At Matchr, we have separate departments for Sourcing and Recruitment. As the blog interview series is rolling, and after getting to know two recruiters from Matchr already, it is definitely time to learn more about the sourcing profession.
So I connected with our experienced Sourcing Specialist, Olena Konovalova. Olena has been part of the Matchr team for 3.5 years already. She is a passionate sourcer who develops herself further, looks for new ideas, and stays up to date with what is happening in the sourcing industry. She even proactively shares her learnings with the whole company. Olena is leading by example, and she is part of our strong Ukrainian team, which we are all proud of.
In this blog interview, you can not only get to know about Olena and her sourcing career at Matchr, but also we have been exploring topics like “the myths about sourcing” and “how the sourcing industry has changed since she became a sourcer.”
“Sourcing can be applied in daily life too, not only in the recruitment area. For instance, it helps me filter out the information that I read daily or to use search engines more professionally.”Olena Konovalova, Senior Talent Sourcing Specialist at Matchr
Tell us your story; how did you become a sourcer?
I want to think that my curiosity and drive to learn something new are two things that drove me to sourcing.
I have an educational background in Human Resources. After graduating, I started thinking about the type and industry of companies I’d like to work for. I was looking for projects that would continuously challenge me and allow working among smart and inspirational people. And after a while, I thought, “Why not pick an IT sphere?”. Yeah, it might sound a bit cliche, but at that moment (and I still do), I thought it checked all my boxes. So I took a detailed course on tech recruitment and sourcing, and it just blew my mind, especially the sourcing part about Boolean search. Eventually, I discovered international communities around SourceCon and Sourcing Summit events. And I started reading their blogs and connecting with the people on Linkedin.
In a few months, I got an offer as my first job as a sourcer in an international recruitment agency, where I had a chance to work with technical roles for FinTech (and not only) scaleups. After gaining some valuable experience, I ended up in Matchr. And I must say, I love it here!
What are your current role and responsibilities?
I am currently a Senior Sourcing Specialist here at Matchr for 3+ years. I was among the first sourcers hired and felt like I was able to contribute quite a lot to the company’s journey. In particular, I helped to grow our sourcing team. During this time, I was lucky to work with well-established international companies like Booking.com, TikTok, Mollie, Messagebird, and Bolt, as well as rapidly growing local companies like Resumedia.
Usually, my work entails building the client’s sourcing and outreach strategies, then acting upon them and creating a strong candidate pipeline. Also, I prepare regular reports on a weekly and monthly basis to a client and participate in all client calls.
What I enjoy regularly doing, as well as sharing some sourcing tips, tricks, or articles with the team. For that matter, I send out a company-wide newsletter once or twice a month. In the nearest future, I’m planning to share it with a broader audience.
What does a week at Matchr look like for you?
Monday is usually a reporting day or preparation for the new project. Usually, I create or update sourcing strategy, work on talent mapping, plan tasks for the week, etc. Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when I do most of the sourcing and outreach to candidates. Thursday is the most training-intensive day with some team Zoom calls. When I’m attached to a specific client, the account-related calls usually happen on Tuesday through Thursday. On Fridays, I finish up all the tasks. And by the end of the day, we have a company-wide shout-out and a detailed company presentation once a month. Throughout the week, I try to find time to gain new knowledge on sourcing or the latest trends in tech. And, of course, taking care of my mental health by working out or taking other active rest.
What do you enjoy in sourcing?
First of all, the endless learning opportunities. Sourcing is challenging work, and it is nowhere easy as it may seem at first glance. So, every other day, you have to dedicate time to fill in some gaps or update your knowledge. Gladly, many recruitment communities are sourcing-related blogs from thought leaders that you can turn to.
Sourcing can also be applied in daily life, not only in the recruitment area. For instance, it helps me filter out the information I read daily or use search engines more professionally.
Last but not least. I enjoy both the daily sourcing flow and the outcome. It gives me immense joy when I learn about my candidate getting an offer and that I could positively impact one’s life.
What is your biggest accomplishment at Matchr or in your career so far that you are the proudest of?
I have two things in particular that I am the proudest of. They are both connected because they are related to the same client. In 2020-2021, I worked for Mollie, an Amsterdam-based FinTech unicorn. And I had two successful cases. In relatively short terms (3-4 months), Mollie’s team hired my candidate for a very responsible role of Senior Engineering Manager that would lead an entire technical domain. And the second case was with the Senior Backend Developer role (PHP). Mollie hired a very strong candidate who was a leader in Amsterdam tech communities. Mollie’s team reached out to him a while ago, but then it wasn’t the right time. I messaged him again with a simple casual note, and eventually, he agreed to have a call and then was engaged in the process and was hired.
What do you think are the biggest myths about sourcing as a profession?
There are two major myths about sourcing that are still circling.
First, is that a sourcer is a junior recruiter, and the next career step for a sourcer is advancing into a recruiter position. Of course, that might be true, and some people may choose this path, but that’s not a 100% case. Some people prefer career growth within sourcing as a senior sourcer or as a sourcing trainer/speaker/community leader. Or I know several cases when people switch back to sourcing after trying out as a recruiter. So even though sourcing and recruiting are closely related, these are two different career paths.
The second is that a typical sourcer is more of an introverted person who prefers email communication and working with data over interviews. Again, that might be true for some people as well. But in reality, there’s quite some communication going on in the daily work of a sourcer. You talk to your hiring managers, you are in constant touch with a recruiter, and if you’re working in an agency or as a freelance sourcer that might sometimes include even more communication.
How has Matchr impacted your personal growth?
Back when I started at Matchr we had a growth plan for 30/60/90 days that each employee had to fill in individually and then discuss the goals with the direct manager when the time came. It’s valuable when the company dedicates so much time and effort to helping its employees grow. At least once in 1-2 months, we used to have a dedicated learning day where we either had a series of training by our internal team leads or had international recruitment speakers invited (we had amazing guests such as Anna Brandt or Michelle Wiersma, for instance).
Plus, Matchr allows attending online events such as SourceCon or Sourcing Summit to network with the speakers and other attendees. Self-education and knowledge sharing are also highly encouraged here. Also, during my performance reviews, I got a lot of valuable feedback from my manager and colleagues that helped me recognize my strong and weak spots.
Why would you recommend working at Matchr?
The company cares about your professional growth and well-being, which is valuable. A team of great professionals and amazing people. Fun activities regularly and great offsite events, among many other benefits.
You would have challenging projects and clients (nobody said recruitment was easy, right?), but at the same time, it’s very rewarding and will help you build your professional brand. Along this journey, Matchr will ensure that each of your successes will be acknowledged and properly recognized.
What business model have you worked via Matchr with clients?
For the most part, I worked on an embedded model where I fully emerged into the team attending all the meetings, getting a corporate email address and access to all essential internal tools (Slack, ATS, etc.). I was in direct contact with the hiring managers most of the time. Sometimes I arranged client catch-up calls or presented monthly reports, which are more on the account management side. This way, I had a better chance to understand how the client recruitment team works, their struggles, and how I could help them.
I also worked on an RPO (Recruiting Process Outsourcing) model and with remote hiring clients in the past, but for a shorter time with the clients like TikTok, Booking.com, Synergy Sports, Sensor Tower, etc. The pace of the work was certainly different, and the interactions with the hiring managers were quite limited compared to the embedded model. But all of these cooperations were a success. You can find some of the stories on our website.
How was the engagement at Matchr while working with a client?
It depended on the model and client needs. When I was working for Bolt on the fully embedded model, it implied being fully merged into their internal processes and tools. So, I had a somewhat limited idea of what was happening at Match regarding new tools or some processes. Sometimes I had to choose between the meetings. With Resumedia, on the contrary, I had more flexibility to split my time more or less evenly between client tasks and Matchr tasks.
How has working with clients helped you grow your career and experience?
First and foremost, it helped me improve my communication skills to be more flexible and adapt faster to different work environments and challenges. As a sourcer you also have to be quite proactive and have a broad understanding of various business models to be effective at your work. With every new client, I got a different perspective on the importance of sourcing and a chance to reflect on my previous experience.
Learn more about work at Matchr:
How has sourcing changed since you started your career in this profession?
I’d say major changes in sourcing are driven by the development of new tools (mostly ones related to repetitive tasks automation) and new approaches around the old methods. Of course, this doesn’t exclude some creative and unique ways and platforms for sourcing.
Some 4-5 years ago, there was less buzz about the sourcing role compared to the present. Right now, we have more sourcing-specific online and offline events and local and international sourcing communities, which is great.
On the other hand, the current approach to sourcing is much more data-driven and strategic. An increasing number of stakeholders or clients are interested in getting valuable data insights on different stages of cooperation. So a significant part of the sourcer job is working with data: market estimations, salaries benchmarks, conversion rates on different pipeline stages, and many more.
In addition, Linkedin, while remaining a main go-to place for sourcing, has changed quite a lot. The search algorithms kept changing, as well as some user policies. The latter one especially concerned the usage of some Chrome extensions that sourcers and recruiters used to find candidates’ contact details.
Curious to see how it will be in 2023!
Are you always up to date with trends and innovations in sourcing? How do you keep your industry knowledge up to date?
That’s an essential part of my work in the dynamic world of sourcing and recruitment. Every week I dedicate at least a few hours to reading new industry articles, checking out new books and podcasts, and attending webinars or Udemy courses. Linkedin feed also helps quite a lot. Also, I read annual tech industry reports by Stackoverflow, Hackerrank, or Devskiller to understand what’s trending and what’s not in terms of programming languages, frameworks, databases, and so on.
As for my favorite go-to place to gain some new knowledge, it is Irina Shamaeva’s blog. She writes about all things Boolean, gives useful insights on Linkedin search functionality, and sourcing tips and tricks, which are unique due to her technical background.
Do you want to learn more about how Matchr can help you deliver on your hiring plans by providing embedded sourcers and recruiters? Contact us, and we’ll suggest the optimal solution depending on your hiring needs and budget.