Friday, September 21, 2007

"Sourcing" Colored Lipstick, the new rage!!!

I can’t shake the thought that there seems to be an incongruity or maybe even a contradiction within the recruitment industry, or maybe it is just my nearsightedness that is causing me to perceive this in that light. Let me share with you my thoughts and you tell me.

For now let’s just say that sourcing is in fashion, if you put on a "sourcing" color lipstick you’ll be hot, and everyone will want you. It seems like every where you go there are articles or news about all kinds of new sourcing tools, techniques, and such… there is such a big demand for anything closely resembling sourcing.

I have implemented two sourcing teams and have been sourcing for let’s just say a few years. Still I believe that the biggest problem Sourcers face is not the labor shortage, nor the inability to find quality prospects, nor the lack of sourcing skills, nor the right metrics or any such affair. Believe it or not, I believe the biggest challenge Sourcers experience is high internal resistance to sourcers or sourcing support. Doesn’t that seem odd? If sourcing is so important, and so hot, how could there be a resistance? What do I mean resistance?

A Sourcer can be a recruiter’s lifeline, yet they still try to give sourcers their job req’s in a posted note, or they continuously find fault in the candidates they receive from their Sourcer or continuously fail to provide proper feedback etc..

So what is the answer? Are you ready for this? Are you sure you want to know? Change your lipstick!!! Just kidding, I don’t have the answer but here is my take, sourcers have to be more than just researchers (whether phone or internet) the have to also be marketing specialists. They have to work harder at building rapport with the recruiters that they are going to support than at the research they are undertaking. Most sourcers take to sourcing as ducks to water, research quickly becomes second nature, but they struggle to “sell themselves” or their “wares” sort of speak to the recruiter’s.

The service that sourcers provide to recruiters is very valuable and even though we shouldn’t have to market ourselves or what we do, the reality is that it is not enough to source well. That is only half of the equation, if you want to succeed you have to market yourself and your service to your recruiters, build rapport and then we will see sourcing go from flavor of the month to staple meal.


maureensharib said...

I am delighted you grasp the importantce of marketing this arcane subject to the masses.



Amybeth said...

I think this is so true, and I think a lot of this lack of use can be addressed by setting expectations up front with the recruiters you work with. If they know right away why you're there, what you are going to be doing, and most importantly, what you are NOT going to be doing, it makes it much easier. I always would try to put things in terms of how I am there to benefit the recruiters. Most people are most interested in 'what's in it for them', so if you tell them right away, they are usually more likely to utilize you reserching skills appropriately! :)