The Importance of Research in Sourcing

Over the last few months, I have noticed an uptick in the lack of research that is being done by Sourcers at the onset of a job search.  It is vitally important as a Sourcer that we complete this initial research for a successful strategy. This means doing research: organizational charting, researching leaders within the organization, competitors in the marketplace, what companies are presently looking for the same requirement, etc.  The “hunt” begins …

Influences of Workload

The drop in upfront research can be attributed to workload .  With the increase of Recruiter workload, many with a req load of 45+jobs, there is more weight being placed on the Sourcer to assist.   With many having a req load of 20 Sourcing reqs opened, an even greater strain is being placed on the request being more involved in the end to end recruitment process.  Instead of sourcing and providing candidates to the Recruiter, the Sourcer is being tasked with interviewing candidates and providing written submissions which in many cases are shared directly with the hiring manager. Interviewing candidates have become the request of the Sourcer, which in turn leads the Sourcer to be on phone screens lasting an average 45 minutes.

Have We Lost Track of What Sourcing Really Is?

I recently did a survey to see what the average req load is for those working in a Sourcing capacity.  My discovery, an astounding req load figure of 19 active req’s, with a difficulty level of medium to hard.  Of this req load of 19 reqs, 70% of Sourcer’s were phone screening candidates for the Recruiters, and submitting directly to the Hiring Manager which led them to be more involved in HM meetings.  See anything wrong with this picture?

So I answer my question, have we lost track of what Sourcing really is?? Absolutely. With high Souricng req loads and an increase of Sourcer phone interview and hiring manager involvement, Sourcers do not have the time to spend doing what they do best, research.  We need to get back to our roots!

Article Continues Below

So Just How Do We Get Back To Our Roots?

Aside from the obvious, (speaking up and letting leadership know that there is some value lost when we cannot effectively spend time completing upfront research), we need to think about utilizing tools for efficiency to make the time needed.

Social media seems to be the best way to get our message across to qualified candidates who approach us.  My favorite is utilizing Bitly campaigns where I can use analytics tools to track the number of clicks that I have to see if candidates are engaged, and tweak appropriately.  HiringSolved is another example of an efficient tool working as an all-encompassing source, combining information from multiple resources; resumes, social profiles, groups to reduce time spent sourcing separate multiple sources.

 

Natalya Kazim is a Sourcing Consultant with 15+ years of experience in the Recruitment world. She has had the opportunity to work in several Fortune 500 companies to help lead the initiative to develop their sourcing function.  Natalya is passionate about learning new, innovative, and efficient ways deliver the best quality results.  She has served as both a Mentor and Trainer sharing her wealth of information to help others succeed. She has a strong background in advanced sourcing, competitive intel research, organizational charting, market analysis, candidate information retrieval, and passive candidate engagement . Natalya resides in the Washington, DC Metro Area.

 

Topics

6 Comments on “The Importance of Research in Sourcing

  1. We lost track of sourcing when sourcing turned into the recruiting function when recruiters lost their jobs in the 2008 downturn and companies thought they’d hire sourcers at cheaper rates to replace recruiters so recruiters all became sourcers to get their jobs back and the vendors celebrated and “sourcing” became the new “Hot Topic” and budgets for training allocated but that low level title didn’t stick long as these morphed into the “sourcer-recruiters” and then topsy-turved into “recruiter-sourcers” as time advanced and now that they’re being let go again yes req loads are up and “sourcers” are left with the recruiting function that they’ve been loaded down with that they never wanted to be loaded down with in the first place and here we are with the sourcing function known to be pulling names off LinkedIn and then InMailing them (don’t deny it, the majority of you) to see if they’d be interested in your jobs and the few who respond then getting moved to the next step which may or may not be a phone screen somewhere down the line…

    Research? Are you kidding me? Who does THAT anymore? Most “sourcers” don’t even know where to begin with “research” and that’s why any advances in “tools” here on out in the near future are going to be driven by the fuel of human combustion and there’s very little of it being applied in the sourcing function today.

    Get on the phone boys and girls. Da phone. Da phone. Only there will you find the means to save yourselves. Only there will you find the real time information that is needed in the space today to differentiate yourself from the madd(en)ing crowd…only there will you find 100% of the candidates in any industry to fill the jobs you need to fill.

  2. I HAVE to chime in here: I agree that in the mad frenzy of finding, engaging, qualifying and hiring (and as important, retaining) candidates, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to research, source, qualify, prep and coordinate interview schedules and hiring manager schedules. There is too much to be done and not enough time- at least to perform in a a high quality manner.

    Fortunately, my company has the enormous foresight and understanding that research is a vital component to the sourcing and recruiting process. Which is why they pulled me away from initial sourcing duties (finding, engaging, qualifying on phone etc), to a more research-centric role. This means I can perform competitive intelligence, talent mapping, talent pipelining, industry research, digging into areas outside of LinkedIn (yay!), tools evaluations/recommendation, analysis etc.. By having this model in place, my fellow sourcers & recruiters have more time to perform quality screens and submittals in an efficient manner. And may I add that outsourcing this key function is a very bad idea, IMHO.

    On another topic, and one I would LOVE to see more of, is not only getting company-wide buy-in to be brand ambassadors (pardon the tired cliche’) via social outlets, but marketing and recruiting should be working hand in hand, and not separately. Some companies are doing this well, but the vast majority are not. Time to wake up and smell the roses and coffee folks.

  3. I would combine “research” into a role/title of “Research and Marketing” within the recruiting team.

    Duties would include those mentioned in this article (research), making sure that you are storing all this information in a CRM. Not in spreadsheets. But then, and most importantly, be responsible for the managed initial outreach to those leads found until they are converted into contacts/conversations.

    Those conversations, once interest on the candidates side is shown (email or phone), are passed to and managed by the sourcers/recruiters. In other words, they calendar gets booked.

    I would add that it is your job to drive those phone screens with sourcers/recruiters. Your role finds them and controls the initial outreach/marketing to them in order to get them on the phone with the sourcer/recruiter. Your KPI is “Qualified Phone Screens” per day. Another KPI is “Sourcer/Recruiter Rejected”…are you sending the wrong people?

    Job duties put simply…

    1. Define Talent Roles/Pipelines
    2. Do the research/mining
    3. Build the database (CRM)
    4. Execute on outreach/campaigns
    5. Drive/create recruiter phone screens
    6. Manage re-engagement where this is future interest

    Rinse, lather, repeat.

    Regarding the part about social media being the best way to engage with talent…I disagree with that. Direct engagement/direct marketing I think is the best way. Social media is a supplement, not the core means.

    Social media is great if you are selling Skittles or Doritos to unknown consumers, but recruiting is like selling Mercedes Benz. We are targeting known individuals who need to go through a qualifying process that may or may not result in anything for them and in the end we’re offering a change in life.
    That’s high touch. Oh..and by the way…they already have “a job.”

    1. Like your thought process, Sean. Except for the social media part (surprise!).

      I find using Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn very effective means to reach a LARGE population-the “return on eyeballs” is still up for grabs, however -mentioning your company and it’s various milestones, achievements, news, launches, hot jobs, etc certainly gets people interested in learning more about your company. I don’t use Facebook for posting company-related news as my friends would rather look at my sunset pictures. I will Share and Like company posts though, using the aforementioned mediums.

      That way, when you do the initial outreach, most folks (at least in my space, the tech engineering/Big Data space), will already have heard of you and it’s kind of important to have a good brand out there.

      On the flip side, social media can be a bad thing if your company brand is poor. I worked for one VERY famous company and it was near to impossible to get peoples interest due to the heavily publicized attrition rate, toxic work environment, etc.

  4. Duties would include those mentioned in this article (research), making sure that you are storing all this information in a CRM. Not in spreadsheets. But then, and most importantly, be responsible for the managed initial outreach to those leads found until they are converted into contacts/conversations.

    Those conversations, once interest on the candidates side is shown (email or phone), are passed to and managed by the sourcers/recruiters. In other words, they calendar gets booked.

    I would add that it is your job to drive those phone screens with sourcers/recruiters. Your role finds them and controls the initial outreach/marketing to

  5. Job duties put simply…

    1. Define Talent Roles/Pipelines

    2. Do the research/mining

    3. Build the database (CRM)

    4. Execute on outreach/campaigns

    5. Drive/create recruiter phone screens

    6. Manage re-engagement where this is future interest

Leave a Comment

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