Talent Circles

Thursday, July 30, 2015

How Sourcing is Separate (and Different) From Recruiting - Part 2

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

This is a two part series on phone and internet sourcing. Check out part 1 and part 3

Sourcing and recruiting are all too often seen as one and the same. The truth is that these activities are very different, and even if your organization blurs the liens between the two, it’s important to know how the roles are separate and how they fit together. In part one of this series I shared that sourcing is the act of locating, following leads on and uncovering candidates to fill a position or be included in your talent pipeline. This is done through a number of ways, from networking to phone sourcing to Internet sourcing. The sourcer does the initial pursuing of candidates and often screens them as well. But what some people may not know is that that’s as far as the sourcer goes. It’s easy to have some gray area in your organization when it comes to the tasks and roles of sourcers and recruiters, but if you’re looking to draw a line between the two, this is where it should be.

A recruiter’s role

Recruiters pick up the process when sourcers hand off the information of the candidates they’ve sourced. Their role is much different from that of the sourcer. If a sourcer is like the casting director for a movie as I mentioned in part one, then the recruiter is the executive director. They qualify the candidate further, work directly with the hiring manager and communicate with both parties. They orchestrate timelines, develop connections with candidates, make critical decisions and maintain a relationship with hiring managers. Together, all these tasks help them accomplish the goal of filling a role in a timely, effective manner.

The need for separate roles for sourcers and recruiters

Often times, a recruiter will source for candidates depending upon their needs and skills and the resources of the organization, and especially given how much a recruiter’s role has changed over the years.  However, these roles involve very different skill sets and responsibilities, creating the need for them to be two different jobs. A recruiter has a significant responsibility just in the project management area of their job. It’s a big deal just to manage the expectations and timelines of candidates and hiring managers, much less do your part to help both parties find the best match and advise them in the decision making process. One of the problems that recruiters run into is simply finding time to stay on top of all parties and perform follow-up activities that contribute to a positive candidate experience.

Sourcing also requires a different skill set. When considering what qualities make a great recruiter and what qualities make a great sourcer, there may be some overlap but for the most part, they’re very different. A sourcer is a great investigator, uses creative thinking and problem solving, takes advantage of networking opportunities and personal connections and does the digging required to find the type of candidates they’re looking for. On the other hand, recruiters must be great at developing relationships, overseeing timelines, helping candidates and hiring managers prepare for the hiring process and managing expectations. While sourcers can certainly posses these qualities and recruiters could potentially be great sourcers as well, these roles require that different skills be exercised.

In addition to the skills required for these jobs, the nature of sourcing and hiring also lends itself to being separated into two different categories. For instance, sourcing is typically ongoing for multiple positions, requiring a consistent time commitment. Additionally, legal reasons could also lead an organization to make these duties separate as sourcing often involves seeing protected class information that should not be part of the hiring process.

Watch for part three of this series to find out how to draw a clear line between the two in your company.

This is a two part series on phone and internet sourcing. Check out part 1 and part 3

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Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell. 


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