The Importance of Sourcing

Sourcing is a key facet of the job for a recruiter, although some will grumble at the fact that sourcing is involved for a certain role. This task takes a great deal of work, research, understanding and cooperation with the hiring manager to ensure that the proper talent is being funneled. It takes a lot of time to be an “overnight expert” at a particular role and one that a recruiter can acquire with practice. Not all roles require sourcing, though, so it is imperative to understand the role to not misappropriate sourcing efforts for roles that do require a deeper dive.


Job Description

The job description has a great deal of sourcing information, neatly wrapped in a pretty package for the recruiter. Yet, the recruiter is not immersed in the day-to-day of this role as the hiring manager is. It is important for the recruiter to read the job description and pick out key skills the individual must have. This is a great way for the recruiter to come up with questions for the hiring manager prior to the intake/discovery call with the hiring manager as well.

When doing a “scrub” of the job description, the recruiter should pick out hard-skills that the individual must have to use as keywords in a search. Hard-skills would include:

  • Programs utilized
  • Certifications
  • Highly-specialized tasks performed (i.e. routing cables for networking)

The recruiter should keep in the back of their minds the soft-skills required for the role (i.e. team player, leadership skills, customer service skills, etc.). Those skills can be found in the screening call.


Intake/Discovery Call

            Intake/Discovery calls are a means of establishing a relationship with a new hiring manager or maintaining a relationship with a previous hiring manager. It is a way for the recruiter to introduce themselves, review the role, ask questions, explain the hiring process and establish a timeline for benchmarking progress. Intake/Discovery calls are also another means of gleaning hard-skills from the hiring manager (that may or may not be listed in the job description) to be utilized in sourcing efforts.


The Art of the Source

Once all of the available information is acquired regarding the role, the recruiter is ready to source within their available avenues. This step is where the recruiter must flex their researching skills because one cannot simply search for all of the hard-skills and expect to find their candidate. Between reading the job description and talking to the hiring manager, the recruiter must pick out one or two hard-skills that the individual must have and start their search. As the results appear, the recruiter can ebb and flex their search with more or less hard-skills to streamline their candidate results. The key is to have enough candidate results to reach out to qualified candidates but not too many that they are spending hours and hours sifting through resumes or profiles.


Soft-Reach vs. Hard-Reach

There are two ways a recruiter can reach out to a candidate: Soft-reach (email) or Hard-reach (cold-call). Both means can be effective, if utilized correctly, and their effectiveness belies on their ability to personalize. Personalization takes a little bit more time but is much more effective in getting the candidate to make the initial interest move. A simple phone call, outlining how the recruiter received the resume and an appropriate time to talk works to engage the candidate. Indeed has made it so the recruiter must engage the candidate via email FIRST before a call can be made. This is how the recruiter can retrieve the candidate’s contact information. With CareerBuilder, it’s the opposite: The candidate’s full resume is displayed so the recruiter can choose between email and call. The time and effort it takes to personalize an email can be alleviated through email templates created in either an ATS, LinkedIn or CareerBuilder.


Email Templates

Search Engine templates or Outlook signatures are a gift to a recruiter – it allows the pre-created message to be sent to the candidate with spaces to personalize (name, how the resume was found, networking, etc.) without having to rewrite the message over and over again. A recruiter can simply plug in the personalized information and send. Personalized emails are more likely to be read and replied to than generic email blasts.


And, finally, the Purple Squirrel (or Unicorn Candidate)

This is the equivalency of finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the recruiter. It’s that great candidate (either actively looking or passive talent) that has the right mix of skills, talent (both hard and soft skills) for the salary range that the hiring manager is looking for. They can be found and they are what every recruiter aspires to find in their career, hopefully many times over.

A good rule of thumb for a recruiter is to treat every candidate like they are a purple squirrel: Respond to emails and phone calls, engage their referrals and treat them with the utmost respect. In the busy world of a recruiter, such as the personalized emails, time is of the essence but a little extra time treating candidates like purple squirrels can mean much less extra time sourcing down the line for a role that they are a fit for. Don’t save ten minutes now to have to use twenty minutes later – building a network and establishing a reputation as a skilled recruiter is a great time-saver in the future.