We had a chat with Bas Westland of ePeople. Bas will be the MC for day two of Sourcing Summit Europe.
Q. Can you shed some lights on your background. What problems do you solve for your clients?
After doing HR for 10 years I switched to commercial recruitment in 1999, initially as Commercial Manager for Brunel, later on I founded e-people with help of a VC in 2000. They were tired spending their money on agency fees and decided to create their own. Later on I gained a majority stake in the company and re-started and re-invented the company after the turbulent GFC.
At e-people we typically recruiter for hard to fill positions in the ICT and Internet sector. So mostly Online Marketeers and Developers of all kind, but also Managers and Support Staff. We rather focus on the Industry than on specific profiles.
Next to that I am passionate about sourcing and recruitment innovation. I’ve been training fellow recruiters since 2007 – both corporate and agency – on how to source on LinkedIn, but more and more also on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, StackOverflow and just using Google.
Q. What’s your take on the role of sourcing in Netherlands in particular and Europe in general?
I think sourcing is still very much under utilized, especially in the corporate space. I am still flabbergasted about the lack of skills with fellow recruiters, where I see that sourcing is my main source for getting the best candidates for my clients. ON the other hand I see good sorucers waste a lot of sourcing effort by using the wrong tone of voice in the approach of scarce candidates. That’s where you make the REAL difference.
Q. What in sourcing excites you? In your opinion, are sourcing best days ahead or behind us?
I feel like a private investigator, it’s like treasure hunting. I especially like to source the trigger for the candidate, the personal note based on information that you source. not the candidate him- or herself. That”s usually not the hardest part.
Q. You attended #sosueu last year what are your impressions of the event?
It was great, especially the session where the sourcers shared their best hacks on stage. The big difference between sourcers and plain recruiters is that sourcers are willing to share their knowledge, where recruiters tend to be secretive and keep their cards close. Last year was very valuable for my own sourcing skills as well. I learned stuff which I could apply the next day. It had been a long time that I learned so much in two days.
Q. This year you are the co-MC for #sosueu, what can delegates expect to learn? How can they get the best out of the event?
Be prepared to learn a lot. Most #sosueu speakers share a lot, so pay attention. Bring your open mind, be willing to look at your sourcing process from a different angle and you will gain new insights. Also make sure to bring your laptop so you can immediately try out the tips and bookmark them on the spot. It’s going to save you a lot of time and money.