Sourcing For Success With Sourcing Specialists

Sourcing for candidates…does that phrase send chills down your spine? It is not that you don’t know how to find good candidates using traditional methods like newspaper ads, job postings, job fairs, etc. Rather, it’s the ever increasing need to use the Internet as a tool to source those hard to find candidates that’s giving recruiters so much trouble. Sourcing from the Internet may be new to many, but not to everyone. Now that the Internet is more accepted as a useful tool for sourcing it now comes down to a matter of time, training, knowledge, and understanding of how to effectively use this great tool to your advantage. As unemployment hovers around 4%, companies are beginning to realize that to get their products out the door or to stay one step ahead of their competitors, they must win the war for talent. The burden of winning that war is usually given to the Human Resource Department or, more specifically, the recruiters. The real question that is arising today is: How can a recruiter be a master of so many critical tasks under such difficult recruiting circumstances? The burden of hiring falls solely on their shoulders. Like it or not, the success of a company may be directly affected by how well a recruiter can source and hire candidates as quickly as possible. Because the recruiter’s job has become more time consuming, companies are now beginning to look at a new model to source candidates. Human Resources/Staffing departments are now hiring employees whose sole job is to source candidates from the Internet. This is definitely a step in the right direction?provided that they are hiring the right type of person for the job. I have run across many companies that say that they have hired an internal Sourcing Specialist. I commend them for taking that bold step, but I do so cautiously. What I find many times is that the person who has been hired to do the sourcing is not a qualified sourcer at all. The following are some of the common mistakes that many Human Resource Departments make when hiring a Sourcing Specialist:

  1. More often than not the person who is in this role has no background or training on how to effectively source candidates at all. They may have been sent to a one-day training and then expected to be an expert Sourcing Specialist. This is a good start, but there is so much more that can be done to set this person up for success, rather than failure. Have this person spend dedicated time working with the recruiter. Have them attend meetings with hiring managers or any other meetings that the recruiter would normally attend. There is no better way for a Sourcing Specialist to learn about a position than from the hiring manager. The bottom line is to get them involved with the hiring process from start to finish so that they can see the big picture. This will also allow them to fine tune their sourcing as feedback from resumes and/or interviews is given to the recruiter.
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  3. A second major pitfall is that the Sourcing Specialist is usually burdened with sourcing for the entire company, which could be for 100+ positions. An overloaded Sourcer is like an overburdened recruiter: ineffective. A general rule of thumb is that an experienced Sourcing Specialist can source for 2, maybe 3 positions (if they are really good) each day. That may not sound like a lot of volume but to get and maintain quality results this is a realistic workload. As a person becomes more familiar with the positions within your company, the faster and more targeted their results will be.
  4. The third pitfall I commonly see is that the entire sourcing process falls on the Sourcing Specialist’s shoulders. If you hire someone to fulfill this type of role in your company, you must remember that this person is on your team trying to deliver the best results possible. They must have your support and the proper tools to be successful.
  5. Finally, to make this type of position effective for your company, time and money must be invested into this person. It can’t be just something that you want to try to see if it will work. Commitment to this position and person in this role will go a long way to ensuring success!

Having a person who is solely dedicated to sourcing can be a very positive undertaking if you are careful to avoid some of the major pitfalls. There is no way of avoiding them all?but if you can steer clear of the major ones addressed here, you should be on your way to having a more effective way to source candidates.

Scott Hagen (shagen@recruiters-aid.com) is a graduate of San Diego State University, with over 8 years of high tech corporate recruiting experience with industry leaders such as Qualcomm, Cymer, and Pyxis. Scott is also a co-designer of the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System). 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 (http://www.recruiters-aid.com/kit.html) online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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