Sourcing Tools For Ordinary Managers

Many sourcing tools are centralized and depend on resources from the corporate level. However supervisors and line managers need to be able to identify candidates also. Here is a list of sourcing tools that are simple, effective and can be carried out by most managers without much (or any) corporate support.

  1. Top official ?calls? – Ask the CEO/ Group GM call them directly and ask them to join us.
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  3. Referrals – Personally ask top performing employees to actively participate in the referral program. Give each manager and employee a targeted # of referrals per month. (Ex. Ask each employee to talk to and refer 2 great candidates each month.)
  4. First day ask- On the first day, ask new hires who else they think is worth recruiting at their previous firm. Ask the new hire what motivates and frustrates them and educate them about their shared responsibility for speaking up and building a great place to work environment.
  5. Profile – Do a professional ?profile? of our top performers in hard to fill jobs. Ask them what they read, go to, listen to, organizations they join, meetings they attend, web sites they visit, etc. Also ask them for their job ?acceptance criteria.? Use that profile to define your marketing approach and to determine what meetings, magazines, groups, etc. to focus on.
  6. Open house – Hold an invited / targeted open house on your site to show them your work and to meet your top people.
  7. Scan the database – Have a technical expert / professional recruiter scan our internal company resume data base for possible candidates.
  8. Revisit finalists – Look at previous finalists for jobs (and those that needed a little more experience) from the last 2 years that may now be more experienced or qualified.
  9. Boomerangs – Call top/ above average performing former employees (boomerangs) and ask them to come back (or to refer others). Tell them when they are leaving that you will keep in touch and welcome them back. Consider bringing back ?retirees.?
  10. Research (name only) firms ? If you are good at assessing and selling the firm but lack ?candidates,? hire a research firm that will supply you with lists of ?just names and contact numbers? that meet your target criteria.
  11. Reference referrals – Capture the names of references given by top candidates apply for jobs at our firm (ask the references if they know others of similar quality and even ask the reference if they are interested in a job. Also call well connected friends (customers, suppliers, mentors) and ask them to refer people they know (offer a bonus).
  12. Speed ? Minimize hiring steps and develop same day interview and offer processes.
  13. Rewards and metrics ? Measure and reward managers and recruiters for great recruiting and hiring.
  14. Bring a friend day ? Sponsor a “bring a friend/ colleague” to work day. Encourage employees to bring potential hires to work with them. Meet with them and show them what it?s like to work here.
  15. Conferences – Ask attendees at professional conferences / trade fairs to identify people that are really good and to refer the names to our recruiters. Also submit papers/ speeches for presentation at professional conferences and tout our advances.
  16. Signs – Put up signs (external/in the lobby) that you are actively looking for a few great people.
  17. Trade fairs – Use trade fairs, social events and conferences as a recruiting tool. Set up a recruiting booth as part of your product booth. Consider a reception and invite top prospects and speakers. Ask for referrals and also look for direct hires. Ask all that attend professional conferences to bring back the names of several prospects.
  18. Search firms – Use ?technical? search firms that specialize exclusively in your ?job families? to place on site recruiters (that they manage) to help find, sort, assess and sell candidates for technical level jobs. Also consider executive search firms which have more global capabilities for higher level jobs.
  19. Convert ?temps? ? Identify key contractors, consultants, interns and temps that can be converted to regular hires.
  20. Seminars – Sponsor/ hold a professional seminar or workshop on our site to get top people to see ?our place? and to meet ?our people.?
  21. Web recruiting ? Have employees that participate in chatrooms and technical ?listservers? ?lurk? and also to post questions and then capture the names of those with great answers.
  22. College – Ask recent college hires to work with the head of the student group at their former school in order to get the names of top grads. Also use your summer interns as ?on-campus reps.?
  23. Who?s who ? Have employees capture the names (business cards) of top talent and use the list to begin to build a relationship with these ?someday you will work here? prospects.
  24. Raiding – In the aggressive world of recruiting managers must anticipate large-scale raiding by competitors. Managers must develop “blocking tools” in order to protect our talent resources and be willing to identify and ?poach? the best talent from other firms.
  25. Evergreen jobs – Managers and employees should continuously search for top talent and hire people in key jobs regardless of whether there is an open req.
  26. Great place list ? Develop a list of the things you do well (people practices, benefits, great technologies etc.) and then make sure your managers, PR and employees spread the word. Print up ?ask me what?s it like to work at xyz? T-shirts to wear at conferences/ and non-job search events.
  27. Market research – By asking new hires, people that have rejected our offers, and key employees that have left (survey them after six months) you can identify the real reasons why people take and leave their job.
  28. Fight dot com?s – Develop an extensive list of what’s wrong with startups and using people that have worked there to educate your employees and applicants about their significant downside.
  29. Hiring team ? Consider creating a hiring team of managers that are superior ?salespeople? to do all of the hiring.

Sourcing tools that are often less effective

  1. Large, non-targeted job boards often get you too many resumes, many of which are not ?active? or are dated.
  2. Display or classified ads.
  3. Job fairs.
  4. College career centers.

Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.

He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the "Michael Jordan of Hiring," called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry's most respected strategists." He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website and on He lives in Pacifica, California.



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