The Imperative for Automating Sourcing

This afternoon I participated an an ERE webinar entitled “The Future of Recruiting and Sourcing.” At the end of presentation, Elaine Orler, VP of talent acquisition management at Knowledge Infusion, was posed the question, “How much of the sourcing function can be automated?” Elaine chuckled, because she knew what the questions was really getting at. As the sourcing capabilities of online applications have increased, so have the apprehensions of recruiters. After all, if advancement continues at this rate, isn’t it possible that one day an online platform could evolve to the point where recruiters were no longer needed? I don’t think so, and neither did Elaine Orler.

While feeling apprehensive is understandable, automated functions are friend rather than foe when it comes to sourcing top talent. Sourcing will never be an entirely automated process due to the fact that even the best of applications require a human eye to qualify candidates. A bad candidate can have a wonderful resume, and while you can eliminate them based on a quick phone screen, an automated search tool can only make recommendations based on how the candidate has described him or herself on paper. This being said, automated tools are capable of saving employment professionals several precious hours each week.

Take, for example, metasearch engines. On a basic level, metasearch allows users to enter a single set of search criteria but receive results from several different search engines. “That’s great,” you say,” but Google is the best search engine, so why would I even care about the results that other engines are returning?” Simple- no one search engine is capable of capturing all relevant data. Each search engine utilizes a unique algorithm; no two are the same. Because they use different algorithms, each search engine returns different results for the same query. Even though one engine may return more relevant results than another, it is still not capturing all relevant results. To do that, you need to search more than one engine, and doing that individually could take days. “Days” are not something you always have when searching for stellar candidates for hard-to-fill positions. Metasearch allows the skilled sourcer/recruiter to spend less time sourcing, and more time qualifying the candidates that they find.

Rather than fearing automated tools, recruiters should embrace them for the competitive advantage that they can provide. Consider tools like Perpetual Sourcing and AIRS SourcePoint that monitor OFCCP and EEOC compliance by saving search histories. “Searches” encompass locations searched, search strings used, and candidates sourced. Those of you who have worked for government contractors should be breathing a sigh of relief, as you are well aware of the sheer amount of time that documentation like this can consume. AIRS SourcePoint also has a fantastic search component. In addition to scouring resume databases that your company has licenses with, it searches professional networking sites like LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Jobster, and Ziggs, as well as its own PeopleSearch database that consists entirely of passive candidates.

The use of tools such as metasearch engines and SourcePoint have become vital to the success of recruiters, especially for those with mid-to-high level positions. Success with these tools is dictated by the user’s level of expertise, making it essential that learning how to source is scheduled in along with your interviews and phone screens. If it is true that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a true expert on an given subject, then we all have our jobs cut out for us. Why not start now?

Source: ERE.net Community