Is Sourcing the new Spotify?

Remember when streaming music became available? Streaming and downloads took over burning CDs because the available choices and demand overwhelmed the ability to manufacture and distribute the goods. It was no longer feasible to continuously download songs to keep up with the demand of the consumers and convert the data to a hard disc. That was easy to ascertain because only a few manufacturers and distributors were involved.

This created a new phenomenon: We stopped cataloguing. We stopped manually making compilations and storing music in categories consistently. There was too much to store, and too many ways to do it. Instead, sites and programs evaluated your listening habits using data analytics, and would make suggestions for you inbound. You would then respond as needed, or consume in a way specific to you. We needed that work to be done to actually have a better listening experience. It didn’t happen overnight. It’s still happening, but it’s clear that this is the way we consume desired information.

Think about it – do we really use playlists anymore? Maybe. But certainly not like we did when we were making compilations for our high-school sweethearts back in the day. Now we just send a link to Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” on YouTube. No purchase, no CD, no subscription. Just on–demand music captured in a moment. Nice, right?

So why are we still cataloguing in Recruiting? Why are we using talent pipelines, talent communities, and CRMs to store the precious information we found that will likely be outdated in a matter of weeks? Why are we producing two EXABYTES (the equivalent of 1 billion GB) of data a day that will likely replace that data?

We have outgrown our ability to store and search this data in our own systems. Glen Cathey was right with his article on Just In Time Recruiting, but I don’t think he realized how close he is to the truth. Inbound messaging is really all we should be focused on because we can’t actually afford to do outbound messaging anymore. Did you ever hear that story that if Bill Gates stopped to pick up a $20 bill he would actually lose money? We are reaching that point with Sourcing. There is so much data out there that of course you will see things with Tool X that you can’t with Tool Y.

Did you ever hear that story that if Bill Gates stopped to pick up a $20 bill he would actually lose money? We are reaching that point with Sourcing.

Newsflash: There is ALWAYS new stuff. There is so much new stuff that you can’t even visualize at the detailed level, but only the aggregated level.

Think about the changes you made when you moved from burning CDs to streaming music on Spotify or iTunes. How did that change the way you entertained yourself? Now apply that to Recruiting and its pending changes. It may mean that Recruiting isn’t what you knew or grew up with. Are you using the same apps you were 3 years ago? When was the last time you added more space to your hard drive?

As you plan for 2016/2017, think about streaming data, and the changes that your teams and management need to make in order to absorb this “new way.” Study up on change management techniques. Maybe this means investing in data analytics, shifting the skills sets of your recruiters, or changing what your Sourcers actually do.

One day you’ll look back on this and say, “Remember when we used to do stream-free data?” And we’ll all have a good chuckle.

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