What Sourcing IS and is NOT: A Holistic View

What is the role of a sourcer? What does a good one look like? How do you measure “good”?

If you are a sourcing leader, these are questions you surely ask yourself if not daily, then on a weekly basis. But if you are an in-the-trenches sourcing practitioner, you should be asking yourself these questions as well. After all, you are in charge of your own career path, and knowing what good – no, excellent – looks like in your field is important if you want to continuously improve yourself.

At SourceCon in Atlanta, Adam Lawrence shared some eye-opening information about what sourcing is, and what it is not. These two lists are not exhaustive, but the information will help you to determine if you are allocating your time appropriately. For managers, consider these items a checklist of making sure your sourcers’ function is not being misused – by recruiters or by themselves. Being able to identify the specific responsibilities of sourcing will help you view it with a more comprehensive lens as to the importance of the function – not just within the recruiting organization, but throughout your whole company.

YesWhat sourcing IS:

  • External candidate focus
  • Passive candidate identification
  • Talent pooling (build and manage)
  • Specialist knowledge of industry and associated skills, nomenclature, and competition
  • Possess tools and capability to locate and engage talent
  • Identifying/vetting/training on tools and technology – including job boards, social networks, and search tools for individual and team use
  • Sell the client brand and engage with candidates
  • Build and execute a sourcing strategy
  • Understand and contextualize requisition and candidate’s job qualifications
  • Candidate management – expectation management
  • Brand champion – brand custodian

NoWhat sourcing IS NOT:

  • Interview scheduling / Admin
  • Responding to email queries
  • Dealing with internal candidates
  • Preparing reports and analysis
  • Response management (job posting or career site)
  • “Post and Pray”
  • “Faceless”
  • Competency-based
  • Doing recruiters’ admin and interviews
  • An optional resource
  • Managing agency candidates

Many of the items on the NOT list are things that can be part of a sourcer’s function, but should not be the main focus. Yet both lists are a great starting place for identifying areas of change – what ARE you doing (and doing well), what are you NOT doing? How do you think you can change the perception of sourcing within your organization? How can you and your team start approaching sourcing more holistically?

Then ask yourself this: how can you begin to implement these changes throughout your organization to develop a more streamlined, and productive, sourcing function?

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