Names Sourcing – What Is It?

“Sourcing! Sourcing! Sourcing! It’s all I hear these days – source this and source that and source this way and source that way – what’s up with this sourcing business?” the tired HR executive said at the end of a long, grueling day of perusing still unfilled vacancies on his company’s staffing roster.

Putting down the sheet and looking up over his glasses at his staffing director standing before him on this late Friday afternoon, he continued, “Now that you have my attention, what is sourcing anyway? How is it accomplished? You’ve mentioned we need a sourcing group here in-house. Tell me more – do we really? How do we form one and where do we find the people to fill it? How do we pay them and what are the potential pitfalls to avoid? Will our recruiters embrace the process? Is it good money after bad? What, what, what? Talk to me.”

“Third-party recruiters have been using these guys for years!” the staffing director shot back excitedly. “Heck, before I came ‘inside,’ when I ran my own staffing firm, we used one in particular – she’s in Cincinnati and her name is Maureen.”

“Sharib. I’ve heard her name,” the VP interrupted. “I think someone just sent me an ERE article she wrote last month – something about the secrets of sourcing?”

“Yes, she writes a lot on the subject and has been for the last few years. I think she started over on ERE three-four years back, and since then she’s been aggressively advocating the use of telephone sourcing in proactive research. She took some heat in that article you mentioned because she suggested sourcing could be considered as a Six Sigma methodology subject. I happen to agree with her suggestion, and so have a couple others over the past few years.”{6FFC61FA-A146-4D7B-83D5-EAEA23F8703D}

“So tell me, what is sourcing?” the HR decision maker asked as he pushed back in his chair and folded his hands behind his head, waiting for an answer.

“It’s when you work to proactively fill your jobs with people that do not necessarily have their résumés ‘out there’ or ‘in here.’ It’s when you find people that reside inside other companies that are hard at work doing the work we’d like to see them doing for us!”

“You mean cold calling? Hell, that’s how we did it in the old days!” he guffawed, leaning forward in his high-backed chair as his feet hit the ground with a thud. “You mean to tell me we’re not doing that today?” he demanded incredulously.

“Are you kidding me?” the staffing director remonstrated. “All I have in this department are paper pushers and board surfers. Ask them to get on the phone and find someone who isn’t listed in a database and they tell me, ‘That’s not my job.’ We’ve got kids, here, Sir, no offense, and they need shaking up.”

“They certainly do,” the VP replied. “How can we get this thing back on track?”

“The first thing we can do is give them the tools they need to succeed. I suggest we do this in a two-pronged approach. Because there are two types of sourcing – Internet and telephone – we bring in trainers to teach our people how to do both in a one-two punch. There are a couple people out there I’d recommend for Internet training: one is Barbara Ling – she was one of the early adapters – and the other is Shally Steckerl. Both of them have Internet-based and on-site training capabilities.
(Barbara Ling)
(Shally Steckerl)

“For telephone sourcing the only program I know of is Maureen’s “Magic in the Method.” It’s provided online as well as on-site, and it picks up where the Internet search instruction ends. (http://

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“It teaches telephone sourcing skills, and that’s what we really need to kick things up around here. Some of them may not like hearing about the new sheriff in town, but it’s what they need!”

“I agree,” the gray hair said. “How fast can you make this happen?”

“I can announce the new program immediately. It would help if I could be budgeted with money to accomplish the training. It may take in the range of $20,000 to bring the training to all 20 of our people. What they do with that should repay the training in a few days.”

“You’re kidding!” the HR VP exclaimed. “In a few days?”

“In a few days,” the staffing director affirmed. “In a few days,” she repeated, for emphasis.


How is names sourcing accomplished?

How to find names sourcers and how to pay them.

Is it legal? Immoral? Unethical? Fattening?

Maureen Sharib is a telephone names sourcer, names sourcing since 1997. She and her husband, Bob, own the names-sourcing firm TechTrak. com, Inc. (, which helps companies fill their hard-to-place positions at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruiting venues. Maureen is the 2007-2008 Guild Guide for the newly formed Sourcers Guild, a professional organization for sourcers. Sourcers Guild: com/group/sourcersguild/. She is also the author of the very popular “Magic in the Method,” a one-of-a-kind telephone names sourcing training course, and a continuous contributor to many online recruiting-related sites. Maureen holds a BA in economics from the University of Cincinnati and lives in Morrow, Ohio, on a 12-acre paradise with Bob, their dog Buster, and three barn cats. She is most grateful to be able to do what she does.

Maureen Sharib has been a “Socratic sourcer” her entire sourcing career; from the moment she first picked up the faxed list of Silicon Valley high-tech companies that was her target list to “phone source” in 1996 to today she has instinctively followed this method of investigative sourcing using (mostly) the telephone.  She is a proponent of sourcing as a synonym for success and envisions the craft moving away from a dangerously drudgery-paced life-form existence to an exciting investigative/competitive place within organizations where practitioners co-exist within a framework of market research, human resources, and C-level future planning. She owns the phone sourcing and competitive intelligence firm, Inc. You can contact her at Maureen at or call her at (513) 646-7306.  If she’s not on the phone she’ll pick up!