So You Think You Know Sourcing?
I was interviewed on 9/23 for the Helping Friends Career Network on how to use social media as a recruiter, and it was released last week. Within an hour, I got a question on LinkedIn about sourcing as a discipline in the healthcare industry. I’ve been pondering my particular niche beyond the “understood” function of building a candidate pipeline. A lot of organizations don’t want to spend spend valuable dollars right now on headcount to build a pipeline when they are inundated with candidates.
But a sourcer is more than just someone that mines databases and forges relationships with current industry professionals. Sourcing, as a discipline, is as much about marketing and branding as it is about recruiting. Sourcers need to be experts in building communities, leveraging technology and tools beyond email, the phone and databases. We need to be able to reach out as the representative of our organizations and create an employment brand. We need to understand the role of Competitive Intelligence as a discipline and how it relates to staffing. Knowing our corporate culture is incredibly vital, being abreast of the latest press releases and stories out in the world both positive and negative, is intrinsically linked to our function. We must be aware of the HR headcount forecasting for the next 6-12 months so we can start targeting key candidate segements.
Being a sourcer is part of an active partnership with our recruiting team. Too often sourcing is seen as a “junior” function, and is assigned to “internet recruiters” who spend their time mining job boards and or sites such as Linkedin and sending out blanket emails to “potential candidates”. While this is certainly one facet of our skill set, it is one of the most basic. Without a solid foundation and in-depth experience in full-lifecycle recruiting, sourcing recruiters don’t understand the needs of their clients and recruiting partners. I have been incredibly lucky to work in candidate generation at Microsoft, starting in an executive recruiting setting and developing the skills needed to be successful. But I’ve also been a full-lifecycle recruiter so understand the workflow, how vital sourcing is to creating a robust organization, and how to evaluate and find top quality candidates.
So before you just think that we are “junior recruiters”, consider how much time your organization could save by proactively building a pool of qualified, interested, pre-screened candidates rather than taking weeks trying to be reactive to managers that are backfilling key positions within their teams.