You may rest assured that this situation will not last.
The web is best when it tears down the friction that separates information from the people who need it. The folks who work hard mining data manually today will be flipping burgers in the near future. The skills required to move forward are unlike the ones being taught. Contemporary sourcing is a dead-end occupation with little in the way of transferrable skills.
Next generation recruiting is about relating intimately, not about mutual discovery. It's about fidelity and long term value exchange, not one night stands. It's about data that updates itself because the relationship is constantly working. Finding each other? Easy. Building an enduring relationship? Hard.
For a while, sourcing will be a high dollar, easy pickings income source. But, in the relatively short term, the need for the expertise will evaporate. Former sourcing luminaries will be familiarizing themselves with the alarm on the French fry machine and the relative difference between Rare, Medium and Well done.
Evaporate, as in "What air freshener scent would you like with your car wash?"
So, what do you do if you're a sourcer (or any kind of Recruiter, for that matter)?
You know, Maureen, a little more time in the fryer makes them crispy. You just have to get them out before they get really brown. :-)
Finding people is about to get extremely easy.
Telephone sourcing has the long term viability of say, a newspaper. That said, I am certain that you have a clearer picture of the long term viability of the telephone approach. 40 Million LinkedIn profiles leaves another 100 million workers to find today.
But they are all online already and social networks will be as ubiquitous as email three years from now.
Nothings going to replace talking to people as a way of building relationships. Telephone sourcers with a modicum of personality ought to be able to transition into the next wave. Online researchers have a bigger challenge.
(If you didn't see this, the venerable San Francisco Chronicle is in real danger of a shut down).