Three weeks ago I went to a recruiting event in Dallas, Texas called Sourcecon. There were 600 people in a packed room from companies all around the world.  They were talking about sourcing and recruiting strategies to hire people in the hottest market we have seen since 1999.

I have been to many recruiting conferences over the years, and I have always come away with tidbits or at least a takeaway or two. This year I came back with more takeaways than I expected. At this event I wasn’t speaking, I was just listening. I was a sponge. I had a lot to learn to help my craft as a recruiter. I believe that the key to success is continual education on the latest and greatest.

Let me just say this. I remember writing a a post a couple of years ago talking about recruiters being “detectives”. The post actually made it to and the comments received were less than kind to say the least. I even second guessed writing on the topic because I know some individuals are so elusive on social media that I wondered if it were possible to be anonymous. Can someone hide on social media? After attending this conference, the answer is not “no” but “hell no”!!

“I laughed when I read “Since we are “detectives” we want to know what your co-workers, former bosses, former co-workers have to say about you” Seriously? It is no wonder HR has such a dismal record of filling positions and that talented more experienced professionals are often never engaged”

What I said a couple of years ago is dead on accurate. It actually may be more accurate today than it was when I wrote it. It is actually quite scary what recruiters can find out about candidates. There are more tools available to dissect information than you probably imagine.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a “stalker” by looking at others’ pictures and comments on Facebook? It is information that is shared on the World Wide Web and anyone can have access to that information? Well, if you think you are a “stalker” from lurking on Facebook, then you have absolutely no idea what recruiters and sourcers do for a living.

Sourcers and Recruiters are researchers. Think of us as the modern day librarians who use every tool and every bit of information to make logical decisions and find the un-findable. Do you think you are hiding your e-mail or your phone number? Think again. Do you think you are hiding your accomplishments? Think again. Do you think we can’t find out if you graduated from college? Think again.
All information is public. Everything you have ever done in life is now somewhere in a digital format. A race you ran? Public. A picture you took for a church directory? Public. A party that you were at in the crowd? You may show up on Periscope.

It is crazy. Do you think by not spelling out your work history on LinkedIn that you are hiding? You are nuts. Somewhere, at some time you have given your information online. It is just the world we live in today. Documents just don’t get lost anymore.

Let’s take this topic even further, we now have algorithms that can make assessments based upon what you have done with your career in the past. Big Data is real. We can even tell you how you like to be approached in an e-mail, phone message, and what kinds of people you will work well with based upon THE WORDS YOU USE ONLINE.

I don’t think you should try to hide, because you CAN NOT. The best advice I have for you is to embrace the technology. I will tell you though, don’t be stupid. Watch what you say, because somewhere it can be used against you.

Don’t you wish it was 1990 again? Not me. It is just different. Privacy is dead.