Dear New Sourcer: 4 Tips to Start Your Sourcing Career by @chris_herron3

Day one. You struggled to sleep the night before — waking up, checking your phone, making sure you didn’t oversleep. The excitement builds with every check of the clock, two more hours before you have to wake up. Morning comes; you feel fresh, ready to take on the world. You jump in your car (or truck if you live in Texas), Starbucks is on the way to the office. You pull into the parking lot 25 minutes before you need to be there. Your mind is racing — ‘What did I get myself into? How do I explain this career move to my mom? Sourcer? Is this some sort of magic cult?’ 8:55, it’s now or never. You jump out of your vehicle, walk through the front door — it’s GO time!

We’ve all been in your shoes. Day one. Uncertain of what exactly we got ourselves into. Unsure of what the future will hold. Lucky for you, you just entered a community that wants to see you excel. A community that will be there when you hit a wall. When you need help finding that one candidate to fill the req your hiring manager so desperately wants to close. When you have that “ah-ha” moment, this community will be right there with you sharing in your excitement.

I challenge you to immerse yourself in this role. Make connections. Ask questions. Read blogs. Learn something new. Go to SourceCon. Fail and fail some more. Find new tools. Try new things. Challenge yourself to be better every day. Do this, my friend, and you’ll wake up every morning, wondering how you got so lucky to be able to do this for a living.

Here are 4 nuggets to jumpstart your sourcing 

  1. Find a mentor

The most successful people in any industry will have that one person they trust to give them sound advice and guidance. Michael Jordan had Dean Smith; Luke Skywalker learned from Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the late Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg.

The sourcing community is full of people that have bumps and bruises, and they are more than willing to share the lessons they have learned along the journey. Connect with someone you’re able to bounce ideas off of, someone you can gain knowledge from, and finally someone who can help you meet your full potential. Find your advisor.

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  1. Go where your candidates are even if it’s not sexy

We all want that cool story that we can use in our next job interview about the needle in a haystack we found… But it’s OK to pick low hanging fruit sometimes. Exhaust the resources that are right in front of you. Use your network that you worked so hard to create. Ask your co-workers who the best person they’ve ever worked with. Check your ATS. These sources of candidates aren’t sexy, BUT they work. Try it first before you spend hours recreating the wheel.

  1. Find time to grasp something new

We live in a day where information is at our fingertips. Why not use that power to better ourselves? Make time to learn how to leverage the latest sourcing tools. Read blogs that are talking about the cutting edge of our industry. Listen to podcasts and webinars from the leading voices in the recruiting space. Go to conferences and connect with others. Invest in yourself and the time you spent will pay off in the end.

  1. Care about your personal brand

Some call it cyberstalking but in our field we call it research. But don’t think for one minute the candidate you are reaching out to isn’t ‘researching’ you! Care about the information you have online. Use it to your advantage to set yourself apart from the herd. Set yourself up as the subject matter expert. Take the opportunity to showcase your personality. Your personal brand is important, and if done right it will help foster better candidate engagement. Candidates want to know who you are — show them.

@chris_herron3 is currently a Sourcing Manager at Indeed.  He was a finalist in the 2015 SourceCon Grandmaster Challenge.  Chris has 4+ years of recruiting experience covering both agency and corporate roles.

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