I had the great pleasure to present on Textkernel’s 15th birthday conference in Amsterdam. Imagine a room with some 3-400 attendees and with presenters coming from all parts of the world of technology. Among these super-smart professors and other top speakers like Glen Cathey and Bill Boorman I was playing the grumpy role of the devil’s advocate. One always needs to go against others, right?😉

Below is my script, thoughts and slides about how I see sourcing technology today.


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Whenever I speak about sourcing people get excited.

As excited as for a long time I thought it was… because of me? Maybe it is my personal impact on people or the very passionate way I speak about this profession. Feeling so sweet, right?

Well… after a while I had to understand I was not any close to reality. When people understand I do sourcing they get excited not because of me but because of this…

Read the rest of this entry »

delegates2x505x235It was an amazing experience presenting on #sosuasia last week!

Although we hear way too little about the guys and what they do in Asia, it is so impressive to see how much keen they are to implement and develop sourcing within their Talent Acquisition function. Being a late joiner in a game does not necessarily mean that you are late to win. It simply gives you the opportunity to not go through the same mistakes that the pioneers had to and also gives you a more sophisticated approach as you can already leverage the essential experience of others. Like the youngest in the family – huge advantages! Read the rest of this entry »

This makes me crazy: some recruiting leaders determine totally ad-hoc productivity targets for sourcers, often, without understanding what the business really needs and what can be a realistic requirement. Ridicule! It looks like sourcing is only a number game and these leaders love to hear those (usually super rare) stories when sourcers make 20 (or even more) qualified, interested and available candidates (QCV) on each and every week. Read the rest of this entry »

Sourcers have to develop new skills every day. Searching, stalking, cracking, little coding, becoming a marketer and a sweet negotiator – and it is all not enough anymore…

…they have to be cool actors, too!😀

Watch the below and share the love of sourcing – and certainly, don’t forget to use the right hashtag: #thebalazswins

It all starts with that super-long journey: taking those pretty uncomfortable extra miles on planes, in taxis, queuing here and there sometimes for hours, those thousands of foreign faces you randomly meet while getting lost in time zones, languages and emotions. The feeling of cold and hot in the same time. And then… welcome to Dallas!

This all puts your excitement on fire. You are super exhausted but extremely excited to see all the things that will be happening with and around you the next days.

You do it for a purpose: you need to live through that experience, to try and immerse into the deepest life of a SourceConer. You know that lifestyle exists but don’t know yet what is that all about.

12038367_10207792644319290_2501196093921517841_nThe very first thing you realize: these are probably the most warmhearted and open-minded people
living on the planet
. You are immediately welcomed, you are IN and with your badge you have got your life-long ID to this large, crazy but lovely family. Your secret Twitter list containing those very best sourcing and recruiting legends here suddenly goes live.

Sourcers must be the greatest liberalists on Earth.

And then you join the conversation. SourceCon is not anymore the forum of geeks only. This is probably the widest range of all-type practitioners: researchers, sourcers, recruiters, leaders and so on. Buyers and providers. Everyone is involved; everyone has got to do something with sourcing. Sourcing is the reality of recruiting.

You are amazed by the diversity of the definition of sourcing. No one agrees. Not even clear what we mean under the word ‘sourcer’. This can be a lead-generator, or someone that runs engagement, too, working only with ‘passive candidates’ (does that exist at all?) or to manage the entire candidate generation funnel, all channels… There is no one receipt. But there are success stories (and challenges) on all sides.

Hey! this is the best in all of it: this kicks off passionate discussions, warms up arguments, widens your thinking horizon, challenges your “written-in-stone” statements, your beliefs. This is an evolutionary thing and we are, I think, somewhere in the middle. No need yet to agree but we all do it, I believe, to get closer to a universally accepted definition. Time will come.

Sourcing is still a new profession and this is how we all form the content of that. Every contribution (even the smallest one) counts. For me, this is the very mission of SourceCon: it makes the community build and define and set up the basis (the ultimately agreed basis) of this new profession.

By listening to the great Shannon, you understand that sourcing is not that complicated. Basically, sourcing is simple. No, I would not say easy but sourcing is something you can learn and develop into. Do not only focus on tools but sharpen your logic, make the necessary shift in your mindset, get the approach – or hire good sourcers!

But who is a good sourcer? Well, this is what I think about it, but you’d rather first ask the question from yourself: what do you want them to achieve? What do you want them to be accountable for?

12033141_10207792646039333_5515605919427109025_nIt’s been a recurring theme on SourceCon this year that how we should measure sourcers. Certainly (see above) there is no one solid solution but probably the most important take away is that be most consistent. If you make your sourcer generate only prospects you may not want to measure them against making hires. Understand the sourcer’s input in the entire recruiting value chain and build the right expectations and measurement around his deliverable.

Your lead-generator sourcer’s only deliverable is making highly qualified leads. Nothing more but nothing less. If then the one who will convert these leads into candidates is happy with the quality of leads that’s where and what your sourcer should be credited for. Do not try and make them become responsible for anything else as they have got zero control over the rest of the procedure.

Understand that recruiting is a chain of constant decision making activities and the one that makes that particular decision in the process can only control and be accountable for that step. Otherwise, you set your sourcing team for ultimate failure. And based on many of us experience, this failure is coming on longer term – you won’t probably spot it right at the beginning. Listen to us!

No, you want your sourcers to be accountable for hires, right?

Well, then build the set around them to be able to control that. Give them every candidate (including applicants, referrals and those directly sourced ones, too) to manage so that no one else but they will be making the only decision around which candidate will be moved into the funnel. This is the only way to build hiring-close responsibility to your sourcers – think about it! Is it what you want to achieve? You make that decision.

Interestingly, and this is my final reflection from SourceCon this year, there is still little discussion around how to improve the sourcing delivery. The conversations I joined were trying to get to this point from a recruiting perspective by placing the sourcing delivery into the end-to-end selection procedure as one action, one process step.

This is somewhat understandable but bear in mind that you’ve got to understand all the sub- and micro-steps and actions your sourcers are doing during their very own procedure. That is the only place where you will find the key to bring in efficiency and improvements to sourcing: are they mastering at searching? can they engage well? using the right messaging? is there a need to bring in new technology, training? etc. As long as you only see the numbers at the two ends of the funnel (# of candidates added to the long-list and # of recruiter interviews) you will have little insight on what to change in the sourcing engine.

It is gold and, I think, the only logical next step to evolve our profession. Spend quality time with your sourcers to understand the nuances of their sourcing procedure. This is how you will be able to not only manage but lead your sourcing team.

This is how you will most integrate sourcing into the end-to-end recruiting cycle. And how you will get there to see the extremely best impact sourcing can make in your business.

Long live to SourceCon and all the ones around! Thanks for this superb experience!


to @tweetbergh, for everything

P1040164Two-and-a-half years ago I joined Randstad Sourceright to build a world-class sourcing centre to cover the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. That time, early 2013, we had nothing yet in place but a strong ambition to build a brand new, unique and highly value-add service line, the so-called Centre of EMEA Sourcing Expertise (aka #rsrsrc), and to bring in and spread the love of all things of sourcing within Randstad and its clientele.

As per these days, I am joining a new role within my company and leaving the centre with a well-established, high-size and super professional sourcing regiment that is ready to rule the world – or least the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook is changing the graph and introducing a new, keyword-based search engine. This may result a way to run more complex Boolean syntaxes in the future, however, as an immediate effect, has blocked the old-way graph search possibilities. Remember the story when we asked questions like ‘people who studied at xyz’? Yep, that has totally gone with the new search engine…

This change has created the need to summarize the old-way graph search method as that is still running – but in the back-end. You though have to memorize and use the below commands to retrieve the results but hey! that is not a rocket science just bear with me for some time. Read the rest of this entry »