SourceCon—Researchers, Rocket Scientists and Rockstars

8468654684_d9cfe63b7e_cSourceCon was a great way to kick off the conference season this year, and it was held at the most majestic venue in Atlanta: The Georgia Aquarium no less.  This would mark my second year attending SourceCon, both times in Atlanta.  This year’s conference was set to be one of the best, with a who’s who in the sourcing world and an audience filled with some of the smartest people in our space – including the Recruiting profession’s Godfather Gerry Crispin and HR Thought Leaders Laurie Ruettimann and Sarah White. The conference kicked off with a welcome by the conference Master of Ceremonies and Atlanta’s own Shally Steckerl. Shally was pumped and ready to get the show on the road with sourcing tales, a few jokes, and a preview of all the conference had to offer.

SourceCon is unlike any other conference you will or have ever attended.  It’s real people looking for real tools, tips, and the latest sourcing methodology to take back to their company and implement. Donna Quintal of Sears did a great job of sharing tools, tips, landmines, data, and a great story. Donna shared her sourcing team’s journey with us in a way that touched the hearts and minds of many in the audience. She opened up her heart and her data to the audience by walking us through the process of building a sourcing strategy. She is not a speaker on the circuit; she’s a real life sourcing leader who shared her story with us. There were other great stories and presentations from many other great speakers and sourcing gurus like John Vlastelica, Glen Cathey and Bryan Chaney. John Vlastelica challenged the group to leverage personas, Glen Cathy defied the odds by showing how he has trained and grown a world-class sourcing team and Bryan Chaney encouraged the audience to utilize people in their companies that think like marketers in their sourcing strategy. The area that pulled me in was the Sourcing Lab – wowzers this place was full and it was the best kept secret of the entire conference. This was where the bacon hit the frying pan, the ears were perked up and real notes were jotted down. Holy cow, this was where great sourcers like Ronnie Bratcher and Carmen Hudson were serving up real tips and tricks that sourcers could take back to work immediately. Some of the tools highlighted were Quora, Jigsaw, Namechk, Boolean (shocker!) and Sonar.

SourceCon is truly the conference that offers a little bit of everything – conference sessions, the sourcing lab and SourceCon After Dark, better known as SourceCon AD. I always enjoy SourceCon AD, but this year’s event was unlike any other with stations for researching and data mining as well as a stage to dance and a great DJ. There were high top bar stations full of laptops and sourcers eager to learn from some of the very best sourcers around like Eric Jaquith, Ronnie Bratcher and Mark Totoricci. It is the embodiment of the phrase, “I can show you better than I can tell you.” Sourcers brought some of their toughest requisitions with them to this conference and waited for the moment to break out the position that’s causing them heartache and unleashing the wizards while following along closely. This sharing of information goes back and forth for hours—for some it’s like going to see their favorite band in concert and actually being able to go on stage with them and rock, well, geek out.  Speaking of rock bands and geeking out, Dice was well-represented with their booth featuring the MyCloud by Dice experience.  They also stirred up some fun with their epic karaoke party following Conference Day 1 inclusive of a Rockstar on the red carpet during their party.

Overall, SourceCon Atlanta 2013 was a great experience and opportunity to learn, grown and walk amongst those that have helped build and shape a growing and thriving community of sourcers.

Image Credit: Deborah Kolb/Shutterstock

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