Talent Circles

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4 Steps To Create a Reciprocal Sourcing Strategy

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I’ve discussed the benefits of reciprocal sourcing and how you can leverage searching and sourcing among the billions of social media profiles to find qualified candidates to fill your current job openings. With the growth of social profiles and recruiters’ needs to engage to develop the relationships while managing the data within the talent pool, social sourcing becomes challenging. There are too many candidates to choose from; this is why sourcing to build a pipeline of qualified candidates is so key. Reciprocal social sourcing is a solid solution to the hundreds or even thousands of unqualified candidates who are applying via traditional processes that is also extremely time consuming.

I experienced great success from creating my own referral network with colleagues outside of my organization and corporate recruiting team. My referral team and I would actively search, engage and share candidates that fit our referral network’s ideal candidate profiles crowdsourcing the recruiting process. We worked together to help grow our candidate pipelines so that positions could be quickly filled. My headcount numbers for evergreen positions in the sales and call center world along with their support staff fluctuated by month with the expectation that I could find candidates to fill vacant positions immediately.

If you are ready to create a strategy that will help you with your recruitment objectives, these four steps will help you.

When developing your network of partners who you will team with, select professionals who you are in sister industries but not direct competitors. Consider partners who are already in your own tribe, who attend the similar conferences and industry events and with whom you already have a good rapport and trust with.

As you invite your partners into your reciprocal sourcing network, be sure to define clear expectations and responsibilities right up front. Finding partners who already understand the reciprocity value proposition will be more advantageous for you as you prepare, however, understand that this concept may be new your colleagues and you may need to enlighten them as well as give them more time to better understand the overall benefits before they commit.

Set the expectation early of what the requirements as part of your reciprocal sourcing team will be for each member and how information will be communicated and shared jointly. Be prepared to have hard conversations with peers and friends if they don’t do their part to help your external recruiting team.

Create a formal sharing and communication process. An example could be as simple as a shared excel file in Google docs that includes some basic data sharing. You could also build this strategy into your TalentCircle preferences.

Measure success through source of hire, turnover and cost of hire of your partnership versus other recruitment efforts. Including your reciprocal partnership as a referral for any of your leads and hires is a manageable way to measure the overall success of this effort. Even consider rewarding top partners quarterly with a gift card or even team dinner and drinks.

As I think about these four steps and how it can help you formulate your own program, I cannot help but be reminded how recruiters are challenged in doing more with less. Reciprocal sourcing can be a solution to collaborating outside of your company to drive recruiting results and lower overall costs. My community helped me hire 1-3 candidates on average each month. Sometimes those hires were the difference between me meeting deadlines and expectations in addition to the learning and friends I made along the way.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell


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