I get this all the time. The conversation starts like this,
“Kelly, I want more sourcing. How can I get more sourcing?”
Which always leads to the question from me,
“What are you doing now?”
You want more sourcing? Well just what exactly are you doing now?
And in this case I don’t want to know what job boards you’re posting to, I’m sure you are using them and that’s fabulous. I want you to take a close look at your internet sourcing. What do you do from an internet sourcing perspective?
Why assess? Because, as sourcers, we fall into ruts. We have go to tactics that give us results. I’m honest that right now if someone says I need XYZ with this kind of skillset, I go to LinkedIn. I like it, at the very least if it doesn’t yield an active candidate it, does provide referral leads. And then I drill through the rest of my tactics.
So, you want more sourcing? Then I really want you to list out what you do when you get a req. How organized are you? If you’re really on your game, this takes seconds because you’re bookmarking your template search strings or have a cloud worthy app storing them all. What about your keywords? And don’t roll your eyes at me, I know you think you know all the keywords, but I want you to go through your recent hires resumes and harvest everything that is a viable search term. Why? Because I always want you thinking like your candidate. And looking at your recent hires and the phraseology they used will clue you in to additional keywords you may have missed in your list.
Now, let’s talk about your tactics. Invariably I meet people who refuse to use anything but “resume” to find biographical information about people online. You need more options. We’re working in what I like to describe as an incredibly fluid medium, look for “profiles”,”users”, etc. I also want to know if you XRay and FlipSearch websites for candidate names and information. There is more to internet search than finding the golden resume, quite frankly, the golden resume isn’t going to drop into your browser window just because you request it to do so.
How closely are you looking at your competitors? Are you using XRay and FlipSearch to really cull information from their sites? I’ve been called a stalker, and I guess I am from a competitive intelligence standpoint. If I were in your shoes, I would be setting up some thorough searches of my competitor sites, and if I could get those automated so I reviewed results daily, all the better. No, I wouldn’t necessarily have results every single day, but if I make it a habit to check, I’ll probably know early changes, press releases and more. I’d also be looking at News sites too
Are you taking the time to generate lists of people? No? I’d start practicing. I’ve seen some people refer to it “being christmas-like” with all the candidates available. Yes, in some ways it is. I worry about recruiters resting on their laurels. I do agree that now is one of the best times ever to source, but I’m thinking more of how many digital footprints have been created online. If you’ve assessed this part of your sourcing strategy as a weakness, then you need to start working on it pronto. Don’t know where to begin? Drop me a line.
As you continue to assess, look at your search strings, are they simple? Do you give them some complexity? Have you figured out how to do more with less syntax? What tactics have you tried to combine? What works, what doesn’t? Have you used any other search engine than Google? Why not? I just had someone, whom I think is a search guru, tell me that I showed him the light on using Exalead..that made my week. Yes, we can discuss the things Exalead doesn’t do well, but when it comes to advance search functionality, it’s pretty sweet.
So, assess today, and decide what you need to bring into your program. And then assess next month to see what you’re using and what yielded results. And if you want to talk about sourcing? I love to. I may not agree with what you’re doing, or I may love it. Find me on LinkedIn or Twitter, and we can continue the conversation.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.