4 Ways Sourcing Can Help the Recruiter/Sourcer Partnership

I recently worked as both a full cycle recruiter and a sourcing analyst, and I want to share some of what I discovered about why recruiters should start their own sourcing effort before tapping the expert sourcer.

1) Giving the Job a Good Ol’ Force Push

A recruiter’s initial targeted search can give the effort a tremendous PUSH from the onset (as well as identify the ideal skill set early on). By “stacking the deck” with a mix of passive and active candidates, a recruiter can attain a first round hire (or get quick and immediate feedback to help adjust the search). The difference between three candidates vs. five candidates can mean a quick fill. I’ve seen it happen through some of the medical device and construction companies I’ve worked with. Those additional passive candidates give the client an option for a top hire and a potential backup candidate, which otherwise would not have been found without headhunting.

2) Start Off like a Skywalker

For recruiters and sourcers, getting a job outside their normal area can feel like a massive hunt for an astromech droid in the middle of the desert. The advice I give people is to start somewhere. Anywhere!

I typically start out by doing a national search on LinkedIn or Google, just to test if my keywords are on target, then refine and adjust as I span out to different resources. I know several recruiters who’d rather start out with Sourcehub, or go straight to a job board. Other starting points I’ve found useful are Indeed Resume Search and the free AIRS Chrome extension. I also had a co-worker build a competitor list first, then work on strings from there.  Whatever your method, the sourcer will appreciate it. This will absolutely help a sourcer with the research phase, giving them a series of keywords and resources to expand on.

3) Schematic to a More Powerful Search

By already having a defined search strategy, a sourcer can dive right in to untapped resources prior to turning to advanced techniques. In addition, this can also help the sourcer target deep dives or divert to more of an engagement direction (if candidates of interest have already been identified). As a recruiter, I made it a point to develop my own keyword lists, Boolean strings, and research every role that came my way. Even a quick 15 or 30 minutes can help better define the target audience for all parties.

I remember one instance when I worked a drilling fluids job. I found this simple keyword: Rheology (which is the study of drilling fluids). This one word brought up a specific talent pool that helped us target a short list quickly, instead of running through hundreds of solvent candidates that weren’t a top match. It also gave the sourcers a point of reference to come back to for additional research.

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4) Avoiding the Sarlacc (of False Positives)

By initially “testing the well,” and identifying top resources as well as the dead ends, I was able to prepare the sourcer for what to expect and what areas to tackle.

As a sourcer, it was always a huge help (and time saver) when a recruiter brought me a list of keywords and sites they’ve already reached out to. I always liked knowing if I needed to hit CareerBuilder, if LinkedIn was tapped out, or if I needed to turn to advanced syntax (or Jedi mind tricks) right away.

In turn, these methods help align the partnership between recruiter and sourcer. It takes less time to get to the “meat” of the effort. So send in your Bothan spies, because in my experience, there’s no such thing as luck!

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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