My Take On ‘The Fallacy of Sourcing’

Last week  wrote a post published on our sister site,, entitled “The Fallacy of Sourcing.” I tried not to respond because the post wasn’t necessarily wrong. It was just written from a totally different perspective. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to weigh in. Here’s the comment I left on the post. 

People think they’re going to offend the sourcing community by saying it’s gotten easier to find people and build lists. However, most “in the know” sourcers and recruiters wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I made this assertion during the “State of Sourcing” presentation at SourceCon in 2013 and again in the same presentation in 2014. I’m glad others are starting to realize this fact. The new challenge is to cut through the large amounts of data and identify the right people quickly then engage them. My definition of sourcing includes identification and first level of engagement (which the author of this post refers to as recruiting). A candidate isn’t truly “sourced” until that person is known to be qualified, interested, and available for the requisition. Does a procurement department consider a raw material sourced because they have a list of companies that sell it? Or are they expected to handle the negotiations and get the raw materials to the right place so the company can use them?

This piece isn’t wrong. It’s written from the perspective of someone who ascribes to a different definition of sourcing than I do. For more on my definition of sourcing see this post:…. Be sure to click on the links to Glen Cathey’s post about the definition of sourcing.

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This post got a lot of clicks and sparked some conversation but I feel like it was written with the assumption that the author’s definition of sourcing was shared by everyone.

In conclusion, I would say that before making bold statements about a function of the business many of us spend our entire days involved in, one should define what they consider that function to include. What do you think?

Jeremy Roberts is a Senior Solutions Consultant with Seekout and was the Editor of SourceCon from 2013 to 2016. Prior to joining the ERE Media team, he spent over a decade working as a recruiter, sourcer, and sourcing manager.

This time was spent in diverse environments, including third party agency settings (retained and contingent), recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) providers, and internal corporate HR departments. His previous employers include the MHA Group, Ajilon Finance, Korn Ferry Futurestep, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, and Randstad Sourceright, US. He resides in Corinth, TX with his wife and 3 children.