Like Paris Hilton, You’ve Got to Work It To Be a Good Recruiter…

Maren Hogan Maren Hogan, Recruiting, Sourcing

How are you finding your people? I’m no sourcer, for seriously amazing sourcing knowledge, talk to Kelly. But as a recruiter and someone who markets a recruiting company to clients, I find the SOURCE of our candidates to be a bigger and bigger issue.

It’s a question I’ve asked since the beginning of my recruiting career: “Yes, but why would someoneLohan_2 pay $30K to scour the banks, when they could buy a year’s subscription to 2 or 3 of those same banks for that same cost?” There are passive candidates. . .” was one answer. Another was an emphatic nodding of the head with the unspoken knowledge that WE’RE real recruiters.  But where are my answers?

“Well, of course,

-I could buy a list of names.- Just doesn’t smell like a value add to me. . .

-I could engage a professional sourcer. – A solution I have used on more than one occasion. Not cheap but when you need specialized information quickly, a good fit. Just make sure the sourcer you hire is doing the actual work…

-I could take time out from calling to source (the fancy Internet type) my own candidates (gasp!!)- For me, this takes away from time on the phones and time talking with candidates. For the record though, this is an excellent idea if you are calling contacts and sources and asking for leads which leads to. . . .

Smart sourcing. To me, smart sourcing is relational. Do you speak at local events? Do you reach out to group leaders and other professionals BEFORE you need their help? If you do, you are probably already practicing smart sourcing. (This post relates to journalists but is EXCELLENT at describing the steps to building a sourcing network).

For example, when I first began speaking publicly about recruiting, one of the first groups I spoke to was a group specifically for executives who were between jobs and made more than 150k per year. I gave them resume advice, talked to them about interviewing processes and made some phone calls on their behalf and went on my merry way.

Within a month, I got a call for a high level VP position in SALES (for those of you who don’t know, I do primarily IT). I was able to have three candidates to the client within two hours, screened, interviewed and prepped. Not from the group, but from the most well-connected member of the group, which is where the SMART comes in. This is the guy who is writing down every notation, texting the hometown of the new guy into his Blackberry. (This is assuming that this isn’t you. . .)

I belong to several networks (this includes both online, local and regional). Too many if you ask the HR Capitalist. But they sure come in handy when I need to find someone. Who do you know that does. . .? Would you mind if I contacted. . .?

You’re thinking “This chick is writing a blog for professional recruiters? This is recruiting 101!” Yup, sure is, but how many recruiters practice this way anymore? How many present at conferences, learn all the latest techniques about HOW to source, buy books, build networks, blast email candidates, check their LI profiles twice an hour, and never in a day of “recruiting” take a client (or well connected source) out to lunch or pick up the phone?

Maybe I’m wrong and this won’t work on a larger scale. Maybe there is no way to stay relational in the sourcing portion of your job. Maybe one person just can’t “touch” all those candidates (really, every time I use that line, I think of Paris!). But as a third party recruiter looking to up your game in the employer branding space, I CAN. I don’t have 30 reqs to fill.