The Most Important  Thing I Took Away

The Most Important Thing I Took Away From SourceCon

By: Zach Brown

Recently, I enjoyed the opportunity to attend a recruiting industry conference called SourceCon for the first time. It was being held just a few blocks away from DBI HQ here in Seattle and it promised to be action-packed with networking, presentations from uber knowledgeable sourcing pros, and filled with more tech tools than you can shake an iPhone 6+ at. Like many attendees, I was there looking to learn new and interesting ways to be successful in my chosen field and I can absolutely say that I did that. I came away from SourceCon with a refreshed arsenal of approaches and tools for finding ways to create wins for my team everyday. As I continue to pour though the pages of notes and a dozen or so stacks of presentation slides from the conference I am finding that one bit of advice from a presenter resonated with me a bit louder than the rest.

That bit of advice came from Arron Daniels ) during a talk that he gave on blending logic and creativity to generate improved sourcing outcomes. It was a piece of advice that had nothing to do with sourcing, or tech tools, or Boolean search strings (though he packed plenty of great stuff on those topics in there). In fact, for many it might have been a footnote to a presentation that delivered a lot of actionable concepts and tools. It was simple, yet powerful. Here it is:

If you ever have an opportunity to help someone or to open a door for them, do it. Just do it.

I didn’t know it then, but I needed that reminder. I suspect a number of other people in the room did too, whether they knew it at the time or not. Helping others is something that most of us like to do when we have the time or the means to do so and that is an awesome thing. Unfortunately, helping others is often an afterthought or a ‘going the extra mile’ activity that gets buried at the end of a never ending to do list. Life gets in the way. Opportunities become lost.

We can change that. We can make it a priority rather than a footnote. We can (and should) take some inspiration from Arron’s advice and then go a step further to actively seek out opportunities to help others. It might be something as simple as making the choice to schedule regular time for some pro bono work throughout the year before scheduling that next vacation. It could take the form of advocating for stewardship in your industry and to helping raise the bar while mentoring those who come after you. It could be as easy as making a phone call to a contact for someone who needs just needs a hand up. Or, it might be as simple as meeting someone for coffee when they need some advice.

It doesn’t matter if you are building a world-class architecture firm or the top recruiting firm in your niche. It doesn’t matter if you make helping others a corporate community service initiative or a personal mission each day. Regardless of the circumstances, it is within our reach as professionals and more importantly, as human beings.

I could have made this blog post into a click-bait list of 10 reasons why community service is good for business or how it will help make your employees healthier, happier, and more loyal to your brand. Instead, I wanted to share something real with you and challenge you. I hope that this post resonates with you that same way that Arron’s advice did with me. If it does, let me know. Email me (zach[at]dbifirm[dot]com) and share some of the ways that you and/or your team are helping others. You never know, it may just create an opportunity for us to help out someone together.

Zach Brown is a Senior Sourcer with DBI | David Brown International based in Seattle, WA. He blogs on trends and tools for recruiting and social media for the DBI Blog. Connect with Zach on Twitter | LinkedIn |