Position Eliminated?! Bouncing Back via Sourcing Network

January 30th:  I was suddenly brought into a room with several of my peers and told collectively our jobs were being eliminated. Fear, anger, sadness, anxiety as well a flood of other emotions entered that room with us, but since that event, I’ve bounced back in a big way, thanks in part to the sourcing world and my own personal network.

I remember that day, and while half listening to the higher up in the room, that I never met, breaking the bad news, I took to Facebook, Linkedin, and started texting my family and friends that I was getting laid off.  There were tears from some, complete silence from others, and a few of us stubbornly asking questions so the younger recruiters knew what actions to take.

This was a defining moment. Was I going to let my emotions define my situation or turn them into a driving force to fuel my next steps? Yes, I was a victim, let go due the downturn in engineering, but I stayed focused, studied and improved my craft, and actually became much more technical in the month I was unemployed than anyone could imagine.  

What happened next was truly amazing, not only was I using some of the headhunting techniques I learned to “source” my way into interviews, many of my former teammates, coworkers, and managers came to my aid. Those of us in the room together that day banded together gathering leads and sharing information on companies hiring in the area.  I even had sourcers I never met supply me a list of names and companies to look into.   I couldn’t believe people could be so forthcoming to help even though they barely knew me.

I waited eight months to be part of that sourcing team, and heartbroken to be laid off a month later.  At several points along the way was the sole engineering recruiter, so it was a huge shock to hear my position was being eliminated.

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But the tides changed, I landed at a company whose mission is to end cancer and strives itself on teamwork and values new ideas and concepts.  They’ve even sent me to conferences like SourceCon a mere five months into my role.  I truly feel like I belong here, and the best part of working on this team is that we all help each other out on a daily basis.  I never thought I’d end up back in healthcare, but sometimes things happen for a reason.

Getting laid off hurts, but I write this to evoke hope into those who are going through a similar situation, especially the engineering world right now. Job seekers: stay strong, stay focused, and keep searching, and if that’s not working I can give you some hints.

I want to thank the sourcing community for making this year eye-opening, both in the networking piece as well as and all the technical skills and emerging technologies I’ve become aware of. Whether you are an engineer, in business development, or another profession….if you talk to a sourcer TAKE NOTE: They are some of the best-connected individuals on the web, and even better friends.

Greg Hawkes is a Strategic Talent Sourcer, Speaker, Author, and Founder of the HRSourcingToolbox. He has worked as both a Technical Recruiter and Sourcing Analyst for healthcare, engineering, biotechnology, manufacturing and many other industries. He has been in the recruitment field for over 10 years, and got into heavy sourcing and headhunting back in 2012. He is an ongoing contributor to SourceCon – with topics ranging from Site Searches and CSEs, to Deep Dives andURL Sourcing. While preparing to speak at SourceCon 2017, he built the HRSourcingToolbox with a large inventory of Free Recruitment and Sourcing Tools. He has recently joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a Strategic Sourcer and loving every minute of it! He is a huge fan of emerging technologies and Boolean Syntax and always willing to share a technique or hack to find the elusive purple squirrel.


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