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Sourcing: The Public Relations of Recruitment

I was recently at an presentation at the Association of Career Professionals International – New England where they had a panel of recruiters from some very large organizations. The topic was the new world of recruiting in the current internet age and how recruiters at companies are finding talent now differently than they where in the past. While there were many traditional ways presented, the one that really got my attention was the new role of Sourcer in the recruiting practice.

The traditional way that employment specialists used to work is that they would review the applications they received to find the best candidate from the pile. As the Internet age exploded and more and more candidates applied, technology grew to where recruiters were getting more sophisticated in searching for key words and other indicators in a resume that the candidate had the applicable background. This new approach is that recruiters are no longer limited by the people who see and apply to a position, but Sourcers will actively go out and find people who have the skills regardless of whether they know about the company or the job opening.

Some of the recruiters mentioned that in their employment organizations, there were twice as many Sourcers as Recruiters.

So, what does a Sourcer do? Research, and mostly on line. Whether scouring LinkedIn profiles (you do have a LinkedIn profile, don’t you?) or attending meetings and learning who are the hot people in a field. They are the ones who find people even before a job is posted. They make it their business to know the best candidates, get to know them, and get to know the people who know them to get referrals.

I like to say that these people are the Public Relations function of Recruiting. The definition of PR that I like to use is putting a good impression of the product or service into the customer’s mind even before the customer is thinking about making a purchase. These people do all the prework of the hiring process and it is good for you to know how they work.

How does this affect you? Well, do you have enough information out there do that people can find you and know what you’re good at? Can anyone else say how good you are and tell your story? Also, if you’re good at researching and know your way around the Internet, it could be a great new job opportunity. (Hello journalists!)

So, are you making yourself known to sources in your field?

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