My Sourcing Story : Q&A With Victor Soroka, EPAM

Name: Victor Soroka
Country: Ukraine
Company : EPAM
Position: Global Leadership Hiring

Q1. Can you tell us about your current role and what problems you are solving on a day-to-day basis?

My current role at  EPAM is about Leadership Hiring mostly. We are growing in 20+ countries for 25-30% every year so leaders’ attraction is a critical point for us. EPAM has its own unique engineering culture so sourcing and recruiting our type of leaders requires combination of sourcing creativity, global market and industry understanding as well as deep knowledge of company DNA.

Q2. How do you define sourcing?

As we all know there are no only one “right” definition of sourcing. For me sourcing is range of activities focused on identifying and attraction professionals who are qualified for the specific position based on initial requirements. Depends on the specific situation your sourcing strategy can be focused on passive or active candidates (or both groups) but the main goal is the same – fill the pipeline with specialists who meet the role requirements.

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily?

It may sounds a little bit old fashioned but I’m a big fan of tools which really work so I would like to put LinkedIn Recruiter at the first place in my sourcing tools list.

Except that:

Q4. Can you tell us the people you admire most in sourcing?

I would pretend that this question is not about specific names of sourcing masters we all know (however I have my own favorites in this listJ) and try to put this in the following way… Most of all I admire people in sourcing who are brave enough not to follow old patterns and constantly trying to invent something new, even if it means replacing sourcers with algorithms (just joking).

 

Q6. Is sourcing conducted differently in the CIS region?
I do not think there are some major differences compare to global sourcing, however we can definitely talk about some local specifics:

  • sourcing as a separate function/role/unit is present in tiny % of companies, in most cases one person does a full cycle recruiting, in some companies HR and Recruiter is still the same person;
  • active sourcing is common mostly within IT industry, in most other cases “post and pray” approach is used;
  • RPO is not really popular in this part of the world but you will find number of freelance recruiters available (especially in IT again);

Q7. What sourcing tactics work best in CIS?

  • right mix of global and local sources should be used; penetration of LinkedIn is relatively low (especially when we are talking about not-IT candidates);
  • % of English speaking population is low so make sure to include local languages titles into your search strings;
  • global people aggregators may have not enough information about candidates in this part of the world so don’t forget about old good Boolean Search and X-Ray Search.

Q5. One sourcing advice I can give to my peers is…

…get into details. You can have all possible sourcing tools and systems but it is not possible to run effective sourcing without deep understanding of the role you are working in. So my advice – before starting searching (or even worse contacting candidates) make sure you do understand who you are looking for and what this person supposed to do on day to day basis.

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Victor will be at #sosueu in September. Get your tickets now.

 

 

 

 

My Sourcing Story : Q&A With Roanne Yee, SYZYGY AG

Name: Roanne Yee      
Country: Frankfurt, Germany
Company : SYZYGY AG
Position: Senior Talent Manager
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roanneyee

Q1. Can you tell us about your current role and what problems you are solving on a day-to-day basis? 

SYZYGY is an award-winning full-service digital agency group. Whilst it has a German base, it also has multiple international offices and brands spread across 8 cities. With currently 600+ employees and growing rapidly, we have a lot of open positions, many of which are considered to be both rare and niche roles in the German digital market.

Until recently, recruitment had been a decentralised process shared by several HR team members and quite frequently external headhunters. I joined SYZYGY a month ago to establish recruitment as a specialised discipline within the HR team in Frankfurt.  Together with my recruiter colleague, our role is to focus on implementing seamless recruitment processes, and maximize hires through internal active sourcing. This also includes enhancing the use of social media channels for recruitment and employer branding. As internal recruiters, we see ourselves as authentic ambassadors of our company, able to convince passive candidates more effectively than headhunters.

 

Q2. What are the biggest challenges you currently face as a recruiter/sourcer

Our recruitment team at SYZYGY have multiple challenges to meet: Germany’s declining population, which has severely narrowed the employee market, particularly where we look for qualified German speaking talent. Additionally, the creative industry has seen a huge transformation over recent years, with fewer talents willing to work in permanent roles and qualified digital talents being snapped up by heavy competition from either agile start-ups, or big corporations in the consulting and financial sector.

Due to strict data privacy laws in Germany, access to databases and the ability to pipeline talent are limited for recruiters.  This means developing clever long-term sourcing and pipelining strategies is crucial, and building a sustainable and attractive social employer brand is a top priority.

 

Q2. How do you define sourcing? Sourcing is…..

Detective Work and Problem Solving:

  • Gather all Evidence and Facts,
  • Hunt your Passive Candidates,
  • Identify the Prime Suspects,
  • Analyse and Understand their Motivations, Personality and Circumstances, and then
  • Create the Ultimate Pitch.

 

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily?

  • Xing
  • LinkedIn
  • Google
  • Behance
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Trello
  • Notepad (… and lots of Coffee)

Sourcing is 1% search and 99% persuasion.

Q5. One sourcing advise I can give to my peers is….

Sourcing is 1% search and 99% persuasion.

Anyone can learn Boolean, do an advanced LinkedIn Search and filter out a list of qualified candidates to reach out to with a job description. But creating engagement is the essence of a recruiter’s job.

Before you source, you need to create your pitch (and this is not just a job description and a link to your website!) Start by gathering information about the business, the company culture, and the role. Dive deep – interrogate the hiring manager, interview members of the team – what drives them, what are their challenges and what is their vision? Then you need to analyse your target candidates – demographics, motivation, where do they come from and what is important to them. Now you can start to craft a winning story and give your open role it’s own “unique selling proposition” – keep it simple but compelling – this sort of communication will engage and attract those passive candidates and make you an Expert Sourcer.

 

 

My Sourcing Story : Q&A With Dave van Kuijk, Ordina

Name: Dave van Kuijk
Country: Netherlands
Company : Ordina
Twitter: davemetwiter

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

Just started last month at Ordina were sourcing is undiscovered territory, well they have heard of it but were not actively reaching out to potential candidates. So putting sourcing on the map, preaching for the hiring managers, setting up the process with the recruiter I work with and the recruitment manager also addressing some recruitment marketing issues, our devs write great blogs but not on our site and also being more visible on different social media platforms.

Q2. How do you define sourcing

Awesome!! I grew up on the internet so I’m definitely in love with my job which revolves around the interwebs. Sourcing for me is not only searching and engaging candidates online but also being able to interest candidates by phone, making them aware that our grass is much greener ^^! But engaging internally is equally important, getting the hiring managers in the game(organizing hire-a-thon sessions, pizza time) and shaking on the referral tree, which is not really top of mind with developers.

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily?

I’m no different than the other sourcers I need music or focus background noise, you can hear my earplugs blasting a nice house mix or hear that I’m in the middle of a storm with brain.fm

One thing I missed in the other Q&A’s is the phone, can’t live without mine!

Now the good stuff: you need chrome for obvious reasons and I swear by my notepad.

Other tools I use are: my own CSE for language requirements (Dutch, French and German), 360social  or Prophet , Multi Highlighter , Sidekick by Hubspot , Facebook search , TineEye image search and I’m #teamWorldTimeBuddy

 

Q4. Can you tell us five people you admire most in sourcing?

That’s easy my own mentor of course Mitch van Abkoude who let me use his social talent  account to witness the great Johnny Campbell. I also follow every move Glen Cathey makes, so much wisdom and still so humble. I have to mention Shane McCusker for his awesome Facebook search tool! And of course the Randstad brothers Jim, Vince and Balazs

Q5. One sourcing advise I can give to my peers is….

Never forget you are interacting with other human beings, you may easily slip into the numbers game. Just don’t, take a step back do a social talent course or get some templates from beamery, get you creative juices flowing and be on the top of your game. Throw out your templates and be original.

And be were your candidates are, interact with them without pushing your jobs on them.

Go sit on the floor were your developers are, there a great resource to give you insights or help you with your own tools.

Follow Dave on Twitter @ davemetwiter . Dave will be at #sosueu on 27-29 September.

My Sourcing Story : Q&A With Vince Szymczak, Randstad Sourceright

Name: Vince Szymczak
Location : Budapest
Company: Randstad Sourceright
Twitter: @Vinceszy

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

I am both being called in to and starting a wide range of projects in the domain of sourcing. I recently created the sourcing strategy for one of our new RPO programs utilizing 30 people to support the client in 11 countries. Another implementation I was involved in was a freelance/temporary project where we had to alter the basic RSR delivery model and the tactical elements like where and how the sourcers should search, which were originally built out for perm programs.  I am also working with one of the major employers on how they should create and manage talent pools and communities to decrease time to hire and cost and how can Randstad Sourceright support them in this.

I enjoy creating new solutions, but perhaps an even more important part of the job is when one of our existing programs wants to make a change, become more efficient or simply needs to evolve to a different maturity level. It feels like organizational development mixed with auditing: collecting and analyzing all the data points, interviewing everyone associated with the program, all in order to come up with a solid recommendation plan.

Besides these projects I must look much further and work on level-upping the RSR technology suite and sourcing methodologies for the future – demoing, seeking integration and mapping the possibilities.  What I really love about my job is that every project is new and different, and allows you to perceive talent acquisition and sourcing from one more angle.

“Sourcing is the opening act of the recruitment process, where the candidate and the representative of the company find each other and decide whether there is mutual interest in moving forward.”

Q2. How do you define sourcing

I coined a definition in an article with a different take than the usual definitions.

“Sourcing is the opening act of the recruitment process, where the candidate and the representative of the company find each other and decide whether there is mutual interest in moving forward.”

The main reason to define sourcing this way is the inclusion of active candidates. Splitting your talent pool to two parts, with two separate persons and processes being responsible for the active applicants and the approached passive candidates is very detrimental to the efficiency and the time to hire. Usually it makes the measurement and the source approval (if an investment is needed) harder as well.

 

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily?

With many and different projects come many and different industries and markets where I can not possibly be an expert in all of them. I love the Alumni feature of LinkedIn and Facebook’s advertising to give me quick understanding about the market I am working on.

I use “the usual suspects” to find more contact details and information about people, test emails,  and generally sniff around (Prophet, Emailhunter, Context Scout, Lusha, Shane’s Facebook search tool, mailtester.com, https://namechk.com/, etc.). The more the merrier, it’s easy to turn them off and on with Extensity and they have a tendency to stop working/new ones emerging.

What is perhaps less usual are that I like to use semantic suggestive tools like Textio and CrystalKnows. Even if they do not have enough data points to come up with a proper suggestion (which in the case of Crystal I am pretty sure happens rather often), what they do is they force you to think about something you might have neglected before but is an important aspect directly influencing your success!

Q1. Can you tell us the people you admire most in sourcing?

I admire most the sourcers who are working with recruiters and hiring managers with little to no understanding about sourcing but very articulated opinion about its efficiency. Sourcers in certain companies can be the bottom of the talent acquisition food chain, who get the blame if things are not going well but not the recognition when they are. A sourcer who gets into such a situation but turns it around by properly representing sourcing and driving company change has guts and will.

In terms of the influencers I love, that’s a rather long list!

Q5. One sourcing advise I can give to my peers is….

Sourcer, prepare. Do the intake right and make sure you understand the position. It may take 1-2 hours to research what exactly the position/industry means, but you can lose weeks if it turns out you have misunderstood something.

People managing sourcers, make sure your sourcers feel that this is all right. More often than not the reason for improper preparation is because sourcers under pressure feel that every 1 hour should be spent on “productive” things like searching for candidates or calling them.

Vince will be at #sosueu on 27-29 September in Amsterdam.

My Sourcing Story : Q&A With Jan Bernhart, Optiver

We caught up with serial #sosueu presenter and sourcing tragic Jan Bernhart who currently work for Optiver in Amsterdam. Jan will be will be in Amsterdam for his fourth #sosueu.

Name: Jan Bernhart
Country: Netherlands
Company : Optiver
Twitter: JanBernhart

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

I’m now on a project at Optiver, a trading company  (market making to be specific).  Because we’re neither B2B nor B2C, almost nobody knows us. The IT requirements in trading are very challenging so our bar to hire is as high as with the famous tech companies, but we only get a fraction of the amount of applicants they get. This is where I come in.  Optiver isn’t accustomed to doing sourcing  in-house, so its pretty much a green field situation. Very exciting!

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Q2. How do you define sourcing? Sourcing is……..
Attracting talent that you wished would have applied for your job openings, but didn’t. I think that’s the essence. You can break sourcing down to dozens of steps and hundreds of methods, of which search is the most prominent. But for me sourcing is way bigger then making queries or search strings. (Which is also why I advocate a hybrid recruiter-sourcer role rather than an isolated searcher).

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Q3. 10 Sourcing tools I use daily are…
First of all; google chrome. When I’m interviewing for new projects I actually verify if the company prohibits to use a different browser than Internet Explorer. That’s a deal breaker. I always have sticky notes open, use Prophet and Hubspot’s email tracker. Shane’s facebook search tool. Onetab, Excel (with my self build search string maker). Worldtimebuddy to keep track of timezones. I love DataMiner as well. Some bookmarklets that I made myself. Oh and spotify or youtube; music increases my productivity (mostly 60/70′ pop/rock, some hiphop).

When I’m interviewing for new projects I actually verify if the company prohibits to use a different browser than Internet Explorer. That’s a deal breaker

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Q4. Can you tell us five of the people you admire most in sourcing?
I’m not going to name the super star usual suspects here. The readers already know them and they already know i admire them. Let’s put others in the spotlights today. Aaron Lintz is someone who I look up to for his technical skills. He taught me about webscraping for instance and has IT skills that I’m just jealous of. Guillaume Alexandre is an inspirational sourcer. He’s always curious, always on top of things. This is a guy who walks the walks twice, then perhaps talks about it. The real deal. Follow him. Vince szymczak always shares original views, things he invented/ thought of/ gathered himself. I appreciate that. David Galley is so knowledgeable, its sometimes scary. Always answering the hard questions, helping people when they are stuck. I suspect he’s not a real person, 8 whizzkidds run his accounts. The guy you see on conferences is a very well prepared actor. Last but not least i want to namedrop Enrico Heidelberg here. I worked with him at spil games and he learned me so much about selling a job, closing an offer etc. These aspects are crucial to our success but mostly overlooked in the sourcing community.

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Q5. One sourcing advice I can give to my peers is …..
Always be curious. About what your company actually does, about how your job openings contribute to this and what the real challenges are. About what candidates currently do, what drives them and what they think is interesting. Ask tons of questions. Listen. Have conversations with people instead of staring at your screen in isolation all the time. Everytime you speak with a candidate or colleague, try to learn something from them. Knowledge is your most crucial and perhaps even only asset. Gain more.

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Bio Jan Bernhart has been in the recruitment industry for 8 years, both at agency and client side. He is a sourcer and recruiter and has hired talent from every continent except Antarctica (which is still on his wish list). He has handled C-level positions to internships and worked for startups to fortune 500 corporates. In his spare time he enjoys developing bookmarklets, creating excel formulas and denying he’s a nerd. Currently he works as freelance sourcing recruiter at Optiver. Jan spoke at the #SOSUEU 2014 and 2015 edition and his talks were some of the most popular sessions of the events. Catch up with Jan Bernhart at #sosueu.