Trying to take the Sour out of Sourcing: Looking for some training advice: www.criticalhire.ca Toronto

Been recruiting for 11 yrs or so up hear in the Great White North with JD and the boys. I own a small boutique shop (read one man show). I started my firm about a year ago as I was trying to time the downturn and see if I can challenge myself even more!

The challenge has actually been a terrific learning experience and I am back to at least the one placement a month thing. Trying to consistently do 2 if possible and would like to get some people's opinion if my metrics are out to lunch.

Here's what I have been trending:
I need to talk to about 25-30 people for each first-time interview and I am averaging about 1 offer for every 8 interviews. To be safe I would like to get at least 2 offers a month and thus require 16 first-time interviews/month= 4 per week. 16 interviews *30 recruiting connects= approx 480 recruiting connected calls/ month or roughly 24/day. I then at least try and do 6-7 new marketing connects/day thus giving me a daily target of roughly 30 new connects/day. This is the only way I really feel if I have had a productive day and not get to pumped or deflated based on a certain call here and there. It all about my 30 connects/day.

# of jobs that I need to be working on. I figure that I have a tough time managing more that 4-5 non-synergy searches/month and why I really push for exclusivity and all the other things to make sure I screen out which clients really have a sense of urgency and respect for the process. I also do not want to get into a scenario where I take 10 jobs then only fill 2 and think that was a good month (despite how happy my wife would be). In my opinion this would mean that I just under delivered on possibly 80% of my commitments (which means having to market for even more clients later on. I would love to learn some secrets to being able to effectively manage and deliver on more jobs (assuming one man show). I can't seem to break the 25-30 connects/day barrier and as such I am pretty stuck.

So my main question here involves how to source more effectively. With no mentors around to show me which sourcing model is the most proven and effective and would really appreciate any feedback.

I still have no idea how corporate recruiters (especially those that do not have an army of sources backing them up) can handle 20-30 reqs/month.

I have been using Linkedin quite effectively especially for some of my out of town searches where I do not have an existing close network and the rest of the time has been spent going direct into companies and getting referrals from my network. Still have been generating names off of Facebook by searching tiles and company names in "my network" but that only works for Toronto. Played around with Twitter a bit but have yet to really master it by any means. My web search skills suck and it's the kind of stuff that I enjoy the least. As such, I would love to automate it as much as possible. I do have Monster resume access but have found the stars pretty hard to find in there (although they are hard to find anywhere!).

I wonder of anyone else keeps fairly close metrics and could comment on if my numbers seem in line.

I am also looking to get some advice in terms of internet sourcing (mainly the non social network variety). Is it as critical considering there are already so many easier to screen people available on Linkedin, Facebook,etc? I have found Twitter to be a flood of info that I simply do have the patience or skill to navigate. I eventually want to delegate as much of the sourcing and recruiting as I can do a well trained team but in the meantime I would like to bill more and also have these skills more honed prior to trying train someone on them. Any suggestions on any reasonably priced sourcing training and what to look for?

I see all these things like Broadlook and Talenthook etc that are supposed to make Boolean searches and such easier. Any truth to this? Looks like some of the ATS vendors are even bundling these once individually expensive items into their core product.

Wow too much blabbing. Darn confused and looking very forward to meeting all the Recruitfest 2009 participants. For those of you have not personally met Jason and Geoff they are really quite wicked in person and really giving of their knowledge and time. I have also been really impressed with the insights and writing skills of people like Sandra and Jerry. I always believed us recruiters to be generally from the land of misfit toys. Some of these toys are really bright and informative. I have already been implementing (read stealing) many of your scripts and ideas as my own!

Mike Gionta www.therecruiteru.com has some excellent stuff for search firm owners.

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Howard Adamsky gave some excellent sourcing advice in his article "Got Cash?" over on ERE. He said:
If you do not get what you want, it is time to crawl up through the organization to higher levels. Be pleasant. Be relentless.
Read the whole article - it's wonderful medicine.
Yes, James, "too much blabbing." But only an old friend could tell you that, right?

When you find the answer share it, do.
Small world Ami. Thanks for the chat yesterday you certainly seem to be darn innovative in your space. I also appreciate you reposting my questions.

j
Hi James,

A few thoughts come to mind as I'm reading through this. First of all, you are definitely working hard and focusing on the right things. It's all about activity, when the numbers are there the placements will follow. That said your 1 to 8 ratio is a little high. Mine and a few of my colleagues tend to see more in the 1 to 4 or 1 to 5 ratio, so for every 4 or 5 sendouts (interviews) we can usually count on a fill. So, you may want to look more closely at why your number is that high, are you not screening tightly enough?

How well do you use your database? Do you put all of your data in there and go there first for all new searches? I've always been amazed at how many recruiters don't. They first jump on the internet or the boards or post the job somewhere before digging into their own data to find the gold already there. The first thing we do is search our database of current and past candidates and then shoot an email out with job description and comment to call with questions or forward along to anyone they may know. This is by far our best tool in getting great candidates, especially because in many cases it shakes loose referrals of people who are not looking and not out there on any boards.

As a one man shop, another thing to seriously consider if you are not already doing so is to partner with a few other recruiters that you know and trust to do splits. This gives you vast leverage fast. It’s how I work. As an example, I share an office with a fellow recruiter, a good friend. We each have our own separate companies. We also work virtually with other former colleagues who are now on their own either in offices or working from home. So, whenever any of us gets a new search we email it out to the group of 5 or 6 recruiters and everyone checks to see who they have and depending on their interest and time, will either dive in and recruit or at least shoot an email out after doing a search in their database. To give you an idea of how effective and lucrative this can be, I just sent a new search out two days ago to the group, they sent their emails out through their databases and I’ve received some great candidates. In addition, from her email that she sent to 2000 marketing people in her database, my colleague not only got a superb passive candidate, she also heard back from a hiring manager who needed a marketing contractor and we got three people set up yesterday and they hired one today. So, one job filled and another strong possibility for another soon.

~Pam
Hi Pam:

I really appreciate your common sense advice. Indeed I could be better at mining my existing network at least for referrals. I have been using "icontact" for my mass marketing campaigns and it's a great affordbale tool. You're right, I do need to partner with other Canadian based technology recruiters.

Are there any internet sourcing strategies that you have found to be successful if you end up not being able to turn up the right candidate from your existing DB/network?

pam claughton said:
Hi James,

A few thoughts come to mind as I'm reading through this. First of all, you are definitely working hard and focusing on the right things. It's all about activity, when the numbers are there the placements will follow. That said your 1 to 8 ratio is a little high. Mine and a few of my colleagues tend to see more in the 1 to 4 or 1 to 5 ratio, so for every 4 or 5 sendouts (interviews) we can usually count on a fill. So, you may want to look more closely at why your number is that high, are you not screening tightly enough?

How well do you use your database? Do you put all of your data in there and go there first for all new searches? I've always been amazed at how many recruiters don't. They first jump on the internet or the boards or post the job somewhere before digging into their own data to find the gold already there. The first thing we do is search our database of current and past candidates and then shoot an email out with job description and comment to call with questions or forward along to anyone they may know. This is by far our best tool in getting great candidates, especially because in many cases it shakes loose referrals of people who are not looking and not out there on any boards.

As a one man shop, another thing to seriously consider if you are not already doing so is to partner with a few other recruiters that you know and trust to do splits. This gives you vast leverage fast. It’s how I work. As an example, I share an office with a fellow recruiter, a good friend. We each have our own separate companies. We also work virtually with other former colleagues who are now on their own either in offices or working from home. So, whenever any of us gets a new search we email it out to the group of 5 or 6 recruiters and everyone checks to see who they have and depending on their interest and time, will either dive in and recruit or at least shoot an email out after doing a search in their database. To give you an idea of how effective and lucrative this can be, I just sent a new search out two days ago to the group, they sent their emails out through their databases and I’ve received some great candidates. In addition, from her email that she sent to 2000 marketing people in her database, my colleague not only got a superb passive candidate, she also heard back from a hiring manager who needed a marketing contractor and we got three people set up yesterday and they hired one today. So, one job filled and another strong possibility for another soon.

~Pam
Great detail!

I have found that with 1 part time (although quite excellent and definitely invaluable) sourcer, I am able to consistently keep my billings in the 200-225K range. I highly recommend considering doing the same. I have found that I can teach people to source more easily than I can teach people to recruit, especially if I am just expecting them to make a list of possible candidates so I can keep my time on the phones.

I will be at RecruitFest & happy to give you some pointers. Geoff Webb keeps insisting I am a Sourcing Guru, so I guess I have to embrace the title. I have a form that I created which spells out the parameters of our searches, identifies the boolean strings and places to look.

Your numbers on new marketing calls look low, so you are probably very effective at the calls you are making. I have heard numbers upwards of 100-110 to 1 for rookies this year, 6-7 is reasonable. One other thing to think about, you can shoot for 1.5 or 1.7 hires per month too, no need to double the numbers just to be safe if you really need a 20% margin of error.

With a sourcer in-house,the number of req's we can actively work on has also doubled, even though she only works 15-20 hours per week.

One other pointer, I have switched to using www.diigo.com to track our profile searching. You need to switch your settings to private, but it is an awesome way to track and share info before you have a resume.
Julia, thanks for the tip on diigo it looks interesting.

James, I use cbiz and they just added a new feature called SourceFirst that lets us search a ton of free and paid sites and to capture that info into our database. I am just starting to play around with it but it looks like it has potential. I've had good luck w/LinkedIn, JigSaw, Twitter somewhat and even Facebook.
Hi James,

I have tried all of the resume sourcing aggregators and have found InfoGist's Platinum Recruiter to be by far the most effective (I'm not affiliated in any way). You can get a free 3 day trial without talking to anyone or giving credit card info. Another extremely powerful tool is Zoominfo PowerSell. You can get a single license for 99/mo.

Here's is a free tool that allows you to search multiple sources: http://websearch.recruiting.com (no sign up required - easy to use)

All the best,
Ben Ling
You are doing all the write things but 1 to 8 is not good at all. I will not ever send 8 people to a manager so cut down how many people you submit

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