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Dec 4, 2018
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Disruption can either make or break a process, a company, or even an entire industry. It can be little or small. However, the impact can be felt wide and far. Depending on what the disruption is and what the cause was will ultimately change the effect.

As a sourcer, one can be at the heart of disrupting a process, a company, or even an entire industry. I think of this as the ripple effect from throwing a stone into a peaceful pond. If you skip it, the ripples will be in a linear progression with different points along the way of the water rippling out. If you load up and throw the rock directly into the water, the ripple will awaken the water with a massive ripple. If you were to take many stones of different shapes and sizes, launch them into the air, upon entry into the water with no set agenda, you would have an abundance of ripples. Think of the rock as a process, a tool, a company, or even an industry. The motion behind the foundation is the sourcer at heart, and the water is those who are affected by the inertia of disruption.

Shout out to SourceCon as being one of the leading disruption mediums in the industry. With knowledge being shared hundreds of times a day through online or in person interactions, they give sourcers the platforms to start the wind-up and get ready to toss those rocks.

A sourcer can genuinely impact how a company hires, attracts, and retains there talent with using various methods and tools as well as developing strategies along the way. In doing so, they can disrupt hiring trends, attrition rates, and even disrupt department budgets. With all of this momentum, a sourcer can bring many companies are looking to build out internal sourcing teams due to this value.

Disrupting the Norm

Many companies still live by the “post and pray” method. They believe their “brand” is so desirable that they only need to post a job opening which will be the beginning of a chain of events and miraculously a candidate will then become an employee. Sometimes this is the case; however, if talent acquisition were always this easy, we would all be out of jobs. With unemployment rates at an all-time low, the job market has never been more competitive. Strong qualified candidates are being hunted more than ever, and a sourcer is at the front line. With this competitive market for skilled talent, sourcers need to be ready for the hunt.

Being able to be brought in on intake meetings and set proper expectations is the start of the wind-up. Being able to give insight from experience with specific skill sets and talent pools in various locations will help set the proper alignment going forward. The first ripple effect of disruption is setting a course of action to the managers need. Being able to indicate what the course of action would be that will occur once sourcing begins is helpful because this will allow you to manage the ripple better. Being able to bring pre sourced profiles or analytics from various sourcing tools to showcase talent insights would further increase the effect of the ripple with the manager.

Most companies hiring cycles can be bogged down with process and time constraints. Being able to speed up in as many areas as possible, while still being compliant, helps allow you to be competitive in the marketplace and a desirable place to work, as it will allow for a quicker and hopefully a smoother overall onboard process.

This can be a great thing, however, depending on the team size it could also be a curse in the making. Once you disrupt the hiring trends with one manager and have great success, this will quickly spread to that department as well as, and other departments. Before you know it, managers will be reaching out to you, asking if you can source a role before speaking with the recruiter.

Disrupting Beyond Talent Acquisition

A sourcer is aligned with talent acquisition, however, the same principles for sourcing a candidate can be applied to sourcing and researching other various information for the business. This starts by piecing together the puzzle for project-based hiring. You may not be enlightened with the full “strategy” behind the project or other projects that would coexist with this one, however being curious and having a research background, makes it easier to piece together the puzzle.

In doing so, a sourcer can then go further outside of talent acquisition and disrupt other lines of business by identifying various strategic avenues within the company, or look at competitors in the industry and see if they are doing something similar to then capture their talent or go-to-market prior. Being fully immersed in “the weeds,” a sourcer can piece together these puzzles quicker than a manager who is focused on their internal projects, rather than what a competitor may be doing in the market.

This is where those fantastic sourcing tools, alerts, spreadsheets, and aggregators can be handy. Recently, I have made the transition from a talent sourcer to a brand momentum engineer. This role was created specifically to manage our brand momentum and be able to gather information from the industry to better align our external brand story. This is full disruption beyond TA and across the business, however, stemmed from being able to piece together the puzzle and make those aware of what was happening externally.

In The End

No matter how big or small those ripples are, keep doing what you’re doing. You are indeed changing the way manager’s partner with talent acquisition and make strategic business decisions. Managers always want that hire yesterday rather than today. This is something that will never change; however, when you look at the big picture, you can throw rocks and have organized ripples across the organization. Organized chaos is still chaos. However, it is much more acceptable when you’re able to communicate each detail within the chaotic ripple effect effectively.

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