Stay the Course in Sourcing

Ship Captains have always fascinated me, the effort to stay on the plan of the map, the targeted line to reach a destination and so forth, or in other words, staying the course. During a storm, a ship captain can lose control of their ship, their crew, and their direction. There are times when challenges arise, and there are moments where a ship may lose track of the desired direction, especially when they become lost.

Ship Captains frequently used instruments and innovations to help them plot the right course. Compasses, maps, stars, even the sun, and the moon helped them to redirect their approach and get to the goal faster. In sourcing, and recruiting have you ever had that time where you feel “lost,” where the “ship” isn’t on “course?” Yes, we all have been there at one point or another.

Our staffing ship needs to be routed at times to the right direction. So how can you get your sourcing on target and keep it there? Well here are five suggestions to “stay the course.”

  1. Sourcing Effectiveness begins in the Intake Meeting OR Partnership Meeting: In every recruitment, having an effective requisition huddle, or intake call is vital for success. Asking key questions, providing consultation to the hiring manager, collecting information about key skills, attributes, technical criteria, etc., help set the tone. In this intake meeting, one might have to set and reset expectations, come prepared with data, and sample resumes/profiles to review, get insights into where the candidates that are ideal can be found, etc. Good questions, good follow-up and good overall strategy discussion are what enable this effectiveness.
  2. Sourcing must change with time as a search progresses: Effective sourcing takes into account that the profile will remain consistent throughout the search effort for the most part, but just like a good project needs good milestone review points, so too do search/staffing efforts need review points at various interviews. Feedback can be collected by email or via phone, either way, it is collected promptly and hopefully with much detail. If a hiring manager passes on a candidate, the “why” question must be fully answered. This may mean faithful follow-up and communication to see why the candidate fell short. Furthermore, benchmark resumes/profiles can help the search become even more efficient as the sourcing effort evolves, thus channeling in new approaches. A string can be modified as one finds out detail from a candidate, as a hiring manager considers new aspects of the role, or after the first interview, find new insights that might have operated “in the gray.”
  3. Frequent Meetings with the Hiring Manager are Key: Staying the course may mean a set time to speak with the manager weekly, to ensure that the hiring process moves and flows smoothly. 1:1 with a hiring manager allows for open dialogue and gives the hiring manager trust in their partner. Whether you support a recruiter OR a hiring manager, these meetings and check-ins build the way forward for better understanding and also help to enhance the search dynamics.
  4. Sourcing Strings Can Always Change: Don’t ever think you can’t tweak your string. By all means keep adjusting as you go, learn new insights, and find new ways to open the search. A string that is too tight might miss key results, and a search that is too broad may be tougher to navigate efficiently. But allowing yourself to experiment with different parameters allows you to stay the course that much better.
  5. Always Experiment With Multiple Tools: It comes as no surprise that we need to experiment more now than ever with new tools. Chrome extensions are excellent tools, yes, but they are not the only tools. There are a wealth of powerful options out there. I’m sure we all use these and much more tools:
  • Professional Associations
  • Message Boards
  • Podcasts
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Company Web Pages of Competitors
  • Library Research Organizations
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Networking Events
  • Alumni Associations
  • Google+
  • Your Company ATS
  • Job Boards
  • Your Own Network
  • Email Lists

The list goes on and on. Each day we need to reinvent our sourcing approach. This reinvention is vital for success, more so now than ever before. Yes, we all use LinkedIn, but sometimes I just like to pick up the phone and start making calls and challenge myself to make ten calls for each requirement I’m supporting before I return to the “tech” tools. This helps me stay the course because then I am on the phone pitching my company’s value proposition, and making fills along the way. The phone to me is still one of the most valuable recruiting tools on the planet. It still can create outcomes that are by far the most efficient to creative networking.

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Staying the course in sourcing is all about creativity. Keeping your ship on target is also tied to your partnerships. The human touch and element still are vital to success more so now than ever before. The reason for this is candidates have more options, so personalization is the crucial key to creating lasting staffing matches.

Success in staffing involves staying the course. Being effective comes as a result of reinvention. In my time as a recruiter, I value my phone calls with candidates. So when in doubt pick up the phone. It becomes more and more useful as time goes on and as candidates appreciate the personal touch. Closing candidates today and creating lasting matches is all about the compelling message to close the candidate long before they even see the offer. But lasting outcomes of effects occur when we drive to the goal without hesitation and stay the course to the fill no matter what. That’s what recruiting is still all about in my book.

Mike Rasmussen, PHR, SHRM-CP is a Talent Acquisition Business Partner with ADP.  Mike works out of his home office in Utah and is a full life cycle recruiter at ADP.  Mike has a passion for Staffing/Recruiting and Sourcing and in his career has helped hire nearly 1000+ professionals in a wide variety of roles from Executive, Technical, Operations, etc.  Today Mike supports Talent Acquisition efforts at ADP in several key Western States.  A contributor to Recruiting Blogs, Mike has been writing regarding Talent Acquisition topics for nearly 8 years.  Connect with Mike via Twitter @MikeRADP.

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