Jan Tegze needs no introduction. He's a well-known sourcer and recruiter, frequent speaker at conferences, founder of Sourcing.Games, and author of his own blog and books Full-Stack Recruiter. 

The EvoTalents team was honored to be among the first ones to find out that on July 1, Jan released a new Full-Stack Recruiter book. In this regard, we asked him about his new book, current situation in the recruiting market, and career development possibilities for recruiters.

Interview with Jan Tegze on a Full Stack recruiter book

– Jan, you're one of the most prominent Recruiting and Sourcing specialists in the industry. Was it an elaborate plan to build such a strong personal brand?

I never had that type of plan, especially since I don’t like too much attention. People who create plans to build strong brands are constantly burning themselves because they don’t want to lose that. I don’t want to live that type of life, constantly chasing some external validation in the form of likes from people I’ve never met.

 But I am grateful for the opportunities that are connected with a good personal brand. I was able to meet some amazing people over the last few years, and I am lucky to be able to call some of them friends. I like what I am doing, and I like sharing. That was the only “elaborate” plan I had: write a book for other recruiters. I never expected that so many people would enjoy reading it. 

– Could you share a few secrets to building a strong personal brand in recruitment with our readers?

I don’t think there are any secrets to it. I always try to treat everyone fairly and equally. I try to reply to any person who reaches out to me regarding who they are and what position they have. But I do try to protect my free time so that I am not solving sourcing problems for people so that they can make money or solve a problem in their work.

 I try to be honest about what I am doing. I am just being me and enjoying what I do and that could be the “secret.” If you want to create a strong personal brand, just share what you know, don’t imitate others, and always try to do quality work and support people around you. 

– Many recruiters associate your name with sourcing. What are your top 3 sourcing hacks?

People are always looking for sourcing hacks, but they all are just temporary tricks and solutions. The best “sourcing hack” you can find is to use your brain. If you are trying to think creatively about how to solve a problem, view the problem from a different perspective, you will find new ways to solve it. I like solving riddles and puzzles because it’s fun, so every task I do is something I can solve. If you love sourcing, you will be able to find many other tricks if you put in the effort and not give up after five minutes.

– You're also a creator of Sourcing.Games and Recruitment.Camp projects. Could you tell a bit more about these projects?

Sourcing.Games is a project I created for my friends. It’s a website where you can improve your sourcing skills, and I was surprised by how many OSINT people used it. The project turned into SourcingTest.Online which became an assessment and training platform for companies.

Recruitment.Camp was born with the vision to create, share, and collaborate and ultimately develop a comprehensive and powerful source for recruitment and sourcing content on the web. I share my own training lessons, and everything there is free. This website will be connected with a project called Sourcing.University in the near future.

– Do you have any hobbies or practices/rituals that help you relax and switch back and forth after a long, tiring day?

This is a good question! My friends tell me that I don’t know how to relax because I am constantly working on new projects or helping others with theirs. But at the beginning of 2020, I finished all the books I was planning to finish and I decided to cut all my other activities like webinars, training, and speaking gigs down to the minimum. I am also trying to travel more, spend more time in nature, try new hobbies, and focus on completely different things. At least, that’s the plan! :)

– What career paths are there for recruiters that want to move further in their career today?

Many recruiters are leaving recruitment for HR, but the recruitment field is really amazing because you can learn so much from so many various fields, such as sales, marketing, and psychology. Recruiters can easily move on to a lot of different roles if they want to move further. Most of my friends moved to Talent Acquisition manager roles, recruitment operation roles, HR, marketing, and sales.

– What soft and hard skills should modern recruiters develop?

Regarding soft skills, I am not sure if you can develop curiosity or persistence, but I would definitely say those two. For hard skills, I would recommend gaining some knowledge in data analytics and reporting and some basic knowledge of building websites. You will understand how websites work and how to find what you are looking for in the website’s code.

– You've written three books under the name "Full-Stack Recruiter" so far. Could you please shed some light on the new book that is coming up? What us, readers, should expect from the book and how it differs from the other books in this series?

With the new book, I wanted to provide a manual for all recruiters and sourcers out there, regardless of their experience or job title. My book is a great manual for people starting in recruitment and looking for a way to get all the necessary knowledge in a very short amount of time, as well as for senior-level professionals looking to refresh their knowledge and get a different perspective on things we all do. The way I do some things could be different from others and could help them, or they may learn that their methods and ways are more effective, and they can share it and help the community.

 I removed both of my previous books and replaced them with the new book, so they don’t have to buy two different books anymore and can buy just one. I removed some content from the previous books, rewrote most of it what I didn’t remove, and added about 60% new content that is relevant to recruiters and sourcers. My new book has 240,942 words, 762 pages, and is divided into 17 chapters. And because I wasn’t able to add everything in one book, I decided to create the FSR.Guru website. It has extra content accessible only for owners of Full Stack Recruiter: The Ultimate Edition. People can find a bonus chapter, updates, and more interesting information from the sourcing and recruitment world. I am also planning to share future updates via this website.

 Full Stack Recruiter: The Ultimate Edition is divided into two parts. The first part focuses entirely on sourcing strategies. You’ll learn new and creative ways to source and find great candidates, as well as how to uncover their contact details and approach them respectfully and effectively. 

The second part deals with recruitment. You’ll learn how to excel in recruitment marketing, candidate engagement, recruitment analytics, candidate engagement, and cold-calling, and how to efficiently manage many other essential aspects of your role. Both sections work together to create a comprehensive guide to excelling in every aspect of your recruitment career!

 The whole table of contents is available here: http://fullstackrecruiter.net/ 

– Do you sometimes have a writer's block and how do you beat it?

I experience writer’s block quite often. Sometimes, I am just too tired to write when I come home from work, or the weather is so good that I want to spend time outside and not in front of the computer. But COVID-19 has helped me with the writer’s block. Because everyone is stuck at home during quarantine, and I don’t want to watch TV, I wrote a lot.

 That’s not to say that I had a hard time finishing FSR and my other two books. Before COVID, I tried to overcome my writer’s block by writing at least one page or so every day. It created a habit, and I wrote something every day. And if you do that every day, you will be able to write a book within a year. That’s the only way to finish the book. As Jodi Picoult once said, “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

– And the last, a bit philosophical question. What would your piece of advice be for a 20-year old you?

There are so many things that I would like to say to my 20-year-old self because I have new ideas on how to “ruin” my life differently! :) But seriously, if I had this opportunity, I would tell my 20-year-old self to travel more and spend more time with people you love because you never know when you will lose them. Learn as much as you can – even learning some silly things could make a difference in the future. The more you know, the more you can share, and the more you can change the world and make it a better place for future generations.