Hiring Recruiters Who Source: 5 Must-Have Skills for Success

November 21st 2018


Sourcing is a relatively new dedicated role within the recruitment team. In fact, this position is so new that many HR teams are confused as to what function a sourcer actually has in the overall recruitment process. A quick look at current sourcing job openings in the marketplace shows that employers are all over the place when it comes to defining what skills an effective sourcer should have. In many cases, we see that employers feel the increasing pressure to fill their open positions fast. These employers hope a recruiter who sources or an in-house sourcer can help them with this daunting task.

Unfortunately, in practice, many companies fail to take a full view of how this role will fit into their overall recruitment strategies. Before recruitment for the right sourcer can begin, the HR or recruiting manager must first understand the ins and outs of the sourcing process, know how the sourcing role will fit within the recruitment team already in place, and determine what skills a sourcer must have to be successful in your company.


What type of sourcer does your company need?

With sourcing being such a new position, most companies have not fully grown into a dedicated or specific function of the recruitment team. For this reason, there are several different types of sourcers. It is crucial that HR managers understand the core differences between these various types before determining which type of in-house sourcer will best meet their company’s needs.

  • 360-Degree Recruiter/Talent Acquisition Specialist

The 360-degree recruiter and the talent acquisition specialist are not dedicated sourcers, but rather sourcing is just one part of the overall recruitment process that they handle.

  • Transactional Sourcers

The transaction sourcer seeks out candidates for each specific position within the company only when a job opening occurs.

  • Strategic Sourcers

Rather than wait for the need to fill a job opening, a strategic sourcer works to develop a continuous pipeline of potential candidates for various positions within the company. A strategic sourcer is a dedicated position within the recruitment team with its own sets of metrics to measure results and sourcing outcomes.

  • Smart Sourcers

The smart sourcer is a specialist sourcer who uses relevant candidate market data, such as persona analysis and behavior pattern to identify potential candidate types that are the best “fit” for the company. They combine this knowledge with recruitment marketing techniques in an effort to attract and engage the most prospective candidates. They also have a broad knowledge of how to build and execute an effective tailor-made messaging campaign that speaks to the ‘ideal” candidate.


What do sourcers do?

In basic terms, sourcers identify, attract and engage talent. There are several different types of sourcing and sourcing techniques that sourcers can use. A successful sourcer will use several of these types and techniques simultaneously to generate better results. Here’s a quick look at the most commonly used sourcing types and techniques in an in-house recruitment team.

  • Basic Sourcing

Known as database sourcing or ATS sourcing, is a type of sourcing within an existing and privately owned database to identify candidates who are already known by the company.

  • Social Sourcing/Internet Sourcing

This type of sourcing involves the use of several online channels, platforms and/or social media networks to identify and engage with potential candidates who are not known by the company.

  • Omni Channel Sourcing

This sourcing approach using both online and offline network connections, such as events, career pages, social groups, to nurture and uncover new potential candidates who are ready to convert into applicants.

  • Mobile Sourcing

This type of sourcing uses SMS text campaigns and lead generation tactics from mobile devices at events to attract and engage with potential candidates

  • Advance Sourcing

Is a sourcing technique to take sourcing one step further by using advanced Boolean operators on major search engines, resume boards, and social media sites to identify prospective candidates by searching for targeted keywords.

  • Smart Sourcing

Is a specialized sourcing method that combines digital marketing principles, recruitment marketing techniques and candidate behavior science to identify, attract and convert candidates into new hires. It requires advanced sourcing skills and knowledge, experience in deep mining candidate information and collection of candidate data that is not available on public domains. Smart sourcers also have advanced knowledge in creating a tailor-made message campaign that attracts and engages with top talent and converts qualified candidates into new employees. This practice is a front of the funnel operation and requires extra investment in data-mining and market intelligence tools, software made for sourcing and candidate marketing, and in building an in-house, long-term candidate-focused engagement strategy that is implemented company-wide.


The 5 must-have skills for sourcing success

If you want a sourcer that can identify, attract and properly engage with qualified candidates ,in an effort to convert those candidates into new hires, you must hire a sourcer that has the skills needed for success. Here’s a look at the five must-have skills for sourcing success.

1. In-depth knowledge of the recruitment market

A sourcer will not be able to do their job properly without an in-depth knowledge of the recruitment market. They must understand candidate job market and how to use this knowledge to identify, attract and better engage with prospective candidates.

2. Know How to Develop Candidate Persona

Sourcing is all about knowing how to identify and attract the right type of candidate. The first step to sourcing success is to develop a strong, accurate, and effective candidate persona. You should look for a sourcing expert that understands the importance of using a candidate persona to engage with potential candidates and can build these valuable personas from scratch.

3. Understand the Difference in Sourcing Techniques

You don’t want to work with a sourcer who will be stuck using just one sourcing technique. Make sure that any sourcer you hire has a deep understanding of the different sourcing strategies and knows how to deploy these techniques not just to identify top talent, but also to attract and engage with these high-quality candidates.

4. Advanced Boolean Skills

The majority of today’s candidates use the internet and social media to look for jobs. In order to find these top talent candidate, your sourcer must have advanced Boolean skills. They must be able to identify targeted keywords for your specific job positions and know how to use Boolean techniques to locate candidates that “fit” your company’s needs.

5. Ability to Measure Sourcing Success

Any sourcers should know how to measure the success of their sourcing strategies. The sourcer should know how to track and analyze all important sourcing metrics, including time-to-source, source-of-hire, cost-of-hire, new hire retention, and offer acceptance ratio. A successful sourcer will use these metrics to determine which sourcing strategies work and which ones need to be adjusted.

Developing a sourcing strategy that fits into your overall recruitment process is not a quick and easy task. It takes time and investment to develop a sourcing strategy that offers the high-level results your company needs to attract and hire top talent. Tulsie offers smart sourcing solutions that generate real results by using deep candidate data and effective recruitment marketing techniques to find and build an engagement process with highly qualified candidates.  Contact Tulsie today to learn more about your smart sourcing solutions.

Written by: Sushila Ramkisoensing

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