Only recently (I think) have we realized that our paths cross. Both Sourcers (and Recruiters who source) and OSINT professionals collect and examine online data, cross-reference sources, use Google and reverse image search, and more.
The main difference appears to be the following:
- Recruiters search for all people matching a requirement
- OSINT specialists search for a person of interest and everything about them and their environment.
Visually, I imagine it as tables vs. trees:
- Recruiters collect table data, one record per candidate
- OSINT people collect tree-like data representing a person’s personal and professional life and the same of their close relatives and coworkers, etc.
Each side is ahead of the other in terms of skills and mastered tools. Generalizing, I would say that Sourcers know Google, LinkedIn, and contact-finding better. OSINT specialists are better at analyzing geo-spatial information, image analysis, use more technical tools, and write code more often.
We can teach each other complementary skills. We can speak at each other’s conferences. Recruiters may volunteer to look for missing people.