Interview mit Sourcing Legende und Social Talent Gründer Jonathan Campbell

Social Talent Founder and Sourcing Legend Jonathan Campbell

Seit einem guten Jahr explodiert das Thema Sourcing in der deutschen Recruiting Szene. Es wird zwar nicht sonderlich viel drüber gebloggt, aber das mag auch daran liegen, dass die klassischen Personalmarketing Themen sich für manche scheinbar etwas eher zum Verbloggen eignen. Auch ich selbst blogge nur wenig über das Sourcen, wenngleich es doch ein Schlüsselinstrument im Recruiting darstellt, welches stetig an Bedeutung gewinnt.
Ende letzten Jahres habe ich dann dank Jan Hawliczek und Tobias Ortner die Chance bekommen, Johnny Campbell persönlich kennen zu lernen. Seit dem hat sich ein regelmäßiger Austausch zwischen uns vieren etabliert und der deutsche Recruiting Markt darf schon auf ein paar Überraschungen im Herbst gespannt sein. Steigen wir nun in das kurze Interview mit Johnny ein. Wer Social Talent noch nicht kennt, dem empfehle ich das Interview hier. Wer Social Talent bereits kennt: Johnny wird dieses Jahr im September auf den Social Recruiting Days in Berlin sprechen - eine absolute Empfehlung für jeden Recruiter/ Sourcer.

Steigen wir nun ein ins Interview:

Johnny is the founder and CEO of Social Talent, a company that has the lofty ambition to improve the productivity of every professional worker in the world with better knowledge, tools and data to be better at what they do. Everyone has to start somewhere so Johnny and his team have started with recruiters and so far they've turned nearly 20,000 recruiters from companies like Microsoft, Intel, GE, Manpower, Randstad and Adecco into Sourcing Ninjas. The company's platform is used in over 90 countries by more than 1,000 companies and their blog is read by nearly 100,000 recruiters a week. Johnny's wife and family still thinks he find people jobs and his 3 kids think he is a trained assassin. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Social Talent Ninja Blackbelt
Der Social Talent Sourcing Ninja

Hello Johnny,

since Social Talent is not that known yet in Germany, could you shortly introduce Social Talent and the Sourcing Ninja/ the Black Belt?

Social Talent was founded in 2010 with a mission to raise the standard of recruiting by providing recruiters with the right knowledge, skills and tools to be more effective. Through our online learning platform we have trained and qualified nearly 20,000 recruiters as Black Belts in Internet Recruitment, turning them from ordinary recruiters into “Sourcing Ninjas”!

What inspired you to found Social Talent?

10 years ago I was living in the Caribbean running an offshore recruitment agency. I returned to Ireland in the summer of 2008 to start up a recruitment agency with my business partner, Vincent, not knowing that we were entering into the world’s worst recession. We quickly realised that in order to survive and compete we were going to have to figure out a way to find talent that no-one else was finding. Social Media was just taking off and sites like Facebook and LinkedIn where growing like crazy. We figured that there had to be a way of searching through all of these newly created online profiles and leveraging all of this social sharing to find talent and promote our services. Through trial and error and with the pressure of having to feed young children and pay the mortgage, we figured out how to use these new media to deliver a headhunting quality service at contingency fees. As we started growing our agency we quickly realised that we could have more impact training all the other recruiters out there rather than competing with them and within less that a year we had shifted our business model and Social Talent was born!

Lately, the topic of sourcing has been discussed progressively in Germany and companies have started very carefully to integrate sourcers into their talent acquisition processes. One discussion has come up which from my point of view was very interesting. It is not enough to learn the skills you need for sourcing but furthermore you need a specific mindset. Do you think anyone can become a Sourcing Ninja or are there specific prerequisites that a Ninja student has to meet?

From our experience, anyone can become a Sourcing Ninja. It’s not all about writing boolean strings and x-raying websites, being a Ninja is about learning how to best leverage the tools that are right there in front of you so as to deliver an exceptional recruitment service to your customer. Ninjas write better job ads, they display higher emotional intelligence when conversing on the phone, they write more impactful and personal emails and they treat the candidate with more respect. Recruitment does take a particular mindset and not everyone can be a recruiter but every recruiter can be a sourcing ninja.

Social Talent is active in over 150 countries all over the world. What is the most interesting cultural difference in terms of sourcing you have experienced on your trips?

There are definitely more similarities than differences and finding and attracting talent is pretty much the same everywhere however culture plays a very important role when it comes to things like engagement and communication. Whilst the principles apply everywhere (make it all about the candidate, ask questions, focus on their drivers), the execution needs to be tailored for each market.

Germanys biggest Recruiting and Sourcing conference is about to open its doors in September. You are one of the main acts. So high expectations from our side. But what are your expectations towards Germanys biggest Sourcing conference and the sourcing community?

I’m excited to see how we can all help grow the German sourcing community and begin to bring in more recruiting and HR professionals who may still see us as a “fringe” element. In Ireland, the UK and US, we were considered “fringe” when we all started doing this 8 years ago and now it’s mainstream. I’m looking forward to starting on that same journey in Germany, accompanied by some of the amazing people who will be presenting at Social Recruiting Days alongside me.

Thank you very much, Johnny! CU in September in Berlin.