Pokémon GO took the globe by storm less than six months ago, sending people rushing outdoors in pursuit of virtual critters. But it’s popularity is in sharp decline, and the same should be true for Pokemon-style sourcing, argues David Galley.
Pokémon GO is an “augmented reality” game based on the well-established Japanese franchise. Players gain points for catching Pokémon creatures they find in the game world while walking around in the real world. There can be Pokémon (or other collectibles) in any direction a player takes!
While the style of play is new, the goal of the game is the same as it has always been in the world of Pokémon: “Gotta catch ’em all!”
There are some similarities between Pokémon GO and sourcing. Discovering new information and being curious are both useful and necessary sourcing skills. However, Pokémon-style sourcing tends to be less productive.
Running from one site to another, without careful planning and selection, pulling down reams of data you can’t possibly make use of, is a bad habit that needs to stop.
I’ll admit – I am also guilty of some Pokémon-style sourcing, following interesting links on a page I am looking at or trying all the new tools recommended in various online discussions. It’s helpful and necessary for sourcers to spend time investigating new things. But if I have a deadline or an urgent sourcing request, then I know I need some upfront planning to focus my efforts on the resources that will bring results.
In those cases, browsing Pokémon-style, where good results are a matter of luck, is not effective. I can’t go in a random direction and hope to “catch” the professional information and candidate resumes I need.
“Running from one site to another, without careful planning and selection, pulling down reams of data you can’t possibly make use of, is a bad habit that needs to stop.”
While I love unusual sourcing stories – those times candidates are found in roundabout ways – I also find it “sexy” to source in simple, common sense ways and get results fast. Here are a few tips to help to find more with less effort:
- Search simple first.
- Googling for the word [resume], the target job title and a couple of required skills will produce results in many cases – give it a try!
- Running a simple “faceted” search on Indeed.com for the target job title and a few keywords helps to assess the size of the potential candidate pool. Looking at the results, you would see not only how to narrow the search down, but also which companies to target. (As of now, LinkedIn has the same feature, but it looks like it is going away).
- As you study search results on Google, take a note of the sites that host useful pages and investigate them further.
- Look at matching profiles on a social network, see if you can view “similar” profiles.
- Googling the name or email address of a professional who is “like” the ones you want to find can provide great results.
Remember this too. If you have a question, Google it. Google is not suited for finding candidates based on a job description, but it can point you in the right direction and fetch the resources you need.
For example, when recruiters hear about sourcing from professional associations and conference websites, they often ask what the sites are for their specific industry. This type of knowledge is not a secret; you can type the word [association] along with an industry (e.g., [oil & gas]) and perhaps a location into Google, and immediately find the sites worth spending time on.
A major difference between Pokémon GO and great recruiting is that, in Pokémon GO, several players can catch the same Pokémon! But there’s no reason why you should be trying to “catch them all.” Neither pre-crafting the mythical ‘One String’ nor meticulously adjusting a search so that it produces zero “false positives” contributes to productivity.
Here’s the truth: In most practical cases, it’s impossible to come up with a full list of all possible matching candidates. If your searches provide some actionable results, proceed; if searching produces nothing or when you have exhausted your existing leads, search elsewhere.