Sourcing Tip Secrets

In our first article, in a series of posts regarding the basics of sourcing, we tackle the five primary steps in the sourcing process. There are tried and true methods that have worked for successful recruiters and sourcers. Therefore, it is so important to provide this wisdom to up-and-coming recruiters and sourcers so they can get busy connecting the right people with the right opportunities at the right time.

It’s also critical that sourcers don’t skip steps in the process. Building a solid foundation and doing the ‘leg work’ is incredibly important to ensure success.

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Cart Before the Horse -Things being the Opposite of what they Rightfully Should Be

Growing up my mom used to tell me that I was “putting the cart before the horse” when I would want to do something (or get something) that I wasn’t prepared for. I was obsessed with getting a basset hound when I was a kid (among other things). Clearly I didn’t have the resources to take care of a dog when I was 8 years old.

My mom was absolutely correct. I waited until I was an adult (in college) to get my first basset hound and it was a prudent decision to wait.

Putting the cart before the horse is the notion of things being the opposite ‘order’ of what they rightfully should be. The reference is thought to go back to George Puttenham’s The Arte of English Poesie, 1589. As the picture shows this doesn’t work very well and doesn’t get us where we want to go.

Are Recruiters and Sourcers Falling Prey to the Cart Before the Horse Problem?

Could it be that scores of sourcers and recruiters are falling victim to the “cart before the horse” mentality when it comes to sourcing candidates? Are sourcers starting in the wrong place and forgetting steps?

In a nutshell this is essentially what executive recruiter (turned recruiting trainer extraordinaireShannon Anderson recently told me. Shannon indicated that often recruiters and sourcers start with working on doing keyword searches on resumes bypassing 3 critical steps that must be done prior to Boolean searching.

Effective recruiters can’t skip steps and they need to by hyper-focused on helping candidates solve their ‘career problems.’ If recruiting professionals ‘rush’ past the first three steps they risk finding appropriate candidates for their clients.

This article will break down the primary steps of the sourcing process. Then in another article I will introduce the paradigm of the “Career Problem” as an important first step for recruiters and sourcers.

Most recruiters and sourcers start the process of trying to link talent with opportunity by answering the “How” step below (step #4). The problem is the first 3 steps are incredibly important in order to lay the ground work and truly get in the best position to be a great recruiter/sourcer.

5 Steps of the Sourcing Process

  • Successful Sourcers Can’t Afford to Skip Steps

    Step #1 – Answer the Circle of Why – What is the problem being solved by the job need? What is the department or customer problem? What business problem needs to be answered? Intimate knowledge of the business problem that needs to be solved is critical as a first step in the process. 

  • Step #2 – What? How? How will the applicant spend their day? What will they do? What are they responsible for? What is expected? This information needs to be clear and in the minds of sourcers and recruiters. 
  • Step #3 – Who? Where does the applicant fit in on the organizational chart? Who is involved and connected to them? Who do they report to? Who will be doing employee reviews of their work?
  • Step #4 – How? How will the applicant do the work? Does the applicant have the relevant skills and experience to be successful in the role? Keyword/Boolean search of resumes to find linkages begins at this step.
  • Step #5 – Where? Must know the demand in the city/area of the country where you are trying to place talent. Some positions might be hot in one area, and not so hot in another. Good to keep up-do-date on supply and demand in the job market. 

First in a Series on the Sourcing Process

This article is the first of a series on the “Sourcing Process.” Upcoming posts will outline in detail how to help candidates discover their “Career Problems” and discuss in more detail the 5 steps in the sourcing process. It’s so important to start with the candidate’s “Career Pain”. Career Pain is defined as the delta (gap) between aspirations and current situation.

If recruiters and sourcers can connect effectively with potential candidates and understand their career pains, they can significantly improve their chances of successful placements. Another way to look at this situation is: recruiters are selling their jobs as the solution to candidate career problems and this demands a certain rigorousness.