Have you seen this tweet from one of my favorite people at FOT?
I love it. You’d think I’d be pissed—at least mildly irritated. This is one of those lines similar to some of the others I’ve seen in the digital world of Twitter, Facebook and blogs. A constant flow of neener-neener between recruiting and sourcing professionals. Making me want to ask, “Can’t we all just go out and find good people?” The idea between the professions is that they complement each other. But I do wonder how many companies waste their sourcing talent on just mining their internal databases. Ugh. Shame on you.
You know—your sourcers—those people that can find the word “telephone” and tell you how many times it exists in your database can also tell you a variety of other things.
– Who invented the telephone?
– Who holds the patent?
– How many versions of the telephone are there?
– Who created the first mobile phone?
– How many mobile phone manufacturers are there? In the U.S.? In the World?
– Which job is the most in demand for these mobile phone manufacturers?
– How many people are capable of doing that job? What kind of education do they have? Training or Conferences they attend?
– Where are they? What’s their contact information? Profile? Background? Resume?
– Where’d they get their last latte?
– Who do you know that knows them? What about your team, are they connected?
Do you get where I’m going with this? The current generation of sourcers not only has people at their fingertips, but data. Big data if you will. You can marginalize the job so it’s all about hunting keywords in your internal ATS. That’s fine—at least you’re using your ATS. But the amount of information your sourcer can contribute to your organization for its recruiting strategy is overwhelming. I love the data I’ve accumulated for our firm, that I can go rifle it to pinpoint how many HR Managers with SPHRs exist in think tanks in DC. I’m envious of people like this guy who has worked at a myriad of organizations, because I think his ability to have a finger on the pulse of the tech space and a huge amount of names/datapoints is mind-boggling.
So yeah… you can have a sourcer just hunt keywords in your ATS. Or you can push them to make a strategic contribution to your team. It’s all about asking the right questions—recruiters get that.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.