When I got laid off several years ago, I was one of the lucky ones that was able to find another job quickly thanks to my network of sourcing friends.  Not everyone is so lucky.  These last two years have been rough, and I can’t imagine looking for work or being out of work at a time like this. I think about my kids, my wife, and put myself in that situation again, not knowing if I can land a job in a month or over 6 months.

That’s where the talent sourcing community comes in …we find people jobs.  Our job is connecting job seekers to job openings they never knew existed, and finding them a pathway to employment. We are the hope factor, the heart factor, and the reason why I do this is love.  

People used to say the best recruitment tool you can use is your brain, but that was pre-pandemic. In 2022 and beyond the best recruitment tools you have are humanity, caring, empathy, and connecting people to options. That’s what my conversations revolve around now, not requirements, but how one’s skills best align. How the job seeker on the other end can help us, our mission, and fill in the gaps and what’s in it for them as well.  

Early in my HR career, a very wise man Don McNeil taught me how to look at a person’s resume and understand their back story. It might have taken a person 5 or 6 years to graduate college, but did they work a full time job at the same time?  “This guy worked his way through college and paid for it himself, you can see the dates line up.” I talked to an engineer who took time off to be the main caregiver of his kids and ailing parent…and while many recruiters rejected him because of it, that made me respect him even more. Putting your career on hold to take care of your family shows integrity, compassion, and humanity many folks seem to have forgotten these days.  

You can’t get all the information you need without picking up the phone. Make a call to that candidate with the sparse resume anyway.  Make the call to your fellow recruiters and sourcers to see how we can help each other.   We’re not hiring resume writers after all. There’s always more to the story.  I’ve never forgotten that lesson Don taught me that day, and I’m still reading in between the lines, and calling people to get their full story.

I’ve lost count on the thank yous from candidates and teammates, but I appreciate them. It drives me to keep scheduling and calling folks, even when I’m tired, or people ghost me…it’s the ones that answer that make my day

So when you are feeling overwhelmed, just know that one call, YOUR call, can be the call to make a person’s day. We all have that super power, to find people jobs…just follow your heart, and read in between the lines!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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Greg Hawkes

Greg Hawkes is a Principal Sourcing Leader at M&T Bank and Creator and Founder of SourcingIRLHRSourcingToolboxHealthcareSourcingToolbox and has ongoing Speaker and Contributor for a wide array of Recruitment and Sourcing Conferences. He’s recruited and sourced in tech, healthcare, tech, mechanical/electrical/structural engineering, biotechnology, manufacturing and many other industries. Greg has covered topics ranging from Site Searches, Programmable Search Engines, to Advanced Web Scraping, Virtual Conference Infiltrations and URL Sourcing. He has been a HR/Recruitment/Sourcing Speaker on several occasions and contributed countless blogs, vlogs, webinars (and now even YouTube Shorts and TikToks) covering a wide array of sourcing strategies. He is a huge fan of emerging technologies, architecting solutions through use of technology and humanity, and most importantly finding people jobs in one of the most challenging and chaotic times we’ve ever lived in.