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What is sourcing strategy and a 9 step guide to create one

If you are effective and efficient in what you normally do, you naturally stick to it. To cope with the rapid changes in the business world you need to look a bit further ahead. There are situations and challenges when the norm is not sufficient – instead of finding out the hard way the wise prepare. This article is meant to give you a blueprint on how you can create a sourcing strategy when you anticipate a difficult challenge or know that for some reason you can not stick to your normal activities.

1. What is a sourcing strategy?

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LinkedIn Alumni Search Hack

We all know that with the new LinkedIn changes if you want to keep accessing the database for free, you have to X-ray via a search engine like Google or Bing. Except there is still a way to search on LinkedIn. That feature is the Alumni Search – with a bit of a URL cracking twist. In this post I explain how to use it, and share with you a handy table containing links to search for various degree holders in most countries.

LinkedIn Alumni Search

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Google X-raying LinkedIn

With the new limitation on LinkedIn searches it is now more important than ever to know how you can access LinkedIn’s data through Google. There is more to X-raying than meets the eye, so I am laying out the methods and the tricks in the post below.

google-doodle-115-anniversary-of-xray-discovery

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Sourcing for not only qualified, but interested candidates

The most important thing to understand about efficiency is that you have to keep in mind the big picture. Being efficient in just one part of the sourcing or recruitment process might cause more problems overall than the time you save during that stage. A textbook example of this happens in sourcing when you are searching for “a” list of candidates instead of “the” list of candidates. With more and more people being present online in many positions the real challenge is the engagement with the candidates – and the end result depends more on your selling than searching skills. What you have to realize however, that the way you search and who you search for impacts the difficulty of the sales efforts you have to make. In this concrete example of being fast in search but realizing you can not reach your potential candidates, your process is generating time-waste compared to spending some more time searching and finding those candidates who not only are able to perform the job you are sourcing for, but are most likely to be interested. The overall process in both cases is shown on the picture below – the red part is the time you waste.

Sourcing Process 1: Fast search, hard sales

Sourcing Process 1: Fast search, hard sales

Sourcing Process 2: More detailed search, time saved in the whole process

Sourcing Process 2: More detailed search, time saved in the whole process

In this post I have gathered four tips how you can make your sales easier and faster with a better search.

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Identifying Target Companies

With all the excitement around semantic search we still live in an era of keyword (and more specifically Boolean) search. In sourcing, one of the keyword categories I rarely see used properly are the target companies. It’s an extremely important one though: Even weak keywords can turn into great ones if you add a parentheses consisting of potential target companies to your string. The keyword combination (consultant | consulting | advisor etc.) is a pretty general one resulting in many people not suited to your positions.

Combine it with a parentheses containing recruitment agencies and you pretty much know what you will get. This article is meant to help you gather target company names and create a proper parentheses in your Boolean string – of course a list of target companies can be used for so much more (market intelligence, sales, job search etc).

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