The Importance of Speed Sourcing

Why are some sourcers and recruiters more successful than others when using the same techniques?  Honestly, it’s as simple as speed. How fast a sourcer or recruiter produces a candidate is paramount to the success of the search. For over 15 years, Steven Mostyn has been training myself and other sourcers and recruiters alike in the art of rapidity. Below you will find some tips recommended by both Mostyn and myself to immediately improve your sourcing speed.

First and foremost, pick up the phone.

It’s still the fastest way to reach someone. I text people and guess what? They reply! People respond faster than LinkedIn emails, Indeed emails, Google+ messages, regular emails, and voicemails. That is the cardinal rule in speed sourcing-get a hold of the prospective candidate right away before another recruiter does. If you find someone by Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, text them through that.


Prior to finding the candidate, know what your hiring managers want

Get resumes of previous hires and use keywords and hashtags from those resumes for prime SEO. Do a resume match on CareerBuilder. It works!


If you can’t locate a candidate on social media, do a photo search

If you get a referral and can’t find the person on social media or in a regular web search, chances are there are photos of this person somehow either from the DMV or a work or old college photo. Try a reverse image search on Google.


Learn to Read Resumes and Information Faster

Many of you have heard of the term speed reading. Leveraging the same speed reading techniques to reviewing resumes and processing information can be a swift way to improve your sourcing speed. Tips for speed reading include the following:

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  1. Learn to work faster. If you have a natural tendency to move more methodically, it’s time to sharpen these skills and promptly. In sourcing, taking your time will only result in your competitor contacting candidates before you do.
  2. Practice resume & information reading search drills. Every day for two weeks for thirty minutes a day count how many hours it takes you to go through resumes on a job board or do Boolean searches. Each day you should try and improve your speed score. Over time this score will lower.
  3. Focus on scanning keywords not reading every word. When looking for information, reading every word can be a major time consumer. I actually do this at the end of every James Patterson novel because I can’t wait for the twist at the end.
  4. Get better at understanding the information you are looking for. Over time, once you are a domain expert you can understand what you are looking for which helps you process information faster. With anything, practice, practice, and practice.
  5. Lower distractions. To move swiftly, concentrate on information that is important. Therefore avoid excessive chatter and other stimuli. A good recommendation is to listen to music. Ironically, I’m listening to Pandora right now. What a shocker!


Get better at recycling viable candidates

An easy way to increase your sourcing speed is simply getting better at recycling candidates. A recruiter can save hundreds of sourcing hours just by understanding who you have in your recent pipeline. Many times a recruiter has candidates who are not a fit for one job but are great for another. Remembering and keeping track of these candidates can result in easy submissions. Knowing your audience is critical to your success.


Use Better Engagement Techniques

Having better candidate engagement of how many candidates respond to your solicitations can speed up your sourcing. The industry standard for candidate’s replies to solicitations is around 25 percent. If your score is less than that, a lot of your labor intensive sourcing might be not effective. Improving how candidates respond to your engagement will result in getting more bang for your sourcing time. If your current response rate is only 10 percent and you can increase that by 10 percent to get to 20 percent, then you can in theory accomplish the same amount of work in half the time.

As Lee Iacocca once said, “I’ve always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” Sharing your success and improvements with speed sourcing is imperative for us to improve our industry as a whole.

Thank you, Mostyn, for all of your recommendations.

Nicole Nespeca is a contributing writer for Yahoo Careers, the former editor of the Aon Careers Blog and writer of the career advice blog, “Fall Down Seven, Get Up Eight” on  Prior to working in recruitment, Nicole worked in television news at CNBC and Fox.  She has worked in sourcing and recruitment management for 16 years in both the United States and Japan.  Conversant in Japanese and Spanish, Nicole is an SME in global and bilingual sourcing.  Currently, she specializes in Sourcing Leadership-Talent Acquisition at MSC.  Although a graduate of the University of Michigan and from Michigan, she loves living in Charlotte, NC with her daughter and husband.


2 Comments on “The Importance of Speed Sourcing

  1. Nicole, can you walk me through, step-by-step, how to get photo IDs from the DMV? I didn’t think this was possible.

    I loved the practice,practice, practice advice and I loved that you’re willing take it and pass it along!

    I also loved your article!


  2. Are we trying to work as fast as possible, or as quickly as we can within the confines of doing excellent work and finding the RIGHT people? Is your goal to find someone to take the job, or to discover the person who will delight the client (internal or external) and excel in the role?

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