Q: What is a sourcing process?
A: Simply put, a sourcing process is nothing more than the steps you take to source candidates every time a new assignment comes in the door. It is the very first part of the overall recruiting process. Most recruiters I know have a sourcing process, however, for most it is not formalized. Think of what you do when something new comes in. You probably check your database first. Then you might run a search in your Outlook files. From there, many would run a search in one of the national resume boards and maybe even post an online ad for whatever they are looking for. Another great approach is to take a look at the references given by past candidates that may be a match and start calling them. We would also pick up the telephone and start calling the people that we knew and asking for referrals. These are a few of the steps we all take when starting a new search assignment…the easy ones to remember and act on.
But what happens when we do all of these things and still do not have enough candidates to fill our assignment? The Internet might be able to help out. I always suggest to people to create a sourcing checklist to formalize your process. This will not only help you to make sure that “no stone remains unturned” and that you can be as thorough in your sourcing as you can be.
1. Search the title and URL of web pages for resume words using at least three search engines with the proper keywords from your search assignment (Google, Live, Yahoo, Exalead, AltaVista, etc.).
2. Search the Internet communities (AOL, Geocities, Angelfire, Tripod) for leads using the internal search mechanisms and the SITE search method.
3. Search the social and business networks (LinkedIn, Spoke, FaceBook and MySpace).
4. Search the name/contact databases (JigSaw, Ziggs).
5. Search the free resume sites. (Craigslist, Free-For-Recruiters).
6. Search the major ISP’s (Comcast, ATT, Earthlink).
7. Search association websites for names of relevant individuals.
8. Check the business directories for competitors (Hoovers, D&B).
9. Search for convention/conference attendees.
10. Search the blog hosts (Blogspot, Bloggers).
These are all easy ways to help you fill your next assignment. I didn’t say quick…I said easy. It does take some patience and perseverance to go through these steps one by one but those that do will get many leads the competition doesn’t. These steps do not replace but augment your current sourcing process. Keep in mind it is not always about resumes. The Internet has a wealth of information, including the resumes of hundreds of thousands of passive candidates, however, there are literally millions of names and you can often find those even when the resume production is on the skimpy side.
Create your own checklist using one or more of the suggestions above. Add your own methods to the list. Next time you get a tough assignment in the door and run through your usual methods and come up dry try some of these suggestions and you might be surprised as to how many solid leads you can get.