It’s been a while since SourceCon in Amsterdam, but I’ve been reflecting on all the sessions for a while (and it takes me ages to write a blog post…).
Despite the actual topic of the conference being Storytelling, that wasn’t my key take away. My key take away was going beyond the keywords. Glen Cathey, Iker Jusue and Jan Tegze where all talking about various ways of doing this.
If we stare ourselves blind at keywords, we’re gonna miss out on some awesome candidates. The same thing goes for demanding a (perfect) CV or LinkedIn profile.
Are CVs really necessary?
What’s to say the candidate we want even have a CV, or LI-profile for that matter?
I see questions in various recruitment related groups on Facebook about when you should ask a candidate for a CV. My stance is never.
People will blame the hiring managers for demanding CVs, but it’s your job as a recruiter to educate them as to why no CV is needed. Show them what you know about the candidate. If you have done your research, there’ll be plenty to show. Far more information than what a CV would have given you. My hiring managers knows not to ask for one, as I hardly ever have one 🙂 And they show up to every interview anyway!
Once I’ve got hold of a candidate interested in meeting us, they might ask me if I want them to send a CV. If they have one, I’m happy to see it, but I would never ask for one myself. What’s a CV really gonna tell me? Isn’t it better to find out those details in an interview?
Isn’t that the whole point of our role as a sourcer? To make CVs redundant? Aren’t we supposed to _source_ that information?
Sourcing what we need
It might not always be possible for us to find sufficent information about a person. Not everyone leaves that big of a digital footprint. But we should at least try. And I don’t think that we can expect a passive candidate to have an up to date CV laying about.
So, how do you do it?
We can target people in so many ways that does not involve keyword-matching.
- Have they worked at a specific company so that you know they must have come across a specific technique, or used a certain system?
- We can look at groups, be it on Linkedin, Facebook or Meetup.
- We can target specific companies. Be it our competitors or companies we know use a certain systems. I’m pretty sure there’s a .Net developer or two at Microsoft.
- Why not target popular repositories on Github? (As mentioned in a previous post of mine). Or a certain school or course?
So, back to the three gents mentioned at the beginning. Their SourceCon talks all had one thing in common – look beyond the keywords!
- Jan talked about habits, and how we need to break our habits to learn new things and come up with new ideas. He mentioned misspelling as something to take into consideration. People will make mistakes. If we are only looking for people who have spelt their skills correctly, that’s all we are going to find. Just doing a basic search for “accountant” in Sweden on Linkedin gives me approximately 24.000 results. Searching for “acountant” gives me 14.000 results. People are humans, They makes mistakes. Make use of that.
- Glen’s topic was referals, but it also covered keywords, or rather the lack of them. He gave an example of a woman who had removed a specific keyword from her CV as she was being bombarded with offers regarding that one specific skill. However, knowing where she has worked in the past enable him to understand that she must have that skill anyway, despite it not being written on her CV.
- Iker talked about sourcing in different languages. A lot of the time we focus on titles and keywords in English. Going back to my example with the accountant. If I do the same search, but use the Swedish term “revisor” instead, I get aproximately 13.00 results. Interestingly enough, that is less than using misspelled version “acountant”.
I’m not saying keywords are bad, I mean, if it was possible to find a profile with all the right keywords, I would go after that person. But what we need to remember is that a lack of keywords doesn’t equal a bad candidate. We simply have to look beyond the (lack of) keywords and see what it means. The candidate could, as in Glen Cathey’s example, have removed certain keywords in order to hide from keyword focused recruiters.
Hey, I’m a great crocheter, but I don’t mention that in my Linkedin profile nor CV.
My name is Sofia Broberger and I’m a freelance sourcing and recruitment consultant focusing on IT/Tech recruitment.
I have a background in teaching and really enjoy combining my experience as a teacher with my love for sourcing. I’m available to give tailor-made workshops and lectures on sourcing, talk at events about sourcing, tech recruitment and employer branding.