Common Questions About Internet Sourcers

I received so many responses to my last article on ERE, “Tips on Hiring an Internet Sourcer,” I felt like a follow-up article was appropriate to help answer some of the many questions I received. The most common question posed to me was that of a pay range for an experienced Internet Sourcer. Here are some things to consider when putting together a compensation package for an Internet Sourcer:

  • Not all sourcers are equal: I touched on this in my last article and find it even more important when it comes to compensating Internet Sourcers. The purpose of an internet sourcer is to save you money on other sourcing means! Thus, it is not the quantity of candidates, but the quality of candidates that will lead to a hire that the Internet Sourcer should be concerned with. To motivate fairly in this area, I suggest a commission/bonus program designed to compensate the Internet Sourcer when a hire is made directly from a candidate they sourced. What do you normally spend to source for a position? Consider giving a portion of that as a form of compensation to your Internet Sourcer in order to insure they are doing a great job and fulfilling the purpose of their position.
  • Not all positions are equal: Consider stair stepping the commission/bonus program depending on the sourcing difficulty of the position. When I asked you how much you normally spend sourcing for a position, you probably answered that it depended on the position. An Administrative Assistant is more easily sourced than an ASIC Engineer. Therefore, it is worth different amounts to you if your Internet Sourcer finds an ASIC Engineer vs. an Administrative Assistant. I suggest grading each position using a 1,2,3 method. A grade 1 would be the highest bonus amount given for a position and would represent a position that would have been given to an Executive Search firm to fill. A grade 2 would be a mid-amount bonus representing positions that take some time to fill but usually do not have to be given to a search firm. Finally, a grade 3 would be the lowest bonus amount given for positions that are generally easy to source.


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  • Another question that came up was one of work dynamics between the Recruiter and Internet Sourcer. Where does one pick up where the other left off? Given the personality dynamics I mentioned in my previous article, I suggest structuring the Recruiting/Sourcer partnership as follows:
  • Both the recruiter and sourcer should talk to the hiring manager: When you were a kid, did you ever play that game called “Operator”? You would sit in a circle and one child would start a message and whisper it in the ear of the child next to her. The message would move around the circle, whispered in each ear until, at the very end the child would state out loud what the message was. Invariably, the message was distorted considerably in the exchange. This happens in the area of discussing job requisitions too, which is why it is very important to have both the Internet Sourcer and the Recruiter present when discussing the specifications of the job with the Hiring Manager. In order to find qualified candidates, the Sourcer focuses in on the necessary skills and experience of the job; whereas the Recruiter focuses on the responsibilities and environment of the position in order to sell the candidate on the job.
  • The sourcer is the researcher; the recruiter is the closer: Like a good football team, you have those behind the scenes who make the plays happen (like the blockers) and you have those who do the scoring. The Sourcer should be feeding the Recruiter candidates for them to work their magic on and hire. I would not recommend that the Sourcer do the contacting since usually it is not in their nature to be an excellent researcher and sales individual. Play off the strengths of your team and break down the hiring process accordingly.

Finally, regarding the question of training. Many of you asked how I would train an Internet Sourcer, and fortunately with the wealth of resources of the Internet there are several sites that provide quite a bit of free information when it comes to navigating the Internet. You are already subscribed to the Electronic Recruiting Exchange, which is a good start. Your Internet Sourcers can begin their training by exploring sites like the AIRS Directory or the Recruiters-Aid Kit. They should then attend some training, which is given by many very good organizations. A list of training providers can be found at the Electronic Recruiting Exchange Training Section. Hopefully, this article helped to clarify questions you had regarding Internet Sourcers. And until next year, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Audra Slinkey is a leading Internet Recruiting Consultant who has designed the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System) to ensure Internet recruiting success. Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results—or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest FREE recruiting resource sites online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

ContactAudra at


3 Comments on “Common Questions About Internet Sourcers

  1. A very good article, and so well timed, on Internet sourcing. One question: If the sourcer doesn’t talk to the candidate and presumably relies on the resume, how can she really determine if the candidate is qualified much less interested? Or did I misread the article? jm

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  2. “If the sourcer doesn’t talk to the candidate and presumably
    relies on the resume, how can she really determine if the candidate is
    qualified much less interested?”

    I have been an Internet Sourcer for approx. 3 years.
    In my last position, I did do some “prescreening” of candidates before
    forwarding them to the recruiter. The problem with that is that you
    then have several people from the firm talking to candidates, which makes
    it harder to form that “personal connection” and consistency that is important for a close.
    A good sourcer can “read between the lines” on a resume. Did the candidate live in the area
    you are sourcing for in the past? Might they be more apt to relocate back to that area if they have a
    history there? What are they saying about their current position on their resume? Are they looking for
    more challenge, more pay, a new environment to grow? These are all factors in determining who gets to “Second Base” –
    or forwarded to the recruiter.

    It’s a sourcer’s responsibility to find candidates based on skill-set and experience that might fit a position, it’s the
    recruiter’s responsibility to follow-up and “work their magic” as the article stated. In my experience, it was my role to
    take the burden of finding the candidate off the recruiter, so that they have more “phone time” to actually talk to those candidates most likely to
    fit the bill; instead of spending countless hours scouring the Net looking for those “needles in a haystack”.

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  3. Hi Jim,

    As a sourcer, I’ve worked with lots of different companies — both recruiting organizations and IT firms. I’ve found that the best working relationship between sourcer and recruiter is one where you recognize that there is no such thing as a “perfect” resume match. With my current employer, I find resumes that match the requirements I’ve been given, but I don’t necessarily hit 100% every time nor do I exclude an otherwise great resume because it doesn’t seem to have one specific skill. A resume only tells part of the story — the rest has to come from the one-on-one contact between candidate and recruiter. My company recognizes that there’s more going on here than simply matching perfect resumes with perfect jobs: there’s relationships to be built with possible future candidates, other jobs that might match that candidate’s skill set, referrals to be made through that one resume not to mention increasing our resume database with each quality candidate found.

    I think it’s a mistake to expect the sourcer to find the ideal match every time. I worked for companies that required that and it really was a lose-lose proposition. When you’ve been reading resumes for awhile, you get a feel for the good ones and sometimes you want to send ones that don’t quite match. My company encourages that and I’m am very happy to be working with them!


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