Martin Lee (aka @techierecruit) ran a track on sourcing at Tru Leeds. By sourcing I mean finding people, it is one element of recruiting and quite a distance fromĀ  simply advertising for roles and waiting for candidates to come to you.

Martin uses a range of tools to help find people including Boolean search strings, Linkedin and Facebook. He also uses tools like Egrabber.

The results are impressive – within a few searches he has a list of contenders. He did this in the session building a basic search string for the graduate in the track who was looking for local marketing roles.

At the Social Media in Recruitment conference, Katharine Robinson (aka @sourceress) provided a run through of the basics of Boolean. She shared her slides here and expanded on her thinking in this interview.

Social Media in Recruitment – Beyond The CV

View more presentations from Katharine Robinson

Keith Robinson, former TotalJobs COO commented after Katharine’s presentation that recruiters know they can do this stuff and relatively easily but they just don’t. Or rather a handful of sourcers like Martin and Katharine do.

So what’s stopping recruiters from adopting sourcing techniques? Mervyn Dinnen, community manger at Jobsite suggested in another Tru leeds track that recruiting has moved away from sourcing, which is what recruiters used to have to do, to what he called ‘application management’ – literally dealing with applications that come to recruiters through applicant tracking systems and so on.

So maybe the process dictates how recruiters recruit. It also struck me that it is a mindset shift too. Martin kicked off his track with this story, which sums up the mindset: the sourcer is always thinking about how to find people, even if they do not exist on the web. That’s the challenge and that’s what makes it interesting and exciting.

From talking to Martin I noticed that a key skill for a sourced is asking the right question – where do people like you hang out? Could you post this in to your forum? and so on.

Maybe the slogan on Martin’s Tru London t-shirt says it all:
‘If you want to find a needle in a haystack use a magnet’.

The right tools and the desire to find that person . . .

Here is Martin Lee talking at truleeds about sourcing.