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The Sourcing Function

3 Profiles to Consider When Hiring a New Sourcer


4 Comments

Computer user

Hiring a good sourcer is difficult. Identifying new sourcers who do not have experience in the recruiting function is even more difficult. If you’re trying to grow your sourcing team, consider targeting these professional backgrounds:

Skiptracers –  Skiptracers are experts at finding people. They usually work for debt collectors or bail bonds companies who are trying to track down individuals who owe money. Per Wikipedia, skiptracing “is performed by collecting as much information as possible about the subject. The information is then analyzed, reduced, and verified. Sometimes the subjects’ current whereabouts are in the data, but are obfuscated by the sheer amount of information or disinformation. Often, the job becomes more than mere research since one must often employ methods of social engineering, which involves calling or visiting former neighbors, or other known contacts, to ask about the subject …”

Librarians – Library and information scientists are trained to manage databases. A recent graduate from a library science program knows how internet databases are structured and has a deep understanding of how to find and organize information. In fact, one of the goals of the Masters of Library and Information Science program at the University of North Texas is to educate students about “the design and implementation of conceptual and technological systems and services to facilitate the discovery, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, dissemination, management, and use of recordable information and knowledge in any format for effective access.” That sounds like a great sourcer to me :).

Coders – Coders understand how the internet works. They are able to look at a website and determine how it is structured. They can typically create tools to take advantage of a website’s vulnerabilities (legally of course) and can utilize APIs to access new information. For an example of how a sourcer with coding skills can access more information on the web than other sourcers, read how Matt Ferree can find almost any Gituhub users email address, and how Jan Bernhart figured out how to see third degree profiles on LinkedIn for free (shortly after we made this video LinkedIn fixed this vulnerability). As an added bonus for those of you recruiting technology candidates, coders come with “street cred” because they have a deeper understanding of technology.

In your experience, what other career fields make for an easy transition into a sourcing role?

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Jeremy Roberts, SPHR, is the editor and director of SourceCon, and the moderator of SourceCon.QA, a question and answer site for sourcing and recruiting professionals. Prior to joining the ERE Media team, he spent over a decade working as a recruiter, sourcer, and sourcing manager. Find him on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  • Sarang Brahme

    I started my career with SEO field and transitioned into sourcer. It helped me as I was very well aware of search engines, searching techniques, keywords.

  • Liz

    Or hire a recent college grad (researcher) that grew up in the internet boom and had to learn how to “Facebook stalk” (skiptracer) and code HTML to design their MySpace (coder).

  • Dan Piontkowski

    Sounds corny and cliché, but enlisted recruiters from the military. They will tend to perform better in a sourcing role than a recruiting role, because they are hunters. With their daily grind as an enlisted recruiter, they are sifting through 100′s if not 1000s of names and profiles to find the small number that can fit the “profile” of who they need each month. Very high paced activity in tapping their network, and always growing their network. Their ‘job’ is to hold and manage a huge network, and be able to quickly sift through it time and time again to find the ones that fit their requirements. They are not afraid to put their name out there and let people know who they are, they become a magnet and people come to them, vice always having to reach out and start from scratch. Additionally, they know how to work their network and know how to create relationships with gatekeepers and centers of influence to reach larger populations and put them to work, looking for them.

  • http://www.recruiting-online.com/ Glenn Gutmacher

    I think Dan is on the right track here, but I wouldn’t limit to military *recruiters* – the folks who do all the behind-the-scenes datamining (think analysis of mobile phone calling patterns, thanks to the Patriot Act) would be fab. Unfortunately, anyone sharp enough to create algorithms for that is probably too pricey for a standard sourcer/researcher job, but maybe the folks who are still involved but 1-2 levels down from that might get tired of federal government work and want to try the corporate or agency recruiting environment?