I get emails on a regular basis from clients who think they’d like to hire a sourcer and want to know, “What do I think of that?” Well, here’s what I want you to ask yourself if you’re considering hiring a sourcer:
- Do you need someone long term or short term?
- Full-time or part-time?
- Virtual or on-site?
- Are they supporting a team or individual?
- What’s your vetting criteria going to be? (i.e. how experienced are they, what’s their background, is industry experience critical?)
- How are you going to quantify success?
And you have to define it. You.have.to.
This is almost critical for the team to function well. I’ve seen sourcers who are hired to merely scan ATS systems and resume databases. Sometimes they are responsible for posting jobs too. I think that’s a waste of manpower and money – you can automate that if you have to. I’ve seen sourcers hired to only surf free resources online. And then I’ve seen sourcers hired who can use the company’s ATS, source online via free and paid resources and perform the prequalification calls before handing off the candidates to the recruiter.
If you don’t define what sourcing is for your recruiting group and share it with your team, there can be trouble with a capital T. Recruiting professionals are a competitive bunch and when you introduce a sourcer to the group, it’s important to define how said sourcer is an asset to the talent acquisition team and sometimes more importantly, that they are not an internal competitor. They should be off loading some of the workload, not viewed as a threat. The ideal is that the sourcer will free up the recruiter to… recruit!
And cut ’em some slack. If you hire someone cold, no company experience, onboard them. Do a brain dump with your recruiting team on all the “need to know” information. Prepare them for success. Let them know what’s worked and what hasn’t – where the challenges are. Make them a part of the team and share the knowledge.
You’ll also want to be realistic. Some companies view sourcing as an entry level job. If you’re going to invest the time and energy to train someone on a) your company and b) how to source, you need to have some patience and create an appropriate ramp-up time. My inclination? Hire someone who knows your company, that you can train to source OR hire an experienced sourcer whom you can train on your company. Don’t hit yourself with a double whammy, unless it’s a long term investment for you. An experienced sourcer, well- versed in the internet and experienced with cold calling tactics can switch industries. Don’t discount them because they’ve got pharma experience and you’re in defense. Sourcers by nature are resourceful and quick learners, Take advantage of their expertise.
So you think you still want to hire a sourcer?
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.