Originally posted on my blog "Let's Talk Recruiting" (www.letstalkrecruiting.wordpress.com).

I am entering my 17th year in recruiting and it still amazes me to hear how corporate recruiters will not utilize the sources that are most readily available to them but only focus on new or trendy sources. In addition, over the years I have read articles about best sources, and how if I didn't use a certain source before everyone else then it would be no good once it "caught on", or that the type of candidate I found could be sub par based on the source. I always wondered why would these "experts" put out there that direct applicants, job board candidates or career fair attendees are somehow not worth a recruiter's time? How you find the candidate doesn't matter, use the most cost-effective and efficient sources possible to identify, or attract candidates to your opportunities. If I find a slate of highly qualified candidates that were direct applicants then I do not need the other tools in my arsenal.

My experience working for agencies, small companies and very large firms has provided me the opportunity to source for candidates with little to no tools to access to every available tool. For example, several years ago I was on a contract recruiting assignment with a well branded employer and I never searched the major job boards, internet, or went outside of the company database to find candidates. I didn’t need to. I had been on the assignment about a month when one of the hiring clients told me that she had never seen such high quality candidates and was curious where I found them. When I responded that they were found in the company database and more specifically direct applicants, she blushed, stammered and then said she didn’t understand. This is made more interesting because the client was previously supported by a highly regarded recruiter within the company. I learned that this “high potential” recruiter never looked at direct applicants and had extended the process by only going to non-traditional sources. I don’t know why they took this approach but my guess is that they followed the advice of all those articles.

Why complicate the process by ignoring those sources that are right there for you? Is it to try to impress people you only find candidates through “creative” sources? Or is it a fear that you are not a recruiter if you submit a candidate from the non-sexy sources? Guess what – your clients don’t care about the source they just want quality candidates that have the skills, experience and fit. Our job is to methodically go through the sources available to identify a slate of candidates for our clients in an effective and efficient manner. By methodically I mean start with your easy hit sources (company database), then move on to your more involved sources (job board database or LinkedIn) and finally the sources that take time to search or develop (internet searches, networking events).

I don't care if I find a candidate that is a fit for the role if they applied to our posting, were buried deep in my ATS, I met them at a career fair, is an employee referral, found through intricate Boolean searches (speaking of check out @BooleanBlackBlt’s similar post <a href="http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2009/04/dont-be-a-sourcing-snob/http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2009/04/dont-be-a-sourcing-snob/">http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2009/04/dont-be-a-sourcing-snob/</a>) or through sites like LinkedIn or Twitter. I don't care what source - I only care if the candidate has the skills, experience and is a fit for the role. The only “experts” I need to hear from are my hiring clients stating that the slate I brought them was the best, or they wish they could hire them all.

Oh and in some cases we will run a print ad in some markets because based on prior experience that is the only way to draw out candidates to our opportunity. According to the experts we shouldn’t because quality candidates do not reply to print ads – yeah right.

I welcome your thoughts or comments.

Views: 91

Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on March 3, 2010 at 2:46pm
Hear, hear! I completely and totally agree with your post. Nice!
Comment by Alisa Tazioli on March 3, 2010 at 3:43pm
Great post! I have always been of the belief that a great candidate can come from anywhere. It is silly to go looking for a pool or use a sourcing tool just because it is the next vogue thing. Look broadly, yes, and proactive outreach to passive candidates should always be part of a comprehensive strategy. But sometimes rock stars are looking, and just because they come to you (direct applicants) or are easily found (Monster, et al) doesn't make them less capable or the wrong candidate. Creative sources are certainly appropriate in a number of situations, but not at the expense of more established methods.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 3, 2010 at 4:12pm
You are totally correct. Thanks for putting common sense in black and white. All of this passive vs active candidate garbage is just that. If it fits, it fits. Even if you found it under a bridge digging for fishing worms.
Comment by Saleem Qureshi on March 4, 2010 at 1:00am
@Mark
Fantastic one!! I totally agree with your viewpoints. Recruiters are only focusing to find candidates through new ways rather than focusing to gauge skills, knowledge and experience of a candidate that really fits into a job or not..I think the most effective and efficient way is to find candidates from ATS and use pre-online testing to assess them to further proceed for the next stage.
Comment by Aaron Neale on March 4, 2010 at 11:37am
I see what your saying and agree to an extent but...

Any recruiter who only uses social media for example to recruit is just as bad as somebody who only uses job boards - granted. But clients deserve the best candidates that the industry has to offer, not just the best that the job boards, social media etc has to offer. Every requirement should be worked the same, including boards, database, social media, networking etc, irrespective of how good the candidates are that you already have in the clients inbox.

My point is, there is always a better candidate, so I don't agree that, just because you found a bunch of great candidates on your database that you shouldn't use the job boards or social media, because if one of your competitors does and they find a better candidate, he wins and you lose, no matter how pretty the candidates are from your database.

There is no reason to believe that passive candidates are better than active candidates....but at the same time, vice versa. You should always cover every angle and not just rest on the first 3 CV's/Resume's that you have sent, just because the client likes them.

Aaron
Comment by Laurie Bell on March 4, 2010 at 11:39am
Amen to that! That goes right in line with some folks saying they only want passive candidates.
Comment by Mark Sullivan on March 5, 2010 at 12:12pm
Thank you all for the comments and being my first post on Recruitigblogs it was a good welcoming party.

Aaron and Brian - we are saying the same thing and are in agreement. My post was about being methodical in our approach and start with the easy hit sources that you know are going to produce quality candidates and then move through your sourcing strategy. In my example I was able to find quality candidates without having to go outside the company database. But when I worked for small start-ups the company database was limited so after reviewing it I would then go to my other sources. I have witnessed too often corporate recruiters jumping straight to the latest trends and extending the process unnecessarily when top quality candidates were sitting in the easily accessible source pools.

Great stuff everyone - I look forward to posting in the future and engaging in conversation.

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