Sourcing for Good – Helping the Community After a Layoff

Moments. Moments can change how I feel about the sourcing world. I have had moments where I am frustrated by failure, but then I have those few moments. Moments that make me fall in love with what I do all over again.

I was sourcing for a retail company in rural West Texas. The culture there still reflects a time passed where a handshake is as good as a contract and what happens to a few ripples through the community. A company decided to close their local operations which would leave almost 200 people without a job within a month. The company had been around a while and was a staple in that community. Not only would people be losing their jobs a significant percentage of the community would also be losing their source of income.

My initial reaction was to reach out them about positions with my company, but I knew my company couldn’t absorb all of them. Knowing that I had a short timeline, I called a few community leaders, and we came up with a plan to set-up a job fair for the employees in one week. My role was to find companies who had positions to offer and convince them to participate in the last minute job fair.

I started my sourcing list by reviewing job boards and companies with similar trades. I identified decision makers and began the process of collecting contact info. With a sourcing list in hand, I began making phone calls, sending emails, and scheduling Skype and face-to-face meetings with company representatives. The job fair booths had become my roles to staff, and I treated those roles as if they were a position with my company with one of the shortest time-to-fill requirements I have ever worked with. After two days of refocusing my sourcing efforts from employees to hiring managers, we were able to finalize the job fair.

On the day of the job fair, we had 51 companies attend ready to make on the spot job offers. Throughout the four hours, we helped with online applications, updated resumes to print on site and coordinated interview rooms. We had a quick survey with every job seeker before they left to track offers or follow-up with anyone who needed additional job search help. To our surprise, every attendee walked away with a job offer. Although I was elated on what we did in that short amount of time, it was one interaction that demonstrated what had truly taken place.

The moment that I knew I had made an impact was when an older gentleman who was leaving stopped by the check in table. He reached out his hand that was hardened by his manufacturing role, and with a firm nod said “Thank you…Thank you.” Probably the deepest, meaningful thank you; I have ever experienced.

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That moment is one that I recall whenever I have those rough sourcing days. I remember that gentleman’s “Thank you.” and know that sourcing and recruiting won’t change the world, but it has the potential to change someone’s world.