The One Role Your Talent Team Is Missing

Post by
Brian Mooney
October 23, 2019

I recently had a conversation with a sourcer. She shared what she does on a daily basis and at first, I didn’t see how that was much different than what I did as a recruiter. She has reqs, she looks for candidates, talks to them and hands them off. As she began to talk more about how she was finding those candidates I began to understand recruiting and sourcing are not the same thing. 

Recruiters are generally dealing with the inbound candidates. That is, reviewing the applications that have come in as a result of things like your employer brand efforts and posting to job boards etc. Recruiters do generally have a LinkedIn seat and maybe they search for job titles and send some candidates inmails. While that technically is sourcing, it doesn’t make them a sourcer. 

Sourcers are generating candidate leads, that is, people that might become candidates and they are finding these people in places that are not just on LinkedIn. Believe it or not, not all candidates are hanging out on LinkedIn! They find candidates in places that job postings don’t reach and when candidates don’t respond to the first message, they follow up more than just once. Sourcers are technical. I didn’t realize how technical until I saw Shalley Steckhl at the BATSA event. He broke down the process of building your own search engine to pull data in from various sites to source candidates. Most impressively he showed us how you can search images and retrieve the names of people in the photos.

Sourcers are putting candidates on your radar faster and cheaper than traditional recruiting methods so why doesn’t every company have a sourcer? Lever’s Annual Benchmark Report is loaded with data showing that sourcing candidates is a better way to hire. If you don’t already have a dedicated sourcer on your team then you should keep reading. Here’s what I love about having a dedicated sourcing person.


Proactively sourcing candidates can lead to faster hires. Lever found that sourcing external candidates is 2x more efficient than traditional recruiting. Instead of posting and praying, sourcers put your company on this person’s radar. Most people, even those happy in their careers, are willing to talk to a recruiter about an opportunity that might advance their career or improve their quality of life.

Long-term Strategy

This is a strategy that benefits you in the short-term and long-term because it helps you build relationships with candidates. Sourcers can build a pipeline that will be ready when you open new positions. For example, your budget has been approved and you know you’ll be hiring for 3 additional Engineers in January. You can put this on your sourcers radar so they can be thoughtful in their approach. There is also value in building a database of candidates that you can continue to nurture. Each touchpoint, if done the right way, can lead to breaking down the barrier needed to get a response.


Sourcers will draw valuable insights both internally and externally. They can review your best employees’ profiles and learn what keywords are associated with the roles are trying to fill and other places candidates might be hanging out online. They are also going to be able to draw valuable insights that will give your strategy a focus you do not currently have.


As Lever’s data points out, having a dedicated sourcing person saves time and we all know time is money. Beyond just the cost per hire is the value of the position. Lever’s example really drives this point home: The difference in hiring 3 sales rep positions with a $1M quota each 10 days faster is 81K.

Bonus Benefit

I can’t speak for all recruiters, but I would bet having a sourcer allows them to spend more time on what they like to do - connect with people. Sourcers make recruiters jobs a lot easier and it allows them to dedicate more to the candidate experience and to focus on the quality of hire.

We keep hearing about how the tight labor market and employee job-hopping is making it more difficult than ever to build the right teams. While sourcing alone won’t solve those problems, it does do two things, fills open positions faster today and allows you to develop relationships with candidates for the future. If you are operating without dedicated sourcers then you might want to think about adding a sourcer before you add another Recruiter. If proactively sourcing candidates is interesting to you and if you want to peek at our Candidate Sourcing Tool then shoot me an email at