What is Sourcing? SourceCon Weighs In

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Jan 8, 2014
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

What is sourcing? This is an important question that the talent acquisition community has been wrestling with in recent years. Glen Cathey, author of, wrote the latest post on the subject this week. In the post, Glen proposes a universal definition of sourcing:

The proactive identification, engagement and assessment of talent focusing solely on non-applicants (typically passive talent) with the end goal of producing qualified, interested and available candidates. – Glen Cathey

When I joined SourceCon in May, this was a question I too was wrestling with. In my previous roles as a sourcer, recruiter, and sourcing manager, I had always been tasked with presenting qualified, interested, and available candidates. The leadership teams I reported to weren’t interested in how large of a list I could build. They were interested in me presenting the right 2-3 people for each requisition.

To explore the situation further, we developed and conducted an online survey of sourcing and recruiting professionals. The results of the survey validated my previous thoughts about candidate engagement. 79% of the survey respondents who held the title of sourcer were responsible for presenting qualified, interested, and available candidates.

Why was this so important to me? As a conference organizer serving recruiters and sourcers, I had some important decisions to make. Most importantly, would future SourceCon agenda’s focus exclusively on candidate identification? Or, would we focus on helping our attendees improve their skills and knowledge of candidate identification and candidate engagement?

We chose to expand the definition of sourcing. The SourceCon Spring agenda includes several general sessions and a lab session which focus on making the transition from candidate identification to candidate engagement. A few of the candidate engagement focused sessions include:

Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of sourcing hacks shared! We just want to make sure we include how to move beyond identification to engagement, which is the metric most of our attendees are measured by.

Do you support the expanded definition of sourcing?

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