Sourcer OR Recruiter: A Classic Title Dilemma in India

When I began my sourcing career, I was working in a recruitment setup where the sourcing team used to support the recruiters with resumes.

This means that whenever there was a new requirement raised, the sourcer had to understand the requirement and then accordingly write the job postings and get the right resume from the right source and ensure that a basic HR screening is done, which included getting a better understanding of candidates’ interest in a position, their reason for change, experience, education, CTC, notice period, and other details. After this, we would pass on the resume to the recruiter.

At this point, a recruiter would take the resume to the next level. When I say next level, it means the recruiter had to schedule the interviews with a technical panel and then based on the feedback, they would negotiate salary and notice period and release the offer.

After this, there was a conversion specialist team who would then collect the required documents from the offered candidates and follow up with them for their joining dates as well as take care of their travel and accommodation requirements.

While this is one way to run a recruiting process,  I have also worked in a recruitment setup where the recruiter is the one sourcing resumes and closing the requirement end-to-end. This process involved understanding the requirement, posting the job, and sourcing the right resume from the right source just like the above example.

However, sourcing was also responsible for scheduling the interview with the technical panel, getting feedback, and then negotiating with the candidate and releasing the offer. The responsibilities of the recruiter were only to follow up with the offered candidates and to ensure that the documents were in place as well as coordinate with Travel Management for their accommodation requirements.

Big, differences here in job scope, although the titles were the same.

I am sure that many organizations have different styles of working and might also have different teams assigned to perform the given task.

Let me ask you at this point: based on the above examples, where would you prefer to be working?

My guess is that your responses will be different based on whether you are currently a sourcer or a recruiter.

A title doesn’t necessarily dictate your actual job function – a lot depends on the organization’s needs, culture, and historical view of the divide between sourcing and recruiting.

Here in India however, there is more to the title.

Article Continues Below

As I was in the sourcing world for more than five years, when it was time for me to move on to my next job people would suggest that I should interview as a recruiter.

Although I was surprised to hear this, there is a reason for this advice.

Not all IT companies in India have the culture of a split sourcing and recruitment team. Most of them look for hard core recruiters with end-to-end recruitment life-cycle experience.

Hence, there is a tendency for sourcing professionals to portray themselves as recruiters during interviews.

I have a strong belief that a sourcing professional is the first face / voice to the candidate and also is the face of the company that s/he is representing. I am not trying to undermine any of the roles performed by the recruiter or hard core sourcing specialist. But perhaps what needs to be done is that we need to provide more information and education, at least here in India, as to the benefits of splitting out the sourcing and recruitment functions within a company. This way, true sourcers will not have to pretend to be something that in their hearts they know they are not.

In my opinion, the sourcing function has not received its due credit in India. Even if you ask a professional if he would choose sourcing as a career if he had an option between the two, the answer will likely be no. But times are changing and some companies are starting to develop dedicated sourcing functions and Centers for Excellence for sourcing as well. This is a major boost and this indeed will help to build confidence throughout the Indian sourcing community, and for those who want to take up sourcing as a career.

You might ask how did i get the second job above…. Well, I decided give an interview as a sourcer…

So I ask all of you — Would you give an interview as a recruiter or as a sourcer?

Kunjal Kamdar has been involved in sourcing for the last six years, having worked in both recruitment and sourcing capacities. Currently, he works with Quinnox Consultancy Services in India as a Talent Acquisition Group Lead. Kunjal enjoys sourcing and using Social Media to expand and innovate new channels in the recruitment process. Blogging is his real passion, and he in turn loves sharing his passion for sourcing and social media with others in the recruiting community.

Topics

9 Comments on “Sourcer OR Recruiter: A Classic Title Dilemma in India

  1. I must say, you have voiced my opinion. Title of a recruiter does not mean that one is a hard-core recruitement professional and title of a sourcer DOES NOT mean that a sourcer is NOT a recruitment professional. Titles can be misleading. Sourcing is the back bone of any recruitment process. Recruitment firms/consultancies are doing great business because of sourcing work.
    Sourcing is RESEARCH, TARGETED HUNTING and TWO WAYS SELLING (Sell company and role to the relevant candidate and candidate to the company)
    Not everyone is able to sustain sourcing pressure. Majority move into another role in recruitment function which they assume to be superior role than sourcing. Just because sourcing is the first step in recruitment process it does not mean that it is a low level job. Every role requires specific skill sets. One cannot become an all round recruiter without being a sourcer.
    If you have not done and enjoyed sourcing you might NOT
    – understand market
    – understand the depth of the role(Job description)
    – evaluate a candidate against the requirement
    – convince the candidate
    – convince the hiring manager
    – ultimately close the position

    Anyone aspiring to be a good and effective recruiter should always devote AT LEAST 2 to 3 years in hardcore sourcing. Later on, to continue or not to continue in sourcing is an individual’s choice.

  2. I second Medhavi’s opinion. I sincerely think that a good recruiter should be good in sourcing as well.

    However, sourcing as a specialist function is relatively a new concept in India. RPOs has brought this concept in India in and around 2003 / 04. Slowly but surely recruiters and HR leaders are also implementing the same concept in domestic market. People however still prefers and take pride in calling themselves as full life cycle recruiters. This is very similar to being a generalist HR person. Today it is all about being specialist in what you do. There are many organizations including Capgemini, Microsoft etc has implemented this concept in domestic recruitment and running it very successfully.

    In coming days, Sourcers will surely get their due importance and value. The classical view of FLCR will be replaced with specialist recruitment supply chain and forward thinking HR leaders should take a good view of this.

    All I can say is – Recruitment in India is going through major transformation. Soon we will see sourcing as an recognized, established and value added function in major Indian corporations. Sourcing is where it all begines. It’s upto recruiters and HR leaders to either lag behind the race or be innvoaters…

  3. Hi!

    I am based in Mexico and work in IT basically. I have seen many of my clients to run the function end to end and is rare that they have splitted the sourcing recruiting function. 

    In my firm however we have worked in differente waya according to the workload, the client and th requirements.

    Right now we have a sources which besides making postings, she  identifies candidates all over the internet, and submits only the resume to the recruiter.  She serves 2 or 3 recruiters at a time, and th recruiter is in charge of initiating contact and engaging with the candidate until the candidate is submitted to the client and from then on.  This has proven effective lately, but it is a dynamic environment that we contonuously change according to the firms needs.

    1. Initially when sourcing was introduced as a separate function
      of recruitment process, sourcer’s job was confined to searching and submitting relevant
      resumes and profiles to the recruiter. Rest of the work was done by recruiters.
      However with time, Sourcer’s job profile has broadened and evolved. Sourcing
      has now become a key function of any recruitment process where the sourcer’s  role is to

      ·        
      search targeted resumes and profiles

      ·        
      initiate contact with the candidates

      ·        
      check their availability in the market

      ·        
      check their suitability for the position in
      terms of role and compensation

      and then forward profile to the next level.

  4. Agree with Sarang here. Untill we understand the subject well and specialize in what we do, we would not be a complete “Human Resource” professional. Segregating the sourcing and recruiting role might leave a gap of understanding. On the other hand, an end to end recruitment professional who has the responsibility to source, screen, provide the market intelligence, mapping, co ordination, and so on is well equipped with the knowledge and expertise. Ironically, though this involves immense efforts and time, is less recognized and acknowledged.

    1. Nice post Kunjal! And great insight on the thought Medhavi and Sarang 🙂

      I feel and agree with you all that sourcing in the most crucial part of the hiring process which, if not perfect, can have dire consequences on the entire hiring strategy and goals of the organization. As indicated by Sarang, companies like CapGemini and Microsoft have successfully implemented the model. However, adopting this model of having separate sourcing and co-ordination / on-boarding teams for SMEs and even Start-ups would not be the best proposition for various reasons.

      Coming back to the titles, These are just terminologies!!!

      Today’s Sourcer is a traditional recruiter with a higher degree [not a formal one though :)] in social media resources and other advanced internet research tools and techniques minus a few mundane interview and logistics co-ordination tasks.

      What is missing is the sensitization of the industry towards the different terminologies. More and more organizations and industry leaders have lately recognized the importance of having a robust and well-equipped sourcing team and are taking measures to build on this competency. Instead of adding only sourcer to their teams, they could even educate and train the already existing team of recruiters to become better sourcers by introducing relevant trainings and skill-building exercises.

      After all, “Sourcing” is a recruiter’s prime responsibility! 🙂 Give him the right tools to do that and then call him whatever you like!!!!!

  5. Nice post Kunjal! And great insight on the thought Medhavi and Sarang 🙂

    I feel and agree with you all that sourcing in the most crucial part of the hiring process which, if not perfect, can have dire consequences on the entire hiring strategy and goals of the organization. As indicated by Sarang, companies like CapGemini and Microsoft have successfully implemented the model. However, adopting this model of having separate sourcing and co-ordination / on-boarding teams for SMEs and even Start-ups would not be the best proposition for various reasons.

    Coming back to the titles, These are just terminologies!!!

    Today’s Sourcer is a traditional recruiter with a higher degree [not a formal one though :)] in social media resources and other advanced internet research tools and techniques minus a few mundane interview and logistics co-ordination tasks.

    What is missing is the sensitization of the industry towards the different terminologies. More and more organizations and industry leaders have lately recognized the importance of having a robust and well-equipped sourcing team and are taking measures to build on this competency. Instead of adding only sourcer to their teams, they could even educate and train the already existing team of recruiters to become better sourcers by introducing relevant trainings and skill-building exercises.

    After all, “Sourcing” is a recruiter’s prime responsibility! 🙂 Give him the right tools to do that and then call him whatever you like!!!!!!

  6. Very well portrayed Kunal- Really liked the article, however things have started changing here in India too and in years to come, sourcing will be seen as a standalone and very important function in the entire HR gamut.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *