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”.

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.