Grit: The Secret Driver of Sourcing and Recruiting Success

“I like things to happen. And if they don’t happen, I like to make them happen.” – Winston Churchill

Make no doubt, sourcing is a tough game, especially in this market where unemployment is at record lows in many markets. It’s challenging, especially in the healthcare space where I am, to stay positive when it seems as if you are running into a closed door after a closed door. One way that I combat this is by digging deep and employing grit to drive me forward towards the proverbial sourcing and recruiting finish line. Grit is by far one of my favorite words in the English for so many reasons, and it is the secret driver of your success as a sourcer/recruiter.


What is grit?

Webster’s Dictionary defines grit as “firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” For me, I define grit as “the ability to dig deep and pull out that extra desire to get back up every time until you achieve your objective.” While that is a bit long-winded, I do subscribe to that definition. Grit has helped me not only in my career, but outside of it personally, and I’m confident that it can drive your sourcing/recruiting success.


Why is grit important?

Being a sourcer or recruiter was difficult this year. You must be able to bounce back and be a “rubber band” because you will fail, and fail a lot. You won’t get the candidate. You won’t get a response to your cold message. Statistics show that only 16% cold messages/InMails (on LinkedIn) are responded to. I don’t know about you, but I view that as a meager number. There is no shortage of great blogs/articles that teach and guide you on how to get a higher rate. The ones that can flush that “failure” and keep pushing forward stronger and with more veracity are the ones that are going to win and get that standout employee to join your organization.


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How to build grit

There are many ways to go about building your grit and resiliency up, here are a few quick ideas on how you too can build up this critical piece of your sourcing toolbelt:

  • Look back on past examples from your life: One way I have built my grit is by looking back on recent successes. For me, it is filling that almost “impossible to fill” nurse job in a remote Oregon town, getting through a challenging time academically, or remembering the time I hiked over a 10,000-foot mountain in Central Oregon when I wanted to quit well over 20 times on the hike. By remembering how you have shown grit in the past, gives you the fuel this time, and every future time.
  • Look at others’ successes: If you are part of a team, look at your colleagues’ success and see how they had seen success when they kept running into closed doors. Seeing others’ success can give you the fuel your own story and approach your sourcing problem with even more fuel. I not only look at others colleague’s successes but others in the public eye. For me, I love stories of athletes overcoming challenges to win a championship or even get to play their chosen sport professionally.
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone: A way to build grit is to push beyond your limits; to go beyond what you have done before or to try something new. As a sourcer/recruiter, we get caught up in “what we have always done” and “fish” from the same pond. I’m guilty of it. Always be looking for ways that you can try new approaches, install that Chrome extension you have never used, or attend that networking event for your chosen field. By going beyond your comfort zone, you are strengthening yourself and “sharpening” that sourcing/recruiting saw, which makes you more gritty.

By building and utilizing grit, your sourcing/recruiting practice will fly, and you will garner the respect and admiration of your hiring manager and other stakeholders within your organization. Always dig deep, this time, and every time. Fall seven, get up eight.


Blake Thiess is a business leader with a focus and specialty in Talent Acquisition/Recruiting and Human Resources. Blake’s focused degree in Human Resource Management, Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and SHRM-CP show his understanding and strong commitment to the field of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition.

Blake has spent the majority of his almost 10 year Talent Acquisition and Human Resources career in the senior living space, notably with Holiday Retirement and most recently with Prestige Care.

Blake is a trusted internal and external consultant on all things recruiting for Prestige Care, and is known for his unmatched energy level and work ethic, ability to build relationships with internal stakeholders and external candidates, happy-go-lucky mindset, innovative orientation, and strong drive for success. He can be found on social media, (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) using the handle, @BlakeInThePNW


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