A Note to Hiring Managers – Good Recruitment Housekeeping for the Business

Ralph's Dastardly Dream Team

I was in the Pub the other day with an ex-colleague and, as we were talking, the inevitable topic of work came up. They said everything was going well, but that they were struggling to recruit for their team.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, the recruitment team are not providing me with any candidates”.

With a knowing nod I said, “So, I guess your top 3 fell through in that case, too bad”.

They looked at me with a pause. I could see they were thinking What do you mean, isn’t that recruitment’s job?

Here is a thought:

We meet people every day, we read articles/blogs about our industry and go to events. If you meet someone who you think would be an interesting prospect to work with, then would it not make sense to begin dialogue with them and cultivate a professional relationship?

For example, I usually have three people on a list that I would like to hire at any given moment. These are individuals that I share articles with, I have a very good idea of where in their life cycle they are, and I am very familiar with what experience they have. How did we meet? Well, one was through Twitter, the other at a conference and the last one interviewed with us but they got away.

If I could convince any one of these three contacts to enter into the recruitment process, I could hire them in good conscience knowing that they would excel in our team and exceed our expectations. I wonder how many positions would get filled with greater efficiency, and less aggravation from a line manager point of view, if this way of thinking was part of day to day activities. I mean, let’s be honest, who knows your industry better than you do? Who can sell your team better than you?

Perhaps this simple activity is too hard to adopt in a busy schedule, or the “it’s not my problem, it’s recruitment’s problem” is too easy to adopt. Either way, I would be disappointed if my 3 contacts turned me down, but at least I would have 3 profiles that I can use as an example to consult with my recruitment team.

And if one of them did get hired, I would most likely be very satisfied with the new addition to the team.

Making The Case To Attend Discover Sourcing 2013

To help you put together the case for attending Discover Sourcing next month, we have answered a few Frequently Asked Questions and summarised all the vital information in this post. You can print this page and show it to your boss, or just send them a link.

Discover Sourcing Banner

Discover Sourcing 2013

When: 17th & 18th September 2013
Where: Prospero House, 241 Borough High Street, London

Who Should Attend?

Attend both days of Discover Sourcing if you work in a sourcing role, are a recruiter and do your own sourcing, or if you want to learn more about how to source.

Managers who oversee sourcing professionals, consultants, thought leaders and recruitment business owners should attend the Discover Sourcing conference day only.

Who is attending?

So far we have a real mix of in-house recruiters and sourcers, executive search consultants and recruitment business owners.

What will I learn?

The Internet Sourcing Workshop on Tuesday 17th September will be run by Katharine Robinson and Karen Blakeman. The workshop is split into four sessions; How to get more relevant results from Google, Alternatives to Google, Unlocking LinkedIn and Sourcing from industry events. Take a look at our post on the Day 1 Workshop for full details.

The conference on Wednesday 18th September will consist of “How to” sessions (from the likes of Martin Lee, Oscar Mager, Shane McCusker, and Laura Stoker), case studies from LV= and Avancos, sessions on the history and future of sourcing, trends in job advertising and, of course, social media. Why not check out the full agenda so far?

What is the background of the event?

UK Sourcers have been running a few tiny free events wherever they can scrounge space and free wifi for over a year. It has been our dream to do something bigger, with unrestricted numbers, for quite a while.

This is the inaugural Discover Sourcing event. Organised by Katharine Robinson and the UK Sourcers community to bring sourcers from around the world together in a location convenient for us Brits.

Magical things seem to happen when people passionate about sourcing get together. The primary mission of this event is to get lots of like minded people together and give them plenty of inspiration and space to allow that magic to happen.

What are the benefits of attending Discover Sourcing?

Here are just some of the things that you could gain by attending the sessions on offer at Discover Sourcing;

  • Detailed instruction in Internet sourcing techniques from leaders in the profession
  • The opportunity to try out new cutting edge sourcing tools
  • Exposure to a wide range of candidate generation strategies and techniques
  • The opportunity to discuss your challenges when sourcing across Europe
  • A chance to understand how to better maximise the effectiveness of your job advertising activities
  • An understanding of the impact social media is having on the way we do business, find jobs and make good use of our networks
  • The chance to explore some of the biggest challenges faced by sourcing professionals, and how these might be solved, as we look into the future
  • How recruitment businesses can employ their sourcing skills to uncover business development opportunities
  • Hear from well known brands like Ernst & Young and LV= about their approaches to sourcing talent
  • Gain an understanding of how sourcing as an activity and sourcers as professionals currently fit into recruitment teams in the UK
  • Realise the impact that your sourcing activity has on your brand
  • Bring your new knowledge back to your colleagues in order to benefit your whole organisation.

There will be multiple sessions running at any one time at Discover Sourcing on 18th September, it is up to you to choose the sessions most appropriate for you and your business needs.

What is the cost of attending?

Tickets: £345+VAT (for the conference day on 18th Sept) or £495+VAT (for a full 2 day pass to the workshop on the 17th Sept and the conference day). Do get in touch about discount rates for multiple tickets.
Accommodation: Hotels from about £95 (this might be applicable if you attend both days of Discover Sourcing)
Other Costs to Consider: Travel, food (we will be providing lunch and refreshments on Day 1 and breakfast, lunch and refreshments on Day 2).

Register for Discover Sourcing here, or contact Katharine Robinson via email or phone on +44 (0)7779 716 147.

Click here to tweet about Discover Sourcing.

Recruiting and Sourcing in Germany – Global and Local Perspectives

Kai DeiningerFor anyone with an international perspective, recruiting in Germany for the first time is an experience that will not be forgotten quickly. Germany is a complex market, large and fast-moving on one hand, alone the revenues in a market with at present more than 1 million unfilled jobs and unemployment at historic lows for several consecutive years now underscore that. However, due to the complex regional structure of the market, the still high relevance of print at least in the regional recruiting markets, the difficult situation with engaging with and motivating candidates to move, both employer as well as location, pose challenges to recruiters that explain why time to hire in Germany is often not measured in weeks, but in months.

Large opportunities

Germany has yet to embrace social media and active sourcing as integral strategic parts of day-to-day recruiting across the board. Large companies with international recruiting needs have been exposed to the benefits of professional networking already, but often times don’t utilise these tools & services locally, ironically. The usage of RPOs for German companies is almost non-existant (with very few exceptions), on the other hand German subsidiaries of large IT firms have been using RPOs in Germany for a few years already. Both facts highlighted explain why there is massive potential for both employers as well as service providers to tap into this gap.

Leader or fast follower

Ironically Germany is seen broadly as a country with leading, sometimes even cutting-edge skills: the most prestigious automotive manufacturers almost all are based in Germany, construction and engineering knowledge is often a dominant skill Germany is known for, and as the world’s second-largest export economy Germany undoubtably has a large international presence, both physically and via connections to customers, partners, and representatives in the countries where German goods and services are sold to. Yet when it comes to recruiting media, technology, openness to new trends and the adoption of cutting-edge skills and expertise German employers often are cautious, hesitant or traditional, waiting for proven success by others, and extremely fast to adopt once someone else has proven that the innovation actually delivers value and success. This poses significant challenges to pioneers that want to charge forward, expand the boundaries, or revolutionize the current status quo. It obviously also explains to a large extent why success in Germany requires extensive preparation and both local adaption and presence.

Critical success factors

Convincing the cautious, sometimes even reserved, German that embracing something new is worthwhile takes time, requires proven success, and can be time-consuming. However, once the willingness to embrace change or pursue new paths is present the execution or migration is efficient, rapid, and seamless. The transfer from the German Facebook StudiVZ clone to the US original within months is as much an example as the rise of Monster to number one in online recruiting following the acquisition and integration of jobpilot, or StepStone’s rise to the number one slot in the near past due to a more successful local focus vs. the largest international player. Success in Germany is defined by being able to understand and satisfy local market needs first, and then the ability to leverage these internationally, which is somewhat unique. Another wonderful example of a German recruiting peculiarity is the fact that German candidates will prefer to apply via the company career page, obviously ideally in local language. Integrating the readily available background information about the potential employer is a value to the candidate, wonderfully highlighted by the extremely successful online jobs platform jobstairs, which has emerged quietly and steadily as one of the top destinations where more than fifty employers of choice in Germany jointly market their vacancies, linking directly back to the jobs on the respective company career sites.

Future perspective

While German recruiters undoubtedly have some catching up to do regarding use of professional networking resources, both locally and globally, and while there are significant untapped opportunities for HR service providers in a broader context, one thing would appear certain: due to the high focus on very skilled resources the German labour market will continue to struggle to satisfy its recruiting needs, both locally as well as from international sources. Likewise there is significant potential for success for employers that are willing and able to rise above the current status quo via innovative recruiting campaigns and strategies, as well as integrating better and more effectively the various elements of what constitutes an attractive employer brand, recruiting excellence, and being a great place to work in general.

3 Things Agency & In-house Sourcers Can learn From Each Other

UK Sourcers meetup - July 2013

I’ll be honest, when I first started writing this post I was pretty sure it was a good opportunity to show the clear divide between agency and in-house sourcing professionals and the very distinct opportunities each party had to learn from the other. As I got writing I became less sure. This was compounded when I went to Katharine’s recent UK Sourcers’ Meetup which had a fair split from each party and, guess what… There was no big divide in the room, just similar challenges and the sharing of ideas.

So, what things are exclusive to the domain of each group that can act as a learning opportunity?

Always Be Learning

If you want to learn, and get better at what you do, you need to understand that good ideas can come from anywhere – so always be open to learning. This holds true for both parties but… Sometimes this is easier for the agency sourcer. Why? Well, a roundtable like a UK Sourcers’ Meetup, an event like a Tru unconference and, I’d wager, the average viewer of a SocialTalent or South African Recruiters’ webinar is more often than not an agency recruiter. Typically they have a little more control over their day than an in-house recruiter!

The Brand – A Mixed Blessing?

This is the biggie, but not in the way that you might be thinking. Typically, when someone talks to me about moving from agency sourcing to in-house, they want a different career structure, one client, and often to work with/for “a brand”. Imagine how much easier life will be with that name behind you? Well I tend to disagree.

There can be a honeymoon period for a sourcer, when you first move in-house, around brand but it tends to be formed by your own confidence in it and in the newly found pride you get from a new role. What I actually find tends to happen, a few months down the line, is that in-house sourcers start talking about their frustration with potential candidates around the brand. This doesn’t hold for all and if your brand is loved congratulations but… If you are seeking, as most are in the current market, experienced professionals from direct competitors (as is everyone else for that matter) they will already have a perception of your brand. If that person has been working for 10-20 years in a direct competitor that perception may well be negative and will certainly not be the same EVP that your brand ambassador demands you take to the market!

So, after a while a great in-house sourcer tends to do one thing well. Create a style of approach (either in writing or over the phone) that is personalised, driven by the opportunity not the employer, and hangs the employer on in the background as an additional benefit but not the be all and end all.

It’s not you, it’s me

So this is the point in sourcing to my mind where things get very different, letting down the candidate and to date this is something that seems to weigh heavily in favour of the agency sourcer or recruiter, so what can the in-house sourcer learn? The “break-up” is a very difficult scenario for those working in-house, after a candidate has been ruled out for a role, there’s no place to go. While corporately there should/might be a talent pool, the reality for all the in-house sourcers and recruiters we train is that they say they have little time or capacity to deal with any genuine aftercare or ongoing communication, yet this is often where the agency sourcer comes into their own. For the agency sourcer there might always be that other opportunity, therefore a reason to keep open the conversation for both parties and to stay in touch.

But is there anything here that the in-house sourcer can learn from their agency counterparts? Well firstly, it’s time dependent (and to a certain extent budget dependent which you may not control/have access to).

Three Lessons Learned

One: First tip for in-house sourcers (and agency if necessary); find time to learn online and research your role!

Typically your working structure can be more prescribed than your agency counter-parts but if you can make time at work, or on your journey, get in front of some good webinars and implement what you can.

Two: First tip for agency recruiters. Do not be put off or believe your candidates will be put off by your agency brand or the lack of employer brand.

You need to create your own style and engagement in an approach that is personal to you and the service that they can expect from you as an individual.

How do you do this?

  • Don’t send a generic InMail – “want a job”, “I’m working this job”, “I want to talk to you about a job”. I know this sounds obvious, but I’ve seen some horrors!
  • Do seek to engage – Explain why you have chosen to make contact, give clear avenues to communicate back at a time that will suit them and play to your strengths. This is the start of your conversation with this potential candidate and you should be looking beyond this single opportunity, something your in-house peer cannot always do.
  • I’m aware these tips should work for both parties, and often approaches are too bland, but I think too often the agency sourcer lacks the confidence to support their approaches appropriately.

Three: Finding a way to stay in touch is important if your role is to build a “talent” pipeline, community or whatever other phrase your firm has come up with and this is where you need to be a bit clever.

For it to work and become a potential source of further candidates beyond your original intro it needs to become about more than jobs and about what the candidate pool delivers.

Here’s some things I’ve heard people doing recently that might work for you;

  • Offering webinars with your business leaders/technical geniuses/brand advocates on a topic of interes
    • While we’re on this point, do avoid the obvious here; for instance suddenly thinking about doing something on D&I to offer directly to D&I potential candidates and show what your business is doing in the field may be futile. It’s something everyone is trying to do and much as with random poorly planned initial approaches if there’s too much of something it becomes spam! Instead maybe think of someone who in your organisation demonstrates the success of D&I but get them to speak about what they do day to day or what makes them brilliant for your firm, that wider engagement will be far more interesting for a far bigger pool than making it a single issue event.
  • Can you offer any kind of check in service?
    • Again this is something we see discussed in theory for recruiters/sourcers and in our training but time is an issue. That said you can sometimes do something relevant, potentially make use of a spare hour for an online Q&A to which you invite former candidates; if you want to think about what might work talk to your colleagues in graduate recruiting, particularly if they have a good alumni network and see what works for them. This is something the US tends to be great at but over here we’ve still got some way to go.

Finally

I’d suggest that the biggest thing any sourcer can learn, wherever they work and whoever their employer is, is to listen and then implement what they think will work for them. Sound basic? Maybe, but too often sourcing is focused on being in the back room and being a transactional service, focused on solving yesterday’s problem of a candidate shortage in-house or in an agency.

Get your head up, watch and listen to people who are good at what they do and then work to personalise and implement that in your own world. Agency and in-house sourcers aren’t so different, most started in one world and ended up in another, what stands out about the good ones is their ability to learn and then take those new founds skills and competencies and put them into a personalised framework of their own.

Tips for Sourcing Newbies

Binoculars portrait by gerlos

I get asked about where to start when you are new to the world of Sourcing all the time. I put together a post last year on that very subject, but it is definitely time for an update.

So, here is my totally refreshed guide to sourcing for those of you just starting out.

Just Do It

By far the best way to learn is to JUST DO IT! Everyone has a different style of sourcing, we’re all sourcing for different kinds of candidates and what works for one person will be useless for another. So just get stuck in, join and try every site and tool!

I learned the most by joining Twitter and it still helps me learn new things most days. It’s a great place ask questions as well as network with people in both the recruitment industry and the niche you are sourcing in. Feel free to follow me if you join. If I don’t follow straight back and welcome you – please bug me!

Follow Other Sourcing Experts

It’s probably a good idea to follow some of the great folks in the sourcing world – they have taught me loads!

Bill Boorman:
Bill is the man behind #Tru and a font of knowledge about all things social recruiting. He’s a pretty good sourcer too! He’s especially good at recommending a tool that’ll do exactly what you need.
Blog: Norton Folgate
Twitter: @BillBoorman

Johnny Campbell:
Johnny is so on the ball it makes my head spin. He goes everywhere and knows about everything! His blog is always up to date with all the latest sourcing info too.
Blog: Social Talent
Twitter: @socialtalent

Glen Cathey:
A sourcing legend from the USA. Glen is particularly skilled in searching LinkedIn – his blog posts are very in depth and thorough. When I grow up, I want to be like Glen.
Blog: Boolean Black Belt
Twitter: @GlenCathey

Martin Lee:
Martin knows all the tricks and all the cool tools. If you get a chance to meet him, take it!
You can meet Martin at our Discover Sourcing event this September.
Linkedin Group: Cool (free) Tools For Recruiting
Twitter: @MrMartinLee

Oscar Mager:
Oscar is really passionate about image search. He always carries a camera too! He is the man to follow if you are committed to finding the absolute best talent possible to fill your role. He’s committed to finding Triple A Talent!
You can meet Oscar at our Discover Sourcing event this September.
Twitter: @OscarMager

Shane McCusker:
Shane is probably best known for his video blog about sourcing, technology and all things recruitment. It’s worth signing up for his email reminders, that way you never miss one of his live Google Hangouts.
You can meet Shane at our Discover Sourcing event this September.
Blog: Shane’s Recruitment Blog
Twitte: @1ntelligence

Irina Shamaeva:
Irina’s knowledge of Boolean search is legendary in the world of Sourcing. She’s on a quest for the ever illusive “Dream Software” that will solve all our people search needs!
Blog: Boolean Strings Blog
LinkedIn Group: Boolean Strings

Jim Stroud:
Jim is a prolific blogger and video maker – he makes fantastic sourcing training resources. You might want to check out his book “Resume Forensics”.
Watch: The Jim Stroud Show
Circle Jim: On Google Plus

Tools and Resources

Our top resources here on the UK Sourcers site include:

The UK Sourcers Search Engine Handbook – Downloadable Document
UK LinkedIn Profile Search – Search Tool
3 Sites You’ve Never Thought About Sourcing From – Blog Post
5 Things Not To Do When You Join Twitter – Blog Post
How To Write Great Job Advertising Copy – Blog Post

Take a look at our full list of Useful Resources . There’s all sorts there, including links to helpful stuff all over the web, not just from UK Sourcers.

I also recommend joining the UK Sourcers LinkedIn Group where the other members and I are happy to answer any sourcing questions you might have.

Sourcing Events

Keep an eye on the information coming out of these events in 2013 and try to attend if you can.

Sourcing Summit Europe – Amsterdam, 12 & 13 September 2013
#SOSU (Sourcing Summit) started in Sydney in 2011. This will be the first time they’ve brought the event to Europe.
Follow on Twitter: @sosuinfo and #sosueu

Discover Sourcing – London, 17 & 18 September 2013
Our very own dedicated Sourcing event for the UK, to be held for the first time in London this September. Whether you are an experienced sourcer, you’d would like to learn more about integrating sourcing into your recruitment activities or you are just starting out, there will be something to discover.
Find out more about: The Event, The Agenda, The Speakers, Tickets
Follow on Twitter: @UKSourcers and #DiscSource

#Tru Events – Global, Throughout 2013 and beyond!
The Recruiting Unconference. You get out of these events what you put in and if you come armed with questions then there will be someone there to answer them. There is always a sourcing track on the bill. #TruLondon will be back in September)
Follow tweets from this event: #TruLondon

SourceCon – Seattle, 2 & 3 October 2013
The original Sourcing conference will be back again in the autumn (sorry… I mean fall), this time in Seattle. Not always accessible to us on our side of the pond, but there is always a healthy stream of tweets from attendees and SourceCon often provide a live-stream of the event so that we can watch online.
Lots of great info on the blog, all from top sourcers: http://sourcecon.com
Follow on Twitter: @SourceCon and #SourceCon

I hope you find this useful. If you have any other questions or you’d like to meet up, then do contact me or leave a comment on this post.

Happy Sourcing! 🙂

Photo by gerlos on Flickr.

Is there interest in a large, dedicated Sourcing event in the United Kingdom?

Because It's AwesomeWhy?

Sharing and learning from each other is at the heart of the UK Sourcers community. This seems to work best when we get together in person.

At the moment there is not a totally awesome and geeky sourcing event coming up in the UK (or even Europe). Recruiters and Sourcers have been known to express their frustration about this to me.

I love a good event and get quite a kick out of organising them – I wouldn’t get involved with Twestivals and Tweetcamps and all that stuff if I didn’t! So here it goes – an attempt to get an EPIC sourcing event off the ground in old London town!

Before I get too carried away, I would like to know that I’m planning the event that you want – Do you want sourcing challenges, big name speakers, boolean cupcakes, social media workshops, keynote presentations or t-shirts? Here is your chance to shape things…

I’ll either do this right, or I won’t do it.

Who should get involved in the event?

Get involved if you are interested in meeting fellow sourcing and recruitment professionals, increasing your awareness of sourcing tools and techniques, and improving your sourcing skills with some of the UK’s (and maybe the world’s) geekiest sourcing professionals.

If you have a sourcing story to tell then you should let us know. If you have a passion for soucing with a particular tool then we want to hear about it. We would like to have new speakers that are doing great things in sourcing as well as experienced exponents. Surprise us with something different!

In-house recruitment teams, RPOs and recruitment businesses are all very welcome. If I have learnt anything from the UK Sourcers community, it is that it is alright to share! If you are interested in sourcing candidates then this event will aim to help you. We would also like to see attendees from every level of organisations – from the HRD to n00bie resourcers. We won’t be afraid to run a variety of sessions so that there is something to keep everyone engaged throughout the day.

If you have a product that you think sourcers need to know about – would you consider sponsoring an event? This is key – to make the event really extraordinary we’ll need support from some relevant industry suppliers.

How can you get involved?

There are three ways to get involved. You can

We are not sure what the right format would be for a sourcing event yet either – so give us your thoughts via the links above and help shape the event.
You might also want to join the UK Sourcers LinkedIn group – I tend to post our event information there first!

Where and when?

We are currently aiming for a dates in September at a venue in central London.

What happens next?

If we get enough interest, we’ll make an announcement about the event format, dates and venue in early April. If you’d like to influence how the event takes shape then be sure to give us your thoughts using the forms above.

April Update: We’re delighted to announce Discover Sourcing!

UK Sourcers News – 7th January 2013

UK Sourcers News

We have our second UK Sourcers Meetup this week. On Friday, Amazon will be hosting us at their new Development Center in London. We are delighted by the interest in these events and regret that everyone that requested a ticket did not get one – but by keeping the events small, we make sure everyone gets something out of it and has a chance to share.

Our second New Year Sourcing Assignment will be posted in the UK Sourcers LinkedIn Group on Thursday. This week we will be looking at improving the job ads we write with some great tips from Alastair Cartwright of Ingenium.

Toby Culshaw from Thales won our Christmas Sourcing Challenge! Well done Toby – we hope you enjoy your Cadbury’s Chocolate hamper from Sourcing Hat Ltd.

We posted a list of our top content from 2012 – have you missed any of it?

LinkedIn

Want to know who has viewed your LinkedIn profile? Here’s an interesting little “hack” from Life Hacker.

Have you clicked on a University name on a LinkedIn profile recently? An interesting feature that you might have missed.

Last week we asked if you are making the best use of links on your LinkedIn profile.

Social Media

We have a fresh Social Network Map of The World for 2013 – Facebook now dominates in 127 out of 137 countries.

World Map of Social Networks - January 2013

Search

10 Ways to Speed up and Beef up your Google Searches – Another useful list from Lifehacker.

Detailed clarification on some of the finer points of Google and Bing search syntax from Boolean Strings

Is there anything I have missed? Do let me know if there’s something you’d like me to share in a future News post.

UK Sourcers News – 12th November 2012

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Event Logo

LinkedIn will scrap their Events App on 26th November. You will no longer be able to show off the events you are attending/speaking at to your LinkedIn network. I think this is a great shame. I will share some alternative tools on the blog later this week.

The new LinkedIn profiles have started to roll out. If you haven’t seen one yet then take a look at this sample: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/sample. Get a full look under the bonnet of the new LinkedIn profiles on Mr LinkedIn’s blog.

The section listing what you are happy to be contacted about, looking like this on the old style profiles,

LinkedIn Contact Preferences List

seems to be no longer visible. Will this affect the way you approach potential candidates?

Social Media

Instagram now has profile pages for the desktop web. If you use Instagram then be sure to take a look and add a bio to your profile. Just like StarbucksJobs has done:

StarbucksJobs on Instagram

To see your Instagram web profile simply visit instagr.am/YourUsername.

Facebook has always seemed a lot of hard work when it comes to candidate research. Balazs Paroczay totally changed my opinion on this while in #TruLondon’s sourcing lab last month. Take a look at his fantastic Facebook Sourcing Prezi to see what I mean.

Events

Last week I hosted a session with Laura Stoker of AIRS at UK Recruiter’s End of Year Conference. Laura introduced a few tools that might prove useful for sourcing:

  • X-ray and Filetype searches with Google – see my Search Engine Handbook for details
  • etools.ch – a meta search engine from Switzerland that searches 13 search engines at once.
  • Yatedo – a people search engine that can turn up fresh results
  • Yandex – a growing search engine from Russia

You might also be interested in Lisa Jones’ write up of her session on Technology trends from the UK Recruiter Conference.

After the conference came the culmination of this years’ National Online Recruitment Awards. You can find all the winners listed on the NORAs website..

Christmas

I would like to host a Christmas get together for the UK Sourcers community – I am looking for a sponsor to pay for some nibbles and few drinks – get in touch if you think your business would benefit from helping us out.

The Sourcing Function – A Journey

Ralph MeyerThis week we have another guest post from Ralph Meyer for you.

As an experienced Sourcer there are a few recurring topics that seem to keep coming up when meeting with senior leaders and stakeholders who are not familiar with the intricacies of the role. Let me take you through a journey of what a new sourcing function in an organisation can expect to encounter. I speak from professional experiences and observations and hope that some of this sounds familiar and that you can identify with it.

Day 1: The ‘I’m not an administrator “sell”.’

Typically in the world of recruiting you start as a Resourcer/Researcher and begin to learn the “How To”s of a particular industry. Generally you are at the beck and call of a Recruiter ordering and demanding certain amounts of CV’s and pieces of research……sound familiar?

With an in-house sourcing function some of the above may apply, however it does not really take advantage of the benefits that a sourcing function can offer. As a Sourcer your first challenge is to convince management and colleagues that your skills are equal to that of the recruiter; and that your knowledge and methodologies are sound and effective. The way we went about it was to demonstrate methodology and understanding of the different markets that we operate in.

Recruiters in general are not interested in complex searches as it is time consuming and they are unable to invest the time required to learn the complexities of these searches. Sourcers can therefore prove their worth by working on these types of positions and generate good candidates for difficult roles. Usually this “wow” factor speaks volumes as it makes the recruiter and stakeholders happy when they get a filled position.

We developed a guide model by which we can calculate the probability of a hire by understanding from a workflow point of view how much resource needs to be allocated to it.

Example:

For 1 Hire we need 3 final interviews, 6 Hiring Manger interviews, 12 recruiter interviews, and we need to approach 200 candidates in order to get 20 interested parties. (200 * 10% = 20 candidates).

We found that this education and demonstration of skills took about 4 – 6 months to digest and make a real impact on leaders and stakeholders.

Month 6: What’s next? Value Added Information for your Stakeholders

How do we add value to the process? This is an easy one, there are a number of key areas where Sourcers can help organisations attract the right type of talent. Once we had the production model in place and working to a degree of consistency we moved focus on additional benefits that we could control.

Brand Management
Sourcers are your brand ambassadors, so we needed to get our communications right. Job Descriptions were redesigned to reflect the company branding. Literature was tidied up to comply with the Brand and also to ensure that from a Social Media point of view we could begin to build an image that spoke and added value to our candidate populations by making the organisation accessible and easy to talk to. Don’t forget, Sourcers are constantly sending messages so the better it looks, the better the candidate expectations and experience.

Market Intelligence – Salary information, competitor intelligence, benchmarking.
We took a conscience decision to record these as we were speaking to hundreds of different potential candidates monthly and it seemed wasteful that we were not collating this and putting it into a useful format.

Talent Pooling
Get to know the movers and shakers in your market. Companies always say that they want to hire the “best”, but often they don’t know who the best is and how much they cost. This activity gives your leadership a reality check in terms of who and what you are recruiting versus what the reality is.

Talent Mapping
If you are going fishing, make sure you go to a pond with fish. Sounds obvious, but many organisations don’t know where the talent actually is or cultivated (trained and developed). We had a situation where we needed a Consultant who had to have all the bells and whistles, but could only find consultants with the wrong skills. This usually means that we are fishing in the wrong pond. Get to know where to find the right candidates.

Year 1: Measurement – now the fun starts!

I am not a fan of this; however I recognise the necessity of evaluation for management. So from a measurement point of view how do you make sure the sourcers are doing their jobs? And how do you know who is doing their job better than the rest? And what actually makes a good Sourcer?

So, here are a few things that we experimented with:

CV pass-through rates (ie. 10 candidate generated per week for the recruiters)
The results varied widely, some could produce only 6 and others could do 15. We reshuffled the sourcers with the effect that their productivity reflected the role and territory that they were working on. So this is a no runner really.

Hiring manager (HM) pass-through rates
This is the relationship between how many candidates were passed to the recruiters and then in turn passed to the HM. We came out with the ratio of 2:3, ie: 60% as a guide.

This seems to have fared better, because at this point we could see how “tuned” the Sourcer’s eye was for finding the right talent and matching the profile. Also this saved the recruiter a whole bunch of time as they were speaking to relevant and qualified candidates that had a healthy chance of getting hired.

A conscious decision was made not to include Hired candidates into the sourcing metrics.
As they only have a small touch point in the recruitment process, this is outweighed by about 80% to the rest of the process.

Month 18: How do we develop Sourcers and what curriculuum do we offer them?

This is a very difficult topic to broach. Sourcers differ from Recruiters in the way that they operate on a more transactional and technical basis. They don’t necessarily commit to relationships in the same way that recruiters do, where they have a fairly consistent stakeholder network.

Secondly, what skills do you develop in a sourcer? Here are a few ideas:

LinkedIn – Sourcers REALLY need to know this tool, LinkedIn offers training videos etc so use them. This is currently the best tool for sourcers.

Advanced Boolean Search – Yes, we can all Google stuff. What I am talking about is the next level. So things like Website X-Raying, Timeline searches, manipulating results on Search engines, Webcrawlers and so on.

Social Media – This is not solely a Sourcers initiative, however from a talent acquisition point of view it is usually led by them as they get instant benefits from pouring energy into this. So invest in your sourcers by allowing them to interact with social medias as well as allowing them to experiment and use these channels. Social media is still a disruptive technology and is in its infancy so there is a lot of trial and error attached, especially if you want to be ahead of the pack.

Business Intelligence – Leadership are always keen to have current information to ensure that they can effectively plan initiatives etc. Those that form the sourcing function are privy to a wealth of market and competitor info that, if collated and managed correctly, can arm leaders with really powerful information that may contradict more general information in the market.

This is my experience so far and I guess a few ideas that we have had to try and implement. I am happy to have a chat or discussion with anyone that has any questions on how we overcame certain issues and I would love to find out if this was a similar experience to other sourcing functions.

You might also like to read Letting Recruiters And Sourcers Play To Their Strengths by Ralph.

The First UK Sourcers’ Meetup – London

I am delighted to announce the first UK Sourcers event!

Mind Candy HQ, LondonOn Thursday 6th September, Mind Candy will host us for a UK Sourcers’ Meetup at their unique offices in London.

It will be a “hack day” style event – just for an afternoon though. Attend if you are interested in meeting fellow professionals, learning new Internet research skills and helping others to do the same.

You should bring a laptop with you – you will need it!

What we cover is up to you. We can help each other brush up on our Boolean skills or make the most of searching social networks – the sky’s the limit.

Places are limited so register to attend ASAP!

If your company would like to host a Sourcing Meetup in your part of the UK then please let me know.

I hope to see you in September 🙂