Sourcers VS Recruiters: A Quick Survey on Sourcing from DBR

Sourcers VS Recruiters is an old argument, we all know the difference at the end of the day. Below, you can see a data-driven approach to understanding the differences between recruiters and sourcers and the challenges they all face!
In the next few weeks, everyone is going to be talking about sourcing in Europe ahead of SourceCon’s first visit. So to kick this little project off, I decided to do some research.

I need your help!

It’s anonymous and the results of the research are just below!
At the end of the Day, Sourcer vs Recruiter, I don’t really care! I am more interested in what are the challenges people face when sourcing! I’m imagining there will be plenty of both Recruiters and Sourcers attending SourceCon this time around. At the end of the day, we all do sourcing from time to time right?
To make sure we were “On Trend” for DBR live we decided to choose, Sourcing vs Recruiters as a Topic.
I want to find what is the difference between Sourcing and Recruiting.
Anyone who follows my blog and reads my stuff knows that Sourcers are not Baby Recruiters. In DBR and the surrounding community we differentiate a lot less, or maybe I blocked everyone that thinks that way?
I am keen to Understand what challenges people are facing when sourcing. I also asked is there really a difference in the roles, as far as I’m concerned we all hire people, so we all Source.
The data is all below and the more you share it, the more we can learn about Sourcing!

More details?

Sam and I caught up on DBR Live to discuss the results after hitting 70 odd respondants!


Have you filled out the survey? 

Have you sent it to all your recruiting friends?

The results are all below, first, let’s see who actually responded.

With more respondents, we will be able to share a more defined segment of the audience. Please share and respond and I will update soon!

I looked at what all the respondents largest challenges are in their day to day roles.

The real question here is “What is the difference between Sourcers and Recruiters?”

If you want to hear Glen Cathy’s answer, check it out here!

The real difference is where they spend their time, right?

I wanted to find out the difference in how Recruiters and Sourcer spend their time. So I asked all the respondents how much time they spend sourcing every week roughly.

The graph below shows pecentage of time people spend roughly per week, broken down by role segment, Recruiter vs Sourcer (as more people respond, we will be able to add more segments, considering the survey is capturing info as to what style of Recruiter is responding).

Maybe we will finally have proof of the above?

In terms of responses, there are some excellent ones to the final question.

What do you think is the real difference between Sourcers and Recruiters?


“Sourcers have a passion for finding people, recruiters have a passion for finding fees.”

“A sourcer is a native hunter… a recruiter could be only a fisher… and sometimes an hunter….”
and of course
“Loaded question! A great recruiter has elements of a great sourcer, and vice versa.”
As far as I’m concerned, teams of experts working together in an agile manner is going to lead to solving some of the worlds hardest hiring problems faster!

What do you think?

RECRUITMENT: Don’t Break It, Fix It!

Wow, it feels like an age since I last wrote about DBR. It is a well overdue for me to tell you a little bit more about DBR in 2017 and in particular what it means to me to be part of this community as it grows.

I have to talk about it because the influence it has had on mine and other people’s lives blows my mind!

For those of you that don’t know what DBR is; DBR is the only safe place for in-house recruiters in Europe. We host events, talk to each other on slack and work together to solve the problems we face as recruiters every day. You probably need to start at one of these points and then come back to this post if you want to find out more about it:

DBR is now growing faster than we could ever have imagined. We have now given more than 400 in-house recruiters access to our slack channel. With our awesome new streamlined process, each applicant is vetted by the admin team and then swiftly invited into a community where help is at hand whatever recruitment problem you may be facing.


Running this slack channel means more in-house recruiters than ever before have the opportunity to share ideas, solve problems, get real-time feedback from peers and help more people than ever get jobs!


Yes, since we moved from a WhatsApp group to a slack channel we have sent 440,000 plus messages but it’s not all about what we share on our dark social channels the core of our community still lies in the real world. The relationships this community has helped build over beers in the pub, discussing ideas at events and supporting each other at trade shows, has lead to us all being better recruiters.


Robert Nunn Head of Talent at WorldStores Group summed up what the reality of being in a community of recruiters that share ideas and candidates really should be.


I agree, as recruiters, the way we will all become more successful will be to celebrate the talent we work with every day. Recruiters should share their networks and their connections and help the people they work with. I believe every in-house recruiter should share, invest in community and invest their time helping each other!

Let’s not try and Break Recruitment,  let’s get together to build a worldwide community that makes us all better!


DBR in 2017 is going to grow

We are sticking to the original idea that the original founder Hung Lee had for this community, we are focusing on our mission to build a safe place for in-house recruiters. Everything we do as an admin team will be focused on what the community needs and wants and we hope that you can all help us make it bigger!

Scaling the grassroots community feeling that DBR has is almost impossible without people meeting in the real world. The effort that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the other DBR members have the same platform to learn and grow that the first few of us had when we started meeting is unprecedented. As admins, our trust and patience is continually tested by those that deliberately sabotage our success and profit from what we have built. We continue to stick to our guns. We won’t be monetizing this community, the mailing lists we have, our candidate databases or the relationships we have built. DBR will continue to be a not for profit organisation managed by the people that love it to help every fellow in-house recruiter we can.

We will continue to focus on stuff that helps the community with support, of our members and our partners.

So, if you hadn’t read it yet, I moved to Dublin and will be trying to grow the first official offshoot branch of DBR here in Dublin. We will be meeting up for our first drink on February the second, make sure if you are in Dublin you sign up here.

Thanks to the team at StackOverflow our “Don’t be afraid..” Series has a home in their Shoreditch offices and will be running every 6 weeks. Next one if on

Our friends at Indeed Prime will be hosting our larger parties, keep June the 15th free, we have a real treat in store for you!

Of course, you will also find some of us at the Dragon Bar sharing ideas over a drink or two.


Huge thanks to every DBR member for your time, your patience and your confidence in our community. Hung Lee for the idea in the first place and inviting me to the first DBR drinks, and for your teams time to build the new site. My fellow admins Matt Buckland, Matthew BradburnKristian Bright and Nick Yockney, you guys are the best.

Some tips from my job hunt!

TL;DR This is a rant about looking for a job with some tips for recruiters and job seekers!

Everyone knows the pain of looking for paid work. Buzzfeed curated 25 reasons why job hunting sucks along with cat gifs (to keep you calm) and (now) having been thinking of this for a while, I can think of hundreds myself! Compare it to the pain of dating, the stress of house hunting or choosing where to eat dinner. The reality is the process of looking for a job is as painful as hiring people. 

Many people have told me in the last few months “You’re a recruiter, finding a job will be easy for you!”. The reality is that it’s a nerve-wracking, painful and slow process for me, just as it is for everyone else. Having learned some lessons along the way, I thought I would share some tips for recruiters and job seekers.  


It’s not as easy as they told you!

As a recruiter, you may think that I should be good at finding a new job. I have a big network, a pretty good online presence and lots of friends in the industry. Indeed, people ask me often: “Can you help me find a job Tris?” and I’m often able to offer some advice and pointers… I am a recruiter after all and I am supposed to be good at this! It has been a few weeks now and I don’t have a new job yet (although I am closer than you may think) and even though I think I have followed my own advice there are definitely things that I have got wrong during this search.

If you’re looking for a job, the truth of the matter is:

  • It’s not quick or an easy process to find a great job
  • Looking takes as much work as work does
  • You have to fill out application forms and go to interviews
  • You will get ignored, forgotten and lied to
  • There are other people looking for jobs that are better than you
  • The jobs you want are harder to get
  • Expect to wait for stuff to happen

I get the impression that 90% of my fellow recruiters and HR professionals have completely forgotten the pain of looking for a new role and the reality of work. As experts in employer branding in a quest to attract top talent, we have become experts developing employee value props, content marketing, sourcing and pitching candidates. We kinda forgot what it really feels like to look for a job and that when you are a job seeker… life really sucks! Job seeking is just as competitive as hiring if you are looking to advance your career or get a good job. We have made the lives of candidates harder and moved away from what got us into helping people look for jobs and hire people.

If you’re recruiting, Focus on the reality and honesty of the experience. Every job seeker, every person you interview and every part of the process puts emotional stress on all those involved. Please try and treat every person like a VIP. Try and offer great career advice. Try and remember that last time that you were looking for a job. *This is probably going to become my mantra*

If you are looking for a job, be ready to be competitive. Looking for a job you enjoy is a tough and often life long journey. Work hard at it because the cool jobs are hard to get! The way you look for a job will affect the job you get. Find the advice that suits you and stick to it. There are no silver bullets here and finally be prepared for people to say NO!

Finding jobs is tough!

When Monster came along in 1994 and revolutionised the job advertising space by putting job ads online, everyone thought that it would make the experience of looking for a job and hiring people easier. 22 years later and there are now hundreds of online job boards for every niche and vertical, jobs are posted on company websites, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, reddit threads and twitter hashtags. Every platform has its audience, all have a role to play but this is a very confusing candidate experience. I haven’t logged into to monster recently or made a list of job boards for you yet!

If I type “in-house recruiter” job London into google you get just under 50k results. That’s loads of jobs to apply for you may think. But in reality, it’s not. I’m not moaning but having spent a while looking at these job ads, the reality is that the job boards all have the same job ads on them and thousands of these jobs are out of date, filled or not even the thing I searched for anywhere. It’s sooo frustrating!

Have we become lazy as recruiters? Do we not care or think about where we are posting our jobs anymore? Does doubling up on content detract from our brand? Does it really lead to success?

I feel I might be guilty of this, my ATS sprays out job ads across all the free job advertising platform.My approach has always been get more views – get more applicants! But now I’ve had some time to reflect on this I can’t be sure that I am really capturing the audience I am looking for! Someone searching for a the job I’m looking to fill is the easy way out, instead of spraying and praying. Why am I not ensuring that every single person who types the specific search phrase that tells me they are a potential candidate?

If you’re recruiting, be careful with your job ads. Make sure you get them seen by the right people. In my opinion, SEM campaigns have to be the way forward on this one. In fact, specific job search traffic is so low that it must be a cheap exercise, right? Recently, I have been followed across twitter by their own job ads and I was super impressed with the targeting of the campaign. OK, the job ad was for someone with 5 years more experience with me. They had obviously gauged my intent (not sure how) and then dynamically served job ads at me until I broke and got in touch.

If you are looking for a job, try not to get bogged down by all these job ads! The advice I have given to many job seekers has been to automate as much of the job hunting process as possible. Indeed (which aggregates all the other job boards) allows you to write some simple queries and set up a job alert as does every other job board. It is far easier to see the new jobs come into your inbox every morning than to search through the hundreds of job boards.


Applying for jobs is painful

Looking at the application process of most companies, you’d think no recruiter ever has actually bothered to actually apply to one of their own job ads. Seriously it’s 2016 and I think about 80% of application forms for job ads that I have come across are archaic and have actively put me off working for that company…  the other 20% were just a pain to fill out.

Yes, I went to apply to your company but the form put me off… for life! I understand that you are burdened with an archaic ATS and HR processes dating from the dark ages but did you not realise that you are actively putting people off? Why did you do that? Why have you not bothered to look at what that experience is like?

I understand the argument that if you’re a recruiter you only want the people that are really interested in working with you to apply, but really how hard is it to look at 10 CV’s every morning and dismiss the ones that don’t look right? One click applies are easy to set up and a pleasant experience for me as a candidate as are two clicks for a dismissal email.

If you’re recruiting, Wouldn’t you prefer to have 10 CV’s to look every day (even if only one of which is good) than pay extortionate agency fees, RPO fees or deal with people skipping around your recruitment process?

Every online job/career platform has an API that means you can make the apply button super simple and the process. If all you need is a CV and a cover letter to begin with…. Why are you making this process so complicated? Apply for your own jobs and think, would I enjoy this application process?

If you are looking for a job, be prepared with all the details you need! I keep a google doc with links etc and copied in the details of my answers every time a new question comes up. Keep it short. I found that the most effective cover notes and answers to forms are short. You just need to grab the recruiter’s attention. At the end of the day, you are going to have to fill out some form to get them to call you an interview you. There is no need to write a life story if you are convinced you can grab their attention.


Keeping track of it all is difficult

So after a few weeks of looking for a job you find yourself with an inbox of leads and things start to get confusing. Making mistakes at this stage make you look very foolish and can be hugely detrimental to all that effort you put in!

With all of these different job boards, platforms and solutions not offering anything that actually helps you manage your job hunt how can you keep on top of everything?

I don’t think I am the first person to admit I’m not as organised as I should be. To keep on everything that has been going on I have built a spreadsheet to do this! I wanted to do everything from keeping track of the best sources of jobs for me to being reminded of the cool jobs that haven’t gotten back to me.

If you are looking for a job, get yourself organised. A trello board, this spreadsheet or just a piece of paper will help you look and find something suitable. Treat your job search as work and make life as easy as possible. You can make a copy of my spreadsheet here. 

This blog post got quite epic and I haven’t even touched on how Interviewing is scary or that waiting for offer documentation is long! Obviously, I will have plenty of time to re-visit this topic until I get hired. My rant is over for now but I wanted to leave you with a few points.

As recruiters, we need to remember that a reassuring hiring process makes you look like a great employer and helps you hire amazing people.

  • Don’t lose sight that your job is here to help others get hired and hire.
  • Think about the process you are putting people through.
  • Act as a conduit of information to hiring managers, your leadership team and  your candidates.
  • Be a guide through the scary thing of looking for a job.

As job seekers understand that every company wants to hire the best and the right people for their company.

  • Getting a great job is a challenge.
  • Be prepared and organised!
  • Understand that everyone you meet is a potential employer.
  • Be honest with yourself and your potential employer.

Enjoy the process. You will learn about yourself and your industry. Enjoying the challenge will help you get a better job without a doubt.

Feel free to get in touch if I can help!