Tips For Hiring an Internet Sourcer

A lot has been said about the pros and cons of hiring an Internet Sourcer. Having hired and managed my own sourcing teams for a few years now, I’ve learned quite a bit about the pitfalls of hiring this new breed of recruiter. Before I launch into the dos and don’ts of hiring Internet Sourcers, I want to first discuss why it is important to separate sourcing from the rest of the recruitment function:

  • The skills needed to be a successful Internet Sourcer are quite different than those needed to be a successful Recruiter. A recruiter still needs to know all there is to know about sourcing to stay marketable in their field; however, a successful recruiter’s strong points are communication, persuasion/sales, diplomacy and closing. A successful Internet Sourcer’s strong points are research, patience, inquisitiveness and technical computer skills. Generally a successful recruiter is gregarious, has the ability to put people at ease, is a rapport builder, and an overall “people person.” An Internet Sourcer is generally on the introverted side and usually loves to work on the computer all day with very little interaction with others.
  • By nature of the position, Recruiters do not have the time. A typical Recruiter is bombarded with calls all day from vendors, candidates, hiring managers and employees. Any little distraction can throw off an otherwise excellent Internet search and distractions are commonplace for the Recruiter. Internet sourcing cannot be rushed and takes quite a bit of time. In fact, it generally will take an Internet Sourcer over two days to successfully source for one position.

Now that I have you convinced of the importance of hiring an inside Internet Sourcer, let’s talk about how to find them and what to do once you have them. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> The job of Internet Sourcer is relatively new, so it is difficult to find people who have experience in this arena. In fact, many excellent Internet Sourcers work freelance out of their homes and charge an hourly fee because they are in such hot demand. I’ve made my fair share of hiring mistakes in this area over the years, so here are some do’s and don’ts I’ve walked away with to help me become successful at building a world class Internet Sourcing team:

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  • Don’t hire “Recruiters” to be Internet Sourcers unless they fit the internet sourcing profile. Because of the different skill sets needed to be successful at each of these positions, it is important you don’t hire Recruiters to purely source. By nature, a Recruiter will quickly become bored and want to be involved in the rest of the hiring process. In some cases, a Recruiter will find they are better at Internet sourcing because they realize they do not have the extraverted, sales mentality to be a successful Recruiter. Unless the Recruiter has the profile of an Internet Sourcer, do not take the risk.
  • Excellent Internet Sourcers can come from research and computer related fields. Getting back to the profile of a successful Internet Sourcer, I have hired some fabulous Sourcers who have come from the research and computer industries. These are folks who are used to working independently on the computer all day like programmers, web developers, Internet librarians, editors etc. Do not hire anyone who has not had the experience of working on the computer all day…sourcing is not a multi-tasked type of position. Sourcing demands an extreme amount of focus, patience and inquisitiveness.
  • Do not hire an Internet Sourcer as a “Junior Recruiter” or entry-level type of position. A successful Internet Sourcer will save you tens of thousands of dollars on placement fees, so do not treat this as an entry-level position unless you plan on giving a lot of training and mentoring. You will quickly burn through a lot of Internet Sourcers if you do not pay them well. A good Sourcer is in just as much demand as a good Recruiter, so they should be considered equal positions of a very different nature.
  • Not all Internet Sourcers are the same. Just because you have an in-house Internet Sourcer does not mean they are sourcing from all over the Net. It is difficult to find someone who knows how and when to use the various sourcing techniques available to insure they are turning over every stone. Sourcing is a highly specialized art so make sure your Internet Sourcers are well trained and are held accountable to do a great job. Comparing your Sourcing team to a third a party is another way to insure you are finding all the candidates available as well.

Hopefully these tips will help you in your search for a successful Internet Sourcer. If you are a small organization who does not have the budget for an extra person in your department, I suggest outsourcing the Internet Sourcing portion to a firm who specializes in this kind of work. Happy hiring!

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.

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