Why There Will Always Be Human Sourcers

Today I received word that I succeeded in placing an executive for a company I am working with. I was ecstatic, mainly because I remember how it started…

The CEO told me there was no way this guy would make the switch, as it was too much of a long shot. For my own reasons, I insisted he should start building a relationship with him. He reluctantly agreed… 4 months later and this A+ candidate is on-board.

It got me thinking. A few weeks back, I was invited to a presentation of “Searchin”. A newcomer to the sourcing arena – currently in beta phase – but the concept is very much a DISRUPTIVE one. It offers a completely hands-off and data-driven SaaS (software as a service) approach to automate the full cycle of job discovery, matching analysis, and apply process for job seekers and companies. Think of a job & talent search without browsing (or swiping). Think “Taboola” for recruitment.

What does “Searchin” do? In a nutshell –

  • “Searchin” scans company websites for open positions.
  • It conducts an automatic research about the company and position and starts searching for suitable candidates over the web.
  • When a suitable candidate is found, “Searchin” automatically checks if he/she’s open to hear about new opportunities.
  • If so, a matching analysis takes place according to different factors such as skills, personality, company culture fit and more.
  • For higher matches, “Searchin” applies an anonymous profile of the candidate and matching analysis report to the positions, checking whether you’re interested to get more details about her. This is done without you having to start working with their software or website. “Searchin” reaches each company in its natural environment.
  • Once you show interest in the candidate, “Searchin” approaches the candidate with details about the company and position along with personalized reasons as to why this is a good fit, asking for the candidate’s final approval to be revealed and introduced to you.
  • Upon hiring the candidate, you pay $1,000 success fee with 90 days money back guarantee

I have no doubt in my mind – this is the next phase. I predict that in its more mature phase, it will become standard practice, as well as it will incorporate several other standalone tools we already know of such as “Crystal Knows” (for additional personal information on the candidate) or other programs that will test for culture fit, etc.

“Machines replacing humans” is one of the hottest topics out there. On the same note, it’s also common practice to think that there are industries that will be less affected by it. “Human Resources” is considered to be one of them. We’d like to think that “no machine can replace a gut feeling about a person sitting in front of you”. However, the fact is, that the machines are already matching our abilities and surpassing them too.

One early example is “The Presourcing tool”. What it does is that once you have sourced for the top 10-20 best profiles for a role, add them to the system that will then analyze them and generate a “super Boolean string” for your following searches – better keywords to reflect a better search and generate better search results than the initial one you started with.

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Will we, sourcers, become obsolete? I am not sure about that…..As a global sourcer, I pride myself in my creativity. Sometimes I use a gutsy approach and I approach candidates that would not be the first choice for this role – They could be either too senior, he may have just started a new role, he may be of another industry – Hell – when I start being creative? I have no idea on how to anticipate where my search is going to take me… In the mid of one search, I open another window (One? 20!) and perform another search there with another idea that came up to me on a spur of a moment.

When I evaluate a profile – I look at the company he is working for right now – I learn about how well it’s doing, how much money/awards/new technology they have and try and understand – How can I pitch this role to the candidate in such a way that he understands this is the next logical step in his career? Can this automated search duplicate my erratic and totally unpredictable sourcing train of thought, if I myself can not?

In my free time (which I don’t have..) I attend lectures on the future of the brain. The bottom line is – researchers are trying to decode how our brain works. Once that is done – they can fix broken connections (diseases) and best of all – they can duplicate it into code and into machines that will think and be like us and perhaps surpass us. So can they duplicate my “mad sourcer brain”? Not so sure. In order to duplicate you need some kind of pattern and consistency – two terms that I am not really familiar with and live by …

My bottom line is – And I urge you to share your thoughts below – I think tools like “Searchin”, that will automate the FULL sourcing process – Will SHORTEN the process – but will still leave it up to the sourcing professional to perform his or her mastery – More complicated and creative searches – And get those “unexpected” and “surprising” potential candidates into the pipeline.


6 Comments on “Why There Will Always Be Human Sourcers

  1. This is a great article and uncovers one of the sunken gold nuggets of sourcing:

    “When I evaluate a profile – I look at the company he is working for right now – I learn about how well it’s doing, how much money/awards/new technology they have and try and understand – How can I pitch this role to the candidate…”

    Change a few words there…

    “When I evaluate a profile – I look at the company he is working for right now – I learn about how well it’s doing, how much money/awards/new technology they have and try and understand – How can I pitch this company to another company…”

    This is called acquisourcing my friends and it’s the new gateway to that dreamed-about seat at the table. Only this time let’s be smart about it…

  2. I think you raise some valid points but right now I think this approach will be limited to a few sectors, primarily tech and data science. If I was a tech start up I’d love to use this tool but for the industry I work in (leadership positions within insurance), I can’t see this taking off for another ten years at least. It also makes one HUGE assumption – that people will have a social profile that’s detailed enough to analyse. Many executives I work with are not even on linkedin, let alone GitHub etc and the fact they choose not to be “social” doesn’t make them less suitable than someone who is. I’m noticing an increased trend for talent acquisition teams at companies to assume that linkedin is their entire candidate universe and it’s not; I always tell the junior guys in my team ( we are a third party search team) to never assume that just because a candidate can’t be found easily, they don’t exist.

  3. Compliments to you on the well-written piece. I am also very interested in this topic and we have built a unique platform that caters to all employee needs and a lot more. It connects the entire people chain and is designed for the Future of Work. Inviting you to check it here – http://www.peoplehum.com/#bl

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