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The "Sourcing" Lesson is part of the full, Enterprise Engineering Management 102 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Ryan covers the topic of sourcing candidates for job roles and has a discussion with Jem where they discuss the importance of being proactive and creative in finding potential candidates, such as attending events or meetups, looking at past candidates, and seeking referrals. Their conversation also highlights the value of building a strong network and maintaining visibility within the company to make sourcing easier.

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Transcript from the "Sourcing" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> We're gonna be talking about sourcing, it's kind of goes along a little bit with the networking. That's absolutely a form of sourcing, but I wanna think about how do you source? How do you find candidates that might be potentially a good fit for your role? Oftentimes, companies will have recruiters doing a lot of this work, maybe you have partners that are doing that.

[00:00:22] But I do try and do this still a little bit, I wanna kinda look what's out there, spend some of the time doing it. Maybe not entirely me doing it, that is nice to have those partners. But I thought I should share some general tips the way I've thought about it, so it's gonna take a lot of time, yeah, let's just start baseline there.

[00:00:43] It's not easy, there's a lot of people out there that you might be looking for. You have the applicants, obviously that are applying, but I also really like to go out there, and look at things, and try and see what's in the market, and see what people might be right for my role.

[00:00:58] I like to get creative, I'm trying to think of some examples of things I've done. Maybe looking at events or meet ups, things like that, you don't necessarily need to attend them. You can even just look like, maybe there's a react event in your city, who attended? Grab those names, look them up on LinkedIn to see if there maybe have the background that you're looking for.

[00:01:24] So I think I like to get creative and try new things, see what works, going to LinkedIn is what everybody does, so try something different. Even if you don't have an open role, same thing as networking, keep an eye on this. I don't know what the right percentages to do, but It's something that you can be doing on a regular cadence.

[00:01:44] So when you are hiring, you've at least got something a little bit of a foot in the door on that. Look at your network, is important, right? [LAUGH] Just start there, but also, you wanna be building and broadening your network, right? You talk about hiring for diversity and inclusion, you don't wanna just look to your networks, try and expand that network.

[00:02:11] Look at candidates from past roles, I know this has come up earlier that companies have. Candidate software where they're tracking, look at past candidates that have interviewed for a roles. Maybe you passed on them for some reason or maybe they declined, they took a role at some other company.

[00:02:30] Go back and look, that can be a really great starting point. Referrals, referrals, referrals, this is my favorite one, I will go to my team as like, hey, do you know anyone that would fit this role or partners, etc. Referrals are so helpful, people already have insights into this person that you might be wanting to hire, so it often leads to a great hire.

[00:02:58] What I like to do too, it's hard, we all have so many things going on, to source, and to find the time to do that or even ask our team to do that. So sometimes, I'll even set up time with my team or others to just say, can we spend an hour, half an hour?

[00:03:14] Look at your LinkedIn networks, look at what other network that you have, and just put some names in a spreadsheet. And it's nice too, that I'll probably have like, if Jem added five names, I'd probably want his name beside them. So that I know like, are you really close with this person?

[00:03:29] Would you feel comfortable introducing us? But definitely doing things like this can be really, really helpful. All right, this is our portion of where I'm gonna ask a manager. Also probably gonna ask the audience just around some sourcing ideas that you've had or found effective. But, yeah, let's ask Jim, when have you had a new role?

[00:03:53] How do you start sourcing for candidates, Jem?
>> That's a trick question, Ryan, if I have a new role, I've already sourced candidates.
>> Ooh, smart answer, I love it.
>> But I look at, I think critically about the role, so a lot of that I've already gotten from my job description, where it's forced me to think about, what am I looking for?

[00:04:14] What are the things that are additive to the team? What sort of technologies or skills who do I need? From there, I started looking, LinkedIn is an okay place. It's good for a lot of people, but I prefer probably more personal connection. So before that, I've already done external things, we have a podcast together, which helps raise our visibility.

[00:04:37] When I say like, hey, I'm hiring, people already know me, which is actually pretty helpful, but not super scalable for a lot of people. But if there's conferences and the technology that I'm looking for, I tend to go to those conferences. So recently I was hiring for someone who's an expert in Graph QL.

[00:04:54] So I go to Graph QL conference and started looking for people in those those skills. But I think my favorite is probably internal and referrals, and I think that's the next question, so I will.
>> Well, when you say internal too, Jem, is that like looking for internal talent that already exists at your company and you'll be like, wait, maybe they need a role change, is that what you mean by internal?

[00:05:21]
>> Yeah, and ideally, I've already know those people, because I meet with a lot of people all the time. So it's kind of the, you're always hiring in some degree and not necessarily even they might not know it. But you might have something that comes up and you're like, hey, I know you've kind of hit a ceiling in your team.

[00:05:37] I have a role opening up, what do you think about joining my team? How does that sound to you? And if you already do the pre-work, it's not a big, my god, I gotta hire all of a sudden. It's not like a big shock to your system, because you're always kind of on the lookout for people who would be a good fit for either you or our partners team.

[00:05:56]
>> I like that, and I've definitely had a lot of great hires internally, even where I've had an engineer I've hired externally and joined my one team. And then I moved to another team, and then they're looking for a change, and it works out really well. Also, you don't have to interview as much or you shouldn't have to, right?

[00:06:13] Ideally, they're already good for the role, because they're at the company, so I love that you called that out. What's some advice you have for sourcing other than you should always be sourcing or networking, which I'm hearing from you as well. But what's some other advice that you would share with other hiring managers or engineers looking to build up candidates?

[00:06:34]
>> This one's a little counterintuitive, but if you have a high profile or high visibility within your company, or even externally, it makes sourcing so much easier. For example, my most recent role when I was hiring, a lot of people internally knew about it already, because I had shared it in the Slack channels, I shared with other managers.

[00:06:53] So they're able to share that out as well and that makes it a lot easier. Some of the best sourcing I get is referrals from people within the company, because they know what the culture is, they know what the team needs, they know who I am. So they can find people like, hey Jim, I have a friend, I think they'd be a good fit, because they know a lot about me already beforehand.

[00:07:13] And that's really been the strongest source of hires for me has always been referrals, because it's kind of like a built-in filter ahead of time.
>> Do you think about when you're talking to people internally that you're ultimately trying to build your persona up with them or kind of sell your team just on an ongoing basis, or is that explicit, or you just think it just kind of happens naturally?

[00:07:35]
>> Yeah, as a manager, you're always selling your team, or you should be. People should be aware of what your team does, and it doesn't mean you push it in a shady sort of marketing way and like, hey, my team's doing this. But generally, it's a good idea at every level for people to know what you do, and that's helpful in hiring.

[00:07:51] It's helpful with your manager and managing up, it's helpful with executives who know who you are on your team. That all goes a long way, and that happens a lot in one-on-ones in conversations.
>> That's great, I really like that, so it is somewhat explicit, but it's also just naturally happening, right on, thanks, Jem.

[00:08:09]
>> Thanks, Ryan.