• Mike Sullivan

    “The most effective relationships are based on learning, benchmarking, and professional growth rather than the promise of a job.”

    There’s my problem. I’ve been wasting my time in trust-based relationships.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/russmoon Russ Moon

    Yes, testing this concept right now as we prepare for our SourceCon 2010 presentation.


  • http://baldwingilman.com Les Sper

    Dr.Sullivan’s comments, as always, are thorough, thoughful, and well presented, but with the notable exception of characterizing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as “…an infamous government agency, DARPA,…”.
    The DARPA Network Challenge came about as an observance of 40 years since the first message was sent over the Department of Defense’s ARPANET, forerunner of today’s Internet.
    Webster’s describes infamous as:
    1 : having a reputation of the worst kind : notoriously evil
    2 : causing or bringing infamy : disgraceful
    3 : convicted of an offense bringing infamy.

    Summarily referring to DARPA as “infamous” is either an incorrect choice of word or insulting to scores of professionals whose mission is to maintain technological superiority of the U.S. military.

    L. Sper

  • http://www.johnstonsearch.com/about.php Brian Kevin Johnston

    Dr Sullivan- Great article…. While I believe it is harder than 10 years ago to find the top people, it is true, the people are there, but nobody wants to work for it..

    “Direct sourcing is the future, and crowdsouring is what will make it feasible.”

    Third party search recruiter’s (Contingent/Retained) have been doing this since the beginning of time…

    Is there anyone in this community that will stand up for the contributions of the Third Party recruiter’s contributions?

    Best, Brian-

  • Keith Halperin

    Thank you again, Dr. Sullivan.

    I will say this again to everyone:
    The vast majority of quality telephone or internet sourcing can be performed at a cost of no more than around $10/hr. If our time is more valuable than that, why do we need to know more than a user’s understanding of how it is done, since we won’t be doing it? We can hire Shally, Maureen, or Irena to do the relatively few “Purple Squirrel/Osama-in-a-Cave” searches.

    Is Sourcecon devoted to the $10/hr-and-under type of sourcing, or to the small number of “Purple Squirrel/Osama-in-a-Cave” type sources? From the current agenda, I don’t see much of the latter. I also don’t see much on how to create, manage, and get the best use of your $10/hr and under virtual work force.

    KH keithsrj@sbcglobal.net

  • http://www.Twitter.com/StarbucksJobs Jeremy Langhans

    @keith = i’d like to see the speakers & new owners of SC reply to ur Q about “Is Sourcecon devoted to the $10/hr-and-under type of sourcing, or to the small number of “Purple Squirrel/Osama-in-a-Cave” type sources?”



  • http://drjohnsullivan.com Dr John Sullivan


    I did NOT use the word “infamous” in my original article. It was added during an edit and I apologize for not catching it. I too have great respect for the work of DARPA in encouraging new technologies.

    John Sullivan

  • Master Burnett


    John is correct, the word infamous was added by me during a quick edit prior to submission to ere.net. I had intended to say famous and included some elaboration about DARPA’s past contributions to society, but in hast didn’t catch the spell check error.

    My sincerest apologies to anyone at DARPA, I too greatly respect the agency and it’s contributions to the world I live in, namely the one I use nearly every minutes of the business day!

  • judy kerns

    Interesting article! My only comment is that I feel each Recruiter has to develop their own processes, education and use whichever internet tools are appropriate for the type of work and industry. And find those that work for him/her.

    I fully support Brian’s comment above “nobody (Recruiters) wants to do the work” to find those Purple Squirrels. Some just plain do not like hunting or are not very good at it.

    That’s OK, though, because that’s how I earn my living–cold-calling prospective candidates directly–the old-fashioned way. And mostly senior-level management up through C-level executives. And I enjoy it!

    The scope of “sourcing services” I provide my clients include: developing target lists; candidate identification, approach, screening, brief phone interviews and qualification assessment. Then the “Recruiter” picks up the ball and runs with it.

    Should you like more information about my services (fees etc) go to the comments section for Lou Adler’s “Passive Candidates” recent article.

    Happy Hunting!

    Judy Kerns
    Executive Sourcing Group

    P.S. Honestly, I don’t know where you would find a quality “Sourcer” for $10/hr.

  • http://drjohnsullivan.com Dr John Sullivan

    Replacing sourcers with network managers

    The key point of the crowdsourcing article is that this approach is so effective, cheap and fast that THE TRADITIONAL ROLE OF SOURCERS WILL BE PHASED OUT IN LARGE CORPORATIONS. These corporate sourcers will be replaced with “social network managers”, who will utilize “the networks of others” (employees, former employees, vendors, customers etc.) to identify top candidates.

    Crowdsourcing works because it harnesses thousands of individuals to participate in the identification process. Employee referral programs already utilize crowdsourcing, but unfortunately, most limit the size of their “crowd” by restricting participation to current employees.

    Market forces and experience, rather than anyone’s current opinion, will be the long-term determinant of whether having “thousands of untrained nonprofessional global sourcers” utilizing their social networks, end up producing better results… than a dozen $10 or $100 per hour sourcers that cold call. My forecast is that the Internet will win out over tradition in the corporate world. If I am correct, we in corporate recruiting need to change dramatically. If the defenders of traditional sourcing are correct, there is no need to change.

  • http://www.mysensay.com/blog Omowale Casselle

    Dr. John,

    As I was reading through your article, I definitely understood the value of crowdsourcing as it relates to sourcing high quality candidates. But, it was less clear how to properly leverage the crowd given the relatively closed networks of most people. My thought was that you would need a new type of recruiter able to efficiently, effectively and credibly access a wide variety of closed networks.

    Your recent response referencing the role of social recruiting manager seems like it will invert traditional sourcing efforts from 1:many to many:1. Why spend time cold calling or doing internet searches when members of a properly built talent community can quickly identify qualified candidates?

  • http://www.hughesvaladez.com John Hughes

    I read crowdsourcing awhile back and recommend it. Reading it gives a different perspective to this article. It is an interesting concept that deserves deeper consideration. It has been used in IT circles very efectively to develop new software and code.
    One note to add under rewards is recognition. Some crowdsourcing forums keep track of who wins with title and points. These participants gain credibility, recognition and bragging rights in their prospective fields.
    As with any other tool it will depend much on the user as to how effective it can be. When I have brought up the idea in corporate venues I have been met with blank stares. It will require a large degree of explanation to our HR handlers and much collaboration with hiring managers in order to make it a reality in corporate. Crowdsourcing leverages expertise of various functional groups. If your company had a R&D issue that needed solved you could hold a contest in order to solve it. During the contest you may identify candidates that would make good additions to the team. Talk about a nice assesment on the front end prior to hiring.

  • http://www.vonei.com Alan Fitzpatrick

    Great article Dr. Sullivan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve contributed to search efforts when asked. I didn’t need the reward incentive, but did so out of wanting to help friends and colleagues, and sometimes even strangers. You never know when you’ll need their help in return, so in a way my “incentive” was building a positive emotional bank account with the recruiter. Plus if I helped a friend find a good position it is an emotional boost for me that I did “something good for someone”. I always enjoy your thought provoking articles!

    Alan Fitzpatrick
    Vonei LLC

  • http://jobprize.heroku.com/ Adrian Perez

    The Red Balloon Network challenge caused me to create a job prize web site for my own job search. On the site, I have made a prize for finding me a job that is distributed in a similar fashion to the MIT solution for the DARPA challenge. So far, all of my most promising leads have come through this site.

    Here is a link to my job prize:

    I hope that if my prize is successful, I am able to make it available to others for their job search.

    Thank you for the article Doctor Sullivan. It is interesting to see someone else has realized the impact of the DARPA challenge, and elucidated the strengths of the solution so well.

    Adrian Perez

  • http://aces.arbita.net/blog/glenn Glenn Gutmacher

    @keith @jeremy – SourceCon will help anyone who wishes to raise their bar on sourcing skills, as well as the range of tools to employ (social recruiting and crowdsourcing being an important part of that, as Dr. Sullivan describes). The reason Keith may be skeptical about whether SourceCon covers “purple squirrel” methods is because the agenda only recently added the Arbita Sourcing Lab (http://www.sourcecon.com/2010/session-descriptions/#session-127) which was my idea from a while back, but now an official part of SourceCon 2010. We will address any sourcing challenge in a hands-on format during both days of SourceCon. You can also login virtually to the Lab with your questions if you cannot attend in person. I am also skeptical of quality $10/hr. sourcers, but I’d love to meet some of them there if Keith can steer them — and we probably could give them an opportunity to show their stuff as a Lab advisor/presenter!

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