How To Build A High-Performance Sourcing Department – Part 5 Leading by Example

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Aug 23, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Sourcing requires a skill set that includes expertise in a variety of areas; such as cold calling, SEO, branding, social media and technology. Although sourcing requires this varied skill set, all too often, sourcing functions are led by recruitment or human resource professionals who lack core sourcing skills. The problem with outsiders managing a sourcing team is that they are not able to lead by example.

Leading by example is critical when managing people, as staff level will only truly respect a manager who has intimate knowledge of the subject matter. According to sourcing expert Nicole Nespeca, who has successfully lead global teams, a sourcing leader must lead by example. “In order to be a successful sourcing manager, you are only as strong as your team. If you’re unable to pitch in and do the same work as your team, you’re not a true subject matter expert,” says Nespeca.

Below you will find key suggestions for how sourcing leaders can lead by example.


Work Reqs to Alleviate Overworked Staff

There are times when sourcing staff can feel overwhelmed with work. If a sourcing leader sees their staff drowning in a high req load; it would be a good idea for that leader to roll up their sleeves and help their employees out. Not only will the employee respect their manager’s success at filling reqs; this approach can help reduce the turnover of over-worked sourcers. To quote Vince Lombardi, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”


Take One for the Team

A mistake made by some sourcing leaders is to let their staff take the blunt of a cantankerous hiring manager’s wrath. It is part of a sourcing leader’s professional responsibility to protect his/her staff from an irate manager. The sourcing leader, as an advocate for the employee, should make every attempt to be the one who deals with any complaints about sourcing performance. By being an advocate for employees, sourcing leaders will get the utmost respect from their staff.


Help Name Generate for Purple Squirrel Roles            

A sourcing leader should be an advanced-level practitioner who can and will help their team create advanced-level Boolean searches and generate names for those purple squirrel roles. By seeing their manager delve into name generation, the sourcing team will be more inspired to work hard and fill more roles.


Present a Positive Attitude to Your Staff

It’s paramount that a sourcing leader maintains a positive work environment. Having a positive attitude is contagious and when staff sees a positive manager; they will emulate that behavior. This positive vibe will lead to a more productive workplace. One way to increase positivity in the work environment is for the manager to compliment the staff on their achievements and to focus on the positive aspects of their performance rather than dwell on the negatives.

The last installment in this series will focus on Technology Evaluation in Building a High-Performance Sourcing Department.

This is part five of a six-part series on how to build a high-performance sourcing department. Part four can be found here.



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