There are many sourcing methods, techniques, and approaches. Most recruiters and sourcers are competent in the use of many of these sourcing tools, including keyword utilization, and query searching, yet in order to improve our sourcing performance we have to look beyond the techniques.
It isn’t just a matter of forecasting the technology needs or analyzing the jobs that will need to be recruited but also the competency or the knowledgebase that the sourcer possesses. To increase sourcing competency, sourcers need to be assessed to probe the depth of their knowledgebase on the technical needs and to determine any possible existing competency gap. The ability to assess the current skill inventory addressing skill-gaps over time is the key to optimizing sourcing strategies to deliver the desired value. Skill-gaps may be strategic, tactical, personal or general.
Strategic skills deal with the “what” and “why” and involve analyzing technical disciplines and determining technical priorities. It they may also involve developing core competencies in specific technical disciplines necessary to meet sourcing objectives including sourcing techniques and issues underlying recruiting requirements, environment and applications. Tactical skills address the “how” which may include how we implement strategies. It involves mastering not the sourcing techniques but the approach. It includes knowing when to use such approaches as advertising in specific professional journals, competitor raiding or direct sourcing of heavily researched candidates. Personal skills may refer to specific sourcer skills such as objection handling, while general skills may include knowledge of benefits offered or weak company knowledge.
Actions designed to close group and individual skill-gaps are the key to increasing the productivity and success of sourcers in achieving their goals. Helping the sourcer establish a clear understanding of the technical environment, the tools available and the strategies to implement them, is vital to engaging the sourcer into the pursuit of his technical expertise. Without the awareness that results from such an understanding of the sourcer’s aptitude it is impossible to develop a plan to achieve the desired competency levels.
To be successful, a strategic sourcing program must incorporate standard procedures and metrics. It must also provide an environment that fosters continuous improvement in order to align our critical expertise resources to our business based requirements.