One of the exciting things about Talent Acquisition is you can build a multiplicity of skills. Attending my second SourceCon I realized just how important it is for sourcers and recruiters to see a big picture about our own careers. The truth is there are many paths to entry into sourcing and recruiting. A sales person can easily transition to recruiting, whereas traditionally sourcers have been more analytical and could come from analytical roles and so forth. Can a sourcer make a leap into recruiting? Are they pigeon-holed into a sourcing role? The answer may surprise you. It may make sense to you, but the answer is that recruiters can transition into sourcing, and sourcers can easily transition into a recruiter role. The skills are transferrable.
My own story is a good example of transitioning from recruiting to sourcing and then back again.
While in college in 2005, I joined the Santa Clara Branch of Venturi Staffing Partners – now Staffmark in the Silicon Valley. At the time, I had some knowledge of staffing from my two internships, one with ADT and one with Applied Materials. The experience taught me to keep an open mind. When I went into recruiting at that time, the social media tools (LinkedIn, Facebook), etc. were just getting off the ground. Using resources like Hot Jobs, Monster, and CareerBuilder was common, and developing good Boolean strings became second nature, as I talked with candidates for finance, administrative, warehouse, project management, and some technical positions.
My first taste of recruitment was a great experience. Over the following years I built up more HR Generalist skills, and in 2007 earned my PHR, until I felt a career itch in 2008 to return to staffing on the third party side. I found a unique position at HR Solutions Partners in Los Gatos, CA in Silicon Valley where I had the privilege to work a recruiting/staffing angle, a sourcing consultant role, and an HR generalist consultant position in one. It was a unique position.
For a year I enjoyed my opportunity to pursue these passions. In 2009, with our direct hire job orders drying up, due to the economic maelstrom, my hours were cut to part-time and I knew it was time to look again. While attending a workshop with Mark Tortorici in the early part of 2010, I was amazed at his knowledge of sourcing and asked if he had any opportunities, the door opened to me in April of 2010 to join NetPolarity, my role was sourcing and I loved it. It was here I learned some critical skills:
- A more effective intake/requisition huddle step that gave me insight into how to ask better questions when preparing to source.
- A better knowledge of technical positions/developers and such which added to my knowledge tremendously.
- Working directly with recruiters in a sourcing model that allowed me to hone my finding skills.
I spent two and a half years at NetPolarity becoming a strong performer, and through grit, tenacity, and luck, earned bonuses and commissions with an effective partnership with my recruiting partners. It was a good experience, one I would not trade for anything. In 2012, ADP came knocking when my sister-in-law reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in looking at the role that was open for a recruiter position within her company. It would require relocation to Utah, where I now sit today.
I credit having gone through effective sourcing training with Tortorici, and NetPolarity for allowing me the opportunity to better my staffing skill set. Making the move back to recruiting for me was an easy transition, but for some sourcers being on the phone is not easy for them. But I think I learned more about telephone sourcing in my role at ADP, combined with traditional sourcing skills and that has given me a foundation for success.
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Now in my fourth year at ADP, I am very blessed. Especially since at ADP, we have access to AIRS training which further solidified my sourcing skills. I will tell you I feel strongly that sourcers can make effective recruiters, and recruiters can make effective sourcers. My advice to both recruiters and sourcers is, don’t ever look at sourcing as a “step back,” and for sourcers don’t ever discount your value to the talent acquisition Process. You can effectively move between roles, and you should take stretch assignments to ALWAYS advance your career. I met some amazing people at SourceCon this time which convinced me that as long as you have an open mind, where-ever your path in talent acquisition leads, that you can pilot yourself to greatness if you will have faith in your partners and in yourself.