In most recruiting workflows, sourcing comes last, I believe that’s wrong and here’s why.
Anyone who works on a sourcing team knows this situation; you are assigned to work on a new role. You pick up the job and realize it has been open for months, the recruiter working the role has had three interviews and got nowhere with it. You sit down with the hiring manager to understand the role and they have a 100% lost faith in you and the recruiting team. Your recruiter is screaming for CV’s and thinks that by finally asking for help you have a magic tap of candidates to turn on. We all know the nightmare, but I have been thinking about why does this happen and what Is it about the recruiting model that leads to these situations?
In most companies these days, sourcing is just part of being a recruiter. As far as I’m concerned, all good recruiters know how to source, all good recruitment managers understand pipeline metrics and can differentiate between a healthy pipeline and one that is not. So why is it that this situation keeps on happening in sourcing teams around the world?
Is it because recruiters and their managers don’t ask for help until it is too late?
Maybe the reason why sourcing is the last resort is the standard recruiting processes most recruiters. Most recruiters get a new job and spend the first week understanding it and writing a job ad, eventually by Friday afternoon get it posted live. The next week they get a huge amount of applications and spend a lot of time treating those and getting screens sorted. By the second week, they have a couple of qualified candidates at interview stage and a steady trickle of new candidates and think that everything is going well. After three or four weeks they have had 6 or 8 interviews and filled the role or they haven’t and that’s when the panic sets in!
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with this process, it works for 80% of hiring and I have used it hundreds of times to fill jobs.
The thing that is wrong is when you can’t fill your job from those 6 or 8 interviews and you turn around and think oh god now I need to source. The thing I then notice is that the recruiter that this happens to is often very busy, finding the time to source is nigh on impossible and they then spend the next 3 or 4 weeks in semi sourcing mode. Praying for a good applicant to come in… and then it’s been 10 weeks and they haven’t filled the job and someone somewhere panics. They didn’t ask for help in the right way or have the right resources assigned and all of a sudden they made everyone look bad.
So maybe the real problem here, is its hard to tell which role is tough to fill?
You might believe that the problem here lies in the identification of the difficulty of filling the role. Is it the recruitment manager or the recruiter to do that or does it lie with the sourcing team? Good recruitment leaders understand the potential hiring problems and work to ensure the problem isn’t delayed. Here at Indeed in EMEA that it is how we work, our awesome leadership team and I sit down and look at headcount plans months in advance and identify roles that are going to be difficult. The prediction models that Randstad showcased at SourceCon were all around identifying the hard to fill jobs and communicating that back to the business to ensure that roles were assigned the right type of resource.
With labour markets becoming more competitive and jobs more complex most of the people that you will hire will already be working and more than 60% percent (depending on which statistic you believe) will be not actively looking and applying for jobs. Sourcing needs to walk hand in hand with recruitment, as a recruiter that means honing your sourcing skills as a source that means positioning yourself at the top of your hiring funnel to ensure that your efforts are being spent in the right place. It shouldn’t be hard to know which role is going to need sourcing because in truth you should source for every role.
I fundamentally believe that sourcing and recruiting walk the hiring road hand in hand. If you think they are different you are wrong. If you think you don’t need to source your are not a recruiter. If you think you don’t need to know how to recruit to be a sourcer you are wrong. If you want to get really good at recruiting then you need to get really good at sourcing and vis versa.
The knowledge gained from sourcing to start with vs sourcing at the end means that your efforts complement your organic pipeline; you are recruiting effectively when you are doing both. Through the knowledge you develop in your initial sourcing efforts your hiring managers will trust you as an expert and you become effective faster in your hiring efforts.
Whether you are one recruiter in your company or hundreds, for sourcing and recruitment to walk hand in hand successfully then;
- Leadership should try and use data to predict where sourcing and hiring efforts should be directed and resources should be put.
- Recruiters should try and source first – even if it is just a few search string to look at some profiles you will learn stuff before you sit with a hiring manager that will make you look like an expert.
- If you have a stand alone sourcing team then you should be assigning them to roles and recruiters as early in the hiring process as possible.
- Everyone involved in hiring needs to be honest, hiring managers not getting the right people? Tell someone. Recruiters not getting the right people? Tell someone. Sources finding it tough? Tell some one. Asking for help does not mean you are bad at your job!
- Finally in a big team or a small one, working together is the only secret to hiring well.
Here at Indeed in EMEA all this boils into regular syncs between every stakeholder in the process, regular updates and regular communication. To hire more as a team it means weekly sourcing jams with recruiters and sources so we can work as a team on tough roles and peer to peer sourcing session with new hires and existing teams to find out who they know.
Sourcing walks hand in hand with recruitment and if you think I’m wrong, I’m keen to hear why.
In my next why sourcing post I am will share my top tips on how to source for a job before you have got it, on how to use data to do market sizing exercises! If you haven’t allready, check out why sources are not baby recruiters and hit me up with a tweet or on LinkedIn.