Want to Advance Sourcing? Look No Further Than Patrick Swayze and Oprah by @MatthewJLeBlanc

Jan 12, 2015
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

Now, I know what you’re thinking before you even start reading this. Oprah plus Patrick Swayze does not equal Sourcing. It’s not normally something I would look for either but bear with me for a few short minutes and I am hoping you will be jumping on the couch like Tom Cruise by the end.

Many sourcers who take their craft seriously are technically competent and able to bang out some very functional, eloquent, and sometimes beautiful search strings that can stop speeding trains, leap buildings in a single bound, and find candidates quicker than a speeding bullet. Unfortunately, in today’s recruiting environment, that’s not nearly enough.

With sourcers sometimes taking a backseat (and even a lower pay grade) to recruiters in many organizations, it’s time to channel Patrick Swayze and tell the world that no one puts sourcing (or Baby) in a corner.

So how does sourcing as a function get there? Let’s start off by reviewing where it falls short in most organizations eyes.

Many sourcers are viewed differently than recruiters:

  • because they don’t manage the hiring manager throughout the whole process (if at all)
  • because they don’t manage the candidate throughout the whole process (if at all)
  • because they don’t manage the processes in the ATS
  • because it’s difficult to quantify what sourcer do as butts in seats doesn’t always (and shouldn’t) show their true value (but that’s a conversation for another time)

To show that sourcing is a valuable part of the organization it’s time to step up the game and do things a little out of the norm.

  • Take the word ‘support’ out of your vocabulary completely. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone from the sourcing world (myself included in my early days) say that we support talent acquisition, recruiting, staffing, HR, or the organization by doing X or Y, I’d have enough money to buy SourceCon from ERE. QUIT SAYING SUPPORT! Sourcing partners with (and in many cases carries) all of the aforementioned groups to provide the impossible in terms of data, resources, and candidates. Don’t sell what sourcers do short.
  • Be on, and active on, every intake and update call. Channel your inner Oprah – get involved in the conversation. Most people outside of sourcing (yes I said sourcing as many recruiters are included as well) don’t have any idea what sourcers truly do. If you’re a sourcer, ask the questions you need answered, educate the hiring manager on what you do, paint them the picture of why a good sourcer is worth their weight in gold.
  • Take on the difficult stretch assignments and projects. You can put together a great search string and know how to talk to candidates? Great! Ever get involved in projects that impact all of talent acquisition and your organization as a whole? Why not?! If you aren’t showing everything you are capable of then no one will know your true potential and value.
  • Push to take on overflow reqs in a full life cycle capacity. Want to prove you are more than just a pretty search string? Hone old skills and grow new ones by taking on any chance you can find (within reason) to touch a role from a full life cycle perspective. For some sourcers that will be worse than listening to nails on a chalk board but no one ever said showing your true value was always easy. 

As a function sourcing has come a long way. There are conferences, certifications, publications, and groups dedicated to the craft, but there is still a lot of ground left to cover to get on equal playing field to those who run a full desk. If all sourcers were to start doing their part today, imagine how green the grass will be for those who come next.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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