Meetups in London & Leeds

UK Sourcers Meetup at REC - October 2014

We’re starting the new year with two meetups.

January sees us back in London again and we will be holding our first meetup in Leeds this February.

Our meetups are free to attend, as long as you register. This is only possible due to the generosity of our hosts. We rely on companies donating us space, wifi and refreshments in order to run these events. So thank you to Atlas Insight Ltd for being our first hosts of 2016.


Date: Tuesday 26th January 2016
Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Location: London
Full details & register: Tickets sold out – get on the waitlist now!


Date: Tuesday 23rd February 2016
Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Yourkshire Eveng Post, Leeds
Full details & register: Tickets remaining

To be one of the first to hear about upcoming events, join the UK Sourcers LinkedIn group.

I look forward to seeing you at an event soon.

Could Re-shape The Way We Look For Talent?


One of the stand-out tools talked about at this month’s Christmas meetup was This tool has been knocking on the door of my awareness all year.

Hung Lee,’s founder, told me all about it back in May at the launch of Andy Headworth’s Social Recruiting book and the conversation really stuck with me. won Best Newcomer at the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORAs) in November. Then, earlier this month at our Christmas meetup, Kasia Borowicz of The Sandpit told us about some great hires she has made with Workshape. I can’t ignore this one any longer, I thought to myself.

Hung Lee - Workshape.ioSo, it was time to have another chat with Hung. Here he is answering a few of my questions about…

Should I call you Workshape or

We’re officially But either’s fine. Just don’t call us ‘Workspace’!

What is

We’re a talent matching platform for tech. We connect employers with software developers by matching them on their ‘Workshapes’ – visual signatures of the work they want, based on time allocated over tasks.
Matched Overlay -

What made you decide to build a tool that’s so different?

You know what Kat, I don’t think we set out to do so.

Our initial thoughts was to tackle a persistent problem in the recruitment marketplace – how noisy it is for in-demand talent. Speak to any developer friend you have and they will tell you they get 30-50 contact events related to recruitment every week. Do a quick Boolean search on ‘No Recruiters, please’ on LinkedIn and you will find dozens of pages of people who are so overwhelmed by the noise in the recruitment market that they’ve taken the unprecedented step of defacing their own headlines with a message for recruiters to leave them alone!

There’s a reason why recruiters behave like this. Too often, we just like to hammer the industry and blame bad actors for ‘bad practice’. There is a systematic reason why recruiters message in the way they do (lack of customisation) and at the volume they do (mass email, via some sort mail merge software). It is because the recruitment toolkit we currently have available produces the same type of information – historical data about what this candidate has done. There is nothing at all about what he or she wants to do in future. And recruiting – of course – is necessarily about the future. It is what this person wants to do next that is important. And this information isn’t available. So recruiters have to shoot blind and message as many candidates as they can and hope to convert their 1-2% into interested candidates.

What would happen if there was a platform that was able to tell you whether they person was interested in a certain type of work, in advance of your recruitment email or cold call? What if we could present this information in an easily consumable way that doesn’t require interpretation or even much cognitive processing? The answer is it will save everyone a huge amount of time. Recruiters can be more targeted with their messages, and candidates get less noise and are subsequently more likely to engage.

So, to answer the question, Workshape is different from other recruiting tools because we are trying to solve a different problem. We are trying to understand what a candidate wants to do, rather than what he has done.

How many techies have you matched up with the right companies so far?

6622 as of 10-12-2015.

Wow, That’s a lot of matches! What sort of businesses are using Workshape?

We’ve got huge variety in the types of businesses that are using Workshape. Of course, we are being heavily used by Startups – such as Qubit, Rocket Internet, Blinkist, Brainly and the like. But also we’ve had bigger companies – M&S Digital Services, Government Digital Services using the product. We think our market is basically any business that hires software developers.

What’s coming next in 2016?

We’ve got really exciting plans in 2016. We’ll kick it off with the release of possibly the largest developer sentiment survey ever conducted (over 15,000 people have gave us their opinion on what they want from employers), continue our expansion into the EU and build on the customer base we currently have in Germany & the Netherlands.

We’re also close to several partnership deals which will see Workshape technology implemented on other services. It’s exciting times!

That sounds like something a lot of employers would be interested in. What should recruiters do if they want to ask you something / connect / give a try?

Have them email me directly on or if they prefer Twitter DM @HungLee. Alternatively, you can just apply for an employer account and give us a try.

You can meet Hung at our first UK Sourcers meetup of 2016 on 26th January in London. Register now to secure your place.

Everybody Loves Prophet

Yesterday we ran our 9th UK Sourcers Meetup. It was our first event in Bristol and everyone there was new to our format – it was really exciting!

Meetup at Rethink Recruitment in Bristol

One plugin keeps coming up, whenever I meet sourcers and start talking about free tools. Some have never heard of it before and others are using it and finding it really useful. Either way, it generates quite a bit of excitement.

I’m talking about Prophet. Prophet is a plugin for the Chrome browser that helps you learn more about the candidates you find on LinkedIn, Twitter and other networks.

Click to install Prophet.

It will then appear in the top right hand corner of profiles you view on the web.

Prophet on @UKSourcers' profile

Some of the information Prophet pulls through is easy to find on your own, but the collapsed display on the right of the page looks like a notification and can help you to take notice of that extra information when you might otherwise forget.

Prophet is particularly good at email addresses – I don’t have to tell you how useful that is! It might find an email address, shared by the owner of a profile, or it will try to guess an email address. If Prophet does guess an email address, it will then attempt to verify it. Prophet will always tell you if a guessed email address has been verified or not. Email searched are limited, but you can get more by logging into Prophet with your Google account.

See how Prophet works in this very short video:

There was also some love for this little LinkedIn cross referencing tool from Sourcing Hacks.

What’s your current favourite free sourcing tool?

2 More Sourcing Events for 2015

UK Sourcers Meetup at REC - October 2014

We run free sourcing meetup events whenever and wherever we can. So far this year we have held events in Manchester and London.

These events are a relaxed and informal opportunity to meet other sourcers, resourcers and recruiters. We aim to give everyone a chance to ask questions, raise discussion topics or get ideas to help them find candidates.

Bringing a laptop or tablet along can be a good way to try things out and bookmark tools for later.

We have two more UK Sourcers meetups before the end of the year…


Date: Wednesday 11th November
Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Location: Rethink Recruitment, Bristol.
Full details & register: Currently fully booked. Add name to waitlist and get notified if a ticket becomes available

London (Christmas Meetup)

Date: Friday 4th December
Time: 14:00 – 17:00 (with networking drinks after)
Location: REC, London
Full details & register: Tickets Remaining

To be one of the first to hear about upcoming events, join our LinkedIn group.

I look forward to seeing you at an event soon.

UK Sourcers Christmas Meetup 2014

Christmas Time in London by Filippo Diotalev on Flickr

sky logo - believe in betterGreat news! BSkyB have offered to host a sourcing meetup for us. This gives us the chance to get together before the holidays for a bit of sharing and celebration.

We have a limited number of spaces up for grabs so, if you’d like to be there, it’s best to sign up ASAP.

When: 2pm on 18th December 2014
Where: BskyB, 1 Braham Street, London

This will be an informal event for recruiters, sourcers and resourcers. Attend if you are interested in meeting fellow professionals, learning new Internet research skills and helping others to do the same.

You might want to bring a laptop (or other internet enabled device) with you – sometimes we find useful things! What we cover is up to you. We can help each other brush up on our Boolean skills or make the most of searching social networks – the sky is the limit.

Attendees should be ready to share and be open with other participants, but also respect the sensitivity of what they might be share with you.

As it’s the festive season, we will be going on for a drink at the The Dispensary Pub (19a Leman Street, E1 8EN) after the event. Even if you don’t get a ticket, you would be welcome to join us for a drink from 5pm.

If you can’t make it to this event, we will be running more in 2015. The only way we can keep these events free to attend is via the generosity of companies like Sky who donate us a venue. If you would like to host an event at your office, please do get in touch.

Image via fdiotalevi on Flickr

Don’t Fill Pools, Build Pipelines

Pipelines by Contando Estrelas

Talent pools, talent sourcing, talent pooling…

We (sourcers of the world) all hear these phrases batted around all day every day by our peers and hiring managers. Some more than others, no doubt! But generally all companies, whether start-ups or large corporates, want an immediate supply of top talent screened and ready to go. And why not? We have so many tools available to us that this immediate talent tap should be ever flowing, right? Sadly not! I’m sure in some cases top talent pools do exist, but I would beg to differ.

A pool, by definition:

  • A small body of still water
  • An accumulation of standing liquid; a puddle: a pool of blood.
  • A deep or still place in a stream.

Immediately you will see that “pool” means still, it doesn’t move. So, when you think of the meaning of pool and then associate it with the next generation of talent driving your company, it seems completely barmy!!
Here in the Research team at Sky we build talent communities. These are managed in a way that they could be “named” a talent pool but I would like to elaborate on the differences.

Top talent = a human being! Us humans have a certain something that even sourcers have no control over, their brain. Anyone who has ever worked in recruitment/sourcing will know from experience that people change their minds, and generally change them a lot, usually with no advanced warning or reason. This leads me onto why talent communities (pools, if it pleases you) need to be fluid, not static, as the talent we watch over needs constant attention and nurturing.

From experience, if I have a candidate is prepped and ready to interview then it needs to happen as quickly as possible or the said candidate is likely to do one of 2 things:

  1. Lose interest and look for another role (passive candidates are renowned for this!!)
  2. Find the long winded process tiresome and decide your company is not the dynamic, innovator sold to them by your good self (4 weeks for role sign off!) and withdraw – sound familiar?

I manage a team of sourcers/researchers and we manage our talent sourcing by building communities, these communities are segmented by discipline (using database tags) and managed accordingly by level of interest to us (top talent = highest level of engagement, good candidates = steady comms, and so on…).

We use LinkedIn’s Talent Pipeline tool as our database, managing our communities with tags and using the InMail function as the starting point to keep in touch – then moving onto twitter, Google+, email and (wait for it…) the phone! This level of contact, in all variants, keeps our future candidates engaged with our brand and us as a recruitment function. On a personal level, it also keeps us sourcing professionals, who just want to talk shop, very happy. It makes it super easy for us to reach out to these individuals when we have real requirements, pulling them straight into the recruitment/interview process, as our relationships are solid, current and credible.

This way of keeping in touch with your potential new hires is easy, effective and improves the candidate experience. You have talent to tap into whenever you need it – it’s just old fashioned networking, using today’s tools!

Keep in touch, know your markets and make sure your market knows you.


Image via Elentlr on Flickr.

UK Sourcers Meetup V

UK Sourcers Meetup - PepsiCo

REC LogoWe’re really happy to announce out 5th free sourcing meetup.

The REC have agreed to host us for an afternoon of sourcing and sharing at their offices in London.

We only posted the event yesterday evening and we’re almost “sold out”. Places are very limited so, if you’d like to attend, please register via the Eventbrite page. If we do get fully booked, we will have a waiting list in case anyone drops out.

The events are a great way to meet and network with other sourcers. There’s alays a great culture of sharing and learning. If you’d like to come along and find out how other recruiters are finding great talent, do register now!

The picture above is from our last event in May at PepsiCo HQ in Berkshire.

If you’d like to host a meetup in your neck of the woods, please get in touch with Katharine.

I look forward to meeting you soon.

Twitter Replies & Mentions – Now An Even More Important Distinction

Twitter Lane by Duncan Hall

I’ve written about the difference between Replies and Mentions on Twitter before, but with this week’s changes to Twitter profiles, it’s even more important that you understand the distinction.

We all know that referencing someone’s twitter username with an @ symbol in front creates a link to their profile in your tweet.

Did you realise that where you place that @username can have a big impact on the visibility of your tweet?

So, what’s the difference between a reply and a mention?

When a tweet begins with @username Twitter interprets this as a reply. Only those following both you and the person you are referencing will see the tweet in their timeline.

Here’s an example of a reply:

A mention, on the other hand, references someone’s @usermane in the body of a tweet and all your followers can see it. This is why you sometimes see people putting a full-stop in front of a reply – so that it is visible to all of their followers.

Here’s an example of a mention:

With Twitter’s new profile layout, anyone viewing your profile will not see your replies without an extra click… who’s going to bother with that?

Twitter Tweets & Replies

If you go to our @UKSourcers Twitter profile and click “Tweets and replies” you will probably see some updates that wouldn’t otherwise have had come up in your main Twitter feed. You’re probably quite relieved that you didn’t have to see us saying “thanks” or “good luck” to people that you don’t follow.

So, if you’re just shooting the breeze with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, use replies as normal.

If you’re trying to spread content far and wide, or give someone kudos, make sure you mention @usernames in the body of your tweet, not at the start, so that all your followers see.

Attitudes to Social Media for Recruiting & Sourcing

Growing Social Media by mkhmarketing

There seems to be two camps in the recruitment community.

  • The blasé – they’re not convinced by Twitter or Facebook as useful for recruitment and they’re certain that they couldn’t possibly search or use LinkedIn any better. Don’t even mention Google+ or Foursquare without getting laughed out of their office.
  • The worriers – they seem very concerned that if their recruiters don’t know about every online search tool and technique going then they’re missing out on something fundamental to their success.

I think both could learn a lot from each other.

The first camp is well grounded, not ready to waste time on something that might not work when they could be doing something that they know will give results. The vast majority of the time, candidates are hanging out just where you would expect them to be. If you have 5 great candidates in your database or ATS, why wouldn’t you contact them first?

The second group is curious, hungry to learn and always think that they could be doing better. When their network is all tapped out and LinkedIn isn’t giving them the results they need, they have more ideas up their sleeve.

On the other hand, the blasé are closed minded and almost definitely missing out on great opportunities. The worriers are too concerned about finding talent via “the next big thing” instead of just finding the best possible person for the job.

Open mindedness without drinking too much of the Kool-Aid – is that the sweet spot?

Image credit.

A Note to Hiring Managers – Good Recruitment Housekeeping for the Business

Ralph's Dastardly Dream Team

I was in the Pub the other day with an ex-colleague and, as we were talking, the inevitable topic of work came up. They said everything was going well, but that they were struggling to recruit for their team.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, the recruitment team are not providing me with any candidates”.

With a knowing nod I said, “So, I guess your top 3 fell through in that case, too bad”.

They looked at me with a pause. I could see they were thinking What do you mean, isn’t that recruitment’s job?

Here is a thought:

We meet people every day, we read articles/blogs about our industry and go to events. If you meet someone who you think would be an interesting prospect to work with, then would it not make sense to begin dialogue with them and cultivate a professional relationship?

For example, I usually have three people on a list that I would like to hire at any given moment. These are individuals that I share articles with, I have a very good idea of where in their life cycle they are, and I am very familiar with what experience they have. How did we meet? Well, one was through Twitter, the other at a conference and the last one interviewed with us but they got away.

If I could convince any one of these three contacts to enter into the recruitment process, I could hire them in good conscience knowing that they would excel in our team and exceed our expectations. I wonder how many positions would get filled with greater efficiency, and less aggravation from a line manager point of view, if this way of thinking was part of day to day activities. I mean, let’s be honest, who knows your industry better than you do? Who can sell your team better than you?

Perhaps this simple activity is too hard to adopt in a busy schedule, or the “it’s not my problem, it’s recruitment’s problem” is too easy to adopt. Either way, I would be disappointed if my 3 contacts turned me down, but at least I would have 3 profiles that I can use as an example to consult with my recruitment team.

And if one of them did get hired, I would most likely be very satisfied with the new addition to the team.