The role of the Sourcer has changed immeasurably over the years.
Thanks to rapidly advancing technology, their tools of choice have evolved from filing cabinets and desk phones to email trackers and personality profiling software.
So what exactly does a modern Sourcer look like? What are the attributes required to excel in this modern role? Here are three key traits you should look for...
1. Tech savvy
In the 1980s, a Sourcer wasn't even an official term. Back then, they were more likely to be called Trainees.
Where did they find candidates? Adverts for a role were placed in relevant journals and publications. Nowadays of course, the situation is much different.
We're not just talking about LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Professional, specialised Sourcers will now use a variety of online tools to help them source candidates.
Apps like Email Hunter and Mail Tester will help them find the right contact details, while the likes of Crystal and Prophet will let them methodically profile personalities.
When they have the right information, they can start to engage with the candidate before they even know they're being considered for a job.
Like with many roles in the world of recruitment, the emphasis on telephone skills has declined as technology has evolved.
Sourcers once needed to be outgoing and driven to pick up the phone over and over. They'd call potential candidates found on file or on their database.
But Sourcers are no longer these persistent, often cold callers. They've adopted a knack for spending hours building online communities. Those aforementioned online tools are put to good use, allowing them to analyse data quickly and efficiently.
But that's not to say Sourcers have neglected social intuition and become reclusive data analysts. They still need to understand and engage with the potential candidate on a human level.
Modern sourcing is a marketing strategy aimed at one. The Sourcer needs to infiltrate the potential candidate's everyday life. They use those online tools and apps to track them down. They then engage personally, long before they've even mentioned a job role.
This doesn't just apply to the candidate side of the process. Sourcers need to be fully in-step with the organisation's sourcing objectives and their culture.
In turn, they need to talk knowledgeably with the client's marketing and branding departments to create the right message.
Modern Sourcers aren't restricted to just three traits. But these three in particular illustrate the subtle approach now required of them.
Nowadays the power lies with the candidate, not the employer. A jobseeker will be passive; they’ll be open to or they’ll even expect an employer to approach them.
Surreptitious though it might seem, the modern Sourcer needs to be able to infiltrate and assess without the potential candidate's knowledge.
Why? Well, the key phrase we always return to is "marketing strategy aimed at one."
The best talent isn't exactly queuing up outside a recruiter's office anymore. Sourcers have to bring the product to them.
McKinsey's famous "war for talent" is over, and the talent won. If the ball is in their court, Sourcers are now the ones who have to hop the fence and get it back.