Some say ‘true candidate sourcing’ is the intersection of where the art and science of recruiting meet. Unfortunately, sourcing is too broad of a term for that description. In fact, even to this day I regularly spend time teaching a new client what ‘our’ definition of sourcing means.
The Method Sourcer utilizes different techniques to find and locate the best talent. Early in my career, after selling my previously built name generation company, I was fortunate enough to be hired by an emerging juggernaut in the hybrid RPO space. As a passionate name generator, I had grown jaded with the realization that the perception of my success or failure derived not by the quality of my research, but often by the quality of the sourcer or recruiter making the calls. I was eager to learn the rest of the cycle; an RPO environment would be a perfect ‘sand box’ to test what I felt in my gut.
After entertaining their training program and learning the traditional recruiting method I was left with just one repeating phrase “why in the hell are you doing it that way?” The traditional recruiting method is to scour job boards; reading endless resumes, finding what candidate the recruiter feels is on the money, calling them, leaving numerous voicemails, and maybe ending up with 2 or 3 candidates in a day. This process seemed very inefficient, and defeated the intent of what sourcing SHOULD be. Method Sourcing is very different. Here are the five core principles of a Method Sourcer:
Leverage the Candidate
I started to develop what it was to be “the Method.” The concept of this was to leverage the sourcers’ time by allowing the candidate to screen themselves. The theory was, if the sourcer could get within a few percentage points of accuracy based on the job requirements, and allow the candidates to review and self evaluate on the must haves, they would respond if it seemed appropriate. This way the sourcers are only spending time on the phone screening the candidates that are interested and relatively qualified, rather than very generalized screening.
Understanding the Language of Attraction Marketing
We are not talking about the same (and often lame) methods of writing job posts. The content of the message to the candidate must be compelling, authentic, and action oriented:
My client is seeking a world class _________ (this is a both a complement and a challenge to the candidate), for their global headquarters in ___________. (If the city is not ideal place a complementing adjective prior to mentioning)
I ran across your profile as someone whom could potentially contribute to _________’s EXPLODING growth. (positive growth is a big deal right now, during times of peak hiring substitute this line with ‘I ran across your profile as someone knowledgable in this space)
Then add in your closing action line. This type of marketing allows the company to expand with the greatest candidates possible, and allows the candidates to obtain a greater understanding of why they are needed at the company.
Keeping search simple
When the sourcer is gathering the search requirements (preferably from the hiring manager directly) it is important to focus not only on the requirement itself, but the three to five ‘must haves’ that the hiring manager is looking for. This is common knowledge for a sourcer or a recruiter. What is not common knowledge, however, is to then begin to question the hiring manager why each of those ‘must haves’ are critical to the company. For example, a hiring manager that needs an engineer searches only for a candidate with a computer science degree from a top 20 school. One may think that hiring manager is perhaps being unreasonable. However, after questioning you realize that what the hiring manager is looking for is a solid CS fundamental track that is only emphasized at the the top 20 schools during the early parts of their educational track.
Understanding the ‘why’ is often more important then understanding the ‘what’. When searches get hard (and often they do) this is the information you will be able to circle back to for inspiration.
Next, you want to understand what alternative titles these candidate could be called. Working with the candidate as well as the company to find the best suited position title can be beneficial for both the company and the candidate. Finally, obtaining a verified list of competitors. Simply then construct your strings with the associated “must haves” from people with those titles from those companies. Voila.
Essential Tools for The Job:
A Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad. Why? Everything just works. In my experience, my computer never crashes, my emails and files are always synced, and it out performs when running multiple softwares at the same time, versus my PC running windows.
A linkedin PRO and Linkedin Recruiter Account. Why? Because building a long term network with your Linkedin Pro account while using the Linkedin Recruiter account to blast inMails is more effective than alternative methods.
A recruiting/enterprise branchout account beyond Facebook Why? Because while Facebook has everyone, it is an absolutely terrible mechanism when trying to search professionally. Additionally, every candidate has access to detailed information on Facebook, such as photos. Branchout makes it possible to keep your business and personal world separate while making searching through Facebook actually productive.
Access to one job board (which one does not matter). Why? Because there are good candidates on there too, and they can get the ball rolling while you are waiting on passive candidates to put their resumes together.
5) Kill the F&%*$&g reports please!
I get it, data is king. In order for sourcers to prove their worth, they have to have data. Why is this? Normally it’s because the recruiters are either terrible at what they do, or are too competitive and consequentially do not give the sourcers candidates good play. The sign of a method sourcer is that he or she will not want to do reports..why? Our DNA is not content, it’s CONTEXT. Every minute we spend in repetitive meetings or putting together multi-color reports to explain why it takes 150 candidates for the recruiter to be able to get the hiring manager to hire someone is the time that we could, would, and should be spending finding more candidates. Yes, I am ranting!