Creativity in Sourcing

Sourcing is a difficult task. Often plan A, plan B and not even plan C bring the expected results. That’s why persistence and creativity are sourcers’ most crucial characteristics. It doesn’t mean that creating a sourcing process is a wrong idea. It should, however, include some unpredictable circumstances as, for example, a small number of the results or lack of answers from candidates.

In this post, you can find examples of sourcing actions worth attention when a standard process fails. The ideas are taken from Polish Sourcing Guide, and they’re real cases which turned out to be successful. Hopefully, they’ll be inspiring for you as well!

Team sourcing

It’s a term coined by Bee Talents recruiters, and it means writing messages together. Dominika describes it as:

The person responsible for the recruitment prepares a list of pre-selected candidates and then writes messages with a whole team. Thanks to that we can send more messages that one person could do. Also, we manage to maintain a high quality of messages as each of them is different and personalized because they’re written by different recruiters.

You can do the same when it comes to sourcing candidates. Proper preparation is the key; then you’ll be the most effective, and you’ll be able to generate the most significant amounts of results whether it means sent messages or found profiles. Working in group allows to leave the routine and focus on a creative approach to solving problems. Try inviting your team to team-sourcing and wait for results.

Searching untypical places on the Internet

From time to time it’s worth leaving your well-known grounds and go to candidates’ favorite platforms. Most of the time, these are not recruiting ones.

Example no. 1 – Wykop.pl

Imagine a situation that you’re looking for a great developer, and you’re not the only one. You’re thinking about searching a new place. That’s precisely what Agnieszka did when working on another recruitment project for a big IT company. She decided to use wykop.pl (a Polish equivalent of Reddit), where she found a discussion about various roles in programming.

Usually, contests’ participants perform well during interviews, so it was clear for Agnieszka that people participating in this discussion might be good candidates. Google or Github can be used to identify people’s nicknames. There’s no guarantee that this method will work in 100%, but a vast majority of people use one nickname on many social portals and groups, and thus, it’s easier to contact them. The information you get about the candidate from their input into the discussion is perfect for creating a personalized message.

Example no. 2 – Startup Lists

In some industries, a creative approach to sourcing is in higher demand. If you’ve ever recruited for a startup you know, it can be a challenge. Quite often people who’ve already worked in startups are the ones most wanted.

I was recruiting for Paris startups for some time, and I decided to do a proper talent mapping. I used a list of local startups to identify the companies from the domain that interested me. This only took a few steps to find great candidates. These candidates were crossed referenced on LinkedIn and Facebook. You can find them even if keywords on their profiles don’t reflect the role you recruit.

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Offline sourcing

Being a sourcer means spending a lot of time in front of your laptop. Sometimes it’s necessary to turn it off and source in the real world. It might mean attending a meetup or identify other places where you could meet the professionals from the industry. This example comes from Berlin. Recruiters from one agency looked for salespeople who knew the newest retail strategies. There were supposed to be people who had a huge knowledge of smartphones, laptops, and tablets as well as having interpersonal skills which are difficult to assess while looking on LinkedIn.

Recruiters decided to leave the office and visit the stores with similar equipment. They pretended to be interested in buying a smartphone and if a salesman was able to convince a recruiter to buy a more expensive model they received a business card and an invitation to take part in the recruitment process. In just four hours the team was able to find a few interesting candidates, one of whom was finally hired.

Catch a candidate in your net – between EB and sourcing

Of course, you can try to organize your meetup or to become a sponsor of an already existing one. Maciej shared an interesting example with us. While sourcing for candidates to work at an interactive agency, he thought students would fit the role. Therefore, he invited Interactive Applications Student Research Group (Akademickim Kołem Aplikacji Interaktywnych) for cooperation. This is how Maciej described the whole action:

It wasn’t enough to tell people we’re hiring during a speech. We came up with an idea – we printed paper pizzas (30cms ) divided into eight slices. Each slice contained one role we were hiring for (Front-End, Back-End, PM, etc.). The name of the role was on the upper side and the details at the other side where candidates could also write their name, surname, and a phone number. We handed over these pizzas to the audience and told them that each person invited for an interview would get a coupon for a free pizza (we just bought the vouchers from Pizza Hut).

It turned out that he managed to hire five people while investing only 200 PLN ($55). Such undertakings take a lot of time and investment, but if handled appropriately, they help to improve the employer brand of the company positively. That’s why if you’re looking for many similar candidates don’t forget to talk to a brand manager. However, if there’s no such person in your company and you have interesting ideas, maybe it’s worth talking to a person responsible for the recruitment budget.

I wonder if these examples were new to you or if you were already familiar with them. I’d love to know as well what techniques are useful for you, especially in the IT industry. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Business Development Manager at Bee Talents. Award winner (Best Recruitment Consultant of the Year 2016 in Poland for Permanent Hires). She helps companies to build teams effectively. Co-author of the first Sourcing Guide in Polish. Co-organized PyCode Carrots Warsaw 2016 - weekend coding workshops in Python and took coding courses herself to understand better developers’ job (JS and RoR). Her mission is to change the view of recruiters in IT, by helping clients, leading her team and running her blog: https://medium.com/@kasiamichalak

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