Sourcing Guru Interview: Mark Lundgren
Can’t wait to share the interview with Mark Lundgren, influential leader of the sourcing community!
He told us about his sources of inspiration in recruitment and the amazing projects he leads.
You are now working in parallel as a Global Sourcer at ThoughtWorks and as a Director at Videre Recruitment Solutions Ltd. Do you have enough time to run your own business and work full-time?
The explanation for that is easy: I am a consultant taking on full-time contracts with companies who need the expertise I have. And I work on those consulting contracts through Videre. I was lucky to meet Natalie Glick who runs the ThoughtWorks Global Sourcing Team and to get an opportunity working with her team. Being a consultant gives me the freedom to work with an exciting team like the one I am part of in ThoughtWorks and still have flexibility to work on side projects in my spare time and on the weekends.
By the way, tell us a bit more about Videre Recruitment Solutions.
The company was originally set up by my wife when we lived in Berlin for her to take on recruitment projects. I now run Videre with my wife and the company enables us to take on short and long-term consulting and sourcing projects and is a somewhere where I can run my side projects.
How did you start recruiting? Why are you still there?
I started in recruitment back in 2001 when I joined Global Student Organisation called AIESEC at my local University. The work of AIESEC evolved around recruiting students to join the local team, and students in their last years of study to go abroad for Traineeships in companies in one of the countries that made up the AIESEC organisation, as well as selling the idea to local businesses that taking a foreign graduate for a traineeship was something they could benefit from, and eventually finding the right person selected in the AIESEC network who has the skills the local business needs to fill the job for 3-18 months.
I am still in recruitment because I always find new aspects and specialisms within recruitment that I find interesting. There is always something new to learn and people to learn from.
You have worked with such giants as Amazon, Microsoft, Ericsson and AB Inbev holding in recruitment and sourcing roles. How does the sourcing function differ in large and small companies?
The sourcing function in smaller companies is normally much looser defined and you find yourself working in between a sourcing role and a more traditional Full Stack recruiter role. In the larger multinational the sourcing function can sometimes feel too systematised with very little room for new ways of working and very little time to come up with new and more effective ways of working.
You have a really strong personal brand. How does it help/hinder in life and business? Who are the thought leaders in HR tech that you follow?
Having a stronger personal brand definitely helps both in business and life. At the end of the day, people do business with other people and it is less important what company you represent.
I would not say I follow a lot of Thought Leaders in HR tech as I normally follow entrepreneurs and companies from other industries to see what we can learn from innovations and processes they have success with. I follow and learn from the people in the Sourcing Community. The only HR Tech Thought Leader I can think of that I follow is Josh Bersin.
How did you come up with “Sourcing Challenge Show”? What is the mission behind it? Tell us in three sentences.
The idea was something I had been thinking about for some years and had discussed with Hung Lee, the founder of Recruiting Brainfood, last year. It came from the fact that I wanted to create content for the community, but knowing that I am no good at writing articles, I wanted to do videos. The 2nd reason I wanted to do the show was for me to get to talk to sourcers from around the world and hear how they work and what they are working on that they find exciting and what tools are effective in their country.
The show is only 10 episodes in now, but the plan is to get out episodes every week for at least 1 year to build a library of knowledge that new and experienced sourcers can learn from by hearing how other people in our community do their work. So, anyone in the community who wants to hear about how other sourcers got into the industry and how they work, should follow along every week on the Show’s youtube channel.
As a sourcing expert tell us about your three favorite sourcing tools?
Sourcing is more than just identifying prospect candidates for me. The hardest part of what we do is engaging prospective candidates. So, my favorite tools at the moment help me do that.
- Video Email tools: BombBomb, Loom, Vydiyard. I always try to use video email as it is faster to record and send a personal email to someone than to write a personalised cold email.
- Lemlist – automated personalized emails and follow up.
- And, naturally, Amazing Hiring for searching for technical people and finding prospect candidates’ social footprint.
What makes a person a good recruiter?
Curiosity and a constant wish to learn something new. The work we do in recruitment is constantly changing so we need to do the same.
We saw that you have lived & worked in 7 countries in Europe. Does it somehow help you in your work? How many languages do you know, which one is your favorite and why?
Although I have lived and worked in so many countries, I only speak 3 languages (Danish, German, English), but I get help from my wife who speaks another 3 languages (in addition to English that we share) when we are in countries where I cannot get by with the ones I know. Not sure I have a favorite language but English is the one that has enabled me to do most of what I have done in my career.
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