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Apr 24, 2019
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Recruiters and sourcers are crucial for finding and attracting talented employees. A skilled recruiter/sourcer could fill an open role twice as fast as the average source, and his/her work has an impact on an organization’s overall workforce.

A skilled sourcer also brings the right knowledge into the company, and the team acts as an example for the team and pushes other team members to be better at their work. They are responsible for staying abreast of industry trends, reaching out to potential employees, and maintaining good working relationships with hiring managers.

However, hiring a sourcer can be quite tricky. When you are hiring a sourcer, you expect them to be good at their job. During the interview, you can ask questions about their sourcing knowledge, like how they create the Boolean string for a particular site, or you can ask things like “How many requisitions do you fill?”, “What was your time to fill?”, “Are you using some other source than LinkedIn?” and so on.

However, we all know that, sometimes, the answers provided in an interview do not reflect reality. If someone tells us one thing, and the truth is something completely different, we’re not going to know whether that sourcer is the person we need and can to deliver what we are expecting. For example, the question “Are you using a different source than LinkedIn?” is always answered with “Of course,” but the reality is usually different.

A few months ago, my friend was trying to hire a few sourcing freelancers. All of those who applied claimed that they had the right experience, their profile stated that they were a sourcer or recruiter, and during the interview, they had all the correct answers. However, when they finally started searching for candidates for his open roles (after a lot of preparation and initial training), they didn’t deliver.

While they were able to provide a long list of people, none of the candidates matched the requirements. After a few weeks, they were still not able to add any people that they provided to the pipeline for his roles. He invested time and money into the process, and they didn’t deliver. He hired people who were not good at sourcing, people who can’t provide candidates for the finance roles he was trying to fill. This “trial” cost him time, money and lots of effort from his side, and he didn’t get any results from it.

How can you find out if a sourcer is as good at his/her job as they claim?


You can tell that a sourcer is doing an outstanding job if you’ve heard positive things about him/her on the market. Maybe you were approached by them in person, or perhaps they are successfully stealing your people from your company. Either way, a good reputation or results let you know that he/she is doing a good job. Also, we all know the people who are doing an exceptional job in our fields. While reputation alone is not a guarantee that the person is a world-class sourcer, it is a great place to start. However, I wouldn’t solely rely only on reputation because your expectation based on their great PR could be much higher than their real skills.

Pre-screening tests

Pre-screening of these applicants via assessments can filter out unqualified candidates early on, reducing the time required of interview teams and lower the costs of your whole interview process. During my career, I have met with two types of pre-screening tests for sourcers.

The first pre-screening tests were based on an actual requisition; potential candidates were asked to present three profiles of the candidates that are matching that position. I always consider that type of analysis to be a scam. If you have ten candidates and they all provide three profiles, you get thirty potential candidates and hire only one sourcer.

So, not only does the company trick other potential candidates, but they also get resumes for free from them. I hope that thanks to GDPR this pre-screening test is history because it was a horrible way to test sourcers.

The second type of pre-screening test is based on gamification. Gamification is an innovative approach to engaging the right talent. I am a big fan of gamification because if it is correctly implemented, gamification has enormous potential because it works by encouraging talent to engage in game-like behaviors and situations in non-game applications and scenarios. These game elements will keep candidates more engaged and make the whole recruitment process more fun, exciting and creative.

As a big fan and advocate for gamification, I believe that using gamification in recruitment could help improve results when hiring for a role. This type of pre-screening test ensures that you’re hiring successfully by preselecting candidates based on their actual skills and knowledge, not just on the answers they give you in the interview or on the three profiles they deliver (the first type of pre-screening test).

One example of Gamification

This tool helps companies decide whether their candidates have the right knowledge and if they can meet the requirements for their roles. They can also track their progress and see what levels they can pass, which is an indication that they know what they are doing.

I created SourcingTest.Online as a platform not only for sourcing hackathons but also for testing candidates and as a learning platform for internal teams. This application adds fun to your recruitment process; your candidates will try to overcome the challenges that you prepare for them and, for you, it is an easy way to test their sourcing techniques.

The overall selection process will be less stressful for them, and it also encourages a competitive attitude between applicants. You will save time on interviews with your candidates and see how quickly they can solve each task, how many attempts they had and much more. SourcingTest.Online is also designed in that way that will show you when people are trying to cheat to solve your tasks.

Not only can you create your challenge, but you can also choose to keep it private, share only with those you know, or to publish it to the whole community. This solution is also perfect for your internal and external hackathons. You can quickly test your current team through hackathons and see how fast they can solve your tasks. Alternatively, you can prepare external hackathons and attract new candidates.

Adding gamification to training is another aspect that should not be overlooked. Not only does it help people to learn better, but it also helps them to acquire and retain more because they are encouraged to expand their knowledge. Whether you are training your team in-house or sending them to external training, it is important to test what experience they have learned—and the results that recruitment agencies and companies have been getting by using SourcingTest.Online speak for themselves!


Gamification elements are also quite handy when you are working as a sourcing trainer, especially if you are looking to add gamification elements to your training or to test the knowledge of those who attend your courses. Tests with gamification elements are the best way to test attendees a week after the training or even after some time. It’s also a great way how to find out what people really learned and what they have already forgotten. Not only you can test the knowledge of your course attendees, but you can see when they fail and how long it takes them to overcome the tasks you have set.

Gamification has significant potential, and it could be easily used for testing the knowledge of the sourcers and recruiters but, in my opinion, its real power lies in implementing it into training. Gamification elements should not be overlooked! 


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