Building A Sourcing Strategy Beyond LinkedIn

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Oct 16, 2012
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Last week, I was at the LinkedIn user conference. I can’t really knock the event: if you’re a heavy user of LinkedIn, it was a great place to be.

Being the inquisitive person I am, I asked a few of the participants I had met over two days about what would happen if they couldn’t find the people they needed on LinkedIn or if they ever decided to move away from LinkedIn, especially as a Recruiter product customer?

Now LinkedIn is generally regarded pretty widely as a great source currently. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But not everyone is there and not everyone will always be there.

So what happens when you look beyond LinkedIn? What happens if you’ve been relying heavily on it and you need to do a search beyond the people available there?

For one, you should always keep up to date on sourcing tools and techniques. At the very least, even if a certain source is working well today, it might not work well tomorrow and it definitely won’t work well for every search you’re doing.

On another note, how, when and where you search is as much a part of your organization’s talent acquisition strategy as anything else you’re putting out there. Are you willing to spend more time doing searches and add to the “time to fill” metric if it means a better end candidate? Are you willing to invest resources in continually sourcing for high need positions and making timely hires when a top candidate enter your pipeline? Can you track where your sources of hire are coming from? Can you attach selection quality on a per-source basis?

I can’t tell you the right answer because every organization is different. But for those of you I talked to about some alternative places to search, here’s a list of some great articles on how to search elsewhere:

That’s a very short list, too. If you’re a do-it-yourself sourcer, there is no shortage of great people and knowledge already published. And if you want a short cut and are willing to pony up some cash, there are some tools out there that make searches easier.

But probably what resonated most for me during the LinkedIn event was a post from Amybeth Hale last month. The part that kept ringing through my head was:

To wrap things up, you may have noticed a common trend here that started with the notion that there is no one “right” way to source – and my belief is that really understanding what your “right” way is means you must be constantly learning, practicing, and relating to those around you.

It is easy to fall into the trap of finding something that works today and going back to the well time and time again. When I talk about the value of sourcing to people who don’t know or understand the role of sourcers, I always relate it to the bigger talent acquisition puzzle. If you’re building a house but you’re sourcing subpar supplies for the work, a great architect and builder don’t mean much. The house could very well still fall down.

It’s important that you get your sourcing strategy with LinkedIn right. But once you do, don’t be static. Continue to expand your learning, practice and relationships with those around you. Most importantly, build your talent acquisition strategy around the people you need, not just the tools that you know or the ones easily at your disposal.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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