Q&A with Christian LeLoux, Oceania Talent Sourcing Leader, Ernst & Young

Christian LeLoux, currently Oceania Talent Sourcing Leader at Ernst & Young, talks about his initial foray into sourcing, past experiences and what his current sourcing toolbox looks like. He offers a preview of his presentation on ‘sourcing Matrix’ and why highly visible employer brands need to invest in sourcing.

Q. How did you get into sourcing and what sourcing projects are you currently involved with?
Put simply, if six years at University had taught me one thing, it was that I loved research. Often I’d ponder how wonderful it would be to get paid to do it…enter HRX. I’d never considered the recruitment industry, and to be honest had never heard of sourcing. However, working with the likes of Brent Pearson, Shally Steckerl and Paul Westmoreland helped me realise that sourcing is a very powerful and strategic enabler, not only for recruitment functions of all shapes and sizes, but also as a vehicle to help realise bottom line business imperatives.

Fast forward 5 years and I’m now fortunate enough to be a part of the Oceania Talent Sourcing Function here at Ernst & Young. The best thing about Ernst & Young is the diversity; not just in relation to the positions we get to work on, but also in the scale and scope of the projects. Currently, we’re building talent communities, assessing and introducing bleeding-edge technologies, supporting campaign recruitment initiatives across a number of geographies, developing internal training collateral for both the Recruitment function and business alike, optimising our CRM and developing a research platform via Mindjet aimed at increasing our understanding of the skills, profiles and experience each Service Line in the firm requires.

Q. You are going to speak about ‘sourcing matrix’ at the conference, can you shed some light on what it is?
Since becoming a sourcing professional there has been a single question which has reared its (often ugly) head time and time again; where does sourcing fit in the recruitment framework and who is accountable for managing the outputs? The sourcing matrix for me is a very simple, yet extremely powerful way to examine an organisation’s sourcing needs and to determine who is accountable for the various processes, outputs and decisions. When looking at an end-to-end approach it’s not difficult to pull out the component parts and nut out what resources you need to be efficient, and ultimately successful.

Our experience suggests that a myriad of skill sets coordinated on a project-by-project basis works the best; almost like “outsourcing” internally. We leverage strategic communication, employer branding, IT services, marketing, recruitment and the business to ensure that we have the technical infrastructure, the correct insights, the correct messages and the correct strategies to get a result; whether that be a great hire or a smoothly run Community event.

We do have a core set of skills making up the everyday genetics of the Talent Sourcing Function These skill sets would come as no surprise. We have sourcing specialists (“internet enthusiasts” or “technolopologists” as Andrea Mitchell likes to call them), engagement specialists (“people people”) and community managers (“keepers of the faith”)…and they’re all blending very nicely at the moment…! But more on that on the 11th of August

Q. Why do you think a highly visible and recognised employer brand like Ernst & Young need to invest heavily in sourcing?
Ernst & Young has an eclectic mix of competitors, all vying for the same skill sets across a diverse range of geographies and market sectors. Yes, we have a great brand which is instantly recognizable around the globe, though as we all know, a brand can only take you so far…

At Ernst & Young we quickly realised that there’s much more to sourcing than an eventual placement and a happy hiring manager. Competitive intelligence, market insights and the maintenance of a dynamic (and relational) CRM all produce the precursors for a more informed decision making process. We’re discovering that sourcing can successfully connect the dots between critical business needs and solid recruitment outcomes.

Q. Tell us what’s inside your sourcing toolbox. What tools works well for you?
In a word, lots! We try and keep a very open mind when it comes to assessing new tools. What’s working very well for us at the moment is a combination of AvatureCRM, Mindjet, the Boolean Bar, Linkedin Recruiter, Linkedin groups, Community microsites, Factiva et al. and of course Google. We have also created a number of templates to present information to our key stakeholders which makes the gathered “intelligence” very digestible. Having access to the right mix of tools is the most critical component of mobilising a successful sourcing function. Reach, awareness and automation in my opinion are key themes to consider when assessing any new “tool”.

Sourcing Report

What does a typical sourcer look like? What tools and techniques are most frequently used to find talent? Do practitioners prefer to be referred to as ‘Sourcers’ or ‘Researchers’? How much do sourcers typically earn? Is it a female dominated industry?

These and many other questions about sourcing and those who practice it remains largely unanswered. In fact, little data exists in Australia or NZ.

In the backdrop of the upcoming Australasian Sourcing Summit, we are taking steps to try and better understand sourcing and how it is practiced in the region. The study will attempt to shed more light on a growing and important profession.

Take our survey (only 3-5 minutes) and go into the draw to win a free ticket to the Sourcing Summit. Survey need to be completed by 1st August to be eligible for the draw. The results of the survey will be presented at the Sourcing Summit and will be available for download at a later date.

Delegate’s Corner: Get to know Damon Klotz

Damon Klotz (aka HRockstar) an HR professional from QLD talks about his background, HR/Recruitment events and his views on sourcing. Damon will be live blogging and tweeting at the Sourcing Summit. You can follow him here.

My background, current job & interests
I started a Bachelor of Business at QUT in Brisbane in 2007. I soon realized that to be successful in my career I’d have to put as much effort into my activities outside of university as I did within the university. So I became a member of AHRI, was elected President of the HR Student Group at my university, bought a 250 pack of business cards and attended one networking event a week as well as gained part-time admin work within a large corporate HR team.

Since then my career has seemed to change based on my passions and interest to further my own knowledge in different areas. This has led to my taking on the Director of Operations role with Spur Projects who launched the National campaign Soften The Fck Up in July. I also work three days a week as a brand strategist for a global health care provider and take on smaller consulting projects on the side.

Thoughts on HR events
My first ever conference was the AHRI Leadership Conference in Brisbane back in 2009. Since then I have had the privilege of attending several conferences including the Connect Now Social Media conference which really ignited my passion for emerging technology. My conference highlight was probably speaking at the Tru London HR and Recruiting Conference earlier this year in England.
I was recently down in Sydney at the AHRI National Convention to live blog and tweet Australia’s largest HR Conference. I find myself speaking at quite a few Brisbane based events and am regularly invited to give my $0.02 to students who are looking at breaking into industry and how to be unconventional in your job search. The last event I spoke at was the inaugural QUT Inspiration – Motivation – Aspiration conference where I ran a series of workshops on Storytelling through Social Media.

HR/recruitment events I like
I really like the UnConference format because not only are the speakers approachable but the conversations are stimulating and the networking is genuine. I think it’s really important to tap into the global community within this space so we can learn from the myriad of case studies available.

My understanding of sourcing
I’m quite new to this space and found myself drifting away from generalist HR very early on in my career. I’m really interested in creating talent pools and providing sustainable solutions to recruitment. I enjoy reading and learning about innovative ways organisations are engaging with potential employees and providing a remarkable recruitment experience that turns those potential employees into brand advocates regardless of the recruitment outcome.

What I expect from the Sourcing Summit
I’m expecting some great case studies and discussions from thought leaders in this space. As a relatively new member of this community I’m really looking forward to picking the brains of all the attendees and speakers and maybe even finding myself a mentor in this space. When it comes to the sessions that stand out for me then I’d have to say that I’m really looking forward to Paul Jacob’s session on emotional branding in sourcing.

Q&A with Jason Timor, Adviser, Indigenous Recruitment Qantas

Jason Timor, a Badu Island man from the Torres Strait, is an accomplished recruiter with significant agency and in-house experience under his belt. He currently assists Qantas with their aboriginal recruitment strategy. We caught up with Jason to discuss about his personal journey, his current project with the aboriginal community and the stories he will be sharing at the Sourcing Summit.

Q. Tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up in your current role?
I grew up in a small regional town in Queensland and soon found there were limited opportunities for me and decided to study for a short period before moving to Sydney. I wasn’t quite sure what it was I wanted to do but I knew it had to be people focused. After a few customer service and sales roles, I landed into recruitment and did my ‘apprenticeship’ with Hays before moving on to Engineering desk with Hamilton James and Bruce and then onto an in-house role with Caltex.

What I found most rewarding in recruitment was the aspect of changing someone’s life offering them the opportunity they might otherwise would not have come across. As a proud Indigenous Australian and my drive to give back to my community I now have a great opportunity to make a real difference and contribute to Qantas’ Reconciliation Action Plan.

Q. You are currently advising Qantas on indigenous recruitment, can you shed some light on the state of employment in the indigenous community?
It is more a case of the state of unemployment within the Indigenous community being three times higher than non-Indigenous. Its also important to note that 29% of young Indigenous Australians are not employed or studying compared to around 9% of young non Indigenous people. At Indigenous Careers @ Qantas, we have a strong emphasis on the Education to Employment journey and invest alot of our efforts in our School Based Trainees, Cadetships and other entry level roles across our businees.

Q. Is it hard to find indigenous talent? What are the main challenges facing employers who wanted to increase their indigenous headcount?
Indigenous talent is an untapped resource that has numerous commericial benefits for any business beyond a philanthropic message. This talent is not hard to find provided you have multi-faceted approach to this market.

Challenges facing employers wanting to increase their Indigenous headcount can vary but it is very important to engage with the Indigenous communities coupled with traditional sourcing strategies. It is vital to have strong contacts in the Indigenous communities where you recruit so be prepared to get involved rather than just recruiting behind a desk.

Q. What sourcing channels do you find most effective in your experience?
One of the surprising channels that has been quite successful for us has been our Indigenous Employee Network – We capitalise on this network to send our job alerts and we find these get forwarded on to Indigenous communities/organisations/agencies . Our Indigenous staff are very passionate and pro-active in getting involved and as Indigenous people, we have a strong sense of family and community which allows a far reach into this unique candidate market.

I run information/ pre-assessment sessions for bulk recruitment for areas such as Cabin Crew, Ground Crew and Airport staff to prepare Indigenous candidates before they enter into the mainstream recruitment process – Indigenous staff who are actually in the relevant role eg. Indigenous Flight Attendants attend to co-facilitate a Q@A session and give realistic job previews. These sessions are run even when we do not have those particular roles live as our aim is to get these candidates ‘job ready’ for when the opportunities become available.

Careers Fair complement our long term strategy of Education to Employment and Classroom to a Career as the Indigenous population is getting younger, we take Qantas on the road and present a full range opportunities from School Based Traineeships, Cadetships and direct entry roles.

Q. What will you be speaking about at the summit?
I wanted to really highlight the great work Qantas is doing as an Indigenous employer and what strategies we have adopted to increase our Indigenous headcount from Employer Branding to Community Engagement. I also am keen to share what we have learnt along the way and challenges we face in this rapidly evolving area.

Q&A With Paul Jacobs

Paul wears many hats – entrepreneur, social media evangelist, employment branding consultant, community DJ and conversation stirrer – but a common denominator in his work is a passion for, in his own words, “helping employers become stars“. A perennial experimenter, and blessed with an acute eye to spot new trends, Paul is one the most influential recruitment voices in the ANZ region. We caught up with Paul to discuss his current projects and upcoming talk at the Sourcing Summit.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about your background and current role?
I’m in the business of helping employers become stars on the social web. I’m fortunate to work with some very progressive organisations, who desire to be leaders in the areas of recruitment, employment communications, and sourcing. I’ve worked with Deloitte NZ for nearly two years on their successful social recruiting initiatives, which won the 2010 SOCRA award in the United States for excellence in social media and recruiting. We were also finalists in the 2010 NZ Marketing Awards, recognised as one of the world’s Top 40 Facebook fan pages, and featured in blogs locally and globally as an example of leading practice. We pioneered a range of social media initiatives, including live streaming shows on our grad recruitment Facebook page, an approach which is now being adopted by other employers in NZ and Australia.

I have an Organisational Psychology background, so enjoy applying motivational and behavioural theory to HR and social media projects. I’m passionate about building talent communities online and promoting the great initiatives which are happening in our part of the world. Four years ago I became the Community DJ for Recruitment Asia Pacific, an online community of professionals in the Asia Pacific region interested in networking, recruitment innovations, recruitment technologies, and social media. Over the past couple of years I attended social recruiting events at Google and Best Buy in the USA. I enjoy keeping up with innovations and trends happening on the social web, such as social gaming and mobile technologies, and looking for ways to apply these to a recruitment and talent sourcing perspective.

Q. You have done significant work on Facebook, what do you think works or doesn’t work on Facebook?
It’s important that employers have an end in mind – what do they want to achieve? Many employers and recruitment firms don’t work through this step. They set up shop on the platform just because they believe they need to be there or their competitors have already established a presence. With no purpose in mind, firms’ efforts tend to become sporadic and directionless, and often peter out. A Facebook presence is most successful when a firm has a genuine interest in making it a success, and this requires strategic direction from a senior level.

Recruiters also need to understand that Facebook is a social platform. It supports conversation, rather than just broadcasting one-way messages. A common scenario is recruiters who merely ‘vomit’ job listings and expect jobseekers to magically engage emotionally with their brand and employee value propositions. Recruiters often have a ‘campaign’ mentality and miss the opportunity Facebook presents to take a broader focus on building an engaged talent community. What works is an authentic, honest and responsive communication style. Also, beware of false assumptions – firms often have the wrong idea about the Facebook demographic and both the overt and covert intentions of their jobseeker community.

Lastly, firms should not be afraid to experiment and look for inspiration outside the recruitment and sourcing profession. I’ve had success on Facebook by studying the gaming industry and how celebrities are utilising social media.

Q. You talk a lot about the importance of ‘emotional branding’ can you explain its place in the sourcing stable/tool box?
Sourcing is often perceived in a very technical light. But as part of the talent identification process, sourcers need to be marketers who can understand, engage and build trust with different talent audiences.

Relationships typically take time to develop and nurture, sometimes over a period of years with potential talent. To be effective, sourcers need to be clear how to reach the talent and then immerse themselves in their world. Sourcers also need to be able to establish and build community and understand the emotional and motivational requirements of their members.

The sourcer’s job is often made difficult, as employers don’t always define their brand and employment opportunities in a clear and differentiating light. Many employer value propositions are similar. They also tend to appeal at a cognitive rather than emotional level. For example, an employer might say they offer the opportunity to work within a team. But what’s important to a jobseeker may be the opportunity for their contribution to be valued. To stand out in the market, sourcers need to identify, understand and tap into the emotional and motivational drivers of jobseekers, and sell opportunities at a deeper level that is more meaningful, particularly to the passive jobseeker who may be relatively content with their current role.

Q. What, in your opinion, is a successful source of talent in NZ? What trends are you witnessing that’s different from Australia or the rest of the world?
When I’ve attended recruitment related conferences and events in NZ, Australia and in the USA I’m always amazed at the love affair sourcers and recruiters have with LinkedIn. I’m doubly amazed when I later discover that some of the most passionate advocates aren’t using the platform in the most effective ways. Sourcers need to be where the talent resides and if they have a strong preference for one or two sources then they may be missing out on a whole raft of talent. While for some they may be successful sources of talent they are not necessarily the best or only sources. I believe we need to explore and conquer other frontiers. I’ve been enjoying having a play with Google+ and some of the professional networking apps on Facebook and would expect sourcing professionals to be doing the same.

Job boards and recruitment agencies that follow a traditional advertising model are often touted to be successful sources of talent, but then there’s the whole “post and pray” and active versus passive jobseeker considerations that come into play. In saying all this, we need to be cognisant of the many different ways in which people make career decisions. For example, they may see a vacancy in a newspaper or job board, then see a posting on a social networking site, hear some info about an employer from a colleague, and finally get a phone call from a recruiter etc.

A totally underutilised source of talent in NZ and Australia is employee and candidate referrals. We need to lift the game. Australia is possibly a bit more advanced in using mobile in a recruitment context, but the gap is quickly narrowing.

Q. What subject and issues will you tackle at the Sourcing Summit?
I’m running a Winning on Facebook workshop (sounds very Charlie Sheen-esque doesn’t it?!) and presenting on the topic of Emotional Branding in Sourcing (bring your Kleenex!). I hope to draw on my own experiences and leading practices in the Asia Pacific region and overseas. The common theme in both sessions will be around humanising recruitment and exploring ways to improve the sourcing experience. I’ll be drawing upon some of my thinking on the social gaming industry and seeing how it sits in a sourcing context.