How to be an AWESOME Recruiter in 2019

This is for anyone wanting to have an amazing 2019. Take your recruiting career to the next level with this simple to follow the guide on how to be an awesome recruiter in 2019. Last year I wrote a list of things that I thought would help recruiters be amazing in 2018, this year I am back with an updated version. Some of the things are the same as last year, same, same but different. A simple to follow a collection of ideas, methods and hacks to help you in 2019.

2019, Recruitment isn’t broken, we all just need to get better at Recruiting!

I have spent a lot of nearly ten years of my career under the black cloud of HR PR claiming Recruitment is broken. I have watched many entrepreneurs crash attempting to fix recruitment with Blockchain, AI or some other tech hodgepodge only to realise that the real problem in Recruiting is how hard it is to actually is to hire someone.

Recruiting isn’t broken. Recruiting is hard. Anyone building a team these days needs a unique set of skills just to hire efficiently.

Recruitment as a skill needs to be recognised and developed. Recruiters that hire should be proud with what they do. Recruiting will get better if we share more with each other. Tech can’t fix our problem, we can. I believe it’s down to every member of the global recruiting community that recruitment is getting better.

If we really want to fix recruiting, its up to all of us.

That’s why I wrote this post, to share what I know with the world. I hope this will help you be awesome at hiring in 2019.

Please share this link with everyone in recruitment you know. Everyone on your company slack, email lists and if you’re feeling rebellious print it out for the people that still don’t have the internet.

It is up to all of us involved in hiring to fix Recruitment. Here is how you can start being a better recruiter.

Get to know who you recruit

The biggest complaint I hear about recruiters is they don’t understand the jobs they recruit for. Every mistake I have made during my recruiting career could have been avoided if I had just spent more time getting to know who I was recruiting. Get to know who you recruit, spend time with them they will help you fill all those jobs you are trying to hire for!

TIP – Find some people who you want to hire and ask them, how would you like to get your new job?

Partner with your hiring manager

Your hiring manager is your end client, it is their team you are hiring for. Get super cosy with them. The best recruiters I know, are never annoyed at their hiring managers but see them as complicit partners that they are trying to help grow. Recruiters success in 2019 will be down to how well they know the team they are hiring for. Get close to them today.

TIP – Set up weekly check ins, show them who you have approached, ask them if they can do your follow ups for the people who didn’t reply!

Tell people you are hiring

Yes, so new for 2019. Tell people you are hiring! Advertise the Jobs you are hiring for. Not crappy job ads with 40 bullet points and a wall of requirements. Get out there and tell people who you are hiring and what they will do. Don’t forget to tell them what they will get out of it. Crazy to think it’s 2019 and the best way to hire people is still to advertise!

TIP – Here is my walkthrough of how to hire people for free on Indeed.

Don’t be scared to Fail

Stop hunting for perfection and worrying about getting everything right. Start messing things up. The best manager I ever had taught me that he was happy when I was failing 20% of the time. If you have never failed, you have never done anything. Start Doing, Start Failing.

TIP – Watch this Ted Video Playlist to learn how to Fail

Ask questions when you are stuck

There is so much power in asking questions. Not questions you could have just googled, but the complicated ones or the ones that need input from elsewhere or from someone with experience. There is a forgotten magic power in asking people questions, it helps you make new friends and helps you leverage the expertise in your own org and your network. Don’t think you know everything, ask more questions!

TIP – Give this HBR Article a Read

Don’t be a creepy phantom, Engage

Odd that I should tell people people this; but please be sociable on social media. Stop hiding behind highly filtered Instagram posts and corporate headshots, start commenting, having discussions and being your weird ass true self. Your lurking is putting your people off. As recruiters we need to be more social, we are after all in the people business. Stop Lurking. Comment on your audiences content. Built your online tribe. Be social.

TIP – Tweet me or comment, its easy!

Know your market

If you are going to be an expert recruiter in Python or the next inhouse recruiter at Yodel. Your market knowledge will help you build better relationships with the people you recruit. Recruiters are uniquely positioned to speak to hundreds of people a week, that gives them market knowledge. Get to know your company, get to know your competitors, get to know your candidates. Recruiters should be able to offer everyone a slice of the information they get to see in the market.

TIP – Use reviews on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor for market knowledge, or try Owler or Blind to find out about companies.

Get REALLY GOOD AT Finding stuff out!

Seriously the number of people that can’t find stuff out on the internet still blows my mind. You are a recruiter, your job is to find people. That means you have to get good at looking for people. Learn how to search for anything quickly. It will make your life so easy..

TIP – Learn about George Boole, use this tool to look for people on Facebook, learn all the search tricks here and when you get super advanced learn google dorking.

Use Data

Measure everything. Use Data Religiously in every part of your life. Its 2019, big data is everywhere. I still find recruiters who’s FitBit’s and supermarket know more about you than you do about your recruiting process. Learning how to measure things from eyeballs to time

Design for Privacy

As a Recruiter you have a lot of private data. CV’s are seriously sensitive information, so is interview feedback and salary info. Get your head around the fact that you are dealing with a lot of private data and start treating it like such. Don’t leave people’s CV’s lying around.

Tip – Read my Alan’s blog on what Sourcer’s & Recruiters need to know about GDPR

Authentic content Wins

Seriously, no one cares about your brand values. Authentic content is shared by the people that actually work in the place. Everyone knows that your “employer brand” is a lie. Let your people tell their story.

Tip – Start watching Gary Vee videos!

Stop Writing Bland Emails

Dear Mr ten-page email writer. If you fall asleep writing the email, I wont reply. Short one/two paragraph emails that are to the point are going to make life so much easier and will get you so many more responses. Also, can you stop DM’ing me with just hey. Tell me what you want in that first message so I can figure out if I can help!

TIP – Read Sofia’s story about her journey with hyper personalisation and read this if you still can’t do it.


Its a scary, powerful weapon. Use it to improve yourself. Don’t get mad when unqualified people give it to you.

See every piece of feedback as a gift.

Whoever gives it, everyones perspective needs to be listened to when it comes to hiring.

Everyone is your client. Using their feedback to improve will help you get better!

Say No – Often!

Sadly, as recruiters, we are gatekeepers as well as dream givers.

You will find yourself saying No a lot more than saying yes.

Getting good at this and confident with this is key to your success as a recruiter.

Tip – It’s expensive not to give candidates feedback


Getting really good at documentation is an important skill for every recruiter! This not only helps us share knowledge and collaborate better, but at the end of the day its core to our function.

From taking interview notes to sharing new techniques. This starts by learning things like how to touch type and finshes with how to write better tutorials.

Documentation is a key skill everyone in recruiting needs.

Read more

Well you got this far so you must be doing something right! What I really mean by read more, is consume more content! Consuming long form content is the differentiator in todays world. Sure, you can learn a lot watching 2 minute videos. To be an expert you need to consume more long form content.

TIP – I consume content religiously about Recruiting from or and twitter.

Help people out

Every recruiter I spoke to in 2018, when I asked them why they are a recruiter told me it was to help people. Nuff said.

Help people.

You will reap the rewards in the long run.

Find a community

A network is Key to everyone’s career success. Communities are key to getting the latest hiring knowledge and learning about the easiest ways to hire people. It’s 2019 people you can explode your network and your career. Spend time asking questions reading, learning and soaking it all in. If you are an InHouse recruiter join DBR, if you like Growth minded recruitment, join the growth hacking recruiters.

TIP – Check out Hung Lee’s amazing list of Communities to join in 2019

Share your best ideas

Please. It will help the rest of us get better.

If your stuck, share other peoples ideas!

Please share this.


I thought it was a bit arrogant of me to just post my own thoughts, so I asked the worlds largest community of recruiters. The Facebook Group “Recruiters Online” to also share their thoughts on what will make recruiters better in 2019 and I was overwhelmed by the responses. Go check out the post here, I have screen grabbed some of the top responses below.

Screen grab from Recruiters Online facebook group of me asking how to be a better recruiter in 2019
Top tips for being a better recuiter in 2019 – this is how you become an awesome recruiter

What is a Growth Hacking Recruiter?

Hires = Growth. A Growth Hacking Recruiter has a growth mindset and curiously and confidently leverages media, technology, data to hit hiring targets with minimal financial investment. Simply put, they help companies hire more effectively with fewer resources than their competition.

A fine-tuned hiring machine, growth hacking recruiters have mastered the art of targeting and engaging with job seekers at scale. Leveraging advances in technology, communication and information availability. Growth Hacking, when applied to recruitment, allows recruiters to become more agile, rapidly evolving and fixing hiring processes to increase satisfaction for everyone involved.

A Growth Hacking Recruiter has the data skills to analyse what is happening with a role (funnel hacking), the marketing skills to optimise and attract the right candidates (SEO, PPC, UX, Content marketing etc), the technical chops to automate the process (scraping, data enrichment, bots, AI etc) and the mindset that constantly drives growth!

Having a Growth Hacking Recruiter on your team will make you more hires, grow your brand and optimise every element of your hiring process.

Growth hacking is a mindset, so are the Growth Hacking Recruiters; A new breed of recruiters who can find the information they need to help companies scale teams successfully. Constantly adapting and adopting, the growth hacking recruiter is taking advantage of the newest technologies, data sources, marketing tactics and shared consciousness to rapidly test things, finding what works and exploiting them to make more hires.

I adopted the growth hacking mindset and applied it to hiring and it worked. By adopting the guidelines below, you can do it too!

Hires = Growth


Hires = Growth. A Growth Hacking Recruiter persistently Chases Growth, Design for people, tests ideas, builds on Failures, Use Data, Measure things, Automate, Listen to feedback


This stuff is not new, it’s old.

It’s 2018 people, if you can’t use the internet to make hires, you need to learn NOW. Growth Hacking applied to recruitment was first written about by Nick Marsh in 2014 in an attempt to coin the term Talent Hacker. At the beginning of 2018 Jan Tegze, predicted growth hacking would be more important in recruiting than AI in 2018.

This is because it’s EASY and FREE to implement.

Having now been working on this in companies since 2014. Soaking in knowledge and building a network of recruiting experts around the world in my search for Talent Hacks. Jan and my vision was that to accelerate the adoption by building a group focused on this we would have a way to share growth hacking tips and tricks that actually work for recruiters.

The community has grown to more than 1500+ members, all recruiters actively engaging in growth hacking the hiring process and there way

They share articles focused around;

  • Information retrieval & Scraping
  • Automation and Bots
  • Digital & Content Marketing (SEO, PPC, Virals, Blogging etc)
  • The dark arts of Engagement & Hacking

As well as questions, real-world hacks, personal growth stories, life hacks, productivity tricks, collaborative projects and challenges.

As a growth hacking Recruiter, I have chased growth in all elements of my life. If you would like to receive all of the information I have learned. Everything I think you need to succeed as a recruiter, growth hacking your way to success, sign up on our landing page.

Join our free community of thousands of growth hacking recruiters around the world sharing tips and tricks that work to help you hire and grow.

Join the biggest and best community of growth hacking recruiters on

Still not convinced? Here is one of the first ever video’s we made to explain how Growth Hacking Recruitment works and how to start adopting the mindset.

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?


I wrote this rant on DBR the other day about the people who are always trying to break the recruitment industry. Breaking the recruitment industry is my favorite subject of conversation, I have written about a couple of times before. I start every year blogging about it because I do believe there are still lots of things that need to change in the world of recruitment. Last year I said.

Let not try and break recruitment, let’s get together and build a worldwide community that makes all the recruiters better!

Now DBR has over 1000 members and continues to grow. We are definitely not the only recruitment community out there either. From the Recruiters Online Facebook group to the Recruiters Kitchen in Paris, all of these recruiters getting to know each other and helping each other is making recruitment better for everyone!

So to all of those of you that are still writing “Recruitment is Broken”, I stand by my previous post’s, it is not a wave of bright-eyed and eager tech entrepreneurs armed with Blockchains and Algorithms that will break recruitment.

It’s us recruiters who will fix our industry!

It’s down to every member of the global recruiting community that recruitment is getting better.

We have only just begun!

Here are my tips on how to be an awesome recruiter in 2018. It’s my rant from the other day in a more constructive of 2017 esque Broetry for those of you that are not DBR members,  the DBR members will remember a few of these lines! 

I hope this will help you be awesome at hiring in 2018. Please share it on your company slack, email lists or and print it out for the people that still don’t have the internet. It is up to all of us involved in hiring to fix Recruitment.

Recruiters aren’t evil, or whatever else Google cares to say about us.

Tech won’t break recruitment, it will make it better.

It’s up to us the recruiters to fix recruitment.

It’s up to us to tell everyone involved!

Not everyone will be happy with a hiring experience.

Not everyone can get the job but if we all work together we can make hiring awesome together!

Here are my tips in general on how to be awesome at hiring in 2018!

These are practical tips for anyone hiring.

Stop writing bland emails

Be Human

Think, People first

Hello, we are hiring people here…

Put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker


Get to know who you recruit for

They probably had it written on the door when you walked in. Convincing stories from people in the company are the easiest way to persuade someone to work there.

Get to know who you recruit

You literally just have to walk up to them and ask them things about their job and their industry. My favorite question to ask people is, how would you like to be recruited?

Understand your competitors

Either in locations or industry or role. Finding out about those companies is simple, try stuff like Owler or Blind or Google Maps.

Partner with your hiring manager


Search with them

Literally, sit down, open up your laptop, go on your fave search engine and search for who they want to hire on a database.

Communicate with Clarity

That takes practice, I’m not sure that I am the best to help you on that one, but try it!

Think about what you can automate

Why do 3 emails when you can do 1? Everyone one enjoys things that are efficient!


Write decent job ads.

Everyone has different ideas about job ads, so post a couple of different ones if you have to!

Make applying easy

Seriously. I get so bored after looking at a form for more than a few minutes!

Show off your team

You are probably going to need a hashtag and lots of pom poms.

Ask the people who are on the team to show it off too

They will get you referrals, reward them well, they will get you more referrals!

Ask for feedback

It does open up the door for rants and it can be tough to swallow, but ask for it anyway with a simple form. Did I do OK today?

Give Feedback

Constructively and honestly!

Be honest with hiring managers

Use Data, its hard to argue with numbers.

Say No – Often!

Try and do it over the phone, I know its hard but you are not going to hire everyone.

You are a gate keeper, you can’t let everyone past.


Design for Privacy

Yep, we are recruiters, we deal with sensitive data.

Make sure you know how to approach that!

(Oh and GDPR Regulation – this is the newest problem on recruiters list in 2018)


Keep notes, write stuff down. Tag Candidates. I can’t believe I’m still saying this.. seriously.


Oh man… there is so much interesting data in recruitment, start here.

Share data

Open up that magic black box of recruitment to the world! (HT Buckland) Telling people it takes 50 interviews to make a hire makes for an interesting conversation.

Help people out that need it

Sometimes it just means looking at their CV with them and showing them how to search for jobs other times and introduction!

Read things

Hung Lee’s Recruiting BrainFood is probably the best place to start!

Don’t believe everything you read

Seriously, especially if it is about recruitment.

Find a community

Specifically, one where you have similar people who face similar problems.

Contribute to it

Don’t just lurk. Write, rant, talk, laugh, post stuff your reading.

Share your best ideas

People need to be inspired!

Ask questions when you are stuck

I do, it helps me get better.

Don’t be scared to Fail

Failing is the best way to learn. I fail all the time.

If you are nice, you will tell me when you do so I can get better too!






Why sourcing should walk hand in hand with recruiting!

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.

giphy (5)

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.

Why Sourcers are racing the machines

AI is changing the way the world works! Big who ha you might say, but the evidence is in front of us. We are helping the world evolve due to our warm embrace of technology into every part of our lives. Recruitment is the same! Some neigh-sayers fill us with fear that all of our jobs will disappear, others take the time to educate us on how to keep up with the changing landscape. You could believe the apocalyptic science fiction scenarios but my peers and I do not. We design, use and compete against more complex technology every day.

You may ask me why we would want to race against the machines but the reality is it is a way for us to embrace the technology as it evolves. Having competed in the SourceCon Grandmaster vs a Robot, I thought it would be fun to bundle together what losing to a robot taught me about my job and how Robots and AI are helping the world of recruiting evolve.

The problem presented to the SourceCon Grandmaster finalists this year was a simple one, we were given 3 anonymous jobs and a bunch of CV’s and asked; “who got the job?”

The machine finished 3rd and took about 3 seconds, I didn’t.

It’s the problem we face every day, minus all the real work a Sourcer and Recruiter does. I am not surprised that it was so easily and quickly completed by the machine, I was more surprised at its accuracy. It’s an input/output style question: Here is a bunch of CV’s please find me the best ones… yet the reality of what most Recruiters do is more than just throw a bunch of CV’s at a wall and hope that one sticks. Hiring is a subjective choice by both interviewer and interviewee, that’s why robots haven’t taken over.

No one wants to be hired by a Robot Recruiters!

– Hat tip to Matt Buckland who shared this idea with me some years ago.

Controlling the machines was the overarching subject for SourceCon and this will probably be the 100th blog post you read about AI in recruitment. While industry soothsayers continue to amuse us with the threat of replacement, ERE media amused us with presentations of new technology and how to embrace it. I believe that robots will never replace me in what I do. For now, that is because we are not yet comfortable interacting with nonsentient’s in our day to day lives, even though it is now cheap technology, not many people have an automated personal assistant running their lives, yet. As humans, we are still not sure how much we should trust the robots and I’m sure it’s true when we are talking about looking for a job. Personally, I would not be happy if you tried to recruit me with a robot.

That’s why, even with the advance’s technology is making, we are not ready to replace all of the elements it takes to hire people with robots. Sourcing is seen as one of the parts that it can optimise. A miss-understanding that Sourcers are just baby Recruiters is understandable if you have never done either role. From an outsiders perspective, a tool that gives someone who is hiring a list of people makes sense but finding people is easy, especially if you know how to look. A Sourcer and a Recruiters role is more, we all have to engage with potential candidates and have a conversation before we can hire them!

Glen Cathy’s blog was one of those that taught me that finding stuff on the internet is easy, and yet Glen has been working on building and testing these tools coming to replace himself for years. He concluded in his keynote this year that while machines are getting better at looking for people it is the “social engineering’ in recruitment that machines can’t get right. While social engineering is a bit of a scary concept, his slides highlight the humanity that helps us make hires and that what humans do, AI can’t… yet…

Flexing Robot Recruitment Muscles

We like to race against these machines to prove that we are still better. The race and embrace of robotics and AI in recruiting has created smarter Sourcers and Recruiters who flex both empathy and engineering muscles to fill jobs and make hiring people easier. The best Recruiters and Sourcers I know leverage data and automation to fill more jobs quicker. As our industry evolves we evolve with it, it’s not just by wielding the tools that makes us more effective but by also honing the skills we need to use them more effectively that ensures we can continue to bring value to our candidates and our clients.

The role of the Sourcer has moved, we don’t have piles of paper CV’s, we have millions of data touch points readily available. Jeremy Roberts highlighted the shift away from one Recruiter and many Sourcer model to the one Sourcer many Recruiters model and proposed in his talk that there were two archetypes of a Sourcer, Tech or Talker. The truth is that it is the tech that is allowing sourcing teams to be centralised units of experts leveraging data and machines instead of the Recruiters assistant who is ploughing through hundreds of dusty resumes. During the talk, I polled twitter and 69% of respondents felt they leverage technical skills to do their job, while only 8% were left behind with little knowledge on the matter.

I think the response is indicative of how sourcing has evolved, we feel more comfortable using more technical tools to make more hires.

Randy Baily, Sara Goldberg and Guillaume Alexandre BEAT THE ROBOT used in the SourceCon Grandmaster Challenge by using their human ingenuity and gut feelings. While the machine only took a few seconds to match the candidates to the roles. Randy won by leveraging his human ingenuity to take a deeper dive into the data provided. No robot could have done what he did as he went beyond what the challenge asked. The reason why he won is that he took a centaur approach (a phrase coined at the conference to refer to the half man half machine approach to sourcing) No machine can call and convince a human to tell them if they previously interviewed with a particular firm, only a Sourcer with an advanced understanding of all elements of recruitment can. Well Done Randy!

This is what I walked away from SourceCon with.

“Human AND AI” NOT “Human OR AI”

Me plus a machine is better than me on my own. I don’t feel scared by the technology I have seen, only empowered to do my job better.

LinkedIn flirted that 90% of professionals are open to new opportunities. The myth of passive-active candidate (which I never believed in) dies with this statistic as it proves that more people are open to having a conversation. Anecdotally, people are always going to be open to the right conversation if the message is delivered in the right way (Edited – Hat Tip for the comment RB.)

Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn 467 million; with so many potential people to hire.. we need to get better at identifying the right time and the right people to be having those conversations with. We then need to spend time and energy to craft the best approach. Easier said than done. We all have a glut of data available at our fingertips and sifting through it is a painful process. That’s why we need tools to help us do this, that’s what the robots are for, to make us more effective.

I’m not scared of racing robots, they aren’t stealing my job, they here to make me better.

That’s why I raced robots at SourceCon and lost.

If you agree or disagree, please share your thoughts with myself and your friends.

If you want to flex your empathy muscle and learn how to enhance the rest of your sourcing muscles with cool tech. Come work on the bleeding edge of technical and human engineering with the sourcing team Inside Indeed, we are hiring Sourcers!


Why Sourcers are… not baby Recruiters!

While at my first SourceCon last year, they were pleased to announce that the role of the Sourcer has become a truly recognised profession. While the professionalisation of sourcing is something that some people have worked years towards, I really believe that most Recruiters are wrong when they think the role of a Sourcer is and it feels like someone needs to hash out exactly what sourcing is in this day and age.

I have been thinking on how to tackle this image problem of a Sourcer for a while and I thought it would be fun to start writing a series of posts titled Why Sourcers are..

This series of posts is not meant to light the flame war of Recruiter vs Sourcer, at the end of the day, we all do the same job, we all hire people. I just have a more specific role in the process than a full cycle Recruiter. This should come as no surprise to you, most large companies have sourcing teams now. While the role of this team varies from org to org, every Sourcer (myself included) is a specialist at attracting and engaging candidates. That’s the beauty of being a Sourcer, that’s the bit I’m good at.

The image that a lot of people have, in and out of the sourcing world is

Why Sourcers are… not baby Recruiters!


The story goes a little something like this;

Stressed Recruiter, “I need a junior Sourcer to help me find more candidates on a daily basis so I can get these job’s filled.”

This is a story I have heard from many people in leadership roles in recruitment. Recruiters don’t feel they have time to source, to engage the right people. This often comes from someone who is managing a large volume of roles and hiring manager relationships.

Sorry dearest Recruiter, you got it wrong! No decent Sourcer, junior or not wants to sit in a corner, without a relationship with hiring managers or the full control of a candidate and do all the heavy lifting while you sit back and screen applications. A Sourcer that is just handing candidates with only your understanding of a role is not really sourcing, they are a mini Recruiter that is not trusted to have relationships with hiring managers or close down a candidate when it comes to the end of the process.

Recruiters that think like this don’t understand the real problems they are facing and think that by just throwing more people time at their workload they will make more hires.



Every Sourcer and recruitment manager know’s this problem. Want to know what is really happening here?

The Recruiter has too much work!

I often see Recruiters who have too many roles asking for sourcing support.  I don’t believe that Recruiters working 20+ jobs can provide an effective service on any of them. If you can’t find time to source for your jobs then you have too many. The Recruiter is becoming blinded by the volume of people they need to deal with and are not able to manage their time effectively.

Why do I think this?Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 12.06.47 PM.png

Just by using Glen Cathy’s funnel calculator and plugging in some reasonably standard numbers you can see that to get to those 20 hires the Recruiter needs to submit 143 candidates to hiring manager review. That’s 2.24 CV’s qualified and sent to a hiring manager every working day. This is a broad brush stroke, I know Recruiters that are very effective that are able to work at this cadence. However, if you are not top 5% Recruiter, this is a lot of conversations to be having every day. Throw some meetings into that working week and you have a very stressed Recruiter who feels that a junior Sourcer to do that heavy lifting and give themselves some more breathing space.

My solution 

Recruiters need to understand the volume of work for they need to do for each role and need to be able to push back on their manager and hiring managers that they can’t be effective at this volume.

Recruitment Managers need to know these figures as well and understand when they are working on headcount plans how much time and how many Recruiters they will need to effectively reach their companies hiring targets.

The Recruiter isn’t using the right tools

Everyone thinks that sourcing takes a lot of time. Going through hundreds of CV’s in online databases and through your own ATS can be time-consuming but if you are spending hours doing it. You are probably doing it wrong.

In today’s recruitment world we have a plethora of tools to help us work more effectively. I notice a lot of Recruiters not using them at all, let alone effectively. Sourcer’s are naturally the more geeky end of Recruiters and are experts in these tools. From an ATS to a bot. I don’t expect all Recruiters to be like this, however, a Recruiter needs to make sure they are using every tool they have at their fingertips.

My solution 

Sorry dearest Recruiter, you need a re-train.

No need for a baby Sourcer, just three days sourcing with me and you will never look at sourcing again in the same way. You won’t need help, your life will be easier and you will become a better Recruiter.


The Recruiter doesn’t get enough qualified applicants

I notice a lot of Recruiters that think that a Sourcer will provide them with the more qualified leads, with more people that want to do their jobs. I think this is wrong.

I believe that 80% of all roles should be filled from applications!

YES, A Sourcer that believes job ads get the best and most candidates. When I say 80% applications, I mean 80% of hires are made from inbound interest, this includes referred candidates and internal applicants.

That means that a good Recruiter only needs to source for a few of their roles and with some smart prioritisation and planning can ensure that they understand where their effort needs to be spent.

My Solution

You need to understand your inbound pipeline for each role. You need to optimise your job ads and work with your employer brand teams and hiring managers to attract the right type of candidates.


So, Why is a Sourcer not a Baby Recruiter?

Don’t get me wrong, I do sit in a corner and build target lists. I do spend hours hunting for the right candidates for hard to fill roles.

I however fundamentally believe that a Sourcer can’t be a person that does what a Recruiter tells them too.

A Sourcer should be a partner to the Recruiter and to the business.

A Sourcer should provide a level of insight that a Recruiter can’t achieve. They should provide data, market intelligence, insight and understanding that a Recruiter can’t get.

No Recruiter can train a junior on how to think like that unless they themselves are doing that and there are very few Recruiters I have met that do this.

So no dear Recruiter, you can’t have a baby Sourcer to fill your pipeline because that is not what real Sourcers are. That’s researchers or a junior Recruiter.

My role at Indeed as a Sourcer, solely supporting 6 markets and 18+ Recruiters has taught me that to be more scaleable I need to provide more strategic assistance to my recruiting team. Without massaging my own ego too much; I am the secret weapon that provides a level of insight beyond what most Recruiters are able to. I am the geek that gets to test things so that I can help my Recruiters get better. I am the person that teaches Recruiters the cool tricks they need to know.

Sourcer’s are not babies but specialists in how to attract and engage people.