I am entering my 17th year in recruiting and it still amazes me to hear how corporate recruiters will not utilize the sources that are most readily available to them but only focus on new or trendy sources. In addition, over the years I have read articles about best sources, and how if I didn’t use a certain source before everyone else then it would be no good once it “caught on”, or that the type of candidate I found could be sub par based on the source. I always wondered why would these “experts” put out there that direct applicants, job board candidates or career fair attendees are somehow not worth a recruiter’s time? How you find the candidate doesn’t matter, use the most cost-effective and efficient sources possible to identify, or attract candidates to your opportunities. If I find a slate of highly qualified candidates that were direct applicants then I do not need the other tools in my arsenal.
My experience working for agencies, small companies and very large firms has provided me the opportunity to source for candidates with little to no tools to access to every available tool. For example, several years ago I was on a contract recruiting assignment with a well branded employer and I never searched the major job boards, internet, or went outside of the company database to find candidates. I didn’t need to. I had been on the assignment about a month when one of the hiring clients told me that she had never seen such high quality candidates and was curious where I found them. When I responded that they were found in the company database and more specifically direct applicants, she blushed, stammered and then said she didn’t understand. This is made more interesting because the client was previously supported by a highly regarded recruiter within the company. I learned that this “high potential” recruiter never looked at direct applicants and had extended the process by only going to non-traditional sources. I don’t know why they took this approach but my guess is that they followed the advice of all those articles.
Why complicate the process by ignoring those sources that are right there for you? Is it to try to impress people you only find candidates through “creative” sources? Or is it a fear that you are not a recruiter if you submit a candidate from the non-sexy sources? Guess what – your clients don’t care about the source they just want quality candidates that have the skills, experience and fit. Our job is to methodically go through the sources available to identify a slate of candidates for our clients in an effective and efficient manner. By methodically I mean start with your easy hit sources (company database), then move on to your more involved sources (job board database or LinkedIn) and finally the sources that take time to search or develop (internet searches, networking events).
I don’t care if I find a candidate that is a fit for the role if they applied to our posting, were buried deep in my ATS, I met them at a career fair, is an employee referral, found through intricate Boolean searches (speaking of check out @BooleanBlackBlt’s similar post http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2009/04/dont-be-a-sourcing-snob/) or through sites like LinkedIn or Twitter. I don’t care what source – I only care if the candidate has the skills, experience and is a fit for the role. The only “experts” I need to hear from are my hiring clients stating that the slate I brought them was the best, or they wish they could hire them all.
Oh and in some cases we will run a print ad in some markets because based on prior experience that is the only way to draw out candidates to our opportunity. According to the experts we shouldn’t because quality candidates do not reply to print ads – yeah right.
I welcome your thoughts or comments.