I just learned what BIG results I can get from just a little sourcing!

The bulk of the “executive searching” that I do is for actuaries. I have a database of just about all the actuaries in the U.S. and Canada, so the sourcing I do for these projects is typically just slicing and dicing my database. I search LinkedIN and run a few Google searches for each new search. But honestly, I typically turn to sourcing when I need a break from the monotony of leaving hundreds of voicemails. I have accepted that searching for the right actuary is like searching for a needle in a haystack. I already have tons of names and contact info and lots of notes on prior conversations. I just need to TALK to them, so I find it hard to justify spending time sourcing when I should be on the phone talking.

Well, not anymore! I am a convert! Yesterday, my FIRST call on this new search yielded 6 referrals - yes - I said 6! And that was because in my quest to learn more about hedging programs, I did a little Googling. Okay, to be honest - I wasn’t totally comfortable with my pitch on the position so I was procrastinating by “researching“.

I found a presentation on line that my first potential candidate had done, so I mentioned it in my message to him. He called me back in less than an hour!!! Unless you have recruited actuaries, you might think this is not a big deal. Trust me, this is like getting George Clooney to call you back. And then to get 6 referrals? Amazing!

It doesn’t end there. Today I called two of the referrals from my first candidate, but I Googled them and looked them up on LinkedIn first. I found out that they had done similar presentations on hedging. So, I mentioned that as well as the fact that they had been referred to me, in the messages that I left for them. One of them returned my call in less than 5 minutes!

It gets even better! Since I was having so much luck sourcing prior to calling, I looked at the “Viewers of this profile have also viewed” section on LinkedIN for the candidate I had just called. I found someone else with an ideal title, who is an actuary and was NOT on the list I had created using my trusty database. I called him and he is IDEAL!

I have to admit, when I wrote a recent article for The Source Newsletter , titled “Is Sourcing the Silver Bullet of Recruting?” my position was that sourcing may be great, but it’s just a part of recruiting. I love to learn about the latest and greatest tools just like everyone else, but I used to see these sourcing tools as a luxury that I could not always afford to spend time on. Don’t get me wrong - I believe good sourcing tools and skills are essential to a recruiter’s success, and I have trained many recruiters on how to use these tools. I guess I was just taking a “do as I say, not as I do” approach because I was not fullly utilizing sourcing in my own searches.

I now believe that even if you have a great list of names, and even if you have spoken to those people in the past, you can still get BIG results by spending a few moments researching your key potential candidates to learn just a little bit more about them!

Views: 76

Comment by Maureen Sharib on January 23, 2009 at 11:37am
Excellent lesson!
Comment by Cathy McCullough on January 23, 2009 at 11:44am
Thanks Maureen. I was actually thinking of you when I wrote up this "lesson" because you are THE sourcing advocate.
Comment by Dave Graziano on January 23, 2009 at 1:00pm
This is excellent!
Comment by Julie Deane on January 23, 2009 at 9:52pm
Thanks so much for sharing!
Comment by Amitai Givertz on January 25, 2009 at 10:22pm
Great post, Cathey. Call me tomorrow morning, can you? I have a present for you.
Comment by Glenn Gutmacher on March 9, 2009 at 9:22am
Yep, it's amazing what can happen when you do a little online prep before your callouts!

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