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Sourcing is no longer a Job…it’s a Vocation

By August 11, 20112 Comments

Morning all.  In fact should I say night all?  I was up so early this morning that it probably still qualified as night time.  Well it certainly did for the drunk couple that staggered into my hotel in Sydney as I was checking out this morning.  First one in Sydney’s Koru Lounge = hideously early.  So anyway, as your faithful Whiteboard blogger, I will endeavour to offer up my Friday recruitment musings through bleary eyes and lethargic fingers and just quietly pray that someone, anyone, manages to fix the lounge’s coffee machine sometime soon.

I’m on my way back to Auckland after a couple of days in Sydney attending the inaugural Australasian Sourcing Summit.  The title of this post is just one of the many take-homes and sound bites I have picked up on from my time here, but really it sums it all up.  This event was a congregation of some of the sharpest and innovative thinkers in recruitment.  And I know they were innovative because I heard the hackneyed old phrase “War for Talent” just once the whole time I was here.


Despite economic uncertainty there is little doubting the fact that there is, and will increasingly be, a talent shortage in Australia and New Zealand.  So, what to do about it?  The most vigorous debate of the whole event came right at the end with the declared impending doom of the job boards.  But the reality is that many candidates are still sourced via these means and I think the current state of affairs should act as a wake up call to job boards to innovate and evolve with social media, rather than keep on doing the same old thing.

But job boards alone are certainly no longer enough, and it is the recruitment agencies and internal recruitment teams with the most robust, insightful and all-encompassing sourcing strategies that will come out on top.  If your resourcing efforts revolve purely around posting job ads and occasionally dipping into Linked In then you will be left behind.

My head is swirling with all of the content poured into it over the last two days.  A miasma of sourcing sound bites, boolean searches, semantic search strings, talent mapping, mind mapping, sourcing metrics, talent communities, employment branding and colourful stream graphs and heat maps.  To make sense of it all will probably take some digesting over the three hour flight to Auckland ahead.  But what is clear is that this is something that needs to made sense of.  There are some clever, driven and visionary people out there in our industry really leading the way on finding the hard to find, and if you don’t join them you will be left behind.

One thing is for sure.  The next time I take down a job brief for a Resourcer, a Researcher, a Candidate Manager or a Sourcing Consultant, I’ll make sure I’m sitting comfortably.  Because there’s going to be a lot to get through.

Jonathan Rice

Director of New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice & Co, co-founder of freelance recruiter platform JOYN, and people-centric technology firm superHUMAN Software. Recruitment innovator, agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Andrea Mitchell says:

    Thanks so much for coming over, it was great to meet you and to have your commentary on the event. Looking forward to catching up again sometime

  • Mark Mansour says:

    Good to meet you mate… wish I didn’t have to leave so early on in the drinks piece, there would have been some very interesting discussions throughout the night! Doh!