Sourcing and Research
There are many sourcing methods, techniques, and approaches and believe me I can carry on for hours talking about them. Things like keyword utilization, query composition, Boolean operators, advanced field commands, strategic application of commands etc... you get the picture.
I do have a pet peeve however, and that is the level of competency displayed by both recruiters and sourcers alike. I don't mean to berate or belittle anyone. It is just my belief that many recruiter's may say I have "X" years of experience, you fill in the number, but in truth they just repeat the first year "X" amount of time.
Don't get me wrong, most recruiters and sourcers are competent in the use of many of these sourcing tools, yet in order to improve our sourcing performance we have to look beyond the techniques. This may sound strange, but think of it this way, knowing how to use a hammer doesn't necessarily make me a carpenter. Our focus should be not on the techniques we use but rather on the level of skill with which they are used and how they match the skills required to meet the strategic goals. Kind of like a surgeon not only knowing what kind of a knife to use in surgery but also knowing how much pressure to apply and where to apply it.
So how do we go about elevating sourcing competency? How many people would trust a surgeon if they knew he'd never performed a surgery? They acquire the skills to perform surgeries on the operating table however. A recruiter needs to know much more than how to put Boolean strings together. It isn't just a matter of forecasting the technology needs or analyzing the jobs that will need to be recruited but also the competency or the knowledge-base that the sourcer possesses.
To increase sourcing competency, sourcers and recruiters need to be assessed to probe the depth of their knowledge-base on the technical needs and to determine any possible existing competency gap. Only through recognizing that there is a gap can you the identify it, and ultimately close it.
The ability to assess the current skill inventory addressing skill-gaps over time is the key to optimizing sourcing strategies to deliver the desired value. Skill-gaps may be strategic, tactical, personal or general.
Strategic skills deal with the "what" and "why" and involve analyzing technical disciplines and determining technical priorities. A recruiter needs to deeply understand the ins and outs of the candidate he is searching for. It may involve developing core competencies in specific technical disciplines necessary to meet sourcing objectives or other issues underlying recruiting requirements, environment and applications.
Tactical skills address the "how" which may include how we implement strategies. It involves mastering not only the sourcing techniques but the approach. It includes knowing when to use such approaches as advertising in specific professional journals, competitor raiding or direct sourcing of heavily researched candidates.
Personal skills may refer to specific recruiter skills such as knowing the proper terminology to search, developing keyword strategies, as well as database manipulation skills, candidate development, objection handling, negotiation and closing skills.
General skills may include knowledge of benefits offered, company knowledge or knowledge of competitors.
Actions designed to close group and individual skill-gaps are the key to increasing the productivity and success of sourcers and recruiters in achieving their goals. Helping the sourcer establish a clear understanding of the technical environment, the tools available and the strategies to implement them, is vital to engaging the sourcer into the pursuit of his technical expertise. Without the awareness that results from such an understanding of the recruiter's or sourcer's aptitude it is impossible to develop a plan to achieve the desired competency levels.
To be successful, a strategic sourcing program must incorporate standard procedures and metrics that address strategic, tactical, personal as well as their general skills and their continuous development. It must also provide an environment that fosters constant improvement in order to align the critical expertise resources to our business based requirements.
Moises Lopez is an Internet Research/Sourcing professional. He is a distinguished writer and trainer in Advanced Sourcing techniques with more than a decade of innovation and leadership in talent acquisition, both working within corporate and consulting environments in recruiting organizations. Having created sourcing strategies, he has also successfully established three sourcing/internet research teams and is skilled at developing targeted sourcing plans and building and managing successful sourcing initiatives.
Moises stumbled into the recruiting industry almost by accident. Little did he know that it would be a lucrative and rewarding life-long career. His passion for sourcing has driven him to mentoring, training, and helping others share the same success.
Mr. Lopez began his career in recruitment in 1992 and has devoted the last 5 years to developing and training sourcing teams. His background includes sourcing and recruiting in a variety of industries including Healthcare, Aerospace & Aircraft Engineering, Oil & Gas, DOD, and Information Technologies. A Sourcer to the core Moises thrives on the challenges of finding top talent.
Moises can be found at his site www.sourcingcorner.com
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