6 Tips For the Sourcer-Recruiter

So, you’ve been hired as a sourcer, one of those stealthy (in a good way!) covert agents who combs through the all-encompassing, open web to locate resumes and phone numbers for candidates who may be completely unaware that their information is out there. You employ keywords, complex strings and niche sources to pinpoint your targets. When done well, you find the next great hire.

Intriguing work, right? Absolutely! But it gets better! Many companies, like Seven Step RPO, where we work, are taking on a new hybrid model where sourcers are also working as recruiters. Understandably, it’s a big change to go from looking up data to picking up the phone and making cold calls! If you’re starting out in this hybrid role, we’ve got some tips to help you succeed:

1.) Don’t let fear of the unknown intimidate you. Starting out, it’s perfectly normal to be anxious about making cold calls; to worry if people will hang up on you or be rude; not sure if you know what to say or if you have the technical vocabulary, to, oh say, talk intelligently to an experienced engineer (yikes!).

2.) Build your confidence with a learning attitude. You can learn anything. When we started, we dove into job descriptions, talked to people working in various fields, Googled technical terms and read Wikipedia to brush up on what the people we were contacting do in their everyday work life. Learn as much as you can. It doesn’t take long to build up a pretty good familiarity with various job roles.

3.) Keep Google handy while you’re on the phone. You can save yourself a lot of embarrassment by quickly Googling unfamiliar terms a candidate might use in conversation. Never let on that you don’t know what he or she is talking about.

4.) Remember that courage wins. You just have to be bold, pick up the phone, be honest in who you are and what you are calling for and keep doing it every day. Nothing can replace the confidence you’ll gain from experience. We’ve dialed thousands of 10-digit phone numbers hoping to connect with the next hire. We’ve spoken to legions of technology professionals, whether they wanted to hear from us or not. We’ve placed candidates in new roles, furthering their careers and making an impact personally and professionally. They were hired all because of our initial, out of the blue, cold call.

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5.) Don’t take rejection personally. People have hung up on us, told us to never call them again and questioned our intelligence. They’ve sent our calls straight to voicemail to avoid conversation at all. However, it helps to remind yourself that for every rejection you do get, you’re that much closer to finding the right candidate and potentially improving that person’s life and even their family life with a better job.

6.) Always remember, you’re relating to people. When you make call after call, it’s easy to lose sight of the person on the other side of the phone. Don’t fall prey to seeing them as just another phone number. Try to build rapport and offer genuine interest in their well-being. Building relationships with candidates is critical to building trust and developing a pool of candidates you can reach out to for various opportunities.

If you have the opportunity to go onsite for the client you are sourcing-recruiting for, by all means, take the time to do so. Being on the front lines and participating in more of the process will give you a chance to research process improvements, brainstorm how to remedy road blocks and present solutions to the many stakeholders involved. You’ll get a better feel for that client’s culture and the working environment – all of which empowers you to share more details with prospective candidates.

The role of sourcer-recruiter is invaluable to clients looking for the best talent. By learning all you can, continuing to learn along the way, choosing courage, and building your confidence, you’ll be well on your way to success.


7 Comments on “6 Tips For the Sourcer-Recruiter

  1. Really nice post. However, I think I disagree with point 3. Sure, it’s nice to look like you know all the tech, but part of being real is that you are vulnerable at times and that you’re comfortable saying you’re not familiar with something. I just envision acting like you know something and then they ask a follow up question you have no idea how to answer. I tend to sway more to the angle of “Yea, I am familiar with that, but only because I’ve spent so much time with the engineers, as I cant code a lick”. It gets a laugh and it shows I’m not some automaton recruiter. Just my .02. Again, really nice post.

  2. Agree with Pete & thanks for sharing this post. I’ve found sometimes by admitting I’m not quite sure what the person is talking about or asking them to explain it to me like I’m 5 has helped me get a better explanation than Wikipedia could ever give me. I’m a tech recruiter and I like to think I’m good at what I do but the simple fact is I don’t know everything about technology or all the acronyms technologists use and I think candidates prefer it if you’re just honest.

  3. #5 is so so so important in our business. Candidates will tell you no… Clients will tell you no. Move past and get the yes!

  4. Nice read — however, I wouldn’t consider this a “new hybrid model.” I think a larger percentage of sourcers function in this manner than not in this day and age (and have for the past few years).

  5. Good tip – try reaching out over inmail / email before you call. This helps create a follow-up method which helps avoid negative responses etc.


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