What’s the Difference Between a ‘Good’ vs. a ‘Great’ Sourcing Recruiter?

You know what one of the differences is between a recruiter that is “good” versus “great” at sourcing? It’s not what you think.

It’s being able to see the “big picture” when it comes to finding quality talent. 

How many full-life cycle recruiters do you know who don’t (or won’t) readily share candidates? In the agency world this has proven to me to be more common than in corporate settings, but it’s a mentality across the board. I’ve noticed that recruiters who know how to *source* effectively share the wealth, even if they are full-lifecycle staffing professionals.

I’m currently working with several other recruiters; I source as well as have a client group of my own. It’s a nice mix for me and a definite challenge. I’ve noticed that one of my other colleagues who has worked primarily in a sourcing role is always thinking of the needs of the overall business, and therefore has no issue with sharing candidates. This recruiter has made it a best practice to know what the core business needs are, and to incorporate them when sourcing.

One of the reasons I’m fairly well known in the local Seattle community is because I share candidates freely, and I also keep people who are job hunting in mind and send them out when I come across opportunities. I’m not saying that other recruiters “hoard” candidates in general (well, some of my agency contacts do), but it seems to me that the sourcing specialty lends itself to a much broader mindset overall. Usually a sourcer is working for numerous pipelines or businesses at once, so the “big picture” becomes a work style. I think it is something most recruiters should concentrate on cultivating, no matter what their role. In my opinion, doing so will lead to better stats, a better reputation, and better recruiting karma.

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What do you think? Do you see your fellow sourcers sharing or hoarding candidates? What about your own practices? Share your thoughts below.

image source: F Delventhal

Kristen Fife is a senior technical recruiter in the greater Seattle area. She has been in recruiting since 2004, starting as contract Researcher for the Microsoft Strategic Recruiting Group before moving into full lifecycle agency recruiting for Volt Technical Services. Her move into corporate recruiting started with both sourcing and full lifecycle contract roles at Microsoft (including MSFT Research, Legal, and various product groups). In addition to Microsoft, Kristen worked for 3 years for RealNetworks/GameHouse as the Senior Technical Recruiter and Sourcing Specialist; at the University of Washington/Harborview Medical Centers as a Sourcer, as well as smaller companies such as Varolii (now part of Nuance Communications), Covestic, and bSquare. Currently she is an RPO Senior Technical Recruiter, she sits on the Leadership Team for Sourcing7, and is a regular presenter, trainer, panelist, and speaker in the Seattle area for recruiting forums and job seekers. She has been a regular contributor to the Seattle Times, including an employment topic column, regular blog, and the NWJobs Hire Wire newsletter for the local recruiting industry. Her blog for job seekers receives several thousand hits a week. She has been quoted in several publications including ABCNews, AOL, the Seattle Times, and The Wall Street Journal.


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