What Is Your Sourcing Quality Of Life?

Kelly Dingee Good HR, Kelly Dingee, Sourcing

Sourcecon recently published this interesting infographic on “How Much Did Sourcers Make in 2013?“.  If you manage a sourcer, research, and/or sourcing team, it gives some interesting insight.  And even more so, fuels questions.

The money made by sourcers doesn’t necessarily surprise me… it ranges on experience and responsibility from 32-116K.  But 32K? Ouch!  If you don’t think you’re making what you should be making as a sourcer, it’s time to gather your numbers—we are in very quantifiable positions.  Set aside the grey area of the interviewing process—for me that’s the phone interview, in-person interview and references—and focus on the facts.

What kind of numbers?  Look at how many candidates you found. How many candidates did you find that you did not hire into the first job sourced, but hired into a subsequent position? How many candidates made it to phone screen? To interview? To background check? To offer? To hire? How many sources did you use? Tactics?  And don’t let go there… look at the time to fill components from a sourcing perspective.  When did you find these people? What was the time table? And I hope you don’t run into this one—is there a chance you sourced someone that was initially disqualified and then hired when they applied? Digging into this data is important to demonstrate how you add value to your organization in a very quantifiable way.  And the more you look at the numbers, the more you have an understanding of where the hiccups in your hiring process are.  Is it you? Is it “them?”

You’re probably groaning at this point because you’re thinking, “I’ve just added on 5-10 more hours to my work week, and according to the Sourcecon survey, sourcers are working at least 45 hours a week.”  Yuck.  I’m hoping that number is ridiculously high because you have a ton of opportunities to staff and are a one-person show.  Or, you’re in the time suck that is documented in the sourcing survey—phone screens. And you could be in the position that I was in years ago working for an RPO: everyone in the recruiting side had to do 4 hours of phone screens a week—beyond their regular work week (see the yuck?!). Otherwise, once you’re done looking at your numbers, you better check your processes.  And if you’re the manager of sourcers and they’re working at least 45 hours per week, it’s paramount you did and find out what’s going on that the work hours are beyond 40 per week.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years (and we do religiously at the current firm I work at) is to review our processes. Even when work life is humming along, there are always little tweaks that can make life better.  Are there redundancies? Ways to streamline?  These days I focus on automation, but I keep the automation to the back end of my sourcing.  So, when it comes to name gathering… profile downloading… anytime that can be automated, it’s a good thing.

I’d also suggest when examining processes, you consider who is doing the phone screen and how many phone screens a candidate is being subjected to. We’re treading the line into Candidate Experience here, and perhaps there is a way to consolidate the phone screening process, or those silly confirmation questions can be automated. When I used to do phone screens in RPO, those dreaded added-on hours per week, often I was confirming information in the application. It always seemed to me that if someone wrote it in an application, and signed it, they’re going to come through with the same information in a phone call, so let’s keep it moving forward.

I don’t like to overly automate the candidate interaction processes. It’s important to me to respond personally to emails, inmails and phone calls from candidates. People want to feel like people once they reach out to sourcers—not data, not a number, not another resume. So, I’d rather spend my time on that human interaction, and if you’ve got some customizable responses (and you always customize friends), it can be a speedy process, too. Is it always pleasant? Of course not.  But remembering that job searching is one of those tasks most people don’t enjoy gets me through on those tough calls.

Personally, I’d love to see Sourcecon do a survey on “Where’s the Spend” in your sourcing department for 2014.  There’s mention in the 2013 survey of sourcers of having access to tools like LinkedIn, Gild, Identified, etc.  A deep dive into what tools—fee and free—that sourcers are using would have so much value.  We’ve all got budgets to work within and tools we use that work well and those that have failed us, too.  Hearing more from our industry from users, versus advertisers, would be huge.  It’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to this February’s conference, to hear what sourcers are successfully using now to improve their productivity and, consequently, their work life.