Sourcing: More Important Now Than Ever Before?

Mar 10, 2009

2009 will go down as a year of change. How this recession has dramatically affected how we do everything. This recession’s impact on the recruiting industry is significant. We have already seen dramatic changes in how people go about finding jobs and also how businesses go about filling open positions. That is why, in this market, everyone involved in the recruitment process has to become a “sourcer.” From the candidate finding him or herself in the job market for the first time in a while to the company with open opportunities, the ability to use new tools and technologies will determine whether candidates and businesses alike will sink or swim.

One myth currently circulating is that sourcing should be faster and easier than ever before because there is an abundance of human resource supply (i.e., candidates looking for jobs). This is not the case. Even though there is a tremendous amount of great talent available today in the market, it is still a sourcing challenge for businesses to find the right person for the open position. In the current market, businesses who normally take less than 30 days to fill a role are taking up to 50 days because they want to find not just the right hire… they want the perfect hire. And there are so many more candidates to choose from.

With the supply of talent being larger now than it has been in many, many years, both candidates and businesses need to leverage sourcing tools to promote themselves within the marketplace. I believe that the best tools to utilize, in addition to leveraging your network, are tools using social media technologies. They come in many forms and flavors, but my favorites are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. For businesses and candidates to be successful they need to learn about one another, see how each other work and gain knowledge regarding what their goals are to see if there is a potential fit.

My success as a recruiter comes from consistently matching the right candidates with the right opportunities. This is done by truly understanding the candidates’ and the companies’ wants and needs. By leveraging the tools mentioned above, I learn more about the candidates that I am looking to hire, understand what they are really looking for, and leverage that knowledge to ensure that their career goals match the position and hiring company.

From the candidate’s point of view, leveraging LinkedIn, for example, and researching a company enables them to see who within their network might work at the company, and leveraging these relationships for the right introduction. In addition, e-mails from within a social media site are not considered spam because they are coming from a credible source, so these tools are great to use for introductions to new contacts. When I am reaching out to a new candidate or client, I have had great success leveraging LinkedIn’s in-mails as well as the “Chat” feature found in Facebook.

As a hiring manager, what I love about these social media sites is that it expands my ability to connect with people that I would normally not have had access to, and allows me to engage with candidates faster and on a more informal basis, making the recruiting process less intimidating and, very importantly, building trust. It allows me to be heard within the marketplace in a more personal way.

Hiring managers and recruiters need to ensure that they are using these tools to their advantage. Don’t just look for candidates; promote the open opportunities you have. Consider the over 185 million users of Facebook and how much time they spend on that site. Hiring companies are missing a big opportunity to market to that forum if they are not creating a company profile page and also using their social media network to help promote their open opportunities.

Do not be fooled by the abundance of supply. Sourcing continues to be a time consuming, yet vital, part of the hiring process. Leverage all the tools available to you from technology to increase your odds of finding that perfect hire.

chernee-vitello-photoChernee Vitello, president and founder of Whiting Consulting, has more than 14 years of experience in sales and recruiting for high-tech companies. She has managed in-house recruiting teams for high-tech organizations including enterprise software companies and IT professional services organizations. As both a staff recruiter and an outsourced consultant, she helped numerous technology companies meet their aggressive hiring goals in periods of rapid growth and high competition for top candidates. She has consistently won awards for exceeding recruiting goals.

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