Interviewing for a Sourcer? Screening for those Mad Sourcing Skilzz…

Kelly Dingee Candidate Pool, Kelly Dingee, Sourcing

A few weeks back, I was contacted via my Google Profile by Chris Kelley, a Recruiting Manager with SOURCEFire.  SOURCEFire is local to Maryland, and at the time in need of a contract sourcing professional.  I was happy to help Chris push the opening to my network, and used Twitter to do so (because c’mon, I wanted him to land a sourcer who was savvy about social media!).

Within minutes, Chris had several viable candidates and started setting up phone interviews.  But here’s aHomers_xray   couple of questions…..just what do you ask a Sourcer?  And do you give them a test?

Well these seem like very pertinent questions as we watch more and more jobs go out there for recruiters and sourcing professionals, many stipulating specific training or experience. The questions will definitely vary depending on the size of the company and the scope of the duties.  But here’s a sample of some I’d ask if I were the Recruiting Manager:

  • Describe to me how you process a Job Order Intake, i.e., when the requisition first lands on your desk, what do you look for?
  • If the job order is fairly nondescript, how do you proceed?
  • Walk me through the broad overview of your sourcing strategy, what do you typically incorporate?
  • We have no budget for any additional fancy software beyond our current ATS, at least not until the second half of 2010, how will you keep yourself organized?  Will you be able to easily share information with our team?
  • Keeping in mind we have no budget, and limited dollars we do want to push towards job postings, tell me how you would build search strings to find people….
  • I’ve heard that some social media sites are not flush with diverse candidates, how would you still use social media to find the diverse talent we need?

Now, if the Recruiting Manager has a sourcing background, or an AIRS Trainer in their back pocket, I would certainly recommend going into further discussion about sourcing technique.  I’d ask questions about using RSS Feeds, the importance of looking for more than resumes and steps to take to locate candidate contact information when all they have is a username.  I’d have to get into a discussion about XRay and FlipSearch.  And yes, I would test anyone coming in saying they can source.  Taking a class in 2000 and not practicing technique for 9 years doesn’t make you a “Sourcing God“.  So I would gladly pull out one of my current job openings and say, who can you find? Let me see who you can get in 15 minutes.  And certainly provide a laptop with the basics, or encourage them to bring their own.


Sounds like pressure? It’s not.  Any sourcer worth their salt has had someone want them to produce candidates instantly.  This will give you a good opportunity to see what they can do, if they can produce anything and then dig into the why and how of the very quick process they went through.  You’ll also see if they’re worth the dollar they’re commanding and if they can walk the walk and talk the talk.  Questions? Talk to me @sourcerkelly.