, who really love what they do, are happy to share what they do.  You’re not me, I’m not you, and the internet is a fickle thing. You can use my tactic, but you may not produce the exact same results or have the same targets in mind when you run a search. Sharing is good and helps us build a community. 
  • We look for people to learn from, and we’ll take what we can get. Sometimes panel sessions aren’t long enough. We find a way to continue the conversation, face-to-face, online, whatever. We also listen, so if we hear a certain recruiting/sourcing expert’s name mentioned 5 times in one day, like I don’t know, maybe “Eric Jacquith”, we look him up to see where he’s speaking, if he’s blogging, or how we can actually chat with him about sourcing.
So, do you love what you do? Feel like your passionate about it? It’s a good feeling…