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Finding Isn't Sourcing

Bill Boorman writes about the death of sourcing after a recent SourceCon event in Atlanta.

And here is the thing, sourcing is just starting. There are plenty of tools for dissecting and finding data that gives you the answers you want. The tools may no longer mean that you no longer need to know Boolean or other internet searching tips,but understanding what data means is a real art. It is not about finding people, it’s about understanding people. Things like who might be most ready to move. who has accumulated experience since they last updated a profile. Finding people might be easy. People are represented by data, and anyone with the right tool can find data, but interpreting data is a real skill.

Bill is right on here.  I attended Sourcecon last fall to get a sense of how good I was against professional sourcers.  As a full desk recruiter, and a sales account executive before that, sourcing is in my job decsription, but it's a lot more personal, as I have to make the calls and compare my results in real time.

What I found, and what is considered basic sourcing theory, is that everyone sources different because our brains aren't alike.  Our experiences help guide us down different paths, and thus no sourcer is going to be the same in the lists they provide.  This is important, because the rise of data increases the need for sourcing, instead of decreasing it.

Think of resumes.  The more you have, the more you need to be able to get to the ones you want.  Despite the advances in search technology, I've yet to hear about an ATS or job board that hands you perfect candidates without some kind of human filter. Why would this be changed just because social profiles give more clues?

The question itself is still rather moot.  Most of you reading this know what sourcers are, but how many have a full time sourcer on staff?  The major companies do, and agencies will often hire someone to sift through resumes, but sourcing still hasn't caught on in the majority of the recruiting world.  To talk about its death is akin to saying social media was dead in 2008.  In 2008, most recruiters didn't use LinkedIn.  Many still don't.

Bottom line?  Until candidates worldwide standardize their resumes to what a client wants (through some kind of mass mental hypnosis), resumes, and people will still have to be discovered.  And that is the essence of sourcing.