The sourcing profession has four central weaknesses that can cause catastrophic failure; and not all of them are directly tied to recruitment.
As a member of the sourcing community, I know we all love to “ring a bell” when we find that perfect candidate for an almost impossible to fill requisition- the sense of pride; that euphoric feeling we all get when we, alone, find that candidate! The elation that comes is synonymous with the "we will never fail," everlasting, triumphant glee – WRONG!
Sourcing has four weaknesses that commonly cause catastrophic failure and not all of them are directly tied to recruitment:
Expecting sourcing to deliver short-term solutions to long-term problems, such as, a broken interview, pre-boarding/on-boarding or hiring process, dismal employment brand/reputation, obstinate hiring managers intent on opposing, not only the process that has been in place for eons, but change as well, and so on and so on and so on…
Treating sourcing like an entry-level position (which those who have come to know the industry respect its members greatly for their command of cyber-sleuthing, resulting in the sourcers gaining experience then promptly moving on to a role where they are inadequately rewarded for their specialization).
Stopping and starting an internal sourcing team each time hiring objectives change, which can result in fractured teams that do not collaborate. When the right hand has no clue what the left is up to it's equivalent to chaos within the candidate identification process both in terms of skill and cultural fit.
Let’s just say it out loud- Relying on recruiters to pick up the phone and follow through with sourced leads means the leads will not get called. This also happens when recruiters expect hiring managers to know what to do with passive candidates that have been aggressively recruited and still need more encouragement i.e. making a change to a new professional home (namely, your client’s company) would provide a better quality of life, etc. Hiring managers are not recruiters. The sooner we can accept that the better our odds may be in closing the deal with our candidates (reminding them of the initial call wherein we ascertained that critical piece of information– “what would be your reason for leaving your current place of employment?”
Inadequate and inconsistent contact with potential candidates brings about chaos and often resentment among candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. Lack of follow up on the “possibly interested in the future” candidates results in the pipeline drying up, the employment brand eroding, and candidates declining to interview for positions the “next time around.” This group of candidates is also invaluable for sourcers to utilize for the often priceless referral. In short, keep in touch with your passive candidates! They are a valuable resource in a plethora of ways.
Burdening sourcers with administrative duties normally delegated to a coordinator means they cannot fulfill their function of generating leads. Additionally, providing little or no feedback on candidates submitted may create a unilateral feedback system wherein only negative results are communicated, making it impossible to improve. Likewise, not allowing sourcers adequate time with hiring managers to completely understand the search criteria may result in losing more time later on in the process, not to mention shortening one’s patience and frustration level.
Keep these Four Points of Failure tucked away somewhere. When we, as sourcers, become short sighted remind yourselves that with failure comes knowledge of what we could have done different the next time around. We learn from our mistakes, and, hopefully, we do make lemonade out of the way under appreciated lemon.