Do you recruit only when there is an open position? That’s a thing of the past! The practice now is to maintain a continuous conversation (real and virtual) with a pool (as vast as possible) of potential candidates. A “sourcing” expert explains this approach.
“The word sourcing comes from the procurement sector,” explains Sébastien Savard, CHRP and president of Sourcinc. “It refers to an organization’s activity of proactively seeking new suppliers, rather than waiting for them to come knocking on the door.”
Applied to the world of recruitment, the term refers to the active search for candidates for future positions to be filled. To do this, the first step is to identify you needs. “When I worked for Keurig,” Sébastien Savard gives as an example, “we targeted three critical areas where the company could not allow positions to remain vacant for too long.”
Then begins construction of a “pipeline” or pool of candidates. “Professional sourcers follow a very specific methodology,” explains Sébastien Savard. “They use good databases. They define a message to be communicated to candidates. They choose the best social media to contact them (Facebook, LinkedIn or others). Then they monitor the response rate.”
Not just a “geek” affair
When we talk about sourcing, people stop at the “geek” part of the process too quickly, as if it were only a question of finding the right candidates through a computer algorithm… On the contrary, the relational aspect of the process is very importan, Sébastien Savard emphasizes.
“We have to succeed in convincing a person who does not have the time nor express interest in our company to come and have a coffee and begin a reflection on their career development…” It’s actually a long-term job. Sébastien Savard recalls when he worked for Cirque du Soleil. Before targeting an artistic director working on Broadway, he arranged an initial meeting around a coffee, followed by an invitation behind the scenes for a Cirque du Soleil show. The invitations followed each other until the day when there was an opening for a position of artistic director at Cirque du Soleil… The ideal candidate had already been found!
In fact, it’s the candidate’s whole experience that must be taken care of. Although an engineer being interviewed may not be suitable for a current position, he could be the ideal candidate 6 months from now when a new contract is obtained. In addition, this engineer knows other engineers who have the valuable skills sought.
“When a position becomes open and a relationship of trust has already been established with potential candidates, the process is twice as fast,” the professional sourcer concludes!