Recently there’s been a very clear demand within talent acquisition functions for a particular skill: Sourcing. No change you may think? That’s what we all do - all the time - so what’s so special about that?
Mainly the number of people applying directly to roles, or via the likes of Aspen, who clearly are good at sourcing - but are just not demonstrating it on their applications and CVs and are missing out on roles.
As with anything in recruitment, assumption is our worst enemy - and I’ve really spotted it as an issue for recruiting professionals looking to be considered for in-house sourcing roles. So I thought it was worth writing a blog on what hiring managers are looking for and why there’s a break down between what applicants assume, what clients are looking for and what a sourcing CV needs to contain.
“If I am a recruiter I can source, it’s part of my job”
“I need to demonstrate all my recruiting skills to get a new in-house gig”
“Sourcing is the junior end of recruiting, I don’t want to be boxed in to it”
“Because I can do it I do not need to explain why I source, how I source, or what structure I build into sourcing - everyone knows what it is”
We recently ran an analysis of our CV database (several thousand recruitment professionals).
I draw these facts out in particular because there are some key links and contrasts:
In turn there are some unusual assumptions we are seeing from some hiring organisations as well. Where talent acquisition teams are still not fully developed - and are still relatively agency reliant because the existing team is not necessarily using sourcing techniques (due to the background of the team, time available, or tools the team has) - there is an assumption that unless stated recruiters cannot source.
Hiring manager assumptions
“If you are an external recruiter trying to move in-house, you are a sales person with little focus on candidate development or care”
“If you do not mention Boolean searches you have never run one”
“You rely on candidates approaching you - rather than you approaching candidates - unless stated otherwise”
“You are not demonstrating you could handle the pace and volume of our environment, as you have not shown how many roles you work on and your typical work volumes on your CV”
“If you cannot show me you’ve hired for a particular functional role or location before then you probably have not”
“If you work in executive search you’re not going to be nimble or flexible enough to work at this pace”
“What you call sourcing we call broadcasting or advertising”
“You do not use LinkedIn unless you state you do”
“No-one has made a hire from social media, it’s a myth”
Alongside this, for the first time we are seeing a number of areas related to sourcing being tested or checked if candidates do get to interview. You can now often expect to have your Boolean strings tested at interview potentially with a live example mid-interview; and if you claim and place value in your LinkedIn network, expect your connections, profile and group choices to be analysed and challenged.
So if you are applying for a sourcing role what do you need to do? Below I’ve put together some thoughts around what we think you should and should not be presenting in your CV and how to start. I also think in the course of doing this, a lot of people will realise a dedicated sourcing role is not for them - that’s fine, being a recruiter is great too... and better to realise before entering an interview process!
If you’re applying to a sourcing role and your brain is spinning writing your CV for it I hope this helps. Equally I hope this helps if you’ve been rejected for a role you’re sure you should have got an interview for. Finally I’m always happy to help so give me a call or drop me a note if I can help you shape your CV for the better - I’m happy to!
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Andrew Mountney is a specialist recruiter and trainer for in-house recruiting professionals. Connect with him on @andymountney