Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sourcing training overview

Amybeth asked what to me was a very interesting question. She asked: "Do you have some recommendations for formulating a strategic sourcing process that will teach the basics to recruiters and researchers alike? It is very true that we have become somewhat over-reliant on technology tools and have forgotten the basics. Kind of like using spellcheck, huh? :)"

Amybeth!! First let me preface by saying that I have found that recruiters are open to learning only when they see in the training a way to address a current, real problem otherwise is just information and then the training will only work when the recruiter is highly vested in solving that problem. At that point not only will they be open to new information but will apply the new material. In addition, as adults we often learn best from experience, rather than from extensive note taking and memorization and the best way to accomplish this is through ongoing feedback around their new found experience.

Having said all that, what I have found that works for me is this. I begin to train any new sourcer or recruiter, by setting them with a sourcer for a few days, the will review the ATS, organizational skills, and a sourcing overview. After a week of observation and application they are ready to go into more serious stuff.

I go over internet search basics first. I begin by explaining how the search engines react differently to keyword then job boards and give them many examples. I show them how to look at keywords to look for a different approach than the job description may lead them to. I then go through what type of search services are available in the internet i.e. directories, search engines, and meta-search engines and how to search them. The next step is Boolean and search engine math and I wrap up with advanced tools like the at least 12 different ways to flip websites and at least 6 different ways to x-ray. I give examples of each and apply them as we cover them.

For the first day after training I assign them to source a job but ask for it to be sourced with nothing but keyword searches, later I add inurl: and intitle: a couple of days later have them start doing searches by filetype: and then flipping and then x-rays.

Once they develop proficiency on the search I focus on teaching them different technologies. i.e. how to search engineering, software development, IT, etc... I also task my sourcers to research and teach a 5-10 minute presentation at least once a month on any skillset they chose to learn about. Once they have a grasp on several technologies I introduce them to the phone and start phone sourcing skills but that may be months down the road depending on their progression. Also some people have more of a propensity for internet research while others have more of an inclination for the phone. I watched to for that to guide them in the direction they show more propensities to.

Overall my impression is that you have to present an overview of what the recruiters will learn. Then let them apply one skill at a time until they understand the depth of each tool learned. Only after they learn the tools can they learn the appropriate strategies. If you allow me to paraphrase what I said on Saturday’s entry again, you can learn the basics in an evening but mastery will take time and serious effort.

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