Name: Dave van Kuijk
Country: Netherlands
Company : Ordina
Twitter: davemetwiter

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

Just started last month at Ordina were sourcing is undiscovered territory, well they have heard of it but were not actively reaching out to potential candidates. So putting sourcing on the map, preaching for the hiring managers, setting up the process with the recruiter I work with and the recruitment manager also addressing some recruitment marketing issues, our devs write great blogs but not on our site and also being more visible on different social media platforms.

Q2. How do you define sourcing

Awesome!! I grew up on the internet so I’m definitely in love with my job which revolves around the interwebs. Sourcing for me is not only searching and engaging candidates online but also being able to interest candidates by phone, making them aware that our grass is much greener ^^! But engaging internally is equally important, getting the hiring managers in the game(organizing hire-a-thon sessions, pizza time) and shaking on the referral tree, which is not really top of mind with developers.

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily?

I’m no different than the other sourcers I need music or focus background noise, you can hear my earplugs blasting a nice house mix or hear that I’m in the middle of a storm with brain.fm

One thing I missed in the other Q&A’s is the phone, can’t live without mine!

Now the good stuff: you need chrome for obvious reasons and I swear by my notepad.

Other tools I use are: my own CSE for language requirements (Dutch, French and German), 360social  or Prophet , Multi Highlighter , Sidekick by Hubspot , Facebook search , TineEye image search and I’m #teamWorldTimeBuddy

 

Q4. Can you tell us five people you admire most in sourcing?

That’s easy my own mentor of course Mitch van Abkoude who let me use his social talent  account to witness the great Johnny Campbell. I also follow every move Glen Cathey makes, so much wisdom and still so humble. I have to mention Shane McCusker for his awesome Facebook search tool! And of course the Randstad brothers Jim, Vince and Balazs

Q5. One sourcing advise I can give to my peers is….

Never forget you are interacting with other human beings, you may easily slip into the numbers game. Just don’t, take a step back do a social talent course or get some templates from beamery, get you creative juices flowing and be on the top of your game. Throw out your templates and be original.

And be were your candidates are, interact with them without pushing your jobs on them.

Go sit on the floor were your developers are, there a great resource to give you insights or help you with your own tools.

Follow Dave on Twitter @ davemetwiter . Dave will be at #sosueu on 27-29 September.

Name: Vince Szymczak
Location : Budapest
Company: Randstad Sourceright
Twitter: @Vinceszy

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

I am both being called in to and starting a wide range of projects in the domain of sourcing. I recently created the sourcing strategy for one of our new RPO programs utilizing 30 people to support the client in 11 countries. Another implementation I was involved in was a freelance/temporary project where we had to alter the basic RSR delivery model and the tactical elements like where and how the sourcers should search, which were originally built out for perm programs.  I am also working with one of the major employers on how they should create and manage talent pools and communities to decrease time to hire and cost and how can Randstad Sourceright support them in this.

I enjoy creating new solutions, but perhaps an even more important part of the job is when one of our existing programs wants to make a change, become more efficient or simply needs to evolve to a different maturity level. It feels like organizational development mixed with auditing: collecting and analyzing all the data points, interviewing everyone associated with the program, all in order to come up with a solid recommendation plan.

Besides these projects I must look much further and work on level-upping the RSR technology suite and sourcing methodologies for the future – demoing, seeking integration and mapping the possibilities.  What I really love about my job is that every project is new and different, and allows you to perceive talent acquisition and sourcing from one more angle.

“Sourcing is the opening act of the recruitment process, where the candidate and the representative of the company find each other and decide whether there is mutual interest in moving forward.”

Q2. How do you define sourcing

I coined a definition in an article with a different take than the usual definitions.

“Sourcing is the opening act of the recruitment process, where the candidate and the representative of the company find each other and decide whether there is mutual interest in moving forward.”

The main reason to define sourcing this way is the inclusion of active candidates. Splitting your talent pool to two parts, with two separate persons and processes being responsible for the active applicants and the approached passive candidates is very detrimental to the efficiency and the time to hire. Usually it makes the measurement and the source approval (if an investment is needed) harder as well.

 

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily?

With many and different projects come many and different industries and markets where I can not possibly be an expert in all of them. I love the Alumni feature of LinkedIn and Facebook’s advertising to give me quick understanding about the market I am working on.

I use “the usual suspects” to find more contact details and information about people, test emails,  and generally sniff around (Prophet, Emailhunter, Context Scout, Lusha, Shane’s Facebook search tool, mailtester.com, https://namechk.com/, etc.). The more the merrier, it’s easy to turn them off and on with Extensity and they have a tendency to stop working/new ones emerging.

What is perhaps less usual are that I like to use semantic suggestive tools like Textio and CrystalKnows. Even if they do not have enough data points to come up with a proper suggestion (which in the case of Crystal I am pretty sure happens rather often), what they do is they force you to think about something you might have neglected before but is an important aspect directly influencing your success!

Q1. Can you tell us the people you admire most in sourcing?

I admire most the sourcers who are working with recruiters and hiring managers with little to no understanding about sourcing but very articulated opinion about its efficiency. Sourcers in certain companies can be the bottom of the talent acquisition food chain, who get the blame if things are not going well but not the recognition when they are. A sourcer who gets into such a situation but turns it around by properly representing sourcing and driving company change has guts and will.

In terms of the influencers I love, that’s a rather long list!

Q5. One sourcing advise I can give to my peers is….

Sourcer, prepare. Do the intake right and make sure you understand the position. It may take 1-2 hours to research what exactly the position/industry means, but you can lose weeks if it turns out you have misunderstood something.

People managing sourcers, make sure your sourcers feel that this is all right. More often than not the reason for improper preparation is because sourcers under pressure feel that every 1 hour should be spent on “productive” things like searching for candidates or calling them.

Vince will be at #sosueu on 27-29 September in Amsterdam.

Name: Marcel Rietveld
Location : Amsterdam
Company: TalentMapper
Twitter: @marcelrietveld

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role? Tell us a bit about TalentMapper
At TalentMapper, we say: ‘we transform the way companies find talent’. It seems like an average tagline, but we are very serious about this. We conduct very detailed research on target groups in the Netherlands. I personally think that the research part in sourcing is the most important step to be successful in recruiting. After the research part our clients know their target group very well and are able to approach them personally and can convince them with the help of key insights.

In my role at TalentMapper I advice companies in the Netherlands how they can implement a strategic talent sourcing function. I adviced several companies like ABN AMRO, BAM and Capgemini. I am very passionate in getting the right sourcing strategy, structure and people in place at my clients. I’m very proud to see our Talent Sourcers making a big business impact for our clients and structurally changing the recruitment landscape within these organisations.

 

I personally think that the research part in sourcing is the most important step to be successful in recruiting

 

Q2. How do you define sourcing?
Talent Sourcing is identifying, approaching and convincing talent (online), with the aim to match them directly to a job or placing them into a talentpool. I also like the definition of Glen Cathey: ‘The proactive identification, engagement and assessment of talent focusing solely on non-applicants (typically “passive” talent) with the end goal of producing qualified, interested and available candidates’.

Q3. Sourcing tools I use daily
I must say: I’m a sourcing tool addict. I’m always searching for new tools that can make me as a Sourcer more productive. So I work with lots of tools, but I can name a few: Context Scout, Discoverly, Data Scraper, Datacruit, Email Hunter, Facebook Search, Prophet.

But I always say: ‘a fool with a tool, is still a fool’.

Q4. Can you tell us the people you admire most in sourcing?
I’ve been in recruiting/sourcing for 10> years now and met a few very intelligent people. First of all I want to name my friend and business partner Gertjan van Swieten (also known as @trainersourcing). He is one of the best sourcing trainers in the Netherlands. He taught me a lot about ‘selling the job’ to a candidate and doing ‘deep-data-intakes’.

I think many people don’t know Aaron Lintz. Follow this quy on Twitter. He is one of my sparring partners. I learned a lot from him. He is a very skilled Technical Sourcer. Finding new or better ways to source people, every day.

Martin Lee: Want to know more about international sourcing? He’s your man!

Shane McCusker: Mister Facebook searching! Always experimenting to make sourcing easier for everybody.

Dean da Costa: sourcing toolmaster. Trying to keep up with him, not working 🙂

Glen Gutmacher: Boolean magician and sourcing strategies. Always available to share knowledge.

 

Q5. One sourcing advice I can give to my peers is …..
Sourcers: ‘Don’t forget your second circle!’ I see many Sourcers approaching candidates directly, instead of asking their peers that already know these candidates. Ask yourself: what is the best route to your candidate? And don’t forget to dig in the network of your colleagues and hiring managers.

Bio Marcel Rietveld. Marcel Rietveld is an experienced Talent Sourcer and Recruitment trainer. With his company TalentMapper he advises Dutch companies about talent sourcing strategies. He has also trained many Recruiters and Talent Sourcers. Marcel is always looking for new ways to find, connect and attract candidates using boolean search, a ton of Google Chrome Extensions and his network of fellow sourcers. Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://nl.linkedin.com/in/marcelrietveld | www.talentmapper.nl

We caught up with serial #sosueu presenter and sourcing tragic Jan Bernhart who currently work for Optiver in Amsterdam. Jan will be will be in Amsterdam for his fourth #sosueu.

Name: Jan Bernhart
Country: Netherlands
Company : Optiver
Twitter: JanBernhart

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

I’m now on a project at Optiver, a trading company  (market making to be specific).  Because we’re neither B2B nor B2C, almost nobody knows us. The IT requirements in trading are very challenging so our bar to hire is as high as with the famous tech companies, but we only get a fraction of the amount of applicants they get. This is where I come in.  Optiver isn’t accustomed to doing sourcing  in-house, so its pretty much a green field situation. Very exciting!

—-

Q2. How do you define sourcing? Sourcing is……..
Attracting talent that you wished would have applied for your job openings, but didn’t. I think that’s the essence. You can break sourcing down to dozens of steps and hundreds of methods, of which search is the most prominent. But for me sourcing is way bigger then making queries or search strings. (Which is also why I advocate a hybrid recruiter-sourcer role rather than an isolated searcher).

—–

Q3. 10 Sourcing tools I use daily are…
First of all; google chrome. When I’m interviewing for new projects I actually verify if the company prohibits to use a different browser than Internet Explorer. That’s a deal breaker. I always have sticky notes open, use Prophet and Hubspot’s email tracker. Shane’s facebook search tool. Onetab, Excel (with my self build search string maker). Worldtimebuddy to keep track of timezones. I love DataMiner as well. Some bookmarklets that I made myself. Oh and spotify or youtube; music increases my productivity (mostly 60/70′ pop/rock, some hiphop).

When I’m interviewing for new projects I actually verify if the company prohibits to use a different browser than Internet Explorer. That’s a deal breaker

—-

Q4. Can you tell us five of the people you admire most in sourcing?
I’m not going to name the super star usual suspects here. The readers already know them and they already know i admire them. Let’s put others in the spotlights today. Aaron Lintz is someone who I look up to for his technical skills. He taught me about webscraping for instance and has IT skills that I’m just jealous of. Guillaume Alexandre is an inspirational sourcer. He’s always curious, always on top of things. This is a guy who walks the walks twice, then perhaps talks about it. The real deal. Follow him. Vince szymczak always shares original views, things he invented/ thought of/ gathered himself. I appreciate that. David Galley is so knowledgeable, its sometimes scary. Always answering the hard questions, helping people when they are stuck. I suspect he’s not a real person, 8 whizzkidds run his accounts. The guy you see on conferences is a very well prepared actor. Last but not least i want to namedrop Enrico Heidelberg here. I worked with him at spil games and he learned me so much about selling a job, closing an offer etc. These aspects are crucial to our success but mostly overlooked in the sourcing community.

—–

Q5. One sourcing advice I can give to my peers is …..
Always be curious. About what your company actually does, about how your job openings contribute to this and what the real challenges are. About what candidates currently do, what drives them and what they think is interesting. Ask tons of questions. Listen. Have conversations with people instead of staring at your screen in isolation all the time. Everytime you speak with a candidate or colleague, try to learn something from them. Knowledge is your most crucial and perhaps even only asset. Gain more.

——————————

Bio Jan Bernhart has been in the recruitment industry for 8 years, both at agency and client side. He is a sourcer and recruiter and has hired talent from every continent except Antarctica (which is still on his wish list). He has handled C-level positions to internships and worked for startups to fortune 500 corporates. In his spare time he enjoys developing bookmarklets, creating excel formulas and denying he’s a nerd. Currently he works as freelance sourcing recruiter at Optiver. Jan spoke at the #SOSUEU 2014 and 2015 edition and his talks were some of the most popular sessions of the events. Catch up with Jan Bernhart at #sosueu.

 

This week we spoke to Alejandro Spicker who currently work for Goodgames Studio in Hamburg. Alejandro will be in Amsterdam for #sosueu 2016. 

Name: Alejandro Spicker
Company : Goodgames Studio
Twitter: AspickerHR

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role? Tell us a bit about Goodgames and how you got into sourcing?

Goodgame Studios is a leading free to play, online games development company. We operate across web and mobile platforms and our games are currently played by over 300 million users worldwide. With more than 1200 employees from around 60 different nations, we are Germany’s largest employer in the gaming software industry.
This diversity comes with both an advantage and a challenge though, which is that we currently seek out the best talents in the industry worldwide. Sourcing is such an important tool for our company since we want to find and hire the best employees in our industry, no matter where they are located.
I moved from Colombia to Germany in 2012 and after learning German I decided to apply for an internship in the new ‘sourcing department’ at Goodgame Studios. Although I already had some experience in HR, this was my first point of contact with Sourcing and I have been ‘hooked’ ever since.

Q2. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

My current position as Recruiting Manager consists of sourcing, screening candidates, interviewing them on the phone, Skype or face to face interviews and then negotiate the conditions of their hires. With me, we  are trying out a new position where Recruiters are also responsible of sourcing for their positions. This means, I am responsible for the entire recruiting process for the positions I take care of.

Q3. Sourcing is……

…recruiting’s magic wand. When used correctly, sourcing gives you the tools to find the best possible matches for your vacancies; especially for difficult positions for which applications can be somewhat challenging. It is a great opportunity for companies to fill their positions and react quickly to the market changes. For companies that work agile, like Goodgame Studios, this is actually a way to cut a lot of time in the recruiting process. We love it!

Q4. 10 Sourcing tools I use daily are…

  1. Social Media
    1. LinkedIn | Xing | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | GitHub
  2. Google
  3. Prophet / Connectifier
  4. Discover.ly
  5. Rapportive
  6. Bitly
  7. Facebook Search
  8. Boomerang
  9. Multi Highlighter
  10. Hubspot

Turn stones no one has turned before and you will find candidates that will surprise you!

Q5. One sourcing advice I can give to my peers is…

There are many different opinions and ways to source. One advice I would give to my peers is to find the one way they enjoy the most. If it is searching with Boolean search, searching on Google, LinkedIn or Xing, everyone should find the method that adapts the most to them and exploit it the best they can. Then they should get out of their comfort zone, get creative and do some talent mining in other areas they have not explored before. To be a successful sourcer you have to be creative! Turn stones no one has turned before and you will find candidates that will surprise you!

Catch up with Alejandro at #sosueu.

 

We are staring a new section where we profiled people who work in sourcing across Europe.  This week we spoke to Klara Hermesz  who currently work for BMC software about a wide range of subjects. Klara has attended #sosueu in the past and will be back this year. She can be reached here.

Q1. What problems are you currently solving in your role?

Wow, I get this question quite a lot these days 🙂 I have been with BMC since April, so almost 2 months in the job now. I am basically building out Sourcing as a separate function since we have 360 Recruiters and we need to help reduce their workload. Plus there is a need for having Sourcing as a Specialist function. I think these days what companies really miss with not having a dedicated Sourcing function is the amount of information and valuable data that a Sourcer acquires during the in-depth searches we make. My role is to build out a Strategic Sourcing function and help Recruiters see the value of market intelligence, market maps, talent maps, talent pipelines, etc.

I also got a little side project to help and boost the social media presence of BMC. It’s a great company and we don’t show enough of it to the world yet. We have really cool success stories, like Chevron who had to put 60 hours into finding errors in their systems before installing our software and thanks to us it is 5 minutes now. This should be out there! We also need to show more of us as a team because we are quite diverse, a really international bunch of great people. Plus we need to share all the fun we have here, like the planking or the pool championships we just had recently. 🙂

Q2. How do you define sourcing? Sourcing is……

FUN :)….I have always enjoyed sourcing. The moment right after you got a new role or project and start looking around, basically opening your first Google search literally gives me goose bumps every single time. 🙂 #weirdo… Than the whole process of figuring out, getting to know and understanding the market and the role itself and finding the best people is just great. I love to get to know new industries and become a Trusted Advisor. For me, Sourcing has to be a valued function in an organization on its own not just 10% of a Recruiter’s job.

Q3. 10 Sourcing tools I use daily are…

First of all I need good music in order to be able to focus on my sourcing task…Okay, no jokes. I always need Notepad and Google as a start (I know this is not so sexy but really useful). And then we can talk about all my little Chrome extensions that I use quite often, like Prophet, Discoverly, Email Hunter, Image Search, WhoWorks.At, Facebook Search Tool, and other tools like IFTTT, Rapportive, Sidekick, Time Converter (always confused with time zones :)). And many more but we already have 10.

Q4. Can you tell us five of the people you admire most in sourcing?

Well, my most respected Mentor is Balázs Paróczay from whom I learnt everything basically, the whole methodology and the mindset (and probably I am still the only one from the sourcing community who can write down his name correctly being a fellow Hungarian). Actually even before that I started to learn about sourcing by myself in my spare time (when sourcing was still not sexy and I was hiding it from the agency where I worked because Social Media was evil 🙂 ).

So the ever first webinar I watched was by the brilliant Shane McCusker (still love his accent) and then of course Johnny Campbell. When I started to actually get it I read everything by Glen Cathey, who is really the top person to follow in sourcing and you just need to know him. Lately it is getting harder and harder to find someone who can come up with something we don’t know yet so I am still looking for my 5th hero! Position open, Apply now 🙂

Always try to understand the market and the role first

Q5. One sourcing advice I can give to my peers is

Always try to understand the market and the role first. Without having a clear picture of what is the position about, which ones are the key requirements, and which ones are just the nice-to-have ones you cannot really create a good search and you will probably not find what you need. Always try to imagine what you are going to see when you find the result. Imagine the kind of person, their job, the words they use, the world they live in.

Understand them and talk to them with as much curiosity as you can. People love to talk about their jobs and sometimes they just need someone to take the time and listen to them carefully. Use all those information in your next search! That’s how you become an Expert!

Do you wish to share you sourcing story? If so, contact us.

If you are effective and efficient in what you normally do, you naturally stick to it. To cope with the rapid changes in the business world you need to look a bit further ahead. There are situations and challenges when the norm is not sufficient – instead of finding out the hard way the wise prepare. This article is meant to give you a blueprint on how you can create a sourcing strategy when you anticipate a difficult challenge or know that for some reason you can not stick to your normal activities.

1. What is a sourcing strategy?

Let’s start answering the question what is a sourcing strategy with understanding what is, generally speaking, strategy? A question so simple, but one which has so many answers to. The evolution of management theory generated many definitions, like this from the person who probably holds the Guinness record for appearing in most university subjects, Michael Porter:

“[Strategy is the] broad formula for how a business is going to compete, what its goals should be, and what policies will be needed to carry out those goals”

A widely used definition by Oxford Dictionary states:

“A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.”

The key things to understand are that strategies

  • Describe your end-goal
  • Focus on how you are going to gain competitive advantage  (watch this 1,5 minute video of Porter explaining why this is crucial)

 

  • Are long-term
  • Break down what is needed to reach the goal

2. Now that we know what a that strategy is, the question is what is sourcing?

The point of this article is certainly not to write an in-depth analysis of what should be considered sourcing and what is not sourcing (read about that here from Glen, here from Balázs, and here again from Glen). But since there are contradictory sourcing definitions, let me define it with a sentence how I typically introduce it to a layman.

Sourcing is the opening act of the recruitment process, where the candidate and the representative of the company find each other and decide whether there is mutual interest in moving forward.

Notice that:

  • sourcing is not just searching.
  • sourcing is not just dealing with passive candidates.
  • sourcing can be done by a sourcer, recruiter, HR representative or even a hiring manager depending on the process at the given company.

It is no coincidence that we use terms like passive sourcing, active sourcing, direct sourcing, phone sourcing or internet sourcing: there are many ways how you can find the candidates or you can encourage the candidates to find you.

3. So, then the sourcing strategy is…

A long-term plan of how you will establish and uphold the continuous flow of the targeted talent to your company’s recruitment process and how will you edge out the competition looking for the same talent.

That means:

  • You do not have a sourcing strategy for each and every position
  • But you should have multiple sourcing strategies for the different type of talent you seek (think about dividers such as seniority, industry, white-collar/blue-collar, geography)
  • Your company does not need a sourcing strategy for a type of talent where everything works already great and you anticipate no major changes
  • It’s a long-term plan, meaning you do not take the status quo granted, but think about trends and changes in the industry
  • You focus on best practice and push the boundaries for “even better practice”
  • Strategy is not a collection of tools you will use. That’s just one of the end products of your strategy.

4. Why create a sourcing strategy?

Creating a sourcing strategy is a good way to prepare to source a new type of talent or for a new challenge with the known talent. The challenge may come from the quantity of candidates (you need much more than so far), timing (you need them faster, at a special time, or continuously for a long period) or a change in the behaviour/structure of the talent pool.

Unfortunately many lose the above goal and try to create a sourcing strategy to simply impress a client, a stakeholder or a manager. While a good strategy certainly has the ability to help you with this, if impressing is your primary goal, instead of bringing value to the process you just waste time on summarizing your current actions. Beware: this limits your thinking so may be even more dangerous than doing nothing. Only create a strategy if there is real need for one!

The desire to impress #recruitment managers or clients is not enough to start creating a #sourcing strategy Click To Tweet

On the other hand, when you have finished the strategy, be sure to share it with the appropriate audience – a little visibility in the eyes of your management, hiring community or client never hurt anyone.

5. While we are this: So what’s a recruitment strategy? And why to create a sourcing strategy, not a recruitment strategy?

Just as sourcing is part of the recruitment process, the sourcing strategy is part of the recruitment strategy. Besides further steps like interviewing, assessment, on-boarding, a recruitment strategy should involve much more work organisation/resource allocation questions. For practical reasons (time, effort, value-add) and because of sourcing being perhaps the most crucial part of the recruitment process it may make more sense to narrow your focus to a sourcing strategy. Also, do not forget that typically the stakeholders and the decision makers on the proposed steps differ (in other words you need higher involvement for a recruitment strategy).

Guide to create your sourcing strategy

Now that we discussed exactly what a sourcing strategy is, it’s time to learn how to create one.

1. Format

Classically strategies are written documents with 20-50-100-200-2173612876391268793 pages. I believe we already passed the era (were we ever there?) when people read so long documents, so if you do not want your reader to only read the introduction and the end conclusions, you may want to pick a different format. Except if you want to impress someone with the sheer amount of printed papers you throw at their desk – after my explanations above hopefully that is not your goal.

Better visualisation of your analysis will help you come up with better conclusions. Using a slide format is much more visual, and chunks the information into more digestible and understandable pieces. Plus in most cases you work together in a team, you have a manager, a hiring manager or if you are on the agency side various client representatives. You will most likely show the strategy to them in a presentation, so it’s a smart move to already prepare the strategy in slides.

2. Content

Now that you know all this it is time to prepare a process redefining, stakeholder charming and world saving piece of strategy. Generally speaking strategies consist of a short introduction to the situation, an analysis of the factors, conclusions drawn from the diagnosis and – if they are not fake materials existing just on paper – end with an action plan. The below 9-step guide shows how this looks in the case of a sourcing strategy (click here to open a bigger version).

2.0. Inputs

The sourcing strategy derives from the business plans (coming from company strategy) and HR strategy. The first part of this statement is obvious: you will need to hire people to divisions/markets where growth or big fluctuation is expected. If you diagnose there will only be a spike in required workforce, not a constant need, then hiring may be a bad decision in the first place. This leads to a very practical thumb rule: if the business can not predict the employment needs with at least some degree of certainty, there is not much sense in trying to think in a strategical way.

Alignment with HR strategy is equally important. Are you a company with relatively low average salary level hiring and developing young talent or are you the company with high average salary who routinely picks off these companies? On a related note, what is your training and development strategy? Do you invest in your employees growth? Internally or externally? How does your career management system work? Is there one in the first place? Is the primary function of your performance evaluation system to measure & reward, or to identify & develop?

All these questions will impact who are the right candidates for you.

2.1. Summarize the need

Your strategy starts with summarizing the employment need based on the inputs above. This is a very brief introduction of the situation and the timeframe.

2.2. Pinpoint the challenge

Essentially you have to explain why you have created a sourcing strategy. In the chapter “Why to create a sourcing strategy” I have mentioned that the primary needs for a strategy are new type of talent or a new challenge with the known talent. Sum these up here!

While sharing the strategy with the team or presenting to stakeholders, this is the part which should grab the attention and set the scene.

2.3. Defining the targeted talent

There are many ways how you can do this. Depending on how strictly you target you might go for something really concrete like personas or just a broad description. Any way you do this, be sure to go beyond job descriptions. The actual tasks are not the important part, the skills, qualifications and personality traits are the dimensions which define what ‘talent’ means for you.

2.4. Understanding where is the talent now

By now you explained what you seek –  this is the part where you start looking where you might find this. Threat “where” as a question as broad as possible:

  • Which geographical area is of your interest?
  • Maybe you should look for candidates from another region, or another country?
  • What communities are they part of?
  • What companies are they working at?
  • Perhaps in an entirely different industry?
  • In which schools/educational institutes they are developing themselves?
  • What events are they participating in?
  • Where are they spending time online? Forums, social media, blogs, websites, job boards?

2.5. Predicting where the talent will be in the future

Suiting profiles change, habits change and generations change. Analyze the economical, industrial and social trends and think about the same questions as in point 4  – but now in 2, 3 or 5 years (depending on the timeframe of your strategy and the speed of change).

Again, think broadly! Find reports, analysis and prediction. Look for comparable situations (how things happened in a different country/industry). Talk with industry experts in and outside of recruitment. Talk with some of the current candidates you have in the process or employees you have already hired.

2.6. What are the competitors doing?

Competition in this context means both the direct competitors of your business and everyone else who is on the hunt or will be on the hunt for the same talent.

  • How are they sourcing now?
  • What are they doing to prepare for the future?
  • How are you different from them?
  • What are they not doing and why?
  • What are you not doing and why?
  • What can you use to position yourself better than them?
  • How will the candidates hear more and better things about you?
  • Why will they choose you in the end?

2.7. Sourcing Mix now

It’s time to translate your deep analysis to the recruitment industry. By now you have a good understanding where your talent is and what your competitors are doing. So think about:

  • What channels are possible to use?
    • Online advertising (job boards, social media, SEO)?
    • Direct sourcing (search on job boards, social media, forums or web)?
    • Referrals (internal or external)?
    • Phone sourcing?
    • Headhunting?
    • TV ads?
    • Print ads?
    • Radio ads?
    • University programs?
    • Events?
    • Involving third-party agencies?
    • Cooperation with NGO-s and professional organizations?
    • Unemployment agency?
    • Internal sources?
  • Out of these, which are worth to use?
  • Which will result in best ROI?
  • How are you going to communicate with the candidates?
  • What should your message be?
  • How you should present your message?

Sourcing Mix is a term I borrowed from Marketing – in the line with the famous 4P (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) as known from the Marketing Mix. A future article is coming on this topic – if you do not want to miss it, subscribe here with just an Email address.

2.8. Sourcing Mix of the future

If your talent pool, or the way how you can reach the candidates in it are prone to change over time, it is natural that your methods should change as well.

Revise your Sourcing Mix keeping in mind what you discovered about your future talent. Add new elements and plan to eliminate old ones. It might be worth to add tools to your mix which are not work the best now, but you expect to rely on them more and more – better be early than late. Being an early adopter means a competitive advantage, but that is not the only way to differentiate yourself. Think out of the box and try not to limit yourself to what you are used to do.

Thinking out of the box can help you out with formulating or changing your message as well, but do not lose your identity while trying to be different and creative. You certainly can and should change your message over time, but stay true to your organization’s identity and general strategy. Not everyone is Google or Coca-Cola, and not everyone should be.

2.9. Checkpoints, measurement

You worked out your sourcing mix for now and for the future so now you just have to execute it, right? Well, not so fast. You certainly used all the data you could gather to predict which methods are the best for you, but there is no guarantee everything will work out the same way in reality as it looks on paper.

The solution is to make sure you will be able to measure and compare the elements of your Sourcing Mix (I wrote here on this topic earlier). Depending on your decisions earlier and the talent scope of your sourcing strategy this may range from a source and conversation ratio tracking to complete revisions of your employer brand. Plan what are the most likely causes why you could get off track, and be prepared to intervene in time. A good practice to make sure you act in time is to set up revision checkpoints – for example if source A is not reaching the efficiency level of X/week, or if Y% of candidates have a negative experience  – when you have to intervene.

3. Preparation

Strategical thinking is fun and brings great value to your organisation, but ultimately your goal is not have a good strategy but to hire the most suiting people to run your business. It’s time to put together and implement the operative plan on how you are going to bring your sourcing strategy to life.

Three last tips

Working out a coherent sourcing strategy can be a very challenging task. Before you start, make sure you have the backing of your stakeholders or otherwise it’s very likely that your well-thought out strategy will not bring much yields.

Generally speaking involve everyone who might have a valuable point of view on the subject of your talent or your recruitment process. More eyes see more, and more minds are capable of thinking further.

Share the above with your colleagues and coworkers so you have a common ground on what are you working towards. There is nothing more hindering cooperation than not being aligned on the goals.

 Phew…

It’s not easy to read and process such a robust material. If you have made it so far I am sure you found value in it.

Comment your opinion and experiences below, share the material with your networks, or subscribe to the site here.

If you think about it, sourcing is quite a magical skill to have. Not only because you are able to find the right candidate, but because sourcing could be the (THE!) key to success when it comes to building valuable relationships with your clients. To turn your client into your ally.

Before explaining this any further, we need to define our vision on what sourcing actually is in the whole hiring process, so here it comes: if sourcing is done well, it influences the entire domain.

Wait, what!? That sounds absurd! We as sourcers usually have very little contact with our clients, if any at all! Even if we sit internally, within a corporate, we face limitations.

That’s right, and before we get to our main point, let’s discuss success. Sourcing success. You are only successful if your candidate gets hired. Succes does not only depend on (the number of) introduced candidates. Because let’s face it: if they don’t get hired in the end, you just didn’t find the right candidates.

Us three are big believers in measuring the success of our sourcing centers within Randstad Nederland and Yacht by the number of placements we make, while our business model does not allow for direct contact with our clients. But we have a compelling reason for our clients to take us seriously as a business partner; market insights and wonderful data!

unrealisticWe have been busy building our centers in the past couple of years, Randstad Nederland currently employing 20 outstanding sourcing recruiters, having already delivered over 700 placements this year on scarce profiles; Yacht’s center has a focus on very high profiles and difficult functions, with 7 well trained sourcers, and together we have learnt the following: You have a bigger influence in success than you realize.

For example: Who hasn’t worked together with clients whose requirements were – let’s say politely – a bit far fetched? Don’t just think about positions where the role is well defined, existing on the market, but the salary on offer is 20% below market average.

Think about the times when you were faced with a position that does not exist on the market! What do we mean? For example the time our client was in a rush to bring someone on board because the only person knowing a crucial process from beginning to end was retiring in weeks. In was all in his head, no official trace of what/how/why to do. Thus they had to put their working hour registration process urgently on paper – a clear and simple process support/admin function. However, the client also wanted the same person to lead them in their quest for digitalizing more of their HR – a real “grown up” advisory function. Issue: two completely different skillset requirements in one position.

So as a sourcer, what are you to do? Will you give it a shot, because this is what the client wants, believing there is nothing else but trying to deliver? We cannot possibly reject working on a role in the current market!

But here’s the trick: to make it a success, you don’t have to.

How about sharing all that market intelligence you gathered as a sourcer honestly and advising your client for a smarter, more efficient solution? It is exactly what we did, helping them clarify their needs, making the right hiring choices – in this case a temporary admin function and an interim advisory one. With knowledge sharing we strenghtended the relationship with the client – positioning ourselves in our true role as experts – while helping ourselves to positions we had a real shot at filling.

Conclusion
We strongly believe that as sourcers we have more to offer than just our awesome searching/hacking skills. We are the single biggest market intelligence “tool” any company can ask for when it comes to either a one-time hire or forming complete talent acquisition strategies, even if you “sit agency side”. Our reach is global, we have information sources no other statistical/surveying institution can access. By sharing information, managing expectations, you have the ability to influence your clients/stakeholders decisions, making them your allies thus helping you make placements. The days of being considered a support function are over, own your own importance in hiring processes, strategies. You have a bigger influence on your success than you realize.

dilbertLet’s share the sourcing love,

P2G! Karlijn Veth Zsuzsa Szabo

We had a chat with Bas Westland of ePeople. Bas will be the MC for day two of Sourcing Summit Europe.

Q. Can you shed some lights on your background. What problems do you solve for your clients?
After doing HR for 10 years I switched to commercial recruitment in 1999, initially as Commercial Manager for Brunel, later on I founded e-people with help of a VC in 2000. They were tired spending their money on agency fees and decided to create their own. Later on I gained a majority stake in the company and re-started and re-invented the company after the turbulent GFC.

At e-people we typically recruiter for hard to fill positions in the ICT and Internet sector. So mostly Online Marketeers and Developers of all kind, but also Managers and Support Staff. We rather focus on the Industry than on specific profiles.

Next to that I am passionate about sourcing and recruitment innovation. I’ve been training fellow recruiters since 2007 – both corporate and agency – on how to source on LinkedIn, but more and more also on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, StackOverflow and just using Google.

Q. What’s your take on the role of sourcing in Netherlands in particular and Europe in general?
I think sourcing is still very much under utilized, especially in the corporate space. I am still flabbergasted about the lack of skills with fellow recruiters, where I see that sourcing is my main source for getting the best candidates for my clients. ON the other hand I see good sorucers waste a lot of sourcing effort by using the wrong tone of voice in the approach of scarce candidates. That’s where you make the REAL difference.

Q. What in sourcing excites you? In your opinion, are sourcing best days ahead or behind us?
I feel like a private investigator, it’s like treasure hunting. I especially like to source the trigger for the candidate, the personal note based on information that you source. not the candidate him- or herself. That”s usually not the hardest part.

Q. You attended #sosueu last year what are your impressions of the event?
It was great, especially the session where the sourcers shared their best hacks on stage. The big difference between sourcers and plain recruiters is that sourcers are willing to share their knowledge, where recruiters tend to be secretive and keep their cards close. Last year was very valuable for my own sourcing skills as well. I learned stuff which I could apply the next day. It had been a long time that I learned so much in two days.

Q. This year you are the co-MC for #sosueu, what can delegates expect to learn? How can they get the best out of the event?
Be prepared to learn a lot. Most #sosueu speakers share a lot, so pay attention. Bring your open mind, be willing to look at your sourcing process from a different angle and you will gain new insights. Also make sure to bring your laptop so you can immediately try out the tips and bookmark them on the spot. It’s going to save you a lot of time and money.

They say candidate sourcing is sexy, the special playground of “smart nerds,” the engine behind a continuous inflow of quality talent, and the part of the recruitment process most appreciated by hiring managers today. Sourcing in recent years has significantly transformed, thanks to innovative methodologies and technologies. The recruiting world has probably never seen such a big turnaround in its internal functions, and you can hardly have a discussion today in which sourcing is not mentioned as one of the top three recruiting topics.

But as is the case with every niche and unique brand on the planet (think fashion or high-end technology), the sourcing discipline must reach out to and influence broader audience as it evolves and expands around the world to finally become accessible by the great majority of buyers. The real proof of the power of sourcing is just now appearing on the horizon. For HR leaders and other stakeholders, they will want to access its powers not through nerds, geeks, or ninjas but through seasoned professionals who think like them and can help massively build their businesses.

The more time we spend polishing the obscure aspects of sourcing, the further we are removed from supporting the goals of these stakeholders.

Sourcing will soon have to undergo a transition from being an exotic practice to becoming mainstream and familiar. It will have to lose its sweet mystery to clarity and transparency. Its complexity must become easy to analyze and understand. Only when this happens will sourcing become a truly integral part of the recruitment process.

However, we have to come to this realization: sourcing is just one part of the game. Sourcing should become as important to the talent acquisition process as candidate selection. Businesses need reliable partners with predictable deliverables, and sourcing has to say goodbye to its opaque practices and inconsistent results. It is time to for the sourcing industry to grow up and move beyond its infancy stage.

On September 23 at #sosueu, I will talk about how to build a relatively large sourcing factory – what are the key components of building, measuring, and continuously improving the performance; how to make this factory approach fun; and how to ensure your sourcing processes are extremely efficient and successful across a highly disparate EMEA landscape. By transforming sourcing into a predicable and transparent part of your talent acquisition process, you’ll surely help your organization build the talent pipeline it needs for success. Hope to see you there!