When sourcing seems to be the problem yet isn’t the solution

Countless times recruiters tell me they need better and/or more ways to source candidates. This understandably seems to be the solution when: 

  • Searches have been open for a long time, and everyone is unhappy with how things are going
  • The hiring manager rejects candidates the recruiter thinks fit the requirements
  • Changes are made to title, requirements, and/or duties in an attempt to attract qualified candidates without any input from the recruiter
  • The recruiter is sending many Linkedin Inmails with very low response
  • If you could , you would admit you aren’t really sure what the position does and/or what the hiring manager is looking for.

So it’s very natural for everyone to think it’s a matter of putting more emphasis on sourcing. Everyone being the hiring manager, the recruiter and the recruiter’s manager. So the pressure is on for you to do more of what isn’t working. 

And of course in one way it would be great if “sourcing” was the answer, because the answer I’m suggesting is a lot harder to do. We need to go back to the foundational pieces of a successful search. 

To start at the right place to get the search back on track:

  1. Have the launch meeting/call with the hiring manager. Call it a mid-course correction or the “I have a few questions so we can more closely target candidates” conversation. No need to throw anyone under the bus here, including you. 
  2. Make sure you ask the questions you have without apology or feeling stupid for having them. NOTE: I’ve been recruiting for more years than I want to see in writing and absolutely have never seen a job description that gave me the information I needed to do a quality search.
  3. Rewrite the posting. See articles on how to do that: http://TamingTheWildHiringManager.com
  4. Rewrite your Inmail message with a subject line that your ideal candidates cannot resist and a link to the new engaging posting 

Only after these steps, can you determine what sourcing changes you need, if any.

Views: 688

Comment by Ryan Leary on October 2, 2012 at 9:01am

Great points here. Too often recruiters jump to sourcing as the issue without looking at the whole picture. Great posting. Thanks.

Comment by katherine moody on October 2, 2012 at 9:21am

Than you, Ryan. Yes recruiters often have to conclude it's their sourcing that is the problem. I've found hiring managers and recruiting management often leap to that conclusion as well.

Comment by Edward Nau on October 3, 2012 at 1:16pm

Good stuff here Katherine. We need to have candid communication with the hiring manager to be constantly qualifying the need so when talking with candidates, we can make sure they are qualified. 

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