Sourcing: Five Key Trends

Below are the five trends in Sourcing-2013, which I feel are important, that I’d like to discuss. (I presented them as a slide in a presentation at the Sourcing Summit NZ; I will write a separate post about the event, which was great in many ways!).

I’ll start with some background explanations.

With the points ONE and TWO below I try to respond to two opposite views on Sourcing (slightly exaggerated, for clarity):

1) “With the Internet already having enough data to pre-qualify some good candidates for pretty much any job, sourcing can be done by computers…

(…or – as a variation – sourcing can be easily done by our Admin Assistant when he’s free, since everybody has access to the same data).

The only real work lies in recruiting those people.”

I don’t believe this is true at all, that we are able to source by cutting down on qualified sourcers’ effort. No semantic search, fuzzy logic, or mile-long Boolean strings will be enough for correctly automatically finding the right target professionals – any time soon. Also, the data is too “Big” to easily make sense of it.

2) This is the opposite view: “Sourcing tools and pre-processing search results for easier consumption are not at all necessary for most searches. Those are for geeks. We do fine – and fast – without.”

This is not true either! It’s best to call on the phone only the right people. Without access to and mastery of some modern sourcing tools – or access to a skilled Sourcer (a “geek”?) – your team will surely be falling behind.

Regarding points THREE and FOUR below: many People Sourcers remain convinced that going to several best sources in turn (say, first, to an ATS, second, to LinkedIn, and third, a niche job board) is all there is. What I am trying to point out is that assembling, cross-referencing data from separate sources (either on the fly or ahead of time) is not the same. Cross-referencing results in significant raise in productivity; namely, both in discovery of “hidden” results – and acquiring extra professional info on people whom you already know of.

Point FIVE belongs to the intersection of sourcing, recruiting, and marketing. I believe that anyone who sources professionals should be closely involved in and measure this activity.

So, here are the five trends:

  • ONE: Human Involvement in Search is a Must
  • TWO: Specialized sourcing skills evolve
  • THREE: Cross-referencing techniques (Take note of LinkedIn Pipeline, a few  lightweight free tools listed here on the blog, and the “finding friends” functions on the major networks)
  • FOUR:Dream Software” (Tools, building databases of aggregated profiles)
  • FIVE: Additionally: branding, marketing, analytics. 
Your thoughts are welcome!