The Nature vs. Nurture of Sourcing

Sourcers are always finding new ways to effectively use technology, street smarts and process of elimination to find quality candidates. With the deep analytical skills that sourcers possess, we know they are driven to organize and look at each potential lead to find the perfect candidate for their organization. But what about how the candidate is researching you?

Sourcers: It’s In Their Nature

Sourcers have a very specific set of skills―this was evident in attending SourceCon this year. The two most important skills are critical thinking and intuition. It’s in their nature to dig, to optimize, to question. They have to be inherently analytical, extremely organized, self-sufficient and resourceful. If you find yourself a great sourcer, you hold on and never let go.

In the SourceCon keynote, Glen Cathey of Kforce validated the nature of sourcers by speaking to their inquisitive and problem-solving DNA. Cathey challenged every attendee to start with the “why” behind their search for talent, following up with a quote by W. Edwards Deming, Engineer, and statistician: “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.”

Sourcers must be intuitive by nature and always ask the right questions to get to the right candidates. Every job req is a problem that needs to be solved, and sourcers are the people who build the equation that leads to the solution: the right candidate. It’s critical thinking at its finest.

So of course, being resourceful and masters of critical thinking, with access to unlimited data, plus more and more job reqs to fill, sourcers are expected to find more of the better candidates, faster.

More, better and faster isn’t easy. In another SourceCon keynote, Jonathan Campbell of Social Talent had attendees literally jumping out of their seats as he shared the construct of a 3,000 character search string. He had people live tweeting (and live gasping) over talent mining hacks and Boolean tricks. It blew my mind! Sourcers want to find the candidates no one else can, and it’s these types of insider secrets that can help.

But it got me thinking: With all of this upfront research finding the right candidates, what is the path that candidates are taking to find you?

The Nurture Part of the Sourcing Equation

Just as sourcers have become more sophisticated in their research of candidates, candidates also are becoming more sophisticated in researching prospective employers.

Even the best sourcers can’t make a candidate respond. The candidate likely receives several creative email messages from a sourcer, and before she considers responding, she:

  • Googles your career site
  • Looks up the sourcer on LinkedIn
  • Searches your company on Glassdoor
  • Finds your social accounts

And probably even more touchpoints! If the candidate isn’t impressed, why would she reply? Your candidate experience and employer brand needs to be working for you to nurture these candidates in their research phase. Your recruitment marketing should be communicating a similar message, tone and value across all of the touchpoints between you and a candidate.

I read a great post from Kelly Dingee on Fistful of Talent that proves this nurture point: “I find people, sure. But like all good consumers, they want a comparison, and easily with the change in the job market, they find one. So why will they choose your company? What will make it stand out? It’s all about the wooing. The engagement. The experience. That is the most important part of recruiting right now.”

Nature has become a science, but it’s the nurture that is more art. What good is a perfect 3,000 character search string that yields 1,000 results if candidates just aren’t interested in choosing your company? Recruitment marketing tactics are vital in nurturing candidates once sourcers make that connection and, even before they make that connection, help your sourcers out with a strong and engaging employer brand and candidate experience!

The Insight

Sourcers need to be asking (and answering):

  • Once I find the talent, how can I continue to nurture them through the candidate journey?
  • How can I “sell” my brand to candidates more effectively?
  • How do I forge a relationship with them over time?
  • How do I get my organization to be a top contender if they’re not ready to apply today?
  • How do I engage with silver medalists differently?
  • How do I find and engage the candidates I’ve already sourced for new or better positions?
  • How can I learn more about them over time?

The insight here: You learn if you’re providing an optimal experience for your sourced candidates to choose you. Did they go to my career site? What actions did they take? Did they read employee testimonials or Glassdoor reviews? Did they go to Facebook to check out our culture? Your recruitment marketing tactics, plus sourcers’ one-to-one communication, are necessary to nurture quality candidates.

The answers stem from a recruitment marketing strategy enhancing every touchpoint in their journey to research your employer brand. Sourcers thrive on data and information on candidates, but they also need to be tracking and analyzing behavior of candidates. Technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform can provide a holistic view of the candidate journey from the first point of attraction all the way through hire.

A New Goal

Our goal as sourcers is ultimate conversion, which as we know is unlikely with the first shot. So we need to have an interim goal of nurture: keeping them engaged until they’re hooked. Finding people is the science, and great sourcers know that―maintaining and nurturing relationships is the art that will make them choose you.

You have the nature. How will you improve the nurture?

This post is sponsored by SmashFly and was previously published on the Smashfly blog. For more content like this, follow SmashFly on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.

This post was first published on on 3/25/16


Photo Credit: centre-technorama via Compfight cc


Smashfly is a client of TalentCulture and sponsored this post.