Names sourcing is a means to an end. It creates a list of persons holding specific titles who are likely to possess specific skill-sets out of (usually) specific companies that can be used to fill your positions. Names sourcing can deliver a solution that links company recruiters with qualified candidates in a short amount of time – three to five business days being reasonable on a medium-sized job (50-100 names). A list of candidates is delivered in a few days, while traditional recruiting routes may take weeks and months to do!
There are a variety of techniques used by names sourcers to get this list assembled, and we’ll be discussing many of them in this learning series. But the first step in any names sourcing job is to understand your hiring manager’s, or the customer’s, needs. Understand them very completely because, without that grasp of the requirements, you’re sure to miss your mark! Names sourcing delivers to your customer a targeted list of persons he can sit down at his desk and call on the telephone the very next day and offer his job opportunity. It appears very simple, but the reality is that to get to this stage, a complicated, well-honed, disciplined process ensues that produces these results for your customer.
Names sourcing should be the starter activity for every candidate search. It should be included in every recruiter’s methodology, without exception. It should be taught as a first-line activity for every candidate search. It’s estimated that less than 10% (and I think this estimate is generous!) of a recruiter’s daily activities are engaged in names sourcing – the number should be three times that! If you spent two hours of every day “names sourcing” (believe me, the time will go very fast!), your pipelines would fill to overflowing in no time at all!
In the real estate business, they say, referring to listings, “If you don’t have it on the shelf, you can’t sell it!” It’s no secret in that business that the best sales agents are usually the best at listing properties for sale. When I was a broker, my sales always elevated in the years I had the highest volume of listings “on the shelf.” To list property, the real estate industry recommends “farming” to its participants” Farming involves cultivating a specific set of targets. They may be in a specific area, in a specific price range, in any specific reference area. The idea is to have a multiple number of contacts with the same people, getting your name and service in front of them, in an effort to procure their business. In marketing, it’s called branding, and in our industry I propose we call it sourcing.
Telephone vs. Internet
There are two types of sourcing: Telephone and Internet. Telephone sourcing is the reliance on the telephone as the main procuring cause for the information that is gathered. It does not mean you don’t do a little Internet sourcing in combination with the telephone – in fact you do! A telephone sourcer uses the Internet many times to glean “a few names in” that will facilitate her calling once she starts.
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Internet sourcing is the reliance on the Internet as the main procuring cause for the information that is gathered. It does not mean you don’t do some telephoning in combination with the Internet – in fact you do! An Internet sourcer uses the telephone many times to “check” the veracity of the information that is found on the Internet.
The “checking” phase of Internet search holds vast promise. When you’re checking whether someone’s title is, in fact, still Research and Development Manager, it sometimes occurs that this person has moved into a Director or VP position within the organization. Armed with the name (that is, in fact, still an important part of the organization), a skillful Internet researcher will ask, “Who is the Manager of R&D at the present time?” More often than not, they’ll be told!
Another fascinating aspect of Internet search is the networking capability of the format. Internet sourcers who are also skilled at communication can fruitfully turn one name into 20, picking up whole departments on their forays into organizations. This prototype is approaching being a true telephone sourcer, because this is what telephone sourcers are notorious for. It is my opinion, and some may disagree with me, that many Internet sourcers do not care for the human interaction that is required to turn one Internet sourced name into several. Or they may not have the ability (language, proper equipment, allowances) to do this. Telephone sourcers have a great edge over the sourcing competition in this realm, in my opinion!
Maureen Sharib is a telephone names sourcer, names sourcing since 1997. She and her husband, Bob, own the names-sourcing firm TechTrak.com, Inc. (www.techtrak.com), 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 (http://finance.groups. yahoo.com/group/sourcersguild/). She is also the author of the one-of-a-kind and very popular “Magic in the Method” telephone names sourcing training course and a frequent contributor to many online recruiting-related sites. Maureen holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Cincinnati and lives in Morrow, Ohio.