Getting off the Sourcing Sideline

If recruiters only sourced resumes and LinkedIn® profiles, many job openings would go unfilled. Sourcing candidates is more than finding a resume. Athletes certainly aren’t top in their field if they don’t practice and use their skills regularly and the same can be said for every professional, including recruiters. Sourcing is the skill that sets recruiters apart in a candidate market, but it takes frequent application to yield success.

In staffing agencies, recruiters who aren’t successful, lose money. For every job order they do not fill, they lose revenue. There are several aspects of sourcing today that should be applied for every new job opening.


This skill is vocal, written and ambitious. Recruiters who have a solid network can call and email potential candidates as soon as a new job order appears. A solid network includes former candidates, references or contacts made through others. Recruiters can double down on every contact (including those candidates and references mentioned above) by asking for the name of someone they would recommend for the current job opening. Asking across industries is a great strategy too. Revenue accountants might know someone in IT who is a network engineer.  Connecting with that network engineer can help fill other client openings you’re working, while helping candidates expand their reach on other opportunities.

Take care of your network

Be careful not to overwhelm your network contacts going through your entire req list, but pick and choose your top few job orders to share with candidates. Of course your revenue accountant candidate knows other revenue accountants, but they’re less likely to give you those contacts if they are really interested in the opening. Giving you contacts outside of their industry, however, builds the relationship on their end.

Sourcing by job title and competitor name

The greatest benefit of this technique is being able to identify a candidate not being pursued by competitor recruiters. There are various ways to accomplish this type of search, but Boolean search knowledge is essential. It might come as a shock to some, but not every possible candidate has a LinkedIn profile and many who do, aren’t visiting their inbox regularly. Staffing agency recruiters have clients that often want candidate profiles in hand within 24-48 hours. These clients have opted to go through an agency to fill their job opening.  They do this because they are already suffering a delay in identifying a candidate critical for success of their team, department and organization. Having a full resume is no longer necessary prior to contacting a candidate in order to expand your talent pool for every new job order.

Social media recruiting

Look for personal pages, blogs, websites and resumes indexed through search engines. For all the technical recruiters, in particular, why pay for resume access when the Internet is full of candidate profiles that can be sourced with no monetary investment? Most IT professionals today work on some aspect of a data center which includes web interfacing applications, storage and networks. These same professionals build personal websites for learning purposes and for portfolio work to use for future employment opportunities. As a recruiter, your barrier is knowing how to find these potential candidates. Learn Boolean search techniques, use these skills daily to expand talent pools and set yourself apart in your industry. Recruiters that do not take the time to learn and use Boolean search skills are missing out on an abundance of candidates they could have found for free.

Recruiting is not a passive profession, so be active in your daily sourcing. Increase your value and your own bottom line in your bank account by getting off the sidelines and taking advantage of every possible talent pool available.

Ryan Phillips

About the Author

Ryan Phillips is the Sourcing Researcher and Technical Writer at AIRS. Joining AIRS in 2010, she transitioned to the role from the Internal Recruiting Team at The RightThing. Ryan began her recruiting career working for a Technical Recruitment Staffing firm in the Silicon Valley.  She recruited for a wide variety of cutting edge skill sets for IT, Engineering, Marketing and Accounting. She later moved into the RPO Space where she did mainly niche Engineering Recruitment for Microsoft.

Ryan’s passion is sourcing and finding more places to uncover those candidates that would normally remain unfound through mainstream search tactics. As a core part of the AIRS Team, Ryan works on curriculum development for all AIRS courses. These include the industry-leading AIRS Certification classes. Ryan continues to consult with our RPO Clients on their Social Media Branding Strategies. Additionally she supports Internal RightThing Sourcing Team to develop client specific sourcing strategies. Ryan holds a Master’s degree in Management of Information Systems and a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Linguistics and Spanish from San Diego State University. Finally, Ryan is multilingual in English, Spanish, and Japanese. You can find more about what Ryan does with AIRS at the AIRS Training Blog.

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