Welcome to the Hiring Hero Spotlight! In this feature, we’re talking with real-life hiring heroes—those hard-working folks in HR and talent acquisition—to learn about their approach to sourcing and hiring.
In this installment, we caught up with Head of Strategic Sourcing at Universal Music Group, Susanna Frazier, to discuss the latest sourcing trends, tips, and technologies.
Tell us a little about your background. How did you get into talent acquisition, and what is your current role?
My educational background was in engineering and business, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated. I ended up being recruited to work as an IT staffing recruiter, which seemed like a good match. However, I began feeling like I was wasting both my time and the time of the people I was speaking with due to the lack of intelligence our back-end systems had—I was having these potentially life-changing conversations but no accurate way to document or reference them later. That frustration inspired my pivot into the operations side of talent acquisition, which has only furthered my interest in the way systems can potentially help and not hinder the recruitment process.
I’m currently the Head of Strategic Sourcing at Universal Music Group, where I’m building out our corporate strategic sourcing function from the ground up. On the side, I serve as a recruitment/sourcing trainer and HR tech advisor for a variety of companies.
What’s your favorite part about being in talent acquisition?
My absolute favorite part is that I’m in a potentially life-changing role. Sure, the talent we choose to target and hire has the ability to impact company culture, but beyond that, we’re impacting the lives of actual people and, in turn, their entire families.
Describe the biggest sourcing challenge you’ve faced this past year. How did you overcome it?
My biggest sourcing challenge is being the sole supporter of a national recruiting team and continuously prioritizing which positions to source for at any given time. This has been a very big challenge because a recruiter’s self-prioritization is not necessarily the team’s prioritization. My process, although methodical, has relied too heavily on my intuition and ability to read between the lines. So, I’m currently building out a data-driven system that will dictate sourcing priorities—and am thankfully making good strides in the right direction!
Notably, I developed a SharePoint site to help facilitate communication and transparency within our talent management team. One of the most effective ways we’ve utilized this resource has been the implementation of “recruiting scorecards.” Every Monday morning, we run a report that summarizes the cumulative activity for each of our open reqs and provides insights into the previous week’s activity for each req… and each recruiter. We then upload this to the site and the recruiters bring those analytics to life by collaborating within the scorecard throughout the week—color-coding priorities, making note of strategic changes and progress milestones, etc.
What three sourcing trends are you most excited about?
I feel like the big buzzwords within sourcing and recruiting on the whole are artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and programmatic. I hear a lot of fears about how these technologies will replace us, but I’m very excited about the community being educated about how this type of technology can be used to empower us.
How do you see recruitment benefitting from programmatic?
There are major benefits when it comes to programmatic advertising, specifically with job ads, but most recruiters aren’t yet benefitting from them in the deepest way they could be. Programmatic advertising eliminates the “Post and Pray” recruitment strategy by ensuring job ads are seen by the right talent on the right sites at the right time. There’s so much freedom offered by eliminating manual job advertising tasks—researching and gathering target audience insights, choosing distribution channels, uploading job ads, allocating budget and spend, keeping a constant pulse on performance, optimizing and refreshing campaigns, etc. This frees up our time and, in the grand scheme of things, it frees up our budgets as well.
If you had to describe “programmatic” in one word, what would it be? Why?
“Efficient” because it’s eliminating the manual labor behind job advertising.
How do you keep up with new recruitment trends, tools, and technologies?
The major conference I like to attend is SourceCon. There are many break-off communities online like the SourceCon and Sourcers Who Code Facebook groups. I also follow several blogs like Boolean Strings, Recruiting Tools, and SourceCon, as well as subscribe to a few YouTube channels like Dean Da Costa and Recruiting Blogs.
Check out my website for the most up-to-date list of my recommended resources.
Which sourcing tools are currently in your toolbox?
My top three are:
- Uncommon for recruitment job advertising. Their programmatic platform uses job qualification data to automatically source, screen, and deliver applicants that meet all of my custom requirements. Not only do they eliminate my manual job advertising tasks, but also my mundane, time-consuming task of reviewing unqualified applicants.
- SeekOut for heads-down sourcing. They have superpowers when it comes to candidate search capabilities. So, if you’re a crafty Boolean babe like myself, you can use their AI-powered position magnet + advanced search operators + a variety of filters to totally hyper-target talent across nearly 40 different social networks (P.S. Their GitHub Sourcing functionality is un-freaking-rivaled). They also offer Talent Insights that help you add more intelligence to your searches and increase your value as a talent advisor.
- Frrole DeepSense for social intelligence. They connect an individual’s public data and analyze their digital footprint to create a profile encompassing social profile snapshots, psychographics, and even behavior prediction. I primarily use this information to help better understand my target talent and craft warm messaging.
What advice would you give a new recruiter?
Perfect the best practice basics. Build a solid foundation spanning the full recruitment life cycle—everything from conducting hiring manager intake meetings to sourcing talent to crafting messages to screening/interviewing applicants to closing candidates.
Work smarter, not harder. Learn how to search with more than just the basic Boolean operators by using X-ray and semantic advanced Boolean search techniques.
Invest in your professional development. Subscribe to a few industry blogs/channels/podcasts and join some online communities. These are not only great resources to help keep up with the latest and greatest, they’re invaluable outlets to grow your network and (typically) judgment-free zones that encourage Q&A exchanging, steam blowing, and relatable storytelling.
Where can we find you online?
I’ll also be leading a number of virtual and live events coming up over the next few months. Check out my website for the most up-to-date calendar.