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Research vs. Sourcing

In a day and age where technology is involved in every aspect of our lives, especially the lives of recruiters, we tend to focus on what is convenient and not always what is effective. For instance, posting on a job board for a CEO or Java Developer role might be convenient; however, it’s unlikely to work.

That role is most likely going to continue to stay unfilled.

Online posting has a time and a place, but don’t forget about primary research.

There are fundamental differences between traditional sourcing and research. Sourcing is using the online tools available to find potential candidates for hire. LinkedIn, Seek, Indeed, Facebook, etc. are all examples of sourcing. Depending on the role, these online tools can provide you with access to a portion of the talent pool: roughly 65%.

Once identified, potential candidates are most commonly approached through email, Inmail, or the like.

Research is much more complex than online sourcing, but yields a much larger and more complete selection of the talent pool. LinkedIn and similar resources should be used as a basic starting point, but the unique objective of research is to find the talent that is untouched by typical sourcing – the portion not online (about 35%) or not easily identified online due to Google and LinkedIn’s ever-changing search algorithms. To ensure you have access to the entire talent pool, calling into organisations and breaking out their organisational charts provides the greatest amount of accuracy and detail. Although difficult and often time-consuming, this yields the additional 3-4 out of 10 people neither you nor your competitors could find, as well as complete contact information.

Knowing the difference between the two resources is great, but it is useless if you don’t know when to use one over the other. Everyone should use online resources, but they don’t work for all roles. Posting a job or sending an Inmail message might be appropriate and efficient for some roles where the talent pool isn’t competitive.

When it comes to difficult positions such as in the health care, or technology spaces, as well as high-level roles, online sources typically aren't going to cut it. A LinkedIn message or email might get to the person, but so did six other recruiters’ messages with the same lines about “a great opportunity” and “great benefits.”

Depending on who you ask, on average, sort after individuals receive between 7-10 LinkedIn messages per week from recruiters. With the even higher demand for certain roles, such as software developers, you’re probably not going to be as successful with sending a LinkedIn message as you are if you take the time to call them directly and create a relationship.

Online sourcing is best suited for low-to mid-level positions. When it comes to roles that are in high demand, niche, or high level, you need to find the portion of the talent pool that is, for the most part, untapped.

The next time you have open requisitions that are in high-demand, such as a Java Developer, or a position that is high up the food chain, such as a Director or CEO, think of a solution outside of traditional sourcing. Although the talent pool might seem limited or too saturated, your competitors have the individuals you need. If you use the right techniques, you can find 100% of the talent pool by breaking out organisational charts. Coupled with picking up the phone and creating real relationships, research will cut down on the post-90 day job requisitions your company has.

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The five top problems with searching for talent online

1.   97% of Recruiters are using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool – overfished pond of recruiters finding the same candidates over and over. (Forbes)

2.   Only 50% of LinkedIn users have a “complete” profile – many missing job information, history (Undercover Recruiter)

3.   Only 48% of job seekers are active on social networking (including LinkedIn on a daily basis (Forbes)

4.   Less than 10% of candidates say social media has helped uncover job opportunities- OCG candidate research (9.1% of candidates used Social Media in their job search, 1000+ candidates)

5.  Only 13% of Millennials (aged 15-34) have a professional profile online yet Millennials make up 36% of the workforce (MediaBistro)

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