Recently there was a thread on Facebook title “the Role of Sourcing in Recruiting”. The crux by an unnamed author was “I did a training day with my staff on sourcing. After just 1 day, we could all do it equally well. That's says a lot about what it takes to be a great recruiter. Sourcing only equates to about 5-10% of the skills required.” Needless to say I vehemently disagreed, and thought perhaps I should write about it as it appears some have no clue.
Now I am not sure if it was arrogance or ignorance that made this person come to this woefully wrong conclusion, maybe a bit of both. However first lets truly identify what sourcing entails. To truly be considered great at sourcing you have to be part Lawyer, part PM, part Researcher, part Hacker, part Programmer, part Detective, part R&D and so much more.
Lets break it down starting from the beginning.
Part Researcher-you need to do some preliminary research before you meet with your hiring manager(HM) or recruiter so you at least have some base knowledge.
Part Lawyer-you need to know what questions to ask your HM or recruiter to ensure you get everything you need.
Part PM-simple you need to manage your HM or recruiter to ensure they are doing what they need to do, utilizing their network etc.
Part Researcher-that’s right again, now that you have all the info you need to do more research to create the best sourcing plan, what strings, what sites, locations etc.
Part Hacker-sometimes there will be sites or information that you cannot easily get at and you need to find a work around or hack to get in. Technically x-raying is a hack, but it goes way beyond that.
Part Programmer-well first lets remember Boolean is a scripting language so by definition if you use Boolean your are programming, however beyond that being able to program opens up a world of new tools, trick and things that can help you, being able to create searchlets, scrape sites, examine urls and source code for information and so much more.
Part Detective- the ability to sift out the clues and follow the trail to create as complete a picture as possible on a candidate.
Part R&D-that’s right research and development a great sourcer or recruiter will always be on the lookout for, find and test and even help create tools, find tricks that help them and others source.
Lets remember I am not even discussing the contacting and screening of candidates something a lot of sources do and certainly all recruiters.
That’s a lot and there is more. For instance how deep was their teaching in Boolean? Did they only learn the basics, did they learn advance things like zip code ranges, finding word docs, searching patents, authors, user groups, blogs, etc using Boolean? Did they learn semantic search or natural language. Do they know how to apply it? Did they learn how to x-ray, how to peel back, how to manipulate URLs to get more info beyond peeling back how to read-identify and gleam information from ULRs and source code ( see my blog on USCM)? How to find contact info when none is there? How to utilize all the many many tools out there? How to do diversity or international sourcing? What sites to use for what? I can go on and on.
In the end here is the deal, the GODS of recruiting and sourcing, Shally Steckerl, Glenn Gutmachers, Glen Catheys, Jim Strouds of the worlds would never say they know everything or took 1 day and became great recruiters or sourcers. Given new tools, tips and tricks are discovered everyday it would be impossible. To do so is the height of both arrogance and ignorance period.