Growth = More content fewer blog posts?

Believe it or not, I’m mega hung up about writing articles on my blog…

Hung up cos I always want them to be perfect.

I wrote at the beginning of last year that I was going to be less hung up about it.

I felt I was drowning in the noise of nontent that everyone was publishing.

But the goals I set out for myself didn’t work and I ended 2017 more frustrated than ever at my lack of ability to write loads of great content on my blog. I wasn’t sure what is going wrong until I did some research and some soul-searching.

If you read or watch anything about personal branding, marketing or growth hacking, they all talk about having a clearly defined goal, I don’t have one for this blog.

This blog is purely self-promotion through self-discovery.

This is my personal portfolio.

With that in mind, I thought I would continue to write about my personal development and use it to develop my writing and my ideas. Use it to test the things I want to work on.

I set out with the best of intentions, last year I just couldn’t get it right.

So this year, I set out with more of a no fear approach and have been testing a bunch of other ways to get my message out there, to increase my reach. My goal continues to be to help people in my network and outside of it get better at recruiting and job hunting!

Its been a few months and I feel like I am starting to get my groove on.

Time to tell you all a bit about what I have done so far.

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What did I do?

I looked at my audience and asked myself what do people want from me and what can I give them?

My audience can be easily broken down into 3 segments;

  1. Recruiters who follow me to find out about the latest tools and trends in hiring
  2. Job seekers and potential candidates
  3. Friends, colleagues and family.

During my personal brand audit, I figured out that my largest audience is on LinkedIn, I tweet about stuff but it is predominantly personal and my facebook is pretty terrible. The content that was most successful last year was honest, authentic and a little bit ranty.

The “sourcers are not baby recruiters” post was the best because it was my personal beliefs mixed with some cool recruiting science and tips.

Having taken a look at what happened last year it was time to sit down and write some goals for what I want to achieve with my personal and professional brand.

  1. Do more stuff that people enjoy and share.
  2. Get better at Facebook (it is after all the worlds biggest social platform)
  3. Do more stuff that helps people with their career.
  4. Help more people have a voice.
  5. Do more with Video!

Let me tell you how I have got on with it so far.

1. Do more stuff that people enjoy and share

I read some marketing books and growth hacking books and started watching stuff on virals on youtube and talked to people about it!

The number one rule here that I seem to be getting from everyone is Add Value.

I am still not sure what that means, but I am trying to do more stuff that helps people get better. Over my testing period, I have now learned to ask myself these two questions as I am posting or doing stuff;

  • Does this help someone do something better?
  • Is this the real me?

Will probably have to revisit this again in the next few months as I start to have more stuff shared by people.

2. Get better at Facebook

This has taken a bunch of bunch of different avenues as Facebook has become a beast of a platform. My first step was to take a look and see what other people are posting and thus spend a bit more time on facebook consuming content from recruiters and people with interesting personal brands.

I realised I needed to learn more about it so with the help of Jan Tegze I started a Facebook Group around a subject that I am really interested in, Growth Hacking, join if you fancy. Its all about how growth hacking techniques can apply to recruitment and there are some amazing people in it that are sharing loads of awesome stuff!

That seems to be working really nicely and I am making loads of awesome new recruitment friends. Below are the stats since the beginning of the year!

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I also revisited something

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My Facebook BOT

Have a GO!

Now should I start predominantly posting on my facebook page or keep my Facebook audience on my personal Facebook?

3. Do more stuff that helps people with their career.

Did you read my first post of the year?

More in the works, but don’t worry.

That’s my day job!

4. Help more people have a voice.

That’s why I’m writing this.. to help you!

Have you seen my posts on LinkedIn?

5. Do more with Video!

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Ta Da!

A YouTube Channel…

Not such good stats but its just the beginning!

What do you think?


I wrote this rant on DBR the other day about the people who are always trying to break the recruitment industry. Breaking the recruitment industry is my favorite subject of conversation, I have written about a couple of times before. I start every year blogging about it because I do believe there are still lots of things that need to change in the world of recruitment. Last year I said.

Let not try and break recruitment, let’s get together and build a worldwide community that makes all the recruiters better!

Now DBR has over 1000 members and continues to grow. We are definitely not the only recruitment community out there either. From the Recruiters Online Facebook group to the Recruiters Kitchen in Paris, all of these recruiters getting to know each other and helping each other is making recruitment better for everyone!

So to all of those of you that are still writing “Recruitment is Broken”, I stand by my previous post’s, it is not a wave of bright-eyed and eager tech entrepreneurs armed with Blockchains and Algorithms that will break recruitment.

It’s us recruiters who will fix our industry!

It’s down to every member of the global recruiting community that recruitment is getting better.

We have only just begun!

Here are my tips on how to be an awesome recruiter in 2018. It’s my rant from the other day in a more constructive of 2017 esque Broetry for those of you that are not DBR members,  the DBR members will remember a few of these lines! 

I hope this will help you be awesome at hiring in 2018. Please share it on your company slack, email lists or and print it out for the people that still don’t have the internet. It is up to all of us involved in hiring to fix Recruitment.

Recruiters aren’t evil, or whatever else Google cares to say about us.

Tech won’t break recruitment, it will make it better.

It’s up to us the recruiters to fix recruitment.

It’s up to us to tell everyone involved!

Not everyone will be happy with a hiring experience.

Not everyone can get the job but if we all work together we can make hiring awesome together!

Here are my tips in general on how to be awesome at hiring in 2018!

These are practical tips for anyone hiring.

Stop writing bland emails

Be Human

Think, People first

Hello, we are hiring people here…

Put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker


Get to know who you recruit for

They probably had it written on the door when you walked in. Convincing stories from people in the company are the easiest way to persuade someone to work there.

Get to know who you recruit

You literally just have to walk up to them and ask them things about their job and their industry. My favorite question to ask people is, how would you like to be recruited?

Understand your competitors

Either in locations or industry or role. Finding out about those companies is simple, try stuff like Owler or Blind or Google Maps.

Partner with your hiring manager


Search with them

Literally, sit down, open up your laptop, go on your fave search engine and search for who they want to hire on a database.

Communicate with Clarity

That takes practice, I’m not sure that I am the best to help you on that one, but try it!

Think about what you can automate

Why do 3 emails when you can do 1? Everyone one enjoys things that are efficient!


Write decent job ads.

Everyone has different ideas about job ads, so post a couple of different ones if you have to!

Make applying easy

Seriously. I get so bored after looking at a form for more than a few minutes!

Show off your team

You are probably going to need a hashtag and lots of pom poms.

Ask the people who are on the team to show it off too

They will get you referrals, reward them well, they will get you more referrals!

Ask for feedback

It does open up the door for rants and it can be tough to swallow, but ask for it anyway with a simple form. Did I do OK today?

Give Feedback

Constructively and honestly!

Be honest with hiring managers

Use Data, its hard to argue with numbers.

Say No – Often!

Try and do it over the phone, I know its hard but you are not going to hire everyone.

You are a gate keeper, you can’t let everyone past.


Design for Privacy

Yep, we are recruiters, we deal with sensitive data.

Make sure you know how to approach that!

(Oh and GDPR Regulation – this is the newest problem on recruiters list in 2018)


Keep notes, write stuff down. Tag Candidates. I can’t believe I’m still saying this.. seriously.


Oh man… there is so much interesting data in recruitment, start here.

Share data

Open up that magic black box of recruitment to the world! (HT Buckland) Telling people it takes 50 interviews to make a hire makes for an interesting conversation.

Help people out that need it

Sometimes it just means looking at their CV with them and showing them how to search for jobs other times and introduction!

Read things

Hung Lee’s Recruiting BrainFood is probably the best place to start!

Don’t believe everything you read

Seriously, especially if it is about recruitment.

Find a community

Specifically, one where you have similar people who face similar problems.

Contribute to it

Don’t just lurk. Write, rant, talk, laugh, post stuff your reading.

Share your best ideas

People need to be inspired!

Ask questions when you are stuck

I do, it helps me get better.

Don’t be scared to Fail

Failing is the best way to learn. I fail all the time.

If you are nice, you will tell me when you do so I can get better too!






Why sourcing should walk hand in hand with recruiting!

In most recruiting workflows, sourcing comes last, I believe that’s wrong and here’s why.

Anyone who works on a sourcing team knows this situation; you are assigned to work on a new role. You pick up the job and realize it has been open for months, the recruiter working the role has had three interviews and got nowhere with it. You sit down with the hiring manager to understand the role and they have a 100% lost faith in you and the recruiting team. Your recruiter is screaming for CV’s and thinks that by finally asking for help you have a magic tap of candidates to turn on. We all know the nightmare, but I have been thinking about why does this happen and what Is it about the recruiting model that leads to these situations?

In most companies these days, sourcing is just part of being a recruiter. As far as I’m concerned, all good recruiters know how to source, all good recruitment managers understand pipeline metrics and can differentiate between a healthy pipeline and one that is not. So why is it that this situation keeps on happening in sourcing teams around the world?

Is it because recruiters and their managers don’t ask for help until it is too late?

Maybe the reason why sourcing is the last resort is the standard recruiting processes most recruiters. Most recruiters get a new job and spend the first week understanding it and writing a job ad, eventually by Friday afternoon get it posted live. The next week they get a huge amount of applications and spend a lot of time treating those and getting screens sorted. By the second week, they have a couple of qualified candidates at interview stage and a steady trickle of new candidates and think that everything is going well. After three or four weeks they have had 6 or 8 interviews and filled the role or they haven’t and that’s when the panic sets in!

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this process, it works for 80% of hiring and I have used it hundreds of times to fill jobs.

The thing that is wrong is when you can’t fill your job from those 6 or 8 interviews and you turn around and think oh god now I need to source. The thing I then notice is that the recruiter that this happens to is often very busy, finding the time to source is nigh on impossible and they then spend the next 3 or 4 weeks in semi sourcing mode. Praying for a good applicant to come in… and then it’s been 10 weeks and they haven’t filled the job and someone somewhere panics. They didn’t ask for help in the right way or have the right resources assigned and all of a sudden they made everyone look bad.


So maybe the real problem here, is its hard to tell which role is tough to fill?

You might believe that the problem here lies in the identification of the difficulty of filling the role. Is it the recruitment manager or the recruiter to do that or does it lie with the sourcing team? Good recruitment leaders understand the potential hiring problems and work to ensure the problem isn’t delayed. Here at Indeed in EMEA that it is how we work, our awesome leadership team and I sit down and look at headcount plans months in advance and identify roles that are going to be difficult. The prediction models that Randstad showcased at SourceCon were all around identifying the hard to fill jobs and communicating that back to the business to ensure that roles were assigned the right type of resource.

With labour markets becoming more competitive and jobs more complex most of the people that you will hire will already be working and more than 60% percent (depending on which statistic you believe) will be not actively looking and applying for jobs. Sourcing needs to walk hand in hand with recruitment, as a recruiter that means honing your sourcing skills as a source that means positioning yourself at the top of your hiring funnel to ensure that your efforts are being spent in the right place. It shouldn’t be hard to know which role is going to need sourcing because in truth you should source for every role.

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I fundamentally believe that sourcing and recruiting walk the hiring road hand in hand. If you think they are different you are wrong. If you think you don’t need to source your are not a recruiter. If you think you don’t need to know how to recruit to be a sourcer you are wrong. If you want to get really good at recruiting then you need to get really good at sourcing and vis versa.

The knowledge gained from sourcing to start with vs sourcing at the end means that your efforts complement your organic pipeline; you are recruiting effectively when you are doing both. Through the knowledge you develop in your initial sourcing efforts your hiring managers will trust you as an expert and you become effective faster in your hiring efforts.

Whether you are one recruiter in your company or hundreds, for sourcing and recruitment to walk hand in hand successfully then;

  • Leadership should try and use data to predict where sourcing and hiring efforts should be directed and resources should be put.
  • Recruiters should try and source first – even if it is just a few search string to look at some profiles you will learn stuff before you sit with a hiring manager that will make you look like an expert.
  • If you have a stand alone sourcing team then you should be assigning them to roles and recruiters as early in the hiring process as possible.
  • Everyone involved in hiring needs to be honest, hiring managers not getting the right people? Tell someone. Recruiters not getting the right people? Tell someone. Sources finding it tough? Tell some one. Asking for help does not mean you are bad at your job!
  • Finally in a big team or a small one, working together is the only secret to hiring well.

Here at Indeed in EMEA all this boils into regular syncs between every stakeholder in the process, regular updates and regular communication. To hire more as a team it means weekly sourcing jams with recruiters and sources so we can work as a team on tough roles and peer to peer sourcing session with new hires and existing teams to find out who they know.

Sourcing walks hand in hand with recruitment and if you think I’m wrong, I’m keen to hear why.

In my next why sourcing post I am will share my top tips on how to source for a job before you have got it, on how to use data to do market sizing exercises! If you haven’t allready, check out why sources are not baby recruiters and hit me up with a tweet or on LinkedIn.

Recruitment Automation, how far should you go?

Automation, Robots and AI have been prolific in my career as a Recruiter.

I find myself talking about it a lot… competing against them often, but actually making it work is something I still haven’t cracked fully. The biggest players in AI; Google and IBM are moving into the HR tech space, startups are turning to bots to try fix traditional recruiting problems and yet I’m still having to stitch together spreadsheets and manually de-dupe data to make any real predictions or rankings.

With all of these new fangled tools being so on trend right now, I thought it would be fun to write down from my own quick guide to how far you can go with automation and what it really means for you as a Recruiter or Sourcer in today’s world.

When I was at TruParis this year, I lead a track called; Automation, how far should you go!

It wasn’t me that bought up a slightly utopic vision of a world where when HR person is asked to make a new hire, turns to her laptop, drops in the job order and sits back and waits; A few months/weeks/days later she gets an alert saying that the new hire was starting next week. Maybe it is only a French HR person could be so lazy to dream of this… but without a doubt, this is probably the most advanced vision I have ever heard of automation within the sphere of recruitment. I loved it, my inner cyber punk jumped for joy!

…but there is something seriously wrong with this vision. Even if Google Hire plus Google Job Ads plus Google Apps multiplied by the fact they know everything about you and your company means that one day (soon) they could start to put something like this together. The limiting factor is the data we provide to these systems is still human. If we were hiring robots it would be easy, I want a robot to do X, Y and Z… a few months later a robot shows up that can do that.

You Can’t Go That Far with Recruiting Technology?!?

Even if Google Hire plus Google Job Ads plus Google Apps multiplied by the fact they know everything about you means that one day (soon) they could start to put something like this together. The limiting factor is the data we provide to these systems is still human. If we were hiring robots it would be easy, I want a robot to do X, Y and Z… a few months later a robot shows up that can do that.

For now though, If we were to automate the recruitment process from end to end then we would need consistent data. Humans are not consistent while computers are, you can only go as far as the data allows you. Data on a linked in profile or on a CV are controlled by the person who puts them there. How many times have you read a CV that is unbelievable?

In a world where you don’t need humans to do interviews, you don’t meet the new member of your team?

You could probably validate the human discrepancy in the data provided to the system with Blockchain or a similar technology verifying claimed experiences, with references from hiring managers and colleagues. Companies could be on a system that would mean sharing career data, appraisals and salary data but this seems a complete impossibility.

You would also completely eliminate the human elements… Humans need to talk to each other before they work together.

The utopic vision of the magic recruitment button means a universal way of tracking people’s career and acceptance to not talking to people before you work with them, Humans don’t do that.

Most people would hate that!

So as a Recruiter/Sourcer don’t be scared, you are not about to be replaced but your job will be changing really fast in the next few years. As an interesting study from the MIT Sloane Management Review suggests, you should be changing your career now and upgrading yourselves. So here are my simple tips for what to focus on!

Do Recruiting Automation Right, Adopt the Right Mindset

In your non-recruitment life, you probably have a voicemail and a direct debit set up… you facebook your friends.. you have a smartphone… this is all automation.. why not apply a few of the same principles to your daily job? Accept the tech!

When I asked how many people who were actually in the room at TruParis who was actually using automation, only a smattering (i.e 3) people that were actually using in their daily work. You can go further than that!

Automation is about mindset (thanks Ed) if you find yourself doing the same thing twice, and it takes you ages, figure out how to automate it. You are probably going to need to do it again so you may as way remove the pain. Sourcing, Recruitment is not an exciting job, you find people, interview them and hopefully recommend that your company or the person you are recruiting for, hire some of them. If you take away some of that boring stuff that you are doing every day, then you can probably start to find some more fun things to do.

Focus on the few simple, tedious things that you wish you didn’t have to do and see if you can automate them, quickly!

Adopting the right mindset of acceptance of these new technologies, coupled with a hunger to explore them will set you apart and make you more productive. It’s a win win, right? You do less tedious stuff and make more hires, no one is going to complain here.


Recruiters Become a Data Guardian

Data in recruitment is a pain! Accurate data is difficult to find in the open market and our own Data (if we are lucky) is stored in an ATS that often has an analytics function designed by someone who learned UX at the same time as finger painting.

When we get accurate data out of these systems though, the story it tells and we can tell with it are fascinating and beguiling to our hiring managers and clients. We finally open up the block box of how much work goes into recruiting someone into a story made accurate with facts.

Don’t hate the fact that you are going to spend a lot more time handling data, inputting it into a system and being checked on it! The evolution of a recruiter in a data lead world is someone who cares about data, understands why they are collecting it and can tell good stories with it. It starts by the boring admin stuff, we need to make sure we put data into whichever system we use accurately so we can tell cool stories about it afterwards.

Here are some interesting articles to get you started on data in recruiting:

A little Data sparks big change

Data and HR Number are nothing without insight

– Cred to Matt Buckland and Matt Bradburn cos working with them got me to understand this

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Become More Human (Seriously?)

Sadly, I believe HR people and recruiters remove themselves so far from the human element of the hiring process that they forget about their own humanity in the work place. The truth is this is the bit we need to focus on. Looking at the world today and the influx of technology, our human interactions are going to become less and less frequent and more and more important.

When I was writing this, I was thinking about where can you learn to be Human? Does someone really need to teach me? When are people going to stop saying this to me?

As Recruiters, we flex HR, sales and marketing skills. We need to be on brand but at the same time, human and building relationships. Yikes. Glen Cathy goes as far as saying we need to be focusing on social engineering but having read books on social engineering, mind control, the art of persuasion, I really don’t think that is the way forward.

Most recently I got into a muddle writing a bot version of me – yes my half finished bot will talk to you – and it was only doing this exercise that I realised what it meant being more human. I needed to inject my humanity into a blank canvas that would hopefully build excellent relationships with people. Reverse engineering like this made me realise I need to understand the overall experience I want to give a candidate and understand how I am going to get there.

I believe that as recruiters we should understand the same type of techniques used in sales (Open questions, closed questions, yes ladders etc) coupled with a strong underastanding of what we are looking to get from people in our day to day conversations to create an amazing experience for ourselves and our candidates.

The easiest way to exercise you empathetic muscles is to consistently put yourselves in the shoes of the person you are talking to. Think about what does a good conversation to my candidate look like and why. You won’t find tips in recruitment media on this sort of stuff, go outside the box, watch some Ted talks or find a cool book about it (and send it to me when you have read it 😉 )

The most important thing to remember here is at the end of the day, every experience you have, every candidate you talk to is a person and they will talk about you. Try and create a something real with them, don’t act like a machine!

Paul Wolfe sums it up here far more eloquently than I just did…

In-house Recruiters; Should you be getting a Bonus?

The team over at DBR are running a salary survey again if you want to take part, just fill out this quick form here and we will share the data!

The point of the salary survey is to get a better understanding of life as an in-house recruiter today, we ask base salary, the average number of hires per month, company size, teams size and ask questions do you like your job or what bonus do you get?

We will release our findings to the whole world once we start to get a larger data set. In the meantime, if you join us at DBR we can hopefully answer some of the questions we get in DBR’s Slack channel like how much should I pay a recruiter in Ireland? or how many hires per month is normal for my industry?

Suprise Suprise! Inhouse recruiters bonus is not what you think.

When I posted this in a few forums, people were surprised to see that we had put the bonus question. From 150 or so responses so far I was surprised to see how many in-house recruiters are not getting a bonus this year.

Some people will argue that Hires is not a good metric to measure in-house recruiters on and some will say those in-house recruiters should not get bonuses for hires as it may mean they push the wrong people to be hired.


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I am not sure if there is a right or wrong, my career started in agency where of course my salary was intrinsically linked to the number of hires I made. As I moved in-house, I realised it is not only about the number of hires but who and how I hired. I have worked in roles that both gave me a bonus and don’t and personally, I prefer to be rewarded when I hit my goal. The Dataset allowed me to ask a couple of questions to start the question.

Do bonuses affect the number of hires inhouse recruiters make?

With such a rich Dataset I was able to do some quick math on the responses so far, the reported average monthly hires are 3.6 hires per month. However, if we only look at an average of people that get no bonus, then they are making 3.2 hires a month and those that are getting 10% bonus are averaging 4.1 hires per month. The numbers speak for themselves.

Do bonuses make inhouse recruiters happier?

In-house recruiters are generally a happy bunch, we asked people on a scale of 1-5 how happy and they responded on average with a score of 4. As I said, a pretty cheerful bunch!

Those people that were getting a bonus were only slightly more, averaging 4.1 whereas those that aren’t getting a bonus are averaging 3.9 as a happiness score. Proof maybe that money doesn’t really make you that happy?

Should recruiters be getting a bonus?

Obviously, there is no hard or fast rule, more than 56% of respondents of the survey so far, are getting one. While it does seem to affect the number of hires, it doesn’t make you that much happier. We don’t have enough responses yet to make this all-encompassing, so I am keen to find out what you think.

Fill out the survey and help us make this a more inclusive data set and tweet me or comment and tell me; Do you think in-house recruiters should be getting a bonus?

Why Sourcers are racing the machines

AI is changing the way the world works! Big who ha you might say, but the evidence is in front of us. We are helping the world evolve due to our warm embrace of technology into every part of our lives. Recruitment is the same! Some neigh-sayers fill us with fear that all of our jobs will disappear, others take the time to educate us on how to keep up with the changing landscape. You could believe the apocalyptic science fiction scenarios but my peers and I do not. We design, use and compete against more complex technology every day.

You may ask me why we would want to race against the machines but the reality is it is a way for us to embrace the technology as it evolves. Having competed in the SourceCon Grandmaster vs a Robot, I thought it would be fun to bundle together what losing to a robot taught me about my job and how Robots and AI are helping the world of recruiting evolve.

The problem presented to the SourceCon Grandmaster finalists this year was a simple one, we were given 3 anonymous jobs and a bunch of CV’s and asked; “who got the job?”

The machine finished 3rd and took about 3 seconds, I didn’t.

It’s the problem we face every day, minus all the real work a Sourcer and Recruiter does. I am not surprised that it was so easily and quickly completed by the machine, I was more surprised at its accuracy. It’s an input/output style question: Here is a bunch of CV’s please find me the best ones… yet the reality of what most Recruiters do is more than just throw a bunch of CV’s at a wall and hope that one sticks. Hiring is a subjective choice by both interviewer and interviewee, that’s why robots haven’t taken over.

No one wants to be hired by a Robot Recruiters!

– Hat tip to Matt Buckland who shared this idea with me some years ago.

Controlling the machines was the overarching subject for SourceCon and this will probably be the 100th blog post you read about AI in recruitment. While industry soothsayers continue to amuse us with the threat of replacement, ERE media amused us with presentations of new technology and how to embrace it. I believe that robots will never replace me in what I do. For now, that is because we are not yet comfortable interacting with nonsentient’s in our day to day lives, even though it is now cheap technology, not many people have an automated personal assistant running their lives, yet. As humans, we are still not sure how much we should trust the robots and I’m sure it’s true when we are talking about looking for a job. Personally, I would not be happy if you tried to recruit me with a robot.

That’s why, even with the advance’s technology is making, we are not ready to replace all of the elements it takes to hire people with robots. Sourcing is seen as one of the parts that it can optimise. A miss-understanding that Sourcers are just baby Recruiters is understandable if you have never done either role. From an outsiders perspective, a tool that gives someone who is hiring a list of people makes sense but finding people is easy, especially if you know how to look. A Sourcer and a Recruiters role is more, we all have to engage with potential candidates and have a conversation before we can hire them!

Glen Cathy’s blog was one of those that taught me that finding stuff on the internet is easy, and yet Glen has been working on building and testing these tools coming to replace himself for years. He concluded in his keynote this year that while machines are getting better at looking for people it is the “social engineering’ in recruitment that machines can’t get right. While social engineering is a bit of a scary concept, his slides highlight the humanity that helps us make hires and that what humans do, AI can’t… yet…

Flexing Robot Recruitment Muscles

We like to race against these machines to prove that we are still better. The race and embrace of robotics and AI in recruiting has created smarter Sourcers and Recruiters who flex both empathy and engineering muscles to fill jobs and make hiring people easier. The best Recruiters and Sourcers I know leverage data and automation to fill more jobs quicker. As our industry evolves we evolve with it, it’s not just by wielding the tools that makes us more effective but by also honing the skills we need to use them more effectively that ensures we can continue to bring value to our candidates and our clients.

The role of the Sourcer has moved, we don’t have piles of paper CV’s, we have millions of data touch points readily available. Jeremy Roberts highlighted the shift away from one Recruiter and many Sourcer model to the one Sourcer many Recruiters model and proposed in his talk that there were two archetypes of a Sourcer, Tech or Talker. The truth is that it is the tech that is allowing sourcing teams to be centralised units of experts leveraging data and machines instead of the Recruiters assistant who is ploughing through hundreds of dusty resumes. During the talk, I polled twitter and 69% of respondents felt they leverage technical skills to do their job, while only 8% were left behind with little knowledge on the matter.

I think the response is indicative of how sourcing has evolved, we feel more comfortable using more technical tools to make more hires.

Randy Baily, Sara Goldberg and Guillaume Alexandre BEAT THE ROBOT used in the SourceCon Grandmaster Challenge by using their human ingenuity and gut feelings. While the machine only took a few seconds to match the candidates to the roles. Randy won by leveraging his human ingenuity to take a deeper dive into the data provided. No robot could have done what he did as he went beyond what the challenge asked. The reason why he won is that he took a centaur approach (a phrase coined at the conference to refer to the half man half machine approach to sourcing) No machine can call and convince a human to tell them if they previously interviewed with a particular firm, only a Sourcer with an advanced understanding of all elements of recruitment can. Well Done Randy!

This is what I walked away from SourceCon with.

“Human AND AI” NOT “Human OR AI”

Me plus a machine is better than me on my own. I don’t feel scared by the technology I have seen, only empowered to do my job better.

LinkedIn flirted that 90% of professionals are open to new opportunities. The myth of passive-active candidate (which I never believed in) dies with this statistic as it proves that more people are open to having a conversation. Anecdotally, people are always going to be open to the right conversation if the message is delivered in the right way (Edited – Hat Tip for the comment RB.)

Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn 467 million; with so many potential people to hire.. we need to get better at identifying the right time and the right people to be having those conversations with. We then need to spend time and energy to craft the best approach. Easier said than done. We all have a glut of data available at our fingertips and sifting through it is a painful process. That’s why we need tools to help us do this, that’s what the robots are for, to make us more effective.

I’m not scared of racing robots, they aren’t stealing my job, they here to make me better.

That’s why I raced robots at SourceCon and lost.

If you agree or disagree, please share your thoughts with myself and your friends.

If you want to flex your empathy muscle and learn how to enhance the rest of your sourcing muscles with cool tech. Come work on the bleeding edge of technical and human engineering with the sourcing team Inside Indeed, we are hiring Sourcers!


Help, my brain is overloaded!

How many times do you think; I have to much stuff to do? Too many things on the go? I have no space in my brain to cope with it all?

If you are anything like me or the millions of others then this probably happens more times than you realise. We work in a world full of Advertising, Consumerism, Capitalism, KPI’s, OKR’s, Targets, Goals, Autonomy, Self-help and Self-actualization. In a world where we battle for our jobs, compete for attention and claw up the social ladder in an attempt to make our lives better. We forget that it is OK to be human and OK to feel.

We work in a world where we battle for our jobs, we competing for attention amongst our peers, colleagues and friends. A world where clawing up the social ladder is not just a goal but a necessity to live life, and make it better for yourself.

I believe in all of the above. I believe in the economy of autonomy. Work does not stop at 5pm for me. I didn’t make it out of high school and ignore university to the get to where I am today without having and leveraging these tools to make myself better. I have to work harder than others because I don’t have the fancy degree or the on trend, in-demand skill set. The skill set I have is perspiration and naivety. I can get to my goal by working hard on a problem. I am confident that all of the listed by-products of modern society have helped me get to where I am. They make me better but I find them a challenge to deal with.

Recently, I gave myself a personal goal of writing a blog every week… I gave myself deadlines… I put the pressure on myself to be better. On top of this personal goal, everything else is tumbling in on top;

  • I still haven’t figured out a permanent place to live following my recent exit of the UK.
  • I am visiting 4 different countries and 5 different cities in the next 6 weeks.
  • Pressure is mounting for finishing Q1 projects and kicking off Q2 in style.
  • My blog post last week got over 1000 views (maybe not that many for some of you big dogs reading this) but it suddenly made me self-conscious.
  • The SourceCon Grandmaster challenge that I entered at the end of last year, sent us an email on Sunday saying the finals weren’t for another week and the gave us a two-week deadline the day after.

Everything happened at once. My brain was overloaded!

I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write about this week.

Lucky, I have a coping mechanism to help me figure this all out.

I’m not sure from where I got it from, the hundreds of self-help books and blogs I have read or closer to home? My Sister and her mindfulness, my Dad and his patience, my colleagues and their understanding.

Admitting to myself that I am overwhelmed is the first step to solving all the problems on my plate.

My coping mechanism is simple; I give myself time to think.


Although sometimes I feel like it is pointless and useless exercisee. I feel like I’m wasting time. I feel like I should be able to come up with the solution because I know it already. The reality is when I take the time to think; I come up with solutions to the challenges I am facing. If I write the solution down, it becomes concrete. myself time to think not as an excuse, not cos I’m failing but because I need time to think.

Giving myself time to think is not an excuse, it is not because I am failing but because I need time to think. I need to allow my brain to work through everything it has to deal with.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, I have only one piece of advice to give you. Step away for a while, not a minute but a couple of hours and give yourself time to think. Some people escape into sport and exercise, others video games and others into drinking plenty of craft beer and good food. Allowing myself space and the time I need, is not an excuse, it’s how I have conversations with myself and sort things out.

Having a conversation with yourself that gives you permission to breathe, enjoy life and think will help you fix things. Allowing yourself the space and time you need, is not an excuse but the best way to have a sensible conversation with yourself, the best way to subconsciously reflect on everything that is happening.

I promise it will help you sort things out.

Writing this all down, helped me solve the challenges I had today. I hope reading it helps you solve yours.

Make sure you get in touch if it helps or if you think I am a raving looney and it didnt help.



Why Sourcers are… not baby Recruiters!

While at my first SourceCon last year, they were pleased to announce that the role of the Sourcer has become a truly recognised profession. While the professionalisation of sourcing is something that some people have worked years towards, I really believe that most Recruiters are wrong when they think the role of a Sourcer is and it feels like someone needs to hash out exactly what sourcing is in this day and age.

I have been thinking on how to tackle this image problem of a Sourcer for a while and I thought it would be fun to start writing a series of posts titled Why Sourcers are..

This series of posts is not meant to light the flame war of Recruiter vs Sourcer, at the end of the day, we all do the same job, we all hire people. I just have a more specific role in the process than a full cycle Recruiter. This should come as no surprise to you, most large companies have sourcing teams now. While the role of this team varies from org to org, every Sourcer (myself included) is a specialist at attracting and engaging candidates. That’s the beauty of being a Sourcer, that’s the bit I’m good at.

The image that a lot of people have, in and out of the sourcing world is

Why Sourcers are… not baby Recruiters!


The story goes a little something like this;

Stressed Recruiter, “I need a junior Sourcer to help me find more candidates on a daily basis so I can get these job’s filled.”

This is a story I have heard from many people in leadership roles in recruitment. Recruiters don’t feel they have time to source, to engage the right people. This often comes from someone who is managing a large volume of roles and hiring manager relationships.

Sorry dearest Recruiter, you got it wrong! No decent Sourcer, junior or not wants to sit in a corner, without a relationship with hiring managers or the full control of a candidate and do all the heavy lifting while you sit back and screen applications. A Sourcer that is just handing candidates with only your understanding of a role is not really sourcing, they are a mini Recruiter that is not trusted to have relationships with hiring managers or close down a candidate when it comes to the end of the process.

Recruiters that think like this don’t understand the real problems they are facing and think that by just throwing more people time at their workload they will make more hires.



Every Sourcer and recruitment manager know’s this problem. Want to know what is really happening here?

The Recruiter has too much work!

I often see Recruiters who have too many roles asking for sourcing support.  I don’t believe that Recruiters working 20+ jobs can provide an effective service on any of them. If you can’t find time to source for your jobs then you have too many. The Recruiter is becoming blinded by the volume of people they need to deal with and are not able to manage their time effectively.

Why do I think this?Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 12.06.47 PM.png

Just by using Glen Cathy’s funnel calculator and plugging in some reasonably standard numbers you can see that to get to those 20 hires the Recruiter needs to submit 143 candidates to hiring manager review. That’s 2.24 CV’s qualified and sent to a hiring manager every working day. This is a broad brush stroke, I know Recruiters that are very effective that are able to work at this cadence. However, if you are not top 5% Recruiter, this is a lot of conversations to be having every day. Throw some meetings into that working week and you have a very stressed Recruiter who feels that a junior Sourcer to do that heavy lifting and give themselves some more breathing space.

My solution 

Recruiters need to understand the volume of work for they need to do for each role and need to be able to push back on their manager and hiring managers that they can’t be effective at this volume.

Recruitment Managers need to know these figures as well and understand when they are working on headcount plans how much time and how many Recruiters they will need to effectively reach their companies hiring targets.

The Recruiter isn’t using the right tools

Everyone thinks that sourcing takes a lot of time. Going through hundreds of CV’s in online databases and through your own ATS can be time-consuming but if you are spending hours doing it. You are probably doing it wrong.

In today’s recruitment world we have a plethora of tools to help us work more effectively. I notice a lot of Recruiters not using them at all, let alone effectively. Sourcer’s are naturally the more geeky end of Recruiters and are experts in these tools. From an ATS to a bot. I don’t expect all Recruiters to be like this, however, a Recruiter needs to make sure they are using every tool they have at their fingertips.

My solution 

Sorry dearest Recruiter, you need a re-train.

No need for a baby Sourcer, just three days sourcing with me and you will never look at sourcing again in the same way. You won’t need help, your life will be easier and you will become a better Recruiter.


The Recruiter doesn’t get enough qualified applicants

I notice a lot of Recruiters that think that a Sourcer will provide them with the more qualified leads, with more people that want to do their jobs. I think this is wrong.

I believe that 80% of all roles should be filled from applications!

YES, A Sourcer that believes job ads get the best and most candidates. When I say 80% applications, I mean 80% of hires are made from inbound interest, this includes referred candidates and internal applicants.

That means that a good Recruiter only needs to source for a few of their roles and with some smart prioritisation and planning can ensure that they understand where their effort needs to be spent.

My Solution

You need to understand your inbound pipeline for each role. You need to optimise your job ads and work with your employer brand teams and hiring managers to attract the right type of candidates.


So, Why is a Sourcer not a Baby Recruiter?

Don’t get me wrong, I do sit in a corner and build target lists. I do spend hours hunting for the right candidates for hard to fill roles.

I however fundamentally believe that a Sourcer can’t be a person that does what a Recruiter tells them too.

A Sourcer should be a partner to the Recruiter and to the business.

A Sourcer should provide a level of insight that a Recruiter can’t achieve. They should provide data, market intelligence, insight and understanding that a Recruiter can’t get.

No Recruiter can train a junior on how to think like that unless they themselves are doing that and there are very few Recruiters I have met that do this.

So no dear Recruiter, you can’t have a baby Sourcer to fill your pipeline because that is not what real Sourcers are. That’s researchers or a junior Recruiter.

My role at Indeed as a Sourcer, solely supporting 6 markets and 18+ Recruiters has taught me that to be more scaleable I need to provide more strategic assistance to my recruiting team. Without massaging my own ego too much; I am the secret weapon that provides a level of insight beyond what most Recruiters are able to. I am the geek that gets to test things so that I can help my Recruiters get better. I am the person that teaches Recruiters the cool tricks they need to know.

Sourcer’s are not babies but specialists in how to attract and engage people.




Lost in the noise

I have been nervous about blogging for a while but if you have noticed I have picked it up again. I thought it would be cool to explain what has changed. It could have been a new years resolution, I think having a little more time to do it and a little more confidence in myself os probably closer to the truth. Either that or I have just stupidly decided that I need to practice and no one cares anyway and I probably might end up deleting all of these posts next week anyway.

Part of me was scared of writing stuff down because I decided somewhere in the last few years, writing things down is a permanent document of my point of view on something. Much to the dismay of my fellow blogging friends, I tried to write posts that encyclopedically document an idea or a process. My blog posts (although medium successful) have been static and a tiny bit boring. When I re-read them all at the beginning of the year, I realised it was time for a change.

The other changes came from looking into the content I have been reading. Most of this content, no surprises here, but most of the stuff that I subject myself to can be classified as nontent and clickbait. I only consistently read things on three topics; Tech, Recruitment and Food. Most of this stuff is written by marketers, not practitioners. The tech writers, write for the PR machines of the advertisers that pay their wages with little interest in the subject. The food writers and bloggers have no taste and I don’t think I would trust them to warm me up some soup. As for the so called recruiters that pump out content, most are so far detached from the reality of what is happening that they feed the cottage industry of recruitment noise with little regard to the power (or lack of it) that they have.

So during the conversation I had with myself on the way home this evening, I realised that I started writing stuff on the internet some 18 years ago but none of it has really survived. My myspace doesn’t have a glittering starry background and lonely heart posts from a 13-year-old, my music blog doesn’t exist and I have managed tried to erase most of the shaven head and beardless pictures of me off the internet.

The truth is, that writing a blog is not a permanent reflection but an in the moment snapshot of how you feel. This is my personal blog so I am using it to just take tiny snapshots of myself. I am blogging for me not for you, however if you stumble across this post, then here is a little takeaway.

If you are going to blog, be genuine, be brave and be foolish. Don’t write what you think you should; write with the innocence of a child and with your heart. Don’t write for clicks or impressions, write for a cause, a belief and a reason. The most interesting stories are those that are true and genuine, those are the virals, not boring 5 reasons why robots won’t take your jobs!

With so much noise in the world, I hope that the genuine bloggers will rise again over the content marketers. Some of us will become more discerning readers and we will yearn the original homegrown feel of the true blogger. Enjoy my grammar mistakes, point out my spelling mistakes, comment about the stupid things I say.

I don’t care anymore. I’m writing for myself, not for you!



RECRUITMENT: Don’t Break It, Fix It!

Wow, it feels like an age since I last wrote about DBR. It is a well overdue for me to tell you a little bit more about DBR in 2017 and in particular what it means to me to be part of this community as it grows.

I have to talk about it because the influence it has had on mine and other people’s lives blows my mind!

For those of you that don’t know what DBR is; DBR is the only safe place for in-house recruiters in Europe. We host events, talk to each other on slack and work together to solve the problems we face as recruiters every day. You probably need to start at one of these points and then come back to this post if you want to find out more about it:

DBR is now growing faster than we could ever have imagined. We have now given more than 400 in-house recruiters access to our slack channel. With our awesome new streamlined process, each applicant is vetted by the admin team and then swiftly invited into a community where help is at hand whatever recruitment problem you may be facing.


Running this slack channel means more in-house recruiters than ever before have the opportunity to share ideas, solve problems, get real-time feedback from peers and help more people than ever get jobs!


Yes, since we moved from a WhatsApp group to a slack channel we have sent 440,000 plus messages but it’s not all about what we share on our dark social channels the core of our community still lies in the real world. The relationships this community has helped build over beers in the pub, discussing ideas at events and supporting each other at trade shows, has lead to us all being better recruiters.


Robert Nunn Head of Talent at WorldStores Group summed up what the reality of being in a community of recruiters that share ideas and candidates really should be.


I agree, as recruiters, the way we will all become more successful will be to celebrate the talent we work with every day. Recruiters should share their networks and their connections and help the people they work with. I believe every in-house recruiter should share, invest in community and invest their time helping each other!

Let’s not try and Break Recruitment,  let’s get together to build a worldwide community that makes us all better!


DBR in 2017 is going to grow

We are sticking to the original idea that the original founder Hung Lee had for this community, we are focusing on our mission to build a safe place for in-house recruiters. Everything we do as an admin team will be focused on what the community needs and wants and we hope that you can all help us make it bigger!

Scaling the grassroots community feeling that DBR has is almost impossible without people meeting in the real world. The effort that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the other DBR members have the same platform to learn and grow that the first few of us had when we started meeting is unprecedented. As admins, our trust and patience is continually tested by those that deliberately sabotage our success and profit from what we have built. We continue to stick to our guns. We won’t be monetizing this community, the mailing lists we have, our candidate databases or the relationships we have built. DBR will continue to be a not for profit organisation managed by the people that love it to help every fellow in-house recruiter we can.

We will continue to focus on stuff that helps the community with support, of our members and our partners.

So, if you hadn’t read it yet, I moved to Dublin and will be trying to grow the first official offshoot branch of DBR here in Dublin. We will be meeting up for our first drink on February the second, make sure if you are in Dublin you sign up here.

Thanks to the team at StackOverflow our “Don’t be afraid..” Series has a home in their Shoreditch offices and will be running every 6 weeks. Next one if on

Our friends at Indeed Prime will be hosting our larger parties, keep June the 15th free, we have a real treat in store for you!

Of course, you will also find some of us at the Dragon Bar sharing ideas over a drink or two.


Huge thanks to every DBR member for your time, your patience and your confidence in our community. Hung Lee for the idea in the first place and inviting me to the first DBR drinks, and for your teams time to build the new site. My fellow admins Matt Buckland, Matthew BradburnKristian Bright and Nick Yockney, you guys are the best.