In today’s episode of Sourcing School, Sam Perera gives us a lesson on Dev-Ops.  For Crying Out (c)loud, what’s the big deal? We’ll take a look into what it is, how to use it and why everyone wants a piece of Dev-Ops for themselves.

Sam is a Strategic Talent Sourcer at Maxar Technologies. She made the transition from full-cycle recruiter to talent sourcer in January of 2020 and has been on a journey discovering innovative tools and sourcing methods ever since.

In Today’s Podcast

We delve into an overview of DevOps and why it’s such a hot commodity. If you are like many sourcers and find yourself neck-deep in DevOps requisitions, this one’s for you.

Key Takeaways

  1. What exactly is DevOps?
  2. Where can they be found?
  3. Demystifying the certs.

Listening time: 15 minutes


More Sam Coming Up.

She’ll be with us again in September for #HRTX Virtual: Hardcore Sourcing to take us in-depth on For Crying Out (c)loud!


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Sam:  00:36
That’s all right. What I really learned to kind of follow breadcrumbs and figure things out and be a bit more of a detective beyond what I learned when I came into recruiting in like 2009. Right.

Brian:  00:49
2009 was some serious time because, I remember that, the firm I was working for, we were going through. You want to talk about this? I’m recording this. I’m like, Hey, what’s going on? You got started doing it.

Ryan:  01:07
I’ll start by saying, I read the title for Crying Out Cloud and like, oh for crying out loud. I said, what the hell does that mean? And when I saw it was for Crying Out Cloud. I was like, ah, I got it. That’s pretty funny. And then think solid and think got excited. And then Erin’s like, oh, you’re talking to Sam. And she’s like, I dumped all the dev ops roles on her. I’m so sorry.

Sam:  01:30
Well, and that’s basically where that title comes from. Like for crying out cloud, every time I log into my computer, I have three more dev-ops requests. So, it came to a point where I was like, okay, I understood dev ops. Or at least I thought I did to a certain extent. But once I really had to start recruiting for these individuals and trying to figure out where they are and why they’re in such high demand and not responding to my outreach, I kind of had to take a step back and really figure out, when did dev-ops become such a hot commodity? Why does everybody want to get their hands on them? And where can I find these people? How can I get them to respond? Because there’s a million people in their inbox every day, they don’t really necessarily have to look for a job right now. They can just log in to their LinkedIn or email, and they’re going to have recruiters, looking for them and looking to have conversations with them. So…

Brian:  02:30
I was going to say so, this goes right into the conversation we were just having before Sam jumped on. Do you need to know dev ops to be a dev ops recruiter, or can you just be a recruiter and learn the situation?

Sam:  02:43
I think if you were just a recruiter and you decide to learn the situation and go off the job description and look for these individuals, you can probably coast, if you have one or two dev ops recs a year or something like that. But what ends up happening is once you fill one and then you fill another one, all of a sudden, maybe fill another one. And then it’s like, okay, you become the coined recruiter, who is really able to fill these positions. And then all of a sudden, I’m having this wreck load of dev ops at that point, if that is a key requisition that you’re working on. And that I think goes for any requisition, if it’s something that you’re working on all of the time, you should know what it is. What they’re doing in the company, why they’re important. It will help you have better conversations. It’ll help you get these guys to the table. Because like I said, it’s very competitive.

Brian:  03:39
Samantha, you bring up something else that Ryan and I were talking, maybe you should have had lunch with Ryan and I, who knows, right? Is that we were actually talking about closing candidates, right? And I believe that the more knowledge you have about a certain subject area and the more you can speak to what that candidate will be doing in this role, how they will be stretching their professional capabilities that is leveraged to get them to close. What are your thoughts?

Sam:  04:05
I agree, 100%. They want to feel comfortable with who they’re talking with. They want to know that that person understands, where they’re looking to go in their career, what it is that they’ve been working on. They want to feel like they can trust you to guide them through that process and get them in front of the right hiring managers. Oftentimes I’ll reach out to somebody who’s titled dev ops. And once we dig in a little deeper, I see that, well actually, maybe they specialize a little bit more in build and release. Let me reach out to that team. This candidate might be better with build and release, and not just your general dev ops engineer.

Brian:  04:52
Yeah. So to interrupt you there, tell me, how hard is it for you to find Dev Sec Ops people? Because I feel like that’s the new flavor and people are just splashing it on their LinkedIn profile and they don’t even know what the hell they’re… That’s right, I was mean, I was rude. They don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, but the recruiter does. What is that like?

Sam:  05:15
So, dev sec ops. Yes. That can be very tough. And that’s actually one that I’m still wrapping my head around a little bit more. I’ve only had one or two dev sec ops recs specifically. So trying to wrap my head around how security is pulled into. I mean, I get it, but I’m also really researching that as well. Tough one, very popular. And it’s really only become extremely popular in the past, five, six years because dev ops is a baby they’ve been around 10 years. Really? They became dev ops became a thing in 2009.

Sam:  05:56
I believe the gentleman’s name was… Was it Kevin Dubois? But it was at a conference in Germany and he decided, Hey, we have these two departments that are traditionally siloed development and operations. And because of that, we’re moving so slow. We need to be able to move at a more rapid rate and deliver to our customers. So let’s pull these two departments together and it wasn’t really until 2012 that it took off. So having them understanding can even come back to consulting with your hiring managers, because oftentimes you’ll have hiring managers. I want somebody who has 15 years of experience with this. Well, 15 years ago, this was just becoming a thing, and it’s really developed from there, if that makes sense.

Brian:  06:45
No, it totally makes sense. And one of the things that I use to get my knowledge is, I use YouTube a lot to show me videos and to let me know who a thought leader is in a particular area, or to let me know who can take a complex subject and break it down into those incremental bite-size nuggets of goodness. And then also do you… I’m not endorsing a product, Ryan, don’t worry about it. They won’t be a sponsor. There’s a website called Pluralsight, P L U R A L S I G H T. That Pluralsight is a training Coursera, but they do classes. They’ll give you one free week. And, what I’ll do is I’ll just go under a different alias. They’re not checking it by IP address and I’ll go under a different email alias, and I’ll take one of their courses on, that’s how I got readied up on Dev Sec Ops and learn how elk plays into that field.

Brian:  07:47
Real quick, I’m going to take this back, to talk about recruiting, because I’d have a feeling that Samantha and I can just geek out about tech and the dev ops space. Samantha, maybe a better question to ask you is, how do you ramp your knowledge when you get a new role, a role that you haven’t worked on before?

Sam:  08:04
Yeah. I can find myself going down a rabbit hole, and I’m much like you with YouTube. That’s pretty much my go-to. You can find anything on YouTube, and there’s always somebody willing to explain what it is that they do on a regular basis. So, that was one of the first places I went to. I just wanted to have an overview of dev ops. I went down a rabbit hole on YouTube, for an hour and a half, and then every day I’d continue to do that. Also, I would do my own Google research, your typical Wiki pages. If you go to AWS, actually the website, they have a great… Yes, they actually break it down the best. And why wouldn’t they? I mean, it’s AWS, and a lot of the tools and things that you’re using in dev ops are AWS related. So that helped me a lot, really understand the best practices of dev ops, what that looks like, why? So, you have to do your research. That’s really 50% of being a recruiter, maybe even more. I mean, that’s all we do is research.

Brian:  09:13
I agree. Well, actually, when we were talking at the beginning, you talked about the dichotomy of being a sourcer, that you have more time to do that research to dig in a little bit deeper versus being a full life cycle recruiter. Full life cycle recruiter, I feel like you’ve got to juggle a lot of different things. You’ve got to close the candidate. What have you, it’s different. I’ve been there, totally respected sourcing as my niche, because I’m able to go a little bit deeper into the relationship with the candidate. I think I’m able to foster it better because of the research that I’ve done with it. You mentioned AWS as a research tool, and you mentioned the fact that recruiters need to be able to do research. Do you think it’s more important that they understand the tech they’re recruiting for, or just the research that they need to be able to repeat the research that they need to do to find those answers?

Sam:  10:04
This, to me sounds like what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of question. You have to understand how to research. I thought I knew how before I became a dedicated sourcer and then under the guidance of Aaron Matthew and my colleague, Mike Ronin, and then being pulled into this amazing recruiting community that I really didn’t even know existed prior to stepping into this sourcing world. They really showed me how to do that, how to research, how to follow breadcrumbs. They would say, Hey, Sam, join this hackathon. And so I would join different hackathons, on my own to try to challenge myself, to learn how to do that research. Once I learned, and you know what, I’m still working on it. I still have to work on that to a certain extent. You have to understand how to do that before you can learn the rest. I think it’s both important. Learn how to do the research, understand what you’re recruiting on.

Brian:  11:07
Speaking of learning the resource and the research, right? You taught a very interesting track at source con that I feel was geared towards the fundamentals of work reading. What would you say are the five things that a recruiter needs to source or needs to know or needs to learn as a baseline so they can be successful?

Sam:  11:27
Okay. Five things. So…

Brian:  11:30
It could be three things. Ryan likes to go for five. I usually go for three. If Noah was here, he’d go for one. Prime numbers on parade.

Ryan:  11:40
Whatever you come up with, we’ll roll with.

Sam:  11:44
I think that knowing how to do the research, that is a key fundamental. You have to know how to source. You have to get out of your own way. A lot of times with a lot of the job boards that are out there or LinkedIn, step away from LinkedIn, if you didn’t have LinkedIn as an option, how would you find these people knowing what you’re recruiting on as well? Like we talked about that is very important, doing your research there so that you can then consult with your candidate. I think consulting and recruiting go hand in hand, you need to be able to put your consulting hat on and have a conversation with your candidate, have a conversation with your hiring managers.

Sam:  12:45
For me, the core things are really doing the research and, knowing how to consult with your hiring managers and, your candidates. I don’t know if that really answers what you’re looking for, but that to me, that is really how I’ve been successful. I stay curious, I want to do the research. I want to figure out what this hiring manager is looking for and why. What’s his team look like? How many seniors on his, and this is probably the full cycle recruiter that I kind of hybrid into my sourcer here, because that’s how I think. And then having that understanding leads me down the path of sourcing. I can’t do one without the other.

Brian:  13:33
You talk about being that trusted advisor. Do you feel that as a sourcer that you’re closer to the talent, that you’re able to deliver more insights to the business than you were as a recruiter?

Sam:  13:43
So when I first transitioned over, that was actually tough for me because I really love building my relationships with my hiring managers and having those back and forth conversations. So as a sourcer, I work with the recruiters and the recruiters work with the hiring managers. And in the beginning, I didn’t really know where my place was. If I was able to overstep the recruiter and consult on a job description that recruiter had posted for maybe 30 days. Now, it comes to me, I read that job description, and I’m thinking, why did this ever get approved? This is not really what, you know what I mean, and let’s consult on this.

Sam:  14:23
But I’ve found my place now. And I think I found my place with the recruiters that I support. So oftentimes they will look to me to step in and maybe run like a talent neuron report and provide the market data on this position, where then maybe if the hiring manager has a little better understanding on the market that can lead to switching things up in the job description or realizing that you actually need a senior, or you actually really just need somebody with a couple of years of experience because your senior is going to be moving on soon, and then you’re going to have a gap on your team. So those kinds of conversations I am still able to have, I just needed to find my place and my comfort level between the recruiter and the hiring manager.

Brian:  15:12
Yeah. So you mentioned talent neuron. I’ve only used talent neuron a little bit. I know it’s a pay-to-play tool. Can you describe what that is just for anybody who’s maybe kind of wondering what that might be.

Sam:  15:26
Absolutely. So it is a Gardner tool. They developed it, it is a data analytics tool. So you can go in and build a job description or what is it you’re looking for from scratch within the tool, or you can just upload your job description. Usually I’ll upload mine, take out whatever fluff, and then you run that report. It’ll pull up analytics on, and it’s really pulling information from a thousand different sources. So it’ll show you the top titles related to what it is that you’re looking for. The top companies that also have job postings out there that are looking for similar candidates. It’ll pull up the compensation, the average compensation range, it’ll pull up what diversity looks like. It’ll break it down, men and women, individuals of color, whatever that may look like it breaks it down. And it kind of really gives you an overall target.

Sam:  16:28
If this is a remote position, it’ll give you an overall view and it’ll show you hotspots across the country of where these individuals are located. And so from a competitor standpoint, I can go in there and see, okay, my top competitors in these locations are all already looking for these individuals. So let me go ahead and maybe do a company search and break down my sourcing, by organization. It’s helped me a lot with that. It definitely opens up, your hiring manager’s eyes when you can really show them this hard data, that’s backed up by department of labor. They pull from, a thousand different sources, as far as all the different job postings that are out there anywhere that compensation is listed. It’s a great tool.

Brian:  17:25
A great tool. All right. So, wait a minute. Speaking of tools, we’re sourcers, right? What’s your favorite sourcing tool? Samantha, I’m so excited that I get to talk to you today. I’m sorry that I’ve gone completely off topic for those of you who are still with us. We’ve gone from talking about DevOps and cloud technologies to what makes a good recruiter great. Samantha, what’s your favorite tool?

Sam:  17:50
So I actually really love seek out as a sourcing tool. I love that tool. If that’s, if that’s what we’re talking about or are you wanting to know more like that?

Brian:  18:00
No, that’s a great tool, but it’s a paid tool. So I’m going to ask, you got a favorite free tool?

Sam:  18:04
So, I love… Go ahead.

Ryan:  18:10
You got to pay for tools. Not all free tools are good.

Sam:  18:15
No, not all free tools are good. My favorite ones are obviously paid, but I do have some tools out there that keep me organized, help me find contact information. I’m a big Chrome extension user. So I love one tab. I’ve worked that into my sourcing flow. First off, it keeps me organized because if you’re a recruiter that doesn’t have like a million tabs up, I don’t know what you’re doing. I just have a million tabs up all the time. 16 different LinkedIn profiles, five Fiverr profiles, six get hub profiles, whatever it may be. I’m able to just click my one tab, pull it into one tab. And then I think a lot of people use that tool just for that. But you can go in and name it. You can lock it so that it’s always there.

Sam:  19:01
You can turn that into its own website, submit that then over to your hiring manager, if you have a list of 13 LinkedIn profiles. I will do that right after my intake. It’s really easy. We’ve been recruiting for a long time. So I have my intake. I hit whatever source I want to hit. I’ll pull up, 15, 16 profiles. What I think this guy might be looking for. And I shoot it over to him afterwards. Hey, am I on the right path? Not only am I gaining his trust, but I am then confirming that I am on the right path. And I go from there, I’ll start screening those folks, finding more folks, whatever it is it may be. But that has really helped me in my sourcing workflow. So that’s one of my favorite tools One X is another great tool, especially whenever they decided to incorporate a little notes box.

Sam:  19:49
So if you have the One X application or Chrome extension, when you’re sourcing through LinkedIn or something, you can mark them that this is somebody that you’re interested in. And you can put a note right in that LinkedIn profile. So maybe it’s somebody that you’re not necessarily going to pull into your CRM, but you want to put a note there, to say, Hey, this person looks great in this area or whatever it may be, that’s helped me.

Brian:  20:19
You gave such a great explanation of one tab, right? Because I use it to, I use it when I’m sharing profiles from get hub with my hiring managers. I’m like, check this out, there’s a page, but I cut you off about seek out. And I feel bad about that, because not everybody knows what seek out is, and not everybody knows why it’s such a great tool. What does seek out and why do I need it?

Sam:  20:41
Seek out is a AI sourcing platform. In my opinion, it’s one of the best ones out there. And I haven’t utilized every single one, but I have utilized both hire tool and seek out, seek out is my favorite. I feel that it will shoot back fantastic results. I’m able to really build the search that I’m looking for. I’m able to go in and do a separate AI search. So if I want to upload a resume and then have them do an AI search around that resume, it’ll populate maybe top 10 and then I’m able to go in and click if it’s a thumbs up or a thumbs down, if it’s a thumbs up, they’ll continue to pull resumes based on that particular candidate that was a thumbs up. You could then export so I can create a project in seek out and then export that project into an Excel spreadsheet.

Sam:  21:37
And what makes it so easy, once you do that to then just quick shoot a mail merge, right? I don’t have that tool anymore. So, that isn’t a tool that I’m able to use anymore. And I miss it, but whenever I did have it, I was able to just source maybe a hundred folks very quickly go through, make sure that they fit the background that I’m looking for and then export it and send them all a message. And I could do that in less than an hour. And I’m not trying to necessarily be the recruiter that’s going to blast you and not really necessarily look at your profile. But when we’re using dev ops, as an example, once you’re recruiting on that for so long, I can go through and see, this person has the tools.

Sam:  22:26
This person has the experience three years here, five years, they’re fantastic and pull them into my project. And then, once they respond, I want to talk to them regardless. It doesn’t matter if they’re going to fit this particular role that I set out sourcing for, or if they’re going to fit somewhere else in my organization. And that’s another train of thought that you have to have when you’re sourcing as a recruiter. Don’t just source for your reps, know what your company is looking for, because there’s been multiple times that I end up feeling somebody else’s rec with a candidate that I’m talking to and I still get partial credit there. So from a goal’s perspective, it’s only going to help you and your company.

Brian:  23:10
As I was looking, I went and pulled up and I’ll send this over to you, all top companies to recruit dev-ops engineers from based on size. I’ll share that with you. It’ll be a little goodie for coming on the show. I don’t think we can put that in the show notes. Ryan, you want to put that in the show notes, Brian’s list of dev-ops companies to source from?

Ryan:  23:28
There you go. Brian’s list of dev-ops companies.

Sourcing School Podcast

Brian Fink

As a Talent Acquisition Partner at McAfee, Brian Fink enjoys bringing people together to solve complex problems, build great products, and get things done. In his recent book, Talk Tech to Me, Fink takes on the stress and strain of complex technology concepts and simplifies them for the modern recruiter to help you find, engage, and partner with professionals.

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.


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