It’s a valid question. Where I hang out—G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, others (i.e. HR Management)—often fear to lurk. And the ones that do, are typically pretty much just like me.
But here’s the thing: my current employer never had anyone just like me sourcing for him before. The way my boss found me? Referrals. Actually speaking referrals. He asked me to come speak to his local recruiting meet-up. I ended up speaking there a couple more times, volunteered with him on a local recruiting conference, and as luck would have it… he called me for a sourcing referral. He described a job that was heavy on strategy and doing the sourcing, the hours, the virtual work environment, and I told him that I’d take the job.
He thought I was kidding. And I realize that it was one of those perfect storms… timing was everything. I was ready to move on, and we talked about a job that was just
the right fit.
My boss thinks these days that I could tweet “I hate my job” or call this guy and I could move on to a new opportunity. I appreciate his confidence, but I think a job search for a company that would need someone like me might be a bit more challenging.
So, if you’re one of the many experienced sourcers out there contemplating a new gig in 2014… here are my 6 strategies for getting there:
1. Volunteer. Volunteering is always good. Find something that you enjoy, and if you’re in the recruiting industry, try to find that in a local SHRM or recruiting meetup.
2. Meet new people. I’m bad at this. I like my circle. But, when I meet new people I generally come into new opportunities. So—introvert or not—step out there and meet people. You can meet them online, or in person. But meet them.
3. Attend events. Whatever local or national or global industry events you can attend. Go. Be social. Plan to meet new people.
4. Speak. Even better for meeting people. Look up your recruiting groups, find out how they get speakers, and send in a proposal. With local groups, this is an incredible way to showcase your expertise, speaking ability, and more.
5. Automate. You have to stay in the know. This is a time I’d suggest you hit the big boards (because the companies that need you will post jobs there). Create alerts… so jobs at the companies you think need you are on your radar.
6. Carpe Diem. Yes, you need to seize the day and work all of the strategies above in tandem. Volunteer, meet new people, attend events, speak and network. When one of those alerts pops up with a job you really want, you’ll have people in queue to push you forward as a top candidate.
Is it easy? Of course not! Nothing worth having comes quick or easy. But work the strategies and they’ll work for you.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.