Sourcing Strategy: One Size Does Not Fit All

Scott Pitasky, Corporate VP at Microsoft for Talent and Org. Capability, shared today at the SMA Staffing Symposium in Seattle that at Microsoft, he feels it is best for sourcing strategy to be devised at the business level and not at the corporate level. The reason, he said, is that different business units will search with different tools and in different locations due to the variable types of talent they seek. “One size does not fit all,” he said. He also said that goals do not equal strategy. Instead:

Strategy is goal + why + how. This tells you both what to do and what not to do.

During Scott’s presentation today, he drew out a diagram on sourcing strategy that can help plot how to delegate one’s time and thus determine these strategies to accomplish company goals. He shared, “All hires are not created equal – you cannot recruit A players in all positions.” Based on his diagram, it is important to assess needs volume as it relates to the importance to the business of filling various positions:

Where do sourcers come into play in working this model? Prioritization of projects – and this comes from having dialogue with the recruiters who own the reqs AS WELL AS the hiring managers who need the headcount.

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Additionally, Pitasky discussed the importance of deciding when it is appropriate to outsource some parts of the recruiting process. Again – the answer to this will never be the same for everyone. He said, “Decide what you’re really good at as well as what is really important for you to own.”  He did caution against using cost alone to make these determinations – his reasoning for this was two-fold. The convenience of partnering with an external resource may cost you your competitive advantage in the long run. As well, keeping things in-house may also cause your organization to miss out on the expertise that an external recruiting professional could offer. Again – each company must make these decisions for themselves based on their own unique needs. In Microsoft’s case, according to Pitasky, he never wants to give up all of the sourcing process because of the importance of pipelining talent – however, he certainly is happy to develop strategic partnerships with contingent recruiting professionals for selected projects.

Remember: an A player at one company may not be an A player at another company. This is important to consider when developing your company’s sourcing strategy – and why it is crucial to find what works for your unique needs and not simply create a carbon copy of someone else’s strategy. Develop your own path to success in hiring!

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter and SourceCon.com with ERE Media. She currently works as Sr. Manager, Technical Talent Sourcing for Walmart eCommerce. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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