I LOVE global sourcing. I think it’s fascinating. My work at Nisha Global sends me off to do research and locate the best passive candidates all over the world. I meet new people, sourcers, recruiters and candidates. I love what I do.

The challenges in global sourcing are many. Sourcing methods that work in one country, are not as practical for another. In Germany, the candidates prefer to be approached via Xing, less via LinkedIn and even then, they play “hard to get”… in New York you have everyone’s private emails plastered on their social networks and LinkedIn profile (along with “booby traps” that will show that you bothered to read their full profile before approaching them..), UK and Thai candidates were quite friendly and cooperative and the list goes on and on. Furthermore, different accents become a challenge on long distance interviews.

A few months ago, I attended the European RIDE conference in Zurich (organized by Wolfgang Brickwedde) where the topic was – “One Continent – One Recruiting?” and, of course the reply was – HELL,NO! Indeed, the same sourcing methods (Boolean, Linkedin. etc) can be applied when sourcing globally, but in addition, one needs to know what the local relevant sources are, or as Nisha Global’s CEO, Giora Gil-Ad, likes to say “think global, act local”!

Sourcing in English in foreign countries can be less beneficial than sourcing in the local language. How can you source in a language that you do not know? There are quite a few tricks we use at Nisha Global, I am happy to share a few with you:

  1. Contact a local sourcer and ask him/her to help you translate your keywords and ask for the local resume sources.
  2. Use Google translate (doesn’t always work well).
  3. Use Wikipedia – find an article in English about the topic you are sourcing for and look for its correlating article in Wikipedia’s foreign language sites.
  4. Have your outreach emails translated to the local language, by a professional. We did this when we sourced in China and Japan. Although we sourced for English speakers, this first attempt to catch their attention and make a good impression worked very well.

Knowing the methods of sourcing in a particular country is a must when sourcing in a foreign country. I am happy to share my knowledge about sourcing for engineers in Israel. Before working on global assignments I sourced, mostly, for software engineers in Israel.

Israel is THE Startup-Nation. The start-up and high tech industries are second only to the Silicon Valley. Israeli software engineers are among the best in the world. Many of them served in elite computer units in the Israeli army (look for the keywords “IDF” OR “8200 Unit” OR “Talpiot” OR “Mamram” among others) and considered the smartest and more able engineers out there. They are excellent out-of-the-box thinkers, very knowledgeable in a wide range of new technologies and they perform wonderfully in fast paced, non-defined working environments. All that and more make them very attractive to foreign recruiters, for relocation roles.

One thing you should know up front – they are tired of sourcers and recruiters approaching them via LinkedIn. Much to my regret, the level of the outreach mails sent by Israeli recruiters in the past few years was not so great, mails were not personalized, no real understanding of what the passive candidate’s next step may be.

To better understand how to approach Israeli software engineers, my friend, HR extraordinaire Mrs. Rotem Kazir and I sent out a survey to software engineers. I think we were surprised by the level of annoyance they exhibited…
Some of the conclusions from this survey are:
1.        A considerable amount of Israeli software engineers receive between 5 to over 15 outreach mails a month! If you want to draw their attention – have a catchy opening line, be short, concise and understand their experience well before you pitch the deal, don’t just look for buzz words on their profile.

2.  It’s best to approach them via their personal mails and LinkedIn, not via their work email or cold calls (especially to work). A cold call is not highly appreciated here, unless you know it’s a sure thing, one that you almost KNOW will not be turned down (Israelis are suspicious… Every call can be regarded as BI work. Be sure to establish immediate credibility).

3.  Israeli software engineers prefer to be approached by the professional hiring managers themselves. Less by external recruiters and more by in-house recruiters. As such, and to improve my response rates, there were times I used the professional hiring manager’s Linkedin account to send the outreach mails. This needs some maneuvering though… and not all managers like to give out their logins…. But it does work quite well.

Another idea I can share is that if you are willing to recruit part time engineers and you are looking for the highly creative ones, go to the many “startup hubs” and “co-working spaces” around the country (mainly in the central area of Israel – Tel Aviv and its vicinity). Many are working on their own startups, living off their savingsquite a few would appreciate a part-time job.

Boolean searching in Google, in Hebrew, will not yield good results. If you are looking for great engineers, besides Linkedin, do search Meetup.com, StackOverFlow and Github – you will find many of them there, but be well advised, they don’t appreciate being approached there, use it as leads to approach them via Linkedin or private emails.

Twitter and Google Plus are not big in Israel, I wouldn’t spend my energy there.

In short, recruiting globally is an art form and requires good research and sourcing skills, as well as an open mind to different cultures and different approaches to reach your goals,  which is recruiting the best candidates, wherever they may be.


With over 2 billion profiles on the web there’s a whole world to explore when it comes to sourcing. Using Linkedin filters is just one little part of the deal. And let’s be honest; not the most effective way to source top-talent in certain niches, because the high-profile professionals are leaving Linkedin as fast as new recruiters join the platform.

Last year at #sosueu I met some brilliant minds who shared their hacks to get more data and find the perfect candidates with -but mostly without- Linkedin. I learned how to build some kind of a Boolean Christmas tree. Became a huge fan of visual sourcing to find our new employees. Now I know how to hack Facebook Graph Search.

I’m sorry, hacks? Boolean Christmas trees?  You now may think this sourcing ROI is designed for a true hunter of digital information –a kind of person who never sees any daylight-  who only search the web and who produce long lists of candidate data.


..With over 2 billion profiles on the web and the growth of people aggregators sourcing never has been so easy for all smart recruiters among us. However, most important in my opinion, excuse me, beyond important, is how to contact your potential candidate.  Sure, you can send mass mails to all profiles with certain keywords in their profile and keep your fingers (and toes) crossed, but….

That’s especially a great idea if you like to end up on lists like this: http://blacklist-recruiters.nl/  For the non-Dutch reader: “He (and here’s some embarrassing naming & shaming) keeps on calling me though I just started my new job and I told him to quit his phone calls. But this guy keeps on stalking me. Really annoying and not professional”

Besides these kind of lists, spamming your audience and crossing privacy lines, is the fastest way to ruin your carefully build employer brand. And, let’s face it: if you’re looking to contact a certain candidate because they meet your criteria, chances are, other recruiters are doing so too for the very same reasons. The only way you can ensure a response to your message and not theirs, is to stand out for all the right reasons.  And the only one who is capable of doing so is again the sourcer. Because during search, you already get to “know” your candidate, get to understand his or her needs and therefore can add value in your message.

So I believe a true sourcer is a smart nerd AND a sexy seducer, who’s working closely together with the (corporate) recruiter. And if you like to see some more evidence about this idea, you definitely should meet Irina Shamaeva, Balazs Paroczay, Jonathan Campell, Oscar Mager, Jan Bernhart and many others to convince you on this statement and learn from them how to source  right.  And yes, it’s your chance to be at http://sosueurope.com  See you at #sosueu!

Britt van Capelleveen was a speaker at #sosueu 2013. 



One of the highlights of Sourcing Summit Europe 2014 promises to be the session by Kevin Blair of Cisco.

Kevin will share how CISCO harness data to generate market intelligence which in turn is used to source and make intelligent hiring decisions. Check details of the talk here.

For those who don’t know Kevin, here’s his brief bio:

Kevin has spent his entire career in Recruitment & Talent Acquisition, with a focus on the Technology sector. He has extensive pan-EMEA experience, building and re-building teams and processes to drive effective delivery across the entire region. In addition to his EMEA work Kevin has lead delivery teams in both the North American and Asia Pacific/Japan regions.

Kevin recently joined Cisco Systems where he heads Talent Acquisition in EMEA-R, he presides over several thousand hires per annum across 85 countries whilst leading a team of recruiters and talent acquisition specialists in multiple geographies.

Prior to joining Cisco, Kevin lead recruiting for EMEA and Sales Engineering Globally for Salesforce.com. His prior experience Kevin spent over 5 years with Oracle leading the hiring of revenue generation profiles throughout EMEA during a time of both aggressive growth and acquisition. He previously held several Senior European / EMEA roles within Technology companies and Search/Consultancy firms.

Follow Kevin on twitter



Sourcing Summit Europe (#SOSUEU), Europe’s only dedicated talent sourcing conference, is back. Once again the event is an opportunity to learn the latest talent sourcing trends and strategies from some of the biggest names in European and global talent sourcing. The event will be held on 23-24 September.

This year #SOSUEU will look at how talent sourcing is evolving in a rapidly changing world. We will set our eyes on emerging trends from privacy laws to legal implications of social engagements. We will look at tools and new technologies, sourcing best-practices and will decipher the ever changing behavior of talent. Delegates will develop a big-picture view of talent acquisition and the tactical nous required to be an agent of change.

This year there will be more breakout sessions and delegates will have more options in terms of what they want to learn.

Popular speakers from 2013 will be back, joined by new names and companies. We will be adding more speakers. Have a look at our current speakers’ line-up. Once again the event promises to offers two days of discovery, practical learning and networking.

We are confident SOSUEU 2014 will be better this year. We hope to see you again in September. Register now!


We caught up with Irina Shamaeva on the eve of #SOSU Europe

Q. Irina, why sourcing as a profession, can you shed some light on your early days as a sourcer and how you got into sourcing and what you now do?

My early days with sourcing happened when I was a hiring manager in Software Engineering. I was looking for candidates as early as in 1995. I switched to the “dark side” and became a recruiter in 2003. The real fun began with the advancement of search engines; the fun was doubled when Social Networks, specifically LinkedIn, started to matter in practice, around 2007. I was able to find resumes on Google and to find “back doors” to LinkedIn, to get information about prospects and find new prospects to get in touch with. In 2009 I launched the Boolean Strings group and network; the amount of interest and the need to get help on searching the Web was enormous. Looking back, I am sill sad that I missed the first and the best SourceCon gatherings and contests in 2007-2008. I launched my first own sourcing contest/quiz on Boolean Strings in 2009 and ran several contests since.

In 2009 I won the big SourceCon challenge. (Those challenges have, unfortunately, been abandoned in the last few years.) Through contests, LinkedIn, blogging, and tweeting and at some conferences I met fun people, many of whom are great sourcers, such as Suzy Tonini, Julia Stone, Lisa Offutt, Mike Notaro, Shannon Myers, Katharine Robinson, Jim Stroud, and many more. Glen Cathey launched his blog about Boolean search at the same time I did; I believe that both of us have contributed to the growing interest to – now absolutely necessary for competitive recruiting – sourcing science and sourcing art. We have a new generation of strong sourcers who have started showing their skills in the last few years, such as Balazs Paroczay, Martin Lee, Gordon Lokenberg, Kameron Swinton etc. I am lucky to be closely working with David Galley who is a fantastic sourcer.

While having fun pressing the buttons and getting the right results was the early attraction; meeting and connecting with colleagues internationally has been attraction since around 2009; there’s a different place sourcing holds today than even 3-4 years ago. Anyone who is in the business of searching for professionals needs to be at least a bit of a sourcer. Getting in touch with and helping to educate the much larger population of recruiters vs. full time sourcers, then even taking the education to sales people has been enjoyable and satisfactory. Working with the growing team supporting the Program is lovely as well. I always remain a hands-on sourcer, which certainly helps to create webinars and materials. These days it’s become a marathon to keep up with the multiple changes in the core sourcing tools and the advancement of new tools; I have to press many more buttons, than before, to stay on top of “everything”. This still remains a lot of fun.

Q. New tools are emerging each day, what new sourcing innovations and tools are you seeing and excited about?

The sourcing tools territory has become quite interesting. In hands-on lives of sourcers and recruiters currently it’s “LinkedIn- and “everything else”. Tools for searching for and connecting with professionals that are not implemented by LinkedIn have little space left for them to set up their coverage and craft their marketing message. LinkedIn can be considered a new tool all the time, since their functionality changes all the time. Some functioanality is “retired”, some is new and wonderful, and not necessarily paid. Unfortunately, LinkedIn remains buggy; I suppose this can be considered extra fun for a sourcer in some cases, but usually it is frustrating.

Google is not specifically a people sourcing tool but it can be used in clever ways, both old and new, to find people. Google+ has excited me since its creation; it has not grown at a speed we’d love it to, but it’s getting there. Strangely, its faceted people search remains rather poor; but there are some creating ways to source there.
In 2011 we saw the first people aggregator tools Talentbin and thesocialcv, that sounded so promising that I called them “dream software”. By now we have a variety of people aggregators: Entelo, Gild, Swooptalent, and Hiringsolved among others. Thesocialcv has become Dice Open Web, conveniently offering an aggregator tool integrated with a job board. I am somewhat disappointed that most people aggregators add extra features vs. covering larger territory and perfecting merging and searching, but it seems that this happens for good marketing reasons. My perception is that Hiringsolved is the vendor that is after perfecting the aggregator concept implementation.

Combining different tools and data from different sources is an excellent way to go for a sourcer. Productivity tools for sourcers are often overlooked; those can be little browser add-ons to save some typing, as well as serious parsing and sorting tools such as Outwit Hub. There is a list of about 50 tools on my blog; I will probably add 15-20 more soon.

Q. Can sourcing skills be acquired or are some more gifted than others? Can anyone be a good sourcer regardless of background?

I am not sure. It’s a combination of nature and nurture or everything, isn’t it? Besides, there’s no degree in Sourcing (or in Recruiting), so all sorts of professionals enter the profession without much planning. I think, a gifted sourcer has a good balance of the left and the right brain. Sourcing is both art and science. Some down-to-earth technical understanding, specifcially, knowing what one can expect from a computer and what can be found on the web, helps. But intuition, creativity, and resourcefulness matter just as much, I think. Full time sourcers spending most of the time with a computer (vs. most of the time taking and meeting people) are, in most cases, introverts and “geeks”. However, it seems like a whole new generation of kids are spending lots on time on their devices. That’s a separate question where it’s all going, but today’s kids will become sourcers in a much easier fashion than us.

Q. You teach sourcing to a worldwide audience, in your experience is the way sourcing conducted across different geographical regions different?

Sourcing is absolutely and exactly the same, no matter where you source. Sourcing is finding information about professionals. To search well on Google, for example, we need to imagine what the target pages and profiles look like and start from there. This works for everything. That is what we teach and that allows us to efficiently teach people from many countries. What differs is the language, the available resources, networks, sites, the amounts of data, the words identifying locations, skills, degrees, job titles, etc. A good sourcer can start navigating a foreign land in a matter of hours, after figuring out what to search for and where to search. (Of course, in non-English speaking countries some knowledge of the local language is helpful.) What differs a lot is, of course, everything that happens when the search results are found: how one builds relationships and sells opportunities depends on the culture.

Q. What are your three most important tips to be a good sourcer?

Practice, practice, and practice.


Irina Shamaeva will be conduct a workshop and also speak at #sosueu

We caught up with Wolfgang Brickwedde who will speak about sourcing in Germany at #SOSUEU (day 2).

Q. Can you briefly explain your background and what problems you are currently solving for clients?
I’m the founder and director of the Institute for Competitive Recruiting (ICR), Heidelberg. Before founding the ICR, I hold senior management positions at SAP and Royal Philips Electronics in the areas of Employer Branding and Recruitment for various regions and countries in Europe. The Institute for Competitive Recruiting (ICR) consults companies on what I call “recruitment performance management” with the goal to make the clients competitive in the recruitment market. This is supported by conducting studies on the status of recruitment in Germany, e.g. effectiveness and efficiency of the recruitment processes, reaching from employer branding and sourcing to onboarding.

The ICR is acting as a platform for improving the recruitment function in Germany. In addition, the ICR is exploring improvement areas and consults in the steps of attracting, sourcing, selecting and hiring of new employees. Currently a lot the clients facing problems in getting enough candidates via reactive recruiting and exploring the new world of proactive recruiting, including sourcing.

Q. Can you shed some light on the labour market and the state of sourcing in Germany? How do you think it compares to the rest of Europe?
The labour market in Germany is currently experiencing a 20 year low in the unemployment rate with around 5 % according to the ILO. In certain areas we face a severe skill shortage, e.g. ITC, engineering, almost all medical areas. The majority of the employers in Germany is still in a kind of “post & pray” recruiting mode. Just one in four are testing the water with recruiting in social media or proactively sourcing for candidates. Although this figure has doubled in the last three years, in terms of sourcing, Germany is still in a toddler stage.

Compared to other countries in Europe, the labour markets in the Netherland, Switzerland and Austria are quite similar, almost all other countries are having a labour surplus market with unemployment rates close to 60% among the youth in the southern countries like Greece, Italy and Spain.

Q. In your opinion what are the most effective sources of talent in Germany? What are some of the challenges faced by employers in Germany?
The latest ICR Active Sourcing Report 2013, of which I will present parts on #SOSUEUROPE, shows that the recruiter get the most for recruiting out of the social business networks like XING and LinkedIn. CV Databases and the so called career networks like Experteer are a good source, too. And some are working with Google. Twitter and Facebook are rarely good sources for potential candidates.

While sourcing for these potential candidates, recruiters in Germany currently face some challenges like – now, that I’ve found the candidate, what is the best way to approach him or her by mail? I will solve the big mystery on the best approach in my session at #SOSUEUROPE. In addition, we have a very strong culture of data protection and privacy that keeps some recruiters from even trying to source.

Q. Is social sourcing big in Germany? How does Xing compares to the likes of Linkedin and other social networks?
If you would have asked me that question two years earlier, I would have stated, no, definitely not yet, it’s just a hype. But 2013, one out of ten hires are made from social networks! And as mentioned earlier, the latest ICR Recruiting Report shows that more than 25 % of the employers are, in addition to their effort in the “post & pray” recruiting area, pro-actively sourcing for candidates. That leaves as well 75% of the employers in the “recruiting stone age”, so sourcing is not big yet, but it’s the shooting star in recruiting in Germany.

With regards to XING and LinkedIn: XING is by far the favorite for sourcing among the recruiters. It’s triples LinkedIn in members, same goes for usage among recruiters. Last year, XING came with a something similar like the LinkedIn Recruiter, called XING Talent Manager, and was able to sell within the first 12 month more than 2000 licences!

We caught up with Jim Stroud, speaker at #SOSUEU and asked him a few questions about sourcing and his upcoming talk at  #SOSUEU in Amsterdam on 12-13 Sep.  Below is the video. Enjoy.

Guest post by Jan Bernhart, International Corporate Recruiter at Spil Games

19918_10151227190941915_338513695_nThese are exciting times for sourcers, the internet detectives of the recruitment industry.

Cool new sourcing tools are launched (connectifier) regularly while many die (falcon) with a fast pace. The image and profile of a Sourcer is shifting from being a nerdy recruitment assistant to a big-shot recruiter who gets head-hunted for high-profile sourcing jobs in different continents. And then there’s the upcoming Sourcing Summit Europe.

Finally a sourcing event for us Europeans – #SOSUEU.

For me, this event will be the ultimate test for the maturity of sourcing as a craft. Of course I’ll be there to learn and share cool new tips and tricks. But I’m especially interested in learning to which extent the presenters and attendees can showcase best-practices that are proven, sourcing strategies which are scalable and ROI driven solutions.

Currently, I find it’s not always easy to justify all the energy and hours I’ve spend mastering the craft of sourcing (most of it learnt at my own free time because I love doing it. Yeah I’m the nerdy guy). Sure, my sourcing skills are paying off now, but it is still hard to measure ROI and also convince others on the value of sourcing.  Can I really advise people that regard hacking with Google a hobby to take sourcing seriously? Or will sourcing remain a niche craft for nerdy assistants in the recruitment team?

On the one hand, I don’t think I’m the only sourcer who tries to track his ROI and create proven best-practices. But on the other hand we’ll need a lot more data, more than guys like me can gather, to really prove the value-add and ROI of sourcing. Time will tell; but I hope to find some answers at #SOSUEU.

See you guys at SOSUEU in Amsterdam!

P.S. if you need advice for getting around in Amsterdam , I am a local, feel free to contact me. My contact details are easily googleable J

Guest post by Britt van Capelleveen

Recruitment (Corporate)  has changed over the last few years. Or, at least it should have, in my opinion. Yes, we are still looking for the perfect candidate, and sometimes it still seems like we have to look out for that purple squirrel.

Yes, we occasionally have a different opinion than the hiring manager and we still have to deal with candidates who lose their interest because of ….(you can fill this in with your own frustrating moments, I’ m sure you’ll have them too).  But one thing has changed dramatically. Most of our future potential talent has discovered the different social networks. So, we as recruiters have to discover them too.

As Advisor e-Recruitment @Tempo-Team (part of the Randstad Holding), I –together with our corporate recruitment department– have come to the realization that it is important to get to (already) know our future colleagues. We do a lot of hires each year, in particular for commercial roles. Despite the economic circumstances top-talent aren’t waiting  side-by-side to find a new job. We became aware of the fact that our target group needs to know us too. And better yet, they have to like us.

This led to the corporate recruitment department of Tempo-Team setting up a small sourcing team. For every open vacancy we do not “post & pray”, like we used to do. We resort to spectacular boolean searches and Facebook searches. LinkedIn and Twitter became our new best friends to quickly fill the pipeline with perfect profiles. Candidates whose keywords and experience match with the company’s needs. And not only do we initiate contact. We also  engage with them and do a first screening by phone. If it turns out to be a wonderful fit, our corporate recruiters specialized in selection will do the official interviews.

Secondly, through our online endeavors, we quickly realized we have to find a way to attract (but also keep) our future talent. This led us to build online talent pools and communities of different types, and introducing a Recruitment page on Facebook. Both underline what a great place Tempo-Team is to work at. We developed a Facebook app, so our Facebook Friends will be directly informed of new opportunities at Tempo-Team (and of course make it able to easily share these fantastic job opportunities  with their friends).

In my opinion the old recruiting ways are insufficient. Sourcing and those wonderful online networks will be necessary to do the job right. At #sosueu you are able to add some serious sourcing and online recruitment knowledge to your recruitment department too, and you will see things start to change… If you don’t believe me, come and experience the love for sourcing yourself at #sosueu, http://sosueurope.com/ 12 and 13 September, Randstad HQ Amsterdam.

Britt van Capelleveen, is e-recruitment advisor at @Tempo-Team  and will lead one of the tracks at #SOSUEU unconference session.


By Dan Nuroo,

squirrel-1-0Been thinking a bit of late as to what is the most important thing about Recruiting… Is the ability to find that (excuse me for saying) Purple Squirrel, that “unfindable” person? Or is it the consistency of finding great people for your company?

I’m all for the latter.  Finding the superstars, the unfindable, doesn’t really change the world.  Sure it’ll make people happy, it’ll solve an immediate business problem, and allow you to give yourself an internal high 5, and allow you to brag to everyone how great you are as a Recruiter.

Here’s my theory.  All companies have their Superstars, all companies have their good, ordinary people, those people who just get things done, and ALL companies will have a bottom 10 percent.  You know that magical number that some companies brag about purging year on year!  Sorry if that offends anyone, but seriously, it is a mathematical fact that there will be a bottom 10%.

When you look at the success of sporting clubs, they all have their stars, those people who can win the unwinnable game for you.  But that only happens occasionally, not every week.  Ultimate success is found over an entire season, and that success comes from a consistency of performance across the whole year, not just the occasional piece of brilliance.  Don’t get me wrong, that piece of brilliance is amazing and a great tool to have and everyone strives for that piece of superstardom, but let’s keep it in perspective.

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link” is a great saying.  You need every person pulling in the same direction, doing their job and doing it well, when someone stuffs up it can have an effect on the whole team, or company.

Here’s the thing, every company I see marketing itself in the employment space will say something along the lines of “We only hire the best” “We hire the top 2%” blah blah blah.  Well that’s great, but managing a whole team of “Superstars” who normally have the ego to go with it is another challenge unto itself.  Especially if you as an organization have targeted, pitched to and  coerced someone to join you.  You do need a mix.

When we sit down and look at our hiring strategies going forward, yes we plan to hire superstars, we will hire superstars which will help our company grow in the direction we want it to go, but, our focus is always on consistency of hire, let’s minimize the gap between our best and our worst, let’s build a consistency that will make us better as a whole.  Let’s face it, those superstars tend to hire themselves.   If they are looking for a change, or you’ve been able to position your company to a point that they are looking for a change, and you’re it, then the hard work is done.  All you need to do is identify, engage and provide the environment for the deal to be made.

The meat and potatoes of Recruitment however is in the rank and file hiring.  The people who do all the “Real work” for you.  The one’s you’ll attract via a job board (yes they still exist and are effective!) .  The hard yards is the constant interviewing, cv reviewing etc to uncover people who will make a long term benefit to your business.  Not lowering your standards when the CEO is at your desk screaming at you to fill x amount of vacancies in y amount of time.  Remember this consistency is the benefit you’ll bring to the business as they underpin the business as a whole.