Magazine article HRMagazine

The Sourcers' Secrets

Magazine article HRMagazine

The Sourcers' Secrets

Article excerpt

They're talent acquisition superstars with the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes, the inquisitiveness of a scientist, the sales pitch of Dale Carnegie and the intuition of a psychic- not to mention the tenacity of a bulldog. After all, it's their job to convince comfortably situated professionals to leave their jobs for a new position.

They are sourcers-and they never rest, lying in wait to fill positions that aren't even open yet. Sourcers analyze job descriptions and study the needs of the company that hired them. They exhaustively research the professional and personal backgrounds of potential candidates, both online and off, looking for any information that could open a dialogue. While sourcers mine typical sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, they also dig much deeper than that, scouring industry- specific websites and discussion threads, networking at conferences, and monitoring niche publications and their online communities. They're savvy enough to understand that their own online profiles can attract contacts and candidates, so they make sure to keep their profiles attractive and up-to-date.

Sourcers can be part of a company's HR staffor independent consultants. The former are salaried and generally work as part of a larger talent acquisition team, while the latter could either have a longterm contract or be brought on for a specific search. Consultants' fee structure varies depending on the type of search but is usually about 25 percent of the candidate's starting salary.

Company recruiters say sourcers are well worth the cost, but HR Magazine can offer a better bargain. Here we share recruiting tips from four award-winning sourcers for absolutely free.

Gail Houston

Product Manager Recruiter at Intuit, Dallas/Fort Worth

Houston spent 16 years in recruitment at EDS before joining Intuit, where she was drawn to the creativity of sourcing, especially as it relates to social networks.

A recognized industry leader and indemand speaker, Houston has developed in-house training programs for sourcers at Intuit and formalized the company's social media strategy. And she'll do whatever it takes to get the right hire. In fact, she once landed a candidate from one of Intuit's competitors after networking with the person for 18 months. Her powers of persuasion are fueled by her excitement about her company.

Houston can be found on Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn's SlideShare. She has over 4,000 followers on Twitter and more than 500 connections on LinkedIn.

Her Process

Whether there is an opening or not, I always try to make matches. It can be quick or it can be downstream, and can come anywhere from a couple months to a year later.

How She Finds Talent

I use LinkedIn as well as social networks that aren't necessarily geared toward recruiting. I also look at question-and-answer websites such as Quora, where people may be talking about product management. I scan YouTube to find candidates who are putting on product management demonstrations. And SlideShare is a hidden recruiting tool that many sourcers don't use but should.

How She Reels Them In

I tailor each message to the individual. I show them that I've actually read their profile or watched their presentation. If a candidate has made a slight change in their LinkedIn profile that aligns with what I'm looking for, I'll note that, reach out and offer an opportunity to talk. If the contact isn't ready to have that discussion, he or she often has a friend who is.

Kelly Dingee

Director, Strategic Recruiting, at Staffing Advisors, Washington, D.C.

Dingee has been in the sourcing industry for 17 years and has been named a "Top 25 HR Trendspotter," "Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiter," "Top 25 Online Digital Influencer" and more. When she was pregnant with her second child, she reduced her hours at the company where she worked at the time. That's when her sourcing career began to take off. …

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