At A-Players Recruiting where I work; a talent sourcer is a key contributor to the hiring process who is directly involved in the search. They treat sourcing as seriously as recruiting and get the best results by combining these two positions on the team.
Talent acquisition is at the top of the recruiting hurdles that companies of all sizes are facing. And most companies are coming up with new perks to attract vacant talent. Flexible schedule, healthcare, wellness program, insurance, stock options, child care assistance – the list of employee perks becomes endless. But does it really help to attract the best candidates with fewer efforts? Practically, it is wiser to have ongoing relationships with the best performers and catch them right before they leave their jobs.
While only 36 percent of all the talent is actively looking for new opportunities, a surprising 90 percent is willing to learn more about them while having a stable job.
And that’s exactly why you hire a talent sourcer to your recruiting team.
Sourcing roles are typically unfairly undervalued as a profession. But skilled sourcers bring to a recruiting team knowledge of the market, updated talent availability, and compensation trends. They are well aware of the typical experience of the talent needed and can create a relevant, detailed candidate’s persona. An excellent talent sourcer possesses writing skills in order to turn corporate culture and values into an employee value proposition and communicate it within one email.
Wait, don’t we have recruiters to do all that?
Despite a popular opinion that these roles are interchangeable, they are quite different. Recruiters focus on an active pipeline: reviewing, interviewing, negotiating, selecting, onboarding the candidates. Sourcers, on the other hand, build a high-fit candidates pipeline from passive candidates through a custom search and personalized outreach.
Recruiting is a more generic position directed at managing the talent pipeline, while sourcing is laser-focused on picking out the perfect fit and getting them interested in the position. Both jobs complement one another rather than overlap. The synergy of both of them will lead to hiring a candidate more efficiently.
Is it necessary to have both a recruiter and a talent sourcer in the hiring team?
Having a full-cycle recruiter handling all aspects of hiring costs your businesses much more since it misses out on the top talent. This one person should be good at too many things at once: dive into position requirements, stay in touch with the top performers, keep track of their availability, draft the propositions, cooperate with a hiring team, select the best candidates, take charge of the interviewing process. With this list of responsibilities, it’s easy for a recruiter to either compromise on the quality or miss out on the best candidates.
How exactly can my business benefit from a talent sourcer?
Saving time and money.
Businesses usually have a full-cycle recruiter rather than a tandem of a talent sourcer and a recruiter, since it seems cheaper. It may be true when you have a small team but with a growing demand for talent, you have to expand a hiring team. Since 42 percent of resumes are from candidates who don’t meet the position’s requirements, a lot of recruiter’s efforts are spent on filtering through the pile of applications.
Instead of hiring an additional recruiter, opt for a professional sourcer who knows how to estimate the search results, execute effective sourcing strategies, convert prospects into candidates, and who has established relationships with top performers. It will reduce the overall time to fill the position and cut your recruitment costs in the future allowing recruiters to focus on evaluating pre-qualified candidates instead of looking for potential prospects.
Get the best talent.
If you have a fine hiring filter and are aiming exclusively at top-performers, you certainly need a specialist dedicated to landing them. 86 percent of the most qualified candidates are not actively looking for a new job, so they need to be proactively sourced. Since the candidates who have been sourced are twice more efficient than those who apply, it makes sense to businesses that heavily rely on talent to hire a talent sourcer.
Stand out on the market. More and more companies opt for more efficient targeted talent sourcing rather than reactive recruiting outreach. Businesses realized that finding talent is harder than finding a job, so the fight for the best talent is harsher than ever. Investing in proactive communication with the candidates makes your company stand out in the competitive market. It demonstrates your approach to candidates as people with whom you develop relationships, not as a resource to fill in the gap in the company.
How do I find a perfect talent sourcer?
The profession of talent sourcer as an independent position is relatively new to recruiting. It may be hard to find an experienced full-time talent sourcer, so you may want to grow one inside your team rather than hire. That way you’ll get a niche professional specialized in your particular industry. A transition from a recruiter to a talent sourcer could be a good career move for your existing employees in the hiring team.
Here is a list of qualities a sourcer, who brings real value to the hiring process and business, should have:
Search savvy. Sourcers are eager to stay abreast of industry trends, know the market, and conduct deep research. They know what info to look for, how to identify data, find patterns, and use advanced search methods. They know how to apply different searching techniques to each particular platform, including LinkedIn, GitHub, Owler, Stackoverflow, web search.
Continuous learner. In the competitive field of recruiting, sourcers should constantly adopt new tools and techniques, automate their routine, and be data-driven. While there are plenty of resources out there, I recommend checking fun challenging tasks on Sourcing Games – this is a creative way to check sourcing skills and level of expertise.
Smart Outreacher. Sourcer’s goal is to define a high-fit candidate and make a perfect pitch. After putting together a list of potential candidates, a talent sourcer has to contact people with an engaging offer. Not to end up in a spam folder, the sourcer’s message has to stand-out, to be personalized and relevant. That’s why good writing and communicating skills are as important as searching instincts. A sourcer has to be able to communicate the brand’s values and mission, as well as explain the company’s culture and share interesting details of the product. But the most important part is to demonstrate to a candidate why the position is a perfect fit for him or her.
Proactive. A talent sourcer shouldn’t wait for a hiring manager to tell them what to do, but vice versa – be proactive in communication with a hiring team, be a partner, exchange feedback and insights fast, manage expectations, brainstorm together to get results, and back up all decisions with data.
Community contributor. The recruiting community is a tight-knit circle of professionals driven by a noble idea of discovering talent and providing people with the best opportunities. During professional development, any sourcer took advantage of the community knowledge base. Giving back to it by sharing the practice, sourcing techniques, approaches, toolkits would contribute to high professional standards and internal development. There are numerous ways to share your knowledge — from professional mentoring to writing useful content. Or take a look at the list of useful resources created by Sjamilla van der Tooren: you can either contribute to it or create something similar in your team.
A position of a sourcer demands a cocktail of an analytical mindset and creative thinking. This person knows how to build relationships and thrives on other people’s success. Their contribution to the business could be measured by an increased efficiency of sourced employees and time saved on sorting irrelevant candidates. If you spend time developing sourcing expertise in your team, your business will benefit a lot.
Great talent is key to a company’s competitive advantage and is central to achieving business goals. Efficient sourcing processes deliver higher-quality, engaged hires, and provide a far-reaching impact on your business performance. Skilled sourcers will reinforce the company’s ability to be more proactive, agile, and reach a new level.