The Future of Sourcing and Yes It Is NOT Sales

Recently my dear friend Jeff Newman brought up an intriguing declaration that recruiting/sourcing is not sales. I agree with that; in fact, I know many sourcers who do not ever speak with the candidates they find. Most sourcers find actionable candidates, and company information then passes that information on to the recruiters to sell the position to the candidate. The recruiter is there to SELL them, and that is in the purest form and sense of what recruiting is doing.

In my opinion, sourcers are the keepers of knowledge, the finders of things not found, the pure hunter-gatherers. I have been given the task twice now to help build out, and I genuinely enjoy it. I learned that there is a difference between sourcing and recruiting in the fact that we find the people, but in most cases, we are not engaging with them.

We are the information gatherers. A recruiter sells the company, the role, the salary, the benefits, and they close the deal. Recruiters are also typically tasked with paperwork, mundane metrics, time to fill, etc. As time has shown, HR and managers do not get it until, well, when they do.

A new trend is starting to make its way in the world of sourcing, and it is because of you, and because of us. We are coming out of the shadows now, and we are not the red-headed stepchildren of years past. Why? Because we are proving to be a value to the business units and clients looking for talent and the best thing about a growing economy is the lack of resources and people that can do the work, which, frankly is excellent for us.

Sourcers, now more than ever, are showing that we are much more able to predict trends, watch markets, and with the plethora of tools that are available to us, we are starting to adopt predictive analytics. We can begin to see when the layoffs are coming, and when the shifts in the market are happening. We do more than merely find emails and phone numbers. We are no longer on the cusp of that; we are that.

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More companies are building sourcing teams that partner with full cycle recruiters and hopefully, business development. As companies want to continue to grow their market share we can help them with business intelligence to determine if it is in the company’s best interest to go after new verticals or determine if others are trying to poach our current employees by setting up an office near our location. Yeah, I just told my employer that in a meeting and the looks were comical. I took their breath away, and man did that feel good.

We are moving into a whole new world of information, analytics, and sourcing is going to be the front end of it all if we take hold of the wheel and drive it to the forefront. Yeah, we are not salespeople; we are the machine that helps the salespeople close the deal. Having been in both roles over the years, I can say with some authority that the future is bright and I cannot tell you how happy to see it coming.

Derek Zeller draws from over 20 years in the recruiting industry. The last 16 years he has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing in the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliance. Currently, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions for Engage Talent. He has experience with both third-party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Derek currently lives in the Portland area. Now, he is the Director of Recruiting Solutions and Channels with Engage.

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