Ask any technical recruiter, the most time-consuming effort in hiring technical staff is the initial search. Yes, there may be qualified candidates that respond to a job posting on your website’s Career section or from your favorite job posting site. More often than not, the majority of applicants simply wish that they had the skills you seek.
The only proven method of identifying quality candidates is to search through the myriad of resumes found on commercial job sites. These are typically candidates actively seeking a new position, or at least putting out feelers to see what might be available on the marketplace. Given the millions of candidates on the most popular job sites, finding the one you actually might want to talk to is more daunting than one might anticipate. This step in the recruitment process is referred to as Sourcing.
Sourcing is a unique skill set that requires deep technical knowledge to identify a resume that truly meets a hiring manager’s requirements, and the patience to sort through possibly hundreds of resumes to find those few worth contacting. A good sourcer can eliminate a resume as not the right one within 30 seconds, allowing them to move on to the next.
The initial key to success in Sourcing is the Boolean Search. Again, calling on a deep understanding of technology, the first review of the hiring manager’s job description helps narrow down the specific skills being sought. This takes a lot of skill to use the technology and terms which will truly separate the gems from the gravel, using a combination of AND and OR or NOT against several terms that find those candidates you seek.
The initial search lets the Sourcer know how well their Boolean Search string worked. If too specific, the result is often Zero candidates found. Too broad, and it pulls up hundreds. The key is to refine the search to identify a fair number of the overall skills sought, allowing the ability to review a comfortable number of resumes to find several (at least 10) that are worth contacting. Often a conversation with the Hiring Manger can help narrow down the skills that are truly required, versus those that would be nice to have but not critical. That discussion can often help crystalize the Boolean Search to filter to the truly desired candidates.
Once candidates worth contacting are identified, the Sourcer contacts them. Typically an email with a slight overview of the position is sent, with the main purpose being to verify a candidate’s overall interest in possibly changing positions, or verifying they have recently completed a project and are actively looking for a new opportunity. The latter is a prized candidate, as your opening might excite them enough to be willing to move to the next stage.
Once interest is established, the candidate is typically provided to a technical recruiter for further validation and closing. Here a more detailed discussion of skill sets and validation of those skills is required to ensure a true match. Also, the job description is reviewed in detail with the candidate. This is where a well-written job description is the key. The candidate needs to see how this position will enhance their career, either with increased responsibilities, exposure to or enhancement of a technical or soft skill they seek, or get them into a more productive environment.
Sovereign Solutions uses a Sourcing Group and have determined it is a critical factor in ensuring efficient use of a Technical Recruiter’s time and skill set. So much so, it is being marketed as a new product offering. Clients with a group of technical recruiters will discover a marked increase in overall productivity, as their recruiters are spending more time actually speaking with qualified candidates rather than creating Boolean Searches and combing through a myriad of resumes looking for the right candidate the Hiring Manager wants to interview.