SourceCon Has a Grandmaster Sourceress

SourceCon is underway and in the spirit of this event dedicated to the art of finding a certain needle in a haystack loaded with other needles, I should probably not tell you who was named the 2010 Grandmaster Sourcer this morning.

Instead, follow these clues: United Kingdom, Sourceress, and laundry, cheese, Star Trek, Tea, and Tweetups.

If that doesn’t get you there, click here for her name. But you should know she followed far tougher clues to win her title. (Not to mention an all-expense paid trip to 2011 SourceCon, a year’s software from Broadlook Technologies, and a cool Cryptex, a lot like the one in The DaVinci Code.

If you want to try your hand at at least the first clue, go to SourceCon.Com. You’d have to be here to actually play, but see what you can do with the first.

So if you think SourceCon is all fun and games, it is. At least it is to almost 200 people here today in San Diego.

“All of us have this tenacity about us,” Geoff Webb was saying as he explained the game that begins many months before the SourceCon conference and culminated with this morning’s announcement. “This is fun stuff for us. It’s what we do.”

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Oh yeah. There were also serious workshops. In the main session this morning Glen Cathey advocated for the supremacy of human over machine searching. Humans bring to a task an analytical capability that befuddles even the most sophisticated search programs.

That’s why Cathey, VP of national recruitment with KForce, believes that while keyword searches and ATSs have their place, recruiters need to be able to manually manage searches and, he said, use “NOT” a lot. He suggests starting with the broadest search search — the maximum — and filtering your way (with that NOT operator) down.

Outside the meeting rooms there are plenty of great conversations going on. In the time I’ve been writing this post, I’ve discovered a new trend: social media fatigue. That’s when you get overwhelmed by friending and connecting requests and the need to update your status or respond to another post, or …. What that portends for the future is the subject of an article one former recruiter and corporate leader is currently writing.

There’s also plenty of optimism about hiring, but it’s tinged with hesitancy about the near prospects for recruiting jobs themselves. “Who are you working for?” was a common greeting at lunchtime. Fortunately, it seems most people have an answer.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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