Not too long ago, Jim Stroud posted a graph on The Recruiters Lounge illustrating who makes more deniro: Recruiters or Sourcers. And the graph inspired me to ponder this: Who the heck is hiring sourcers? Shouldn’t we, as recruiters, be able to handle the work A-Z? If not, why are we getting paid so much with the happy illusion of job security?
At first, I was embarrassed and hid in the corner until the shame subsided. But, then I realized that there is indeed a reason to hire sourcers. And, a darn-tootin’ good one to. Because we need to.
“What?” you say. “Why don’t you quit slacking and pick up the phone?” you add.
Well, yes…I do that. But, I can only do that so much.
Sourcers aren’t hired to do our jobs. They are hired to build pipes. We hand them a profile and we say Go! At that point, they do what sourcers do best. They get on the phone, they mine the web, they start finding people. They are adding to our existing efforts. It’s essentially a way of doubling down on our highest priorities. Now… if things run smoothly, ideally, with the added effort, recruiters begin to see postings come down as positions are filled faster than they would be if only one of you were working on it. If that’s not the case, clearly, you need to examine your ROI.
Back in the day, when I was the sole person recruiting for Xbox software, I was managing over 100 open requisitions. Yes, I will accept your pity, but only briefly. If I wanted to be successful filling those reqs with someone other than a breathing person, or at the very least, a zombie, I needed the help of a sourcer. And, I had a good one, too (she has since moved on to help those evil geniuses at Zynga who kill way too much of my regular day with that stupid Farmville). We followed Kelly’s guidelines, we put together a strategy, and we went at it. With her help, we brought 60+ people into Xbox from outside the company. Without her help… I probably would have cracked and, who knows… Xbox may have come out as little more than the Playstation 3 (oh, SNAP!)
On the flip side, when the economy tanked and both hiring and Microsoft slowed down significantly, the first people to go were the sourcers. Why? Because there was no longer a business need. The work load was such that we could do it ourselves.
My point… corporate recruiters should be able to handle recruiting efforts from front to back. Part of this is sourcing, part is consulting with the hiring manager on candidates, part is interviewing, part is negotiating, etc. But, a good recruiter also knows when to raise his or her hand and say, “I can’t keep this up without some help.”
Just like the dodo bird wrangler, sourcers will be around as long as we need them.