Over the past couple of months I have been training various different sourcers both externally (as a part of sold business for SocialHR) and internally at my new gig at AON/Hewitt. As part of the trainings I have gone to Toronto, Montreal (most recently, actually I am writing this on the way home), Boston and Waterloo.

It’s been an interesting experience for me. Especially because what I am teaching and advocating is not just simple Boolean knowledge but in fact the next step which is to look at URL patterns to recognize opportunities for using the structure to gain further information from various Social and other Talent pools and/or ponds. It’s not an easy thing to learn and what I am finding is that people very easily pick up the simple Boolean of AND, OR and NOT. OK that’s not that difficult, but when we get into areas like simple Boolean modifiers we usually loose about half the crowd who either over or under use brackets and quotations or misuse them completely. And then when we get to field commands such as site: inurl: intitle: and related: probably another third of the class has their brains on minor fry mode. It’s critical that you get the concepts of site: and inurl and intitle if you are going to utilize the information to mine data that exists on the various search engines in an effective way.

So by the time we reach actual URL manipulation most of the “recruiters” that I am talking to have thrown their hands up in the air and given up. I actually had someone in my training today say “ugh, I hate this it’s too hard and I’m too confused”. And I totally get it, if you don’t have a logical/programming brain then these concepts can be quite alien to you and it’s likely going to take longer than an 8 hour training session to teach yourself to stretch the mental muscles. Because really thinking and behaviours can be changed over time but it takes a concerted and ongoing effort to do so, we see that from our work in NLP and other forms of CBT and behavioural change.

This is part of the reason that I’m a fan of SocialTalent’s new My SocialTalent platform for developing those mental muscles but with all respect to Johnny who put the system together and all their effort something still gets lost when you don’t have a live person there to review the work that you are doing and help you correct your thinking.

So here then are my questions to you out there in the sourcing world:

a) Are sourcers actually born instead of built? There have been some folks that I have trained that as I like to say “see the music” in other words the data that they are looking at just makes sense to them and they can see the flow and ebb of data across the web and where it leads to, watching those folks are like seeing potential being born.
b) Could there be a way to mentor folks on a more ongoing basis not taking away from the various forms of initial training they could take?

I think my answer to part b) is for sure YES. In fact for Toronto based folks I have instituted a drop in program to learn the Art and Science of Sourcing. I am calling it “Sourcing After Dark” and basically we take the Cyber Lounge at my building and we continue to build sourcing knowledge in people two nights a month until hopefully everyone is strong enough to start to help each other to build the knowledge and share together. My hope is that the SAD sessions will expand eventually with the original members still meeting up to share ideas and have hackathons, but that they in turn will find their own venues and hold their own knowledge sharing. By doing that we will continue to build the sourcing knowledge base in the broader recruitment community but also find those talented individuals that see the “music” and help them to build their own profiles.

So I put the challenge out there to my fellow sourcers from around the world. Put on your own Sourcing After Dark events, start in a small group and then expand the knowledge from there in a very organic way. The first rule of Sourcing After Dark is that everyone talks about Sourcing After Dark…let’s drop some knowledge bombs out there.


Under (Unintentional) Repair…..Sorry…..

Posted: October 30, 2012 by The Daniel J. Smith in Uncategorized

We can all be better with Social Media- How can I help you today? Follow Me and the Socially Unique at Twitter.com/thedanieljsmith

Due to a crash in the computer infrastructure; storm and tool related; todays column has been delayed to later this week.

This marks the first time under the new organization that I am “Speechless”.

Stay Smiling and find good in all the chaos now present…..


Welcome back. I got behind the proverbial eight-ball last week and was unable to finish this in a respectable time.Anyways we are back and ready to have a look at ‘Aptitude’..The second half of the equation.

Like before, let s begin with a basic definition: According to Wikipedia: Aptitude  is a component of a competency to do a certain kind of work at a certain level, which can also be considered “talent”. Aptitudes may be physical or mental. Aptitude is not knowledge, understanding, learned or acquired abilities (skills) or attitude. The innate nature of aptitude is in contrast to achievement, which represents knowledge or ability that is gained. Then look at how our friends at ‘Urban Dictionary’ sees Aptitude: Intuitive aptitude is the ability to understand the structure and operation of complex systems without special education or training. Interesting stuff! in short Aptitude has to do with a level of competency to perform at a certain task well, while having a natural understanding of the task without special education or training. I would almost stretch out and say Aptitude in a certain area could consider you a savant at some level….(any discussion?)

What does this have to do with the workplace or your life in general? To be considered one of the best in your line of work, or to be considered good at your job, and material for further promotions down the road; you have to be both consistent and almost automatic at what you do and how you personally operate. (Second Nature?) As an example anyone can do piece-work or assembly-line tasks- The question which will set them apart from others in their field is how to do the task faster, more industrious and save the company dollars by creating minor modifications to the task which will shorten the time required; allowing more to be done with less; and increasing the company bottom line in a positive fashion.

Not everyone is perfectly matched to just any job. Some of us are good at certain things; while others are simply stellar in different areas; both are needed to form a complete unit, however regardless of status the cream always finds away to reach the top and garner the attention of both power-brokers and management. How many jobs do we apply for because they could be considered ‘safe choices’? How many of us apply with hopes a certain lack of skill can be compensated with more education about the field? How many just apply and hope the chips ‘fall’ in their favour? All good questions, and ones we need to ask ourselves honestly when searching/ transitioning to a new position. Bear in mind that any position in a given company has been done by someone before; and that person has either moved up or moved out, depending on how they chose to complete a given task; and whether or not they could find some way to personalize the experience and shorten completion time to the satisfaction of management.

Here is where things get interesting- you have been brought in to continue making sure the job continues with no delay in production! This entails ‘hitting the ground running’ , being both trained to a new system (potentially) and expected to ‘make your mark’ sooner rather than later.  WELCOME TO THE BIG TIME!! Being thrust in the spotlight probably isn’t going to be new; expectations are not new; adapting and receiving training are not new; The crew you are now with is very new to you, possibly looking at you as a threat to their livelihood; at the very least, someone who needs to prove themselves and that they can function under pressure with little to no real training forthcoming.

How you handle this “pressure” will speak volumes about your tenure. Remember it is your Aptitude towards Success that got you to this point- so don’t spoil the moment with a round of bad ‘attitude’. Similarities and differences- next time as we mash the two concepts together and create a new creature crucial to how business should be done. With luck, (and a prayer to the gods of computers) it will be this week…… As a take-away; Microsoft is launching both its tablet and a new operating system this week, How many of you plan to be early adapters and how many think they will wait and see how others view the goodies? Leave a note below, I may look at Windows 8 within the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy the day (with alot to ‘Carpe Diem’)


We can all be better with Social Media- How can I help you today? Follow Me and the Socially Unique at Twitter.com/thedanieljsmith


The Webb Report – Friday October 12th

Posted: October 12, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

Series Preview: The Gunslinger, Agent and “The Man”

Posted: October 10, 2012 by torontosingledad in Uncategorized

A little while ago I asked the community what were some of the things that they wanted to see me write about on the blog.  Now as you may have noticed we have reduced the numbers of postings on the blog as just Dan and I are writing right now, so I will be doing three week series on Wednesdays and the Friday Webb Report on Fridays and Dan is taking his usual Tuesday spot.  But I digress.  One of the topics that you guys wanted to hear more about was the differences between the Corporate “The Man”, Independant “Gunslingers” and Third Party “Agent” recruiters.

Over the next week I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the benefits/drawbacks and processes that come with all three types of Recruiters in the Canadian space.  I will be looking at things like:

  • Type of work.
  • Potential upsides and downsides of each role
  • Earning potential.
  • Potential for impact.
  • Amount of oversight.
  • Career progression.

I will also look at some of the likes/dislikes of recruiters who are currently in these roles.  Should be a fun series.  If you would like to be included in the series then please send me either a Facebook message or email me at masteringthesource@gmail.com

To Be THE Best

Tuesday after a long weekend, and I hope today, all is well. One of the more interesting things about long weekends (besides the copious amounts of food!) is that it allows most of us to hit the cosmic “reset” button and re-focus the way we approach work. Simply having a couple of extra days to mentally work through your problems, especially now that we are moving into the Christmas period, allows for a re-dedication of both mind and body to simply…Being The BEST!!

You will notice at the top of the page there are two particular words- Response and Ability. Put together they make a third term- Responsibility; and that is something each of us swear by with each and every completed project. Has anyone ever looked at things in this light? Why not try for a few minutes- Think about your job, career or livelihood, and try to think of one reason why you are doing it (and presumably well) instead of someone else, or another team of like minded individuals?

Ability outlines what you possess to get both the job done; and done correctly. Your eye for detail is impeccable and your ability to deliver the goods seems natural. This is the part of your inner-self which is the most natural to train. How many seminars, books, videos or trade-shows have you attended to arrive where you are; with the talent to complete even the most difficult of  tasks with ease. You pay close attention to those working around you; you stay up on all the latest trends; you are not afraid to try something new or untested; and you settle for nothing short of the best results. To gain ability one must first admit that they have none. They are a blank slate to the employer. and with their instructions, demonstrations, giving you the ‘okay’ to apprentice under senior talent; slowly the skills come to the top. Most employers are happy to see that their diverse workforce “buy into” the blueprint of success, and are more than happy to reward such efforts. Easy to say, but not so easy to accomplish. You can have all the mentoring and training in the world; and read a vast library of ‘How-to’ books, but without anything to base the learning on, or base the new skills toward; then the effort will not truly be appreciated.

Ability is an invisible attribute. It is also something you either have, or you don’t. That is one of the reasons why there is such a vast workforce now, to try and accompany all the creators and innovators in our society. Not everyone will ever be good at all tasks; some will have to be given away, hopefully landing on the lap of another skilled professional who will simply take the ball; make a couple unique changes, then score the touchdown. This to me is an important aspect of teamwork: the humbling ability to realize that sometimes you need help; because you just cannot be all things for all clients.

You wish to follow the company culture and be able to accomplish what needs to be done. Should there be any question, ask someone!! Better to get two heads involved if one isn’t supplying the answer.

Response (or in this case Responsible) is the ability to make each task yours! Simply put, the blame or the credit for any task should go to the person with the most time spent on the job. Know when you should step-up and take credit. Equally important is being able to share the glory with the others involved in the job. Meet the criteria laid out for each and every task; try to give just that little bit extra (whether its finishing early; or adding something creative to the finished project that makes it yours). Whenever you think the job is outside your professional realm, look at it from all sides before turning it down, most employers like people who attempt new and exciting things, provided they also know when to hand over a badly-wound project.

Up top is a graphic which features four good codes of Responsibility. After reading them through a few times, I cannot find fault in any of them. Provide the best service you can, in a timely manner, with all the skills at your fingertips; and don’t be afraid to ever place your name to a project. Each one is as unique as you are; use that to your advantage.

This week for most is four days long. Ramp it up and reach for the brass ring repeatedly. Should you fall short- simply dust off and try again.

See you in Seven, Time to tune up the cow-bell….

We can all be better with Social Media- How can I help you today? Follow Me and the Socially Unique at Twitter.com/thedanieljsmith

What do you feel is an important facet of Success? Leave a comment below and lets talk it over? Do you thing the ability to study or possessing the skills are more important? Let me know; this could well be Something to Think About!