20 Rules For Radical Recruiting & Sourcing Success – “Herman’s Laws”

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Oct 13, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Those that attended my September 8th webinar – Sourcing Like A Salesperson or attended the roundtable discussion I led on Friday, September 22nd at the SourceCon Fall Conference in Anaheim, know that I am a firm advocate for sourcers to keep a journal to track all of their thoughts, ideas, and activity. I try as much as possible to practice what I preach, and write in my daily journal all of my sourcing activity, conversation notes, and any great ideas that pop into my head.

Today, I would like to share a post that is over two and a half years in the making and comes from real life sourcing successes and challenges. A good sourcer/recruiter (I use the words interchangeably) has developed a good recruiting philosophy that governs the way he performs his craft in order to achieve success. Over time, in my journal, I started to write down a list of “rules to live by” in order for me to hold myself accountable to achieve sourcing success. Below are my twenty favorites. I welcome, thoughts, feedback, and suggestions. I am always looking to improve myself from the collective wisdom of the SourceCon community as well as try to be helpful to my fellow sourcers whenever I can. I hope you enjoy them.

  1. “A” players are always “A” players. Don’t measure their present match for the job. Measure their ability to achieve success on the job.
  2. For recruiters looking to “source like a salesperson,” remember that our jobs are not the product, career advancement is what sourcers are in the business of selling. Job advertisements are the “bait” to engage top talent w. your employer brand.
  3. Smart recruiters are active/passive agnostic when measuring candidate quality.
  4. Hire for innate skills and relevant achievements, not experience. Innate skills and track record of success beat years of experience applying poor skills and lacking on the job success.
  5. Candidate Experience Is Paramount. Be an ACE Recruiter – Always Candidate Experience- is your credo throughout the recruitment process.
  6. Exploding job offers are a great way to blow-up your employer brand and good will with top prospective candidates. Don’t do it!
  7. Commitment to the recruitment process and procedures versus commitment to successful outcomes will always result in sub-optimal recruitment results for your employer(s).
  8. Never let your war for talent become a war on talent!
  9. Always keep the human in human capital. Be a human being. Not a message delivered, processor, or administrator.
  10. Remember, we are in the people business! You can’t sell anyone if you don’t love everyone!
  11. It takes two to tango for recruitment success. Good recruiters partner with the business for sourcing success. Similarly, good business leaders don’t delegate recruitment to talent acquisition, they partner with talent acquisition.
  12. Remember, you are hiring a person, not a resume.
  13. Resumes are words, not reality. Always get the story behind the words.
  14. Get rid of the dead candidates (i.e. those that are no longer in the running and/or you know won’t be the hired candidate), they stink up your candidate experience and employer brand if you keep them in the dark. Shoot it to them straight, shoot it to them timely, and shoot it to them often as people always want feedback and updates throughout the process. This approach will enhance rather than drag down your employer brand.
  15. Job descriptions are dull. Job achievement descriptions are awesome! Understand and embrace the difference.
  16. Never be a “throw the candidates against a wall and see what sticks” recruiter. However, if you continually throw ‘A’ players at hiring managers, they will stick.
  17. Purple squirrels don’t exist. Never claim to be able to find something that does not exist. However, good recruiters know how to find “A+ squirrels” and squeezing every ounce of skill, positive attitude, and high potential out of them  until they turn purple.
  18. Horsing around with A+ candidates at the final stages of the recruitment process is a great way to turn your dream candidate pipelines into nightMAREs.
  19. ABS – Always be sourcing. Always be thinking in terms of sourcing pools of top talent not sourcing only for your existing requisitions. Top candidates will eventually be a fit for your requisitions and/or a requisition can be created in order to bring top talent on board.
  20. There is no such thing as recruiting or sourcing failure. You either achieved the outcome you wanted or got the experience you needed in order to achieve future sourcing successes.
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.