Many if not most recruiting functions view sourcing as an augmentation or additive. Most sourcers are viewed as Junior Recruiters. Unfortunately many times this is true. Sourcing is one of those generic terms like saying “He is a Quarterback.” Quarterback of what? There is a big difference between a pop warner league and the NFL, although ‘technically’ its the same game with virtually the same rules.
The happens in sourcing, although its simply not as obvious. Just like in sports, there are folks that make is a hobby, something they do in school as they are making their way into the ‘real world’ and then there are the Joe Montana’s who take it as far as one can go.
The Sourcers I am referring to are those sourcers. These are the guys and girls you see on your Facebook and twitter talking about sourcing, tools, methods, etc. They are sourcers by trade, by profession. They view themselves in the leagues of surgeons, elite special forces, corporate espionage, and other colorful depictions that help their outside colleagues understand just how good they really are.
Despite all of this, from top down leadership they are still viewed as an augmentation when based on the Method, they should be the center piece of a sourcing strategy. The Method will dive into other pieces of sourcing later, but in this Chapter | Post | Talk we will focus on the other things a sourcer does that to most is not so obvious.
External Affairs: To candidates that a good sourcer networks with while finding candidates are typically extremely well connected industry mavens and centers of influence. Theses professionals are vital to getting good information about who is really doing well in a role, information that cannot be captured by any kind of social profile. If the sourcer is not professional that Maven or influencer will not pass along their vital information to your company again.
Public Relations: Your companies CEO just had his hat handed to him last night on CNBC. Sure, your public relations department is “all over it” with wordsmith embedded press releases, however, how many real people do they speak with 1 on 1. None, if they can help it. However, consider a Sourcer that still has to get their search completed. Who are they speaking with? By the nature of the caliber of candidates they should be speaking with, they are fielding these questions not just by friends and family but top producers from your companies competitors. These candidates have a highly influenceable social graph that consist of vertically aligned colleagues. If the sourcer does not do a good job it can magnify the ripple affect, however, if the Sourcer can properly orate the companies vision and direction, even with candidates that do not get hired can rapidly effect public opinion in spheres of influence that really matter.
Management Consulting: Your companies hiring manager needs a program manager to replace a retiring employee. If your sourcer truly understands the space, they will know the proper competitive salary data, what relevant companies house the best talent, where that talent is located geographically, etc. This data could also be contained by draining internal resources or by hiring a research or retained firm. This information coming from your internal sourcer will be authentic an unbiased.
Mergers and Acquisition Sourcing: Sure a Sourcer’s main focus is to find talent, but in doing so he quickly learns which of your companies competitors are doing well, working on a large initiative, etc. They also hear about growing startups, layoff’s before they happen, and other industry rumors. This competitive inteligence can and should be constantly passed to your companies Mergers and Acquisitions department to help locate and source potential product and company acquisitions. This information could probably also be helpful for a companies R&D department.
A good Method trained Sourcer will produce value that vastly exceeds the obvious immense value of finding the very best talent. The will also help in cultivating winning authentic communities to drive the very best talent to your company.