I am not an expert sourcer.
That feels good to say, after so many years. I’m a good sourcer, but I’m not going to be building APIs and hacking into the back end of databases this week. This isn’t because I don’t have the curiosity to do so, but because my role expands beyond being a pure sourcer. In other words, it’s just part of my job, albeit a part of my job that I tend to love. This is mostly because nothing is more self-satisfying for me than finding gold among the internet rubble and coming out the other side with the right candidate. But time also gets in the way.
Aside from the usual suspects of time and desire, my role requires me to be able to provide a high-caliber end-to-end experience for the candidate as a representative of my company. We (like most other companies) run lean on the recruiting and sourcing side. Therefore, I have to make sure I’m covering all the angles and proverbially leaving no stone upturned. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good, and I absolutely subscribe to that. But when I meet people newer to the recruiting industry, and more precisely the sourcing function therein, they often turn to tools first. And while logical, you still need to “crawl before you walk.” So many recruiters and sourcers want to be “in the know” with the latest and greatest, while forgetting, or outright not having mastered the basics. Hence, this is advice I give to new recruiters and sourcers.
Read and respond to every job application. Every. One.
It sucks, and yes, it is time-consuming, but not as consuming as it is to defend and rebuild a brand consistently. We have enough seasoned and emerging technology at our disposal right now that it’s unfathomable that we still have “resume black holes” in 2017. But grab a coffee, turn your favorite tunes up loud, and spend an hour to two hours a week making sure the queue is clear. People appreciate a response (in most cases) even if that answer is a ‘thanks but no thanks.’
Check “Who’s Viewed My Profile.” Often
We spend so much time looking for others, the purple squirrels as it were, that we often to forget that others are looking at us too. It’s akin to passing on the free ice cream with your meal, and It is part of the recruiting and sourcing dance, to see who will break first and approach the other. That just low hanging fruit that already has an interest in you or your company. And really, who passes up free ice cream?
LinkedIn Messages Are Messages TOO!
I never fully understand it when someone, especially someone in our industry, tells me that they haven’t checked their LinkedIn inbox in months. This is another clear and present example of ignoring what is in your own backyard. It’s people letting you know that they are interested in what you have to offer, and have the gumption to take the extra step to make sure you remember them, however flawed that logic may or may not be. I’m intentionally ignoring the “hey help me with my job search” types who don’t matter in the context of this discussion. But well-crafted messages that can give you a glimpse into the work ethic of someone is not something to be easily overlooked.
Referrals Have a Shelf Life
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I respond to every referral that I get within 48-72 hours. I also keep the referrer posted on where things stand throughout the process. These are (in most cases) trusted colleagues of your employees, and already have a glimpse into the culture and company. Ignoring and/or not following up on referrals is akin to burning free money.
Hiring Manager Accountability
Keep hiring managers accountable. If they can’t be bothered providing quality feedback in a timely fashion, I let them know I have to focus elsewhere. “Not a fit” is not feedback. Dig into what was missing – is it something that can be trained quickly? Make sure you compare the feedback with the notes from your intake/kickoff meeting (you’re doing those, right??) because then you can point to specific things the candidate has that they asked for. Also, make it a point to give them candid feedback from candidates who turn offers down. It’s good to know what we as a company didn’t get right.
Speak the Truth
I give my candidates candid feedback, where appropriate. People can’t improve their skill sets so that they can reapply for your jobs in two years if they don’t know what to fix. I also make sure that they are getting a personal phone call, specifically if they have interviewed in-person with us. I owe them that, after their time spent out of the office, or traveling to meet with us. And they remember that small gesture more than the other dozens of email rejections they have already received.
I can do plenty of sourcing, and the plethora of tools available to us has made it easier. But we need to be ever vigilant in knowing that we can make our lives easier by just doing the basics.