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Monday, April 14, 2014

Is Reciprocal Sourcing Right For You?


By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Social sourcing is becoming a key component to the most successful corporate recruitment strategies. Businesses recognize the value in using social media and the internet to source, or research and build relationships with job seekers.

Sourcing is internet research where recruiters effectively hack the internet to find passive yet qualified job seeker candidates who are overlooked because they aren’t actively applying for job openings or networking.

As the sheer number of social media profiles and the rich data it represents increases; Keep in mind that Facebook now boasts over 1.4 billion user profiles and growing; social sourcing continues to grow in importance in corporate recruiting strategies. Imagine as a recruiter, you are sourcing, searching and hacking not just sites like Facebook and Twitter but online communities, forums, chats and industry blogs. The number of profiles is mind-boggling. It’s easy to see why researching all of the profiles, managing all of the data and engaging with the talent pool requires a significant amount of time and resources.

This is why a growing number of companies employ teams of full time sourcers whose job it is to look for the next hire for your company. Except maybe, you are a recruiting team of one or don’t have the budgetary position to add a crew of sourcers to your team. Fear not, I have a solution I call reciprocal sourcing.

Reciprocal sourcing is based on a reciprocal and partner relationship with a sister company's recruiting team or teams where you work together to source, engage and build a pipeline of qualified job seekers with the purpose of sharing and recommending your partner as a potential career opportunity.

Sourcers or recruiters from two different companies recruit and source for candidates sharing the candidate pool and potentials they have identified. Maybe you happen to be hunting around a local forum to find a number of potential candidates for you except in the short term they don’t fit the bill. You are looking for someone with 2-3 years more experienced but your reciprocal sourcing partner has an opening that fits these candidates you’ve uncovered.

Could reciprocal sourcing be right for you? Businesses that participate in a reciprocal and partner relationship strategy realize these five key components that build a successful reciprocal sourcing strategy
  1. It is an analytical process. It requires a team and technology that can share data easily.
  2. It is a collaborative process. This adds value to the recruitment process as multiple perspectives across a variety of engagements can be shared.
  3. It is cost-effective. The more you know about the candidates, the better advantage you have during the negotiation process. And, the overall knowledge you gain as you learn about more candidates across your network is priceless.
  4. It promotes effective competition. This allows recruiters to cut to the chase and get things done together while having a new pipeline of candidates being funneled in their direction.
  5. It collectively helps refine the workforce by honing in on the necessary skill sets that businesses are needing, and helping to define those attributes in the candidate’s profile.
If these attributes complement your recruitment style, you may want to consider integrating reciprocal sourcing into your overall planning.

I used reciprocal recruiting strategies in the past with great success and created my own referral network with colleagues outside of an organization. The key to successful reciprocal sourcing is a relationship among teams built on trust. You can’t be direct competitors for the exact same employees. Together you must share the workload and work towards helping one another. 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. I will share more about how working together in your sourcing and recruiting efforts can be a recipe for success for you.

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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