Sourcing in 2016 and What’s Ahead in 2017

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This year, we have seen a rapid growth of tools to automate search, match profiles against jobs, and refresh professional data in resume databases. Yet, going into the new year, Sourcing as part of Recruiting seems further away from being trivial – or being automated – than ever.

In 2017 and for at least a few years after that, Sourcing will absolutely require skilled Humans to perform it!

Here is, briefly, how the current Sourcing landscape appears to be.


The amount of online data is growing fast – and it’s not a database where we can search. Data is becoming more distributed: people have a professional presence on various sites. People aggregators, that started appearing back in 2011 (see a section on the Tools page) provide access to unified profile data and help a lot, especially in IT recruiting. But we still can’t rely on any one tool for sourcing. (What is the next BIG sourcing tool concept after aggregators?)

Ways to contact and interact with prospects are multiple, cluttered – and need to be sourced, too. We are seeing new contact-finding apps and increased use of texting in recruiting.

Access to professional data is getting more challenging (e.g. the new LinkedIn limitations, costs, and user-unfriendly search syntax). It’s unfortunate that the largest professional database, that has revolutionized recruiting, is now making access to the valuable data so hard. Will the Microsoft ownership provide positive changes next year and bring back the Economic Graph project? Let’s hope for that.

In the meantime, Google X-Ray is our friend! Google has improved its algorithms and no longer requires complex syntax to get the right results. Custom Search Engines and structed data on websites provide interesting search possibilities.

Facebook Sourcing – and interacting in groups (please join the Boolean Group!) – is gaining popularity. It is tricky to find professional data on Facebook, but we see tool improvements – Shane’s Tools is gaining popularity. Facebook has been making itself more search-friendly as well.

Automation and matching technologies seem to be everywhere, but it is a double-edged sword – sometimes, overpromised and underdelivered. (Please expect a blog post on matching soon). I believe that machine learning, in the right hands, can do wonders, especially in fast-screening backgrounds in volume hiring – but profiles and resumes still need human eyes to properly assess them.

It is interesting what Mobile Sourcing holds! Let us all dig deeper into that this coming year.

We are going to keep providing the most comprehensive Sourcing Training in 2017. You can count on our Sourcing Training Library to be up-to-date and our Exams to assess true Sourcing Skills. With our expanded team of Master Sourcers we will increase availability for custom Team Training and Sourcing Projects for our clients. Additionally, expect us to release a new Sourcing Tool in January 2017, currently in private Beta… watch for announcements soon.

Happy New Year to all!


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