Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The first barrier to sourcing success

Today I thought to muse about phone sourcing and the growing difficulty in finding the qualified candidates we seek. As sourcers, perhaps the most critical initiative we can undertake is to develop is an effective phone sourcing strategy. The key to achieving your sourcing goals is designing a program that is based on a solid understanding of the challenges you'll face. My impression is that we are finding it difficult primarily because of our inability to adapt our current recruiting model to the tightening market. There are many great prospective candidates out there, unfortunately, they are totally unaware that they're even a candidate, and to make the matter worse they don’t have any interest in exploring career opportunities.

I thought that in order to give the subject of phone sourcing justice I would take the next several blog entries to focus on the different barriers to phone sourcing success. For now I will just cover the first barrier to sourcing success which is that of being “unprepared”. So how do you prepare? Preparing means studying the job description, developing cold-calling strategies, preparing scripts, building networks, getting referrals, and handling objections (yes sourcers need to learn to handle objections too, it isn’t just for recruiters).

Start by defining your target’s habits. Look at things like what does their world consist of? What you know about their habits. What magazines or journals do they read? What conferences might they attend? Who do they talk to everyday? What are they like? Don’t forget to keep up with the schools that possible candidates may have come out of. Any school that may offer that have the type of degree your prospect may have, make a list of all applicable ones. Later on in your search they may be useful to either network with the professors or to look for their alumni associations.

Don’t forget to compile and maintain a list of newsgroups, discussion forums, or blogs where prospective candidates are likely to participate in. Think of possible companies that would have the perfect candidate. Create a target list of companies you wish to penetrate. Be sure to include physical address, phone number, and website information.

Keep in mind that preparation can only strengthen your presentation. Strengthening your own sourcing skills can add directly to your bottom line. Spending time understanding the real needs and wants of prospective candidates before making your calls is an investment in your success.

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