Sourcing: Art or Science?

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I  wrote an article awhile back titled, “Anyone Can Learn the ‘Art’ of Sourcing.” Although the main point I wanted to make was that sourcing isn’t all that mysterious or difficult, and that it can be taught and learned with a strong interest to do so and access to proper training and guidance, the post drew some comments and sparked a mini-debate on Twitter over whether or not sourcing and recruiting are more heavily based upon “science” or “art.” I’ve also found that a good number of people seem to think that the “art” of recruiting can’t be taught.

As expected, opinions will vary widely. However, I believe it is critical when examining this controversy that ”science” and “art” be defined. I’ve found that many people struggle to explain exactly what they mean when they say “sourcing is 60% art.” Without a common understanding of the terms involved, there is a danger of misinterpretation down to the semantic level, which can seriously hinder any productive discussion.

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Glen Cathey

With more than 20 years of experience in recruiting, Glen Cathey is a globally recognized sourcing and recruiting leader, blogger (booleanblackbelt.com) and corporate/keynote speaker (9X LinkedIn, 9X SourceCon, 3X Talent42, 2X SOSUEU, Booking.com, PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen, Enterprise Holdings, AstraZeneca…).

Glen currently serves as a Global Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation for Randstad, reporting into the Netherlands, focusing on data-driven recruitment, AI and automation.  Over the course of his career, Glen has been responsible for talent acquisition training, process, technology, analytics and innovation strategies for I.T. staffing and RPO firms with over 100,000 hires annually, and he's hired, trained, developed and led large local, national, global and centralized sourcing and recruiting teams, including National Recruiting Centers with over 300 associates.

He has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park and is passionate about people, process (Lean) data and analytics, AI and automation, strategy and innovation, leadership and performance.