Breaking into the Sourcing Industry

There are techniques you can add to your toolbelt to find information faster, but at the core, you have to be an information seeker.

Article main image
Mar 11, 2024

Every friend group has that friend who can find out what the commotion is down the street, the name of that guy from the coffee shop, or the drama in your HOA in 20 seconds flat. If that person is you, sourcing might be a job that you would thrive in!

Sourcing in the talent acquisition space requires a desire to find information in new and creative ways. There are techniques you can add to your toolbelt to find information faster, but at the core, you have to be an information seeker.

When I started my first sourcing job, my team was playing sourcing games as a team-building activity. Everyone, including myself, set their expectations low for what I would be able to accomplish, given I had no formal sourcing training. To our surprise, I was able to get through most of the levels without any assistance or using “traditional” sourcing tactics. This was possible because I am an information seeker. I Googled my way through and found the information I needed in any way possible. I thrived on the hunt.

Years later, I can revisit those games and the methods I use to find information are different. Sometimes they are faster because I have more skills in my belt. Other times, there are multiple ways that are just as efficient—I just have a new lens now.

Sourcing is a career with unlimited opportunities to explore your passions while you further the recruiting efforts of your company. The skills and experience each sourcer brings to the role allow them to shape their sourcing strategy while utilizing their past experience to breed success.

Career Track Opportunities:

There is a common misconception in sourcing that the only career path is to become a recruiter. Sourcing is a key part of recruiting, which has historically misclassified it as a stepping stone to becoming a recruiter, however, this is not the only track. As a sourcer, you will build strong relationships with many internal stakeholders. This can easily open the door for you to pursue your passions in other areas of your company.

Sourcing itself can be a full career track if your company places value on the resource and builds out the growth plan for the role. Within sourcing you can take on an area of expertise, focus on developing processes and templates, become an expert in a certain platform, or study messaging, just to name a few of many options. Sourcing encompasses a wide range of skills. Spending the time learning and growing niche skills within sourcing can easily lead to a specialized role that will add value to your great sourcing team.

If you find that you would like to take your sourcing skills and apply them to a new role, there is a lot of crossover in recruitment marketing/employer branding, human resources, talent operations, and learning and development. As you learn the culture, the types of roles that exist, and build relationships at your company, you are creating an invaluable skillset that can transfer to other areas within your company and easily help you excel in future roles as well.

What to do When You Land the Role:

Stay Creative in Your Pursuit

If we all sourced the same way, we would be leaving so many candidates uncovered and we would constantly be stepping on each other’s toes. Sure, we can all utilize the same operators (NOT, AND, OR, etc.) but what makes you successful and unique is the creativity you bring to your search. How your mind functions when faced with gathering information will be the key to your success as a sourcer. It is important that you remember to stay creative in sourcing. You can leverage analytics and data to help you source well, but make sure the creative component doesn’t get lost.

Pursue Your Passions

Entering into the sourcing field is like drinking from a water hose. You have SO much to learn. After you feel like you have a grasp on the basics and you are seeing success from your efforts, you can start pursuing your passions as well. A career in sourcing allows you to grow your sourcing skills while also chasing your passions. For me, I love marketing. So, while I am sourcing, I am also looking for areas to incorporate what I am passionate about. That can be as basic as diving in to create messaging that aligns with our overall brand strategy and markets the company as a dream career destination. It can also look like taking on sourcing adjacent opportunities like helping with our careers website and assisting recruiters with social media. Both activities help our overall recruiting efforts and can also sometimes be included in sourcing.

I have a coworker who is great at creating processes and educating recruiters on sourcing best practices. She can chase this passion by taking what she learns through sourcing and making it easy for others to learn. She has built trust within our organization that allows her to be a subject matter expert on sourcing, talent intel, and processes.

As you grow professionally, you will figure out what your passions are and how you can tie them into sourcing. As a sourcer, you are growing great skills that will empower you to exceed in the passions you pursue.

Be in a Constant State of Learning

This tip can probably be applied to any job, industry, or role but in sourcing, this is key. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to sourcing or a 20-year professional, be in a constant state of learning. There is always more to learn. Whether it is a new platform, a new trend, a new role, or simply a new outlook, you can always grow your skills. In fact, not allowing yourself to continue learning will hinder your career and your success.

Here are some great places for continuing education in the sourcing industry:

  • Webinars – Recruiting Daily, ERE Media, HireEZ
  • SourceCon – attend the conference and read articles on their site
  • Articles – recruiting trends, sourcing tips, or industry-focused intel
    • For the accounting industry, I find Accounting Today to be extremely insightful
  • Emails – subscribing to sourcing and recruiting websites
  • LinkedIn – connect/follow industry professionals
    • Attending webinars and conferences is a great way to find professionals to connect with that you relate to
  • Networking – reach out to others in the industry

Become a subject matter expert in sourcing and the areas you are passionate about. This is a great way to add value to the team and increase your company’s recruitment efforts.

Adventure Awaits!

There is a world-wide community of sourcers who are welcoming and excited to share resources and ideas with one another! If you’re a knowledge-seeker with the desire to connect candidates to their dream career, I’m excited for you to embark on your sourcing career. I hope these resources gave you a better picture of what sourcing has to offer and how to succeed while combining your knowledge and passions!

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!