Why Sourcing is Superior to Posting Jobs for Talent

Posting a job online is perhaps the first action most companies take to attract talent when they have an opening.

However, posting jobs in an attempt to attract qualified talent has many intrinsic flaws, and here are the top 4 in my opinion:

  1. Posting jobs a passive strategy
  2. Posting jobs offers no control over candidate qualifications
  3. Job advertisements only attract candidates who are actively looking
  4. Posting jobs isn’t social!

In comparison, sourcing from Internet, LinkedIn, online resume databases, ATS/CRM systems and similar resources to discover and identify qualified candidates is an active strategy which offers significant control over candidate qualifications, can be used to specifically target passive and even non-job seekers, and is 100 times more social!

Read on for a more in-depth analysis of posting jobs vs. sourcing candidates, as well as to have your eyes opened to a new way of looking at the value/ROI of posting jobs.

Job Posting is a Passive (lazy?) Strategy

Posting jobs online is a passive, sit-back-and-wait talent attraction strategy wherein there is no action taken other than that of publishing the job to various sites.

If identifying, attracting and hiring top talent is critical to any company’s ability to create and maintain a competitive advantage, does it make sense to rely heavily on a method of talent attraction that involves little-to-no effort?

Posting jobs online anywhere – whether it be on a corporate site, LinkedIn, Facebook, or a niche job board – is essentially the lowest level of effort anyone can take towards the goal of hiring your next game-changing employee.

Job Posting Offers No Control Over Candidate Qualifications

To me, posting a job is just like setting a trap. In setting a trap, the strategy is to set it in a place where you think your quarry might come across it and be ensnared.

Wherever you place the trap, you are essentially hoping that the specific type of animal you’re looking to capture will wander into it.  This is very much a passive, hope-based strategy, and hope is actually not a strategy.

For example, if you are trying to snare a rabbit, you could just as easily end up snaring a raccoon, a skunk, an opossum – or basically any small animal that wanders by, simply because you have no control over what, if anything, gets snared.

This is the same with job posting.

If you post a job for a windows system engineer with a minimum of 5 years of experience, an MCSE certification and web hosting industry experience – literally ANYONE can respond, whether they have the appropriate experience, certification, or industry experience or not.

As a passive, zero-percent control  strategy, you simply cannot control who responds – unqualified, under qualified, over qualified, out of area, etc.

This isn’t just my experience and opinion.

A recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article cited a study of 501 hiring managers by Robert Half and CareerBuilder which found that 44 percent of resumes presented to hiring managers are submitted by unqualified applicants. Additionally, the 2009 EDGE Report also found that 47 percent of hiring managers cited under-qualified applicants as their most common hiring challenge.

No one should be surprised by such a high percentage of un- and under qualified applicants, because you can’t control what wanders into the traps!

As critical as attracting and hiring the right people is for any company to perform well, does it make sense to rely heavily on a strategy that puts 100% of the selection control in the hands of the job seeker and 0% in yours?

Job Posting Attracts the Smallest Percentage of Job Seekers

Not only can you not control who responds to your job posting, but the only people who are going to get “snared” by the trap you’ve set are people who are actively looking for a job, and active job seekers represent the smallest percentage of the available talent pool.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, here is the breakdown of job seeker status:

  • 32% passively looking
  • 34% not looking
  • 20% casually looking
  • 14% actively looking

Now, unlike many people, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with active job seekers – they are not all desperate, unemployable people (can you believe people in the recruiting industry actually believe that?).

However, the real issue at hand is that with job posting, you are essentially missing the other 86% of the workforce.

That means that when you post a job for an opening you need to fill in the next 2 weeks, you are realistically only tapping into 14% of the available workforce.  On top of that, many people who respond will not actually be qualified for the position.

That’s an issue!

One could argue that some of the people who are “casually looking” might stumble across your ad, but even if all of them did (which is highly unlikely), you are still missing 66% of the available workforce.

Your Ads and Postings are Invisible to Most People

Truly “passive” job seekers and certainly those who are not looking at all don’t even SEE ads for jobs right in front of their face, no matter how “targeted” and well placed your ads are.  Additionally, the reality is that most people tune out ads of any kind – on the Internet, on TV, billboards, etc.

When’s the last time you clicked on an ad or bought something/took action specifically because of a commercial or billboard you saw?

Even for those people who do “see” or “tune in” your ad/job posting – the reality is that most will not take action.

Changing a job is a big, stressful deal. Most casual, passive, and practically all inactive job seekers will not likely be inspired to take any action and explore leaving their current position just because they saw an online job ad, let alone one on their Facebook page.

SEO Is Not Enough

I agree 100% with Marvin Smith that SEO is not enough.

How could it be anyway?

For SEO to work, you have to have someone searching for jobs and/or information about your company, and as we’ve already seen, that is going to be the active job seekers and perhaps some of the casual job seekers – which is only a small sample of the available talent, the clear minority.

Posting Jobs isn’t Social

Social Recruiting continues to the quite the rage in the talent acquisition community.

However, most people HR and recruiting professionals agree that posting jobs online isn’t social, even if they are on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

That’s simply because in order for something to be social, it has to involve engagement and interaction between people.

Sourcing is an Active Strategy

Whereas posting jobs online is a passive method of attracting talent (I would argue that it’s not even a method of identifying talent), searching for candidates in Applicant Tracking Systems, recruiting CRM’s, job board resume databases, and LinkedIn is an active method of talent identification.

Instead of setting a trap and taking no effort other than to wait for the right person to stumble across it (aka, “post and pray”), when you create and execute searches to source for potential candidates, you are actively “hunting” for talent – targeting people with specific qualifications and experience, who live in specific areas – regardless of their job search status.

Instead of waiting (and hoping) for the right people to respond to a job posting, sourcers take decisive action to go out and identify and proactively engage and attract talent.

Sourcing Affords Significant Control Over Candidate Qualifications

When it comes to searching for candidates, I’m focusing specifically on resume and LinkedIn profile search, because searching for deep human capital data offers significant intrinsic advantages over shallow data. Resumes and some LinkedIn profiles offer more depth of identifying information, which enables sourcers and recruiters with a high degree of control over critical candidate variables.

Sourcers and recruiters who are adept at leveraging deep human capital data (resumes and detailed social network profiles) create queries that control critical candidate qualification variables, allowing them to quickly identify people with highly specific experience, who live in specific locations who are likely to be interested in the role and compensation offered by the position the recruiter is working on.

Remember that windows system engineer with a minimum of 5 years of experience, an MCSE certification and web hosting industry experience I used as an example earlier in this post?

While it is impossible to post a job that can guarantee you that only people who perfectly match the requirements will apply, it is entirely possible (and quite easy!) to write a query to find people who do have the right type and years of experience, the required certification, as well as the right industry experience.  That’s because 100% of the control over who you find and identify is in your hands, not someone else’s.

Sourcing Can Target Passive and Non Job Seekers

Unlike posting jobs online and SEO which require some action on the part of candidates (e.g., actively looking at ads or running keyword searches) and are quite literally invisible to those who are not taking any action to look for a new job (the majority of all people), when you actively search for candidates, you can target people who are not actively looking.

How can you search for resumes of passive and non-job seekers? Quite easily.

Are you ready for a paradigm shift?

If someone responds to a job posting you posted recently and they enter their information into your ATS/recruiting CRM – they are most likely actively seeking a new job, although there is a chance you could also be collecting a casual job seeker.

Statistically, many people who respond to job postings are not actually qualified for the position they applied for. If they are not a match for any current openings, it is likely they will find a position with another company with a position they are actually qualified for.

But you still have their resume in your ATS.

Alternatively, their resume may still be posted in an online resume database somewhere (many people either don’t or forget to take them down after they take a new job). In fact, my own research has shown that approximately 75% of all resumes on the job boards are over 30 days old. So if you think that all of the resumes stored in online resume databases are of active job seekers, you are quite wrong.

Statistically, the majority of resumes in online resume databases are of people who are likely to be not looking or passively looking.

In about 3 months to 2 years’ time, those active job seekers turn into people who are likely to either to be not looking at all for a new position, or who may be satisfied with the new position they took, but open to better opportunities (passively looking).

Unlike job posting, when you are searching for resumes, you can actually specifically target people who are not likely to be actively looking.

Sourcing is Social

Yes, you read that right – I said sourcing is social.

Unless your idea of sourcing involves name generation only with no candidate engagement, sourcing is most definitely social.

A sourcer or a recruiter sourcing their own candidates can and should engage prospective candidates socially via InMails, Facebook messages, tweets and DMs, LinkedIn and/or Facebook group discussions, or just plain old email dialogues for that matter.

However, sourcing can go even more social – actually picking up the phone (gasp!) and calling a potential candidate and having a live conversation with them is a 100 times more social than any online/social media exchange. Imagine that – real, live conversations in today’s social media-crazed world. :-)

An Alternative View of Job Posting

While most people see the primary value of job posting as a method of trying to attract the right person at the right time – I see it quite differently.

If I post a job, I am not expecting results – experience and statistics show that most people who respond are not qualified for the position. Certainly, there have been times when the right person has responded to a job posting at the right time, but as an intrinsically passive strategy with no “built-in” ability to control the experience and qualification of respondents, to rely on job posting would be folly. After posting a position, I will not wait and hope that the right people find my position. I am going to take control of the process and go out and actually FIND the right people.

So if the main value of posting jobs isn’t finding the right person at the right time, what could it be?

Another way to look at the value of job posting is that it can essentially become a method of cultivating your ATS/CRM into a wine cellar of sorts. All of those active job seekers who respond to your ads but who are not qualified (or simply not selected) for the specific position they applied to today may in fact be well qualified for other positions you have in the future.

Active candidates who enter your ATS/CRM today (or post their resume online) become tomorrow’s casual, passive, and non-job seekers.

ATS Search Capability is Critical

In order to capitalize on your database of casual, passive, and non-job seekers – you need to have an appropriately capable candidate search interface coupled with the ability to run precise queries, enabling you to quickly target and access candidates of ANY job search status.

An ATS with poor/limited candidate search capability is like having a well-stocked wine cellar that you can’t access because you don’t have the key to the door.  Or even if you had the key – you had no way of finding the exact bottle you were looking for.

Final Thoughts

Will there ever be a time when jobs aren’t posted online?

I’m not sure if we will ever get to that point, because it could be argued that posting jobs online is a logical thing to do and is certainly a part of a balanced “diet” of recruiting methods, and it can produce results.

However, if you or your organization relies heavily on posting jobs to find the right candidates at the right time, let alone the best candidates available, I believe you are at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Job posting is essentially like trapping: set the snare and do nothing but wait (and hope!) for the right person to stumble by – an inherently passive, hope-based strategy that affords you absolutely no control over what wanders in. To make matters worse, the only people who will search for or even “see” ads for jobs are those who are actively or casually looking, which is the smallest slice of the talent pie.

That’s right – you simply can’t snag those highly sought after “passive” candidates via posting jobs online.

On the other hand, as a truly active strategy, sourcing candidates affords everything that job posting fails to: control over candidate qualifications and the ability to specifically target and engage passive and even non-job seekers socially. Instead of waiting for the right people to come to you, you simply go out and find them, without a care for whether they woke up that morning thinking about finding a new job or if it was the furthest thing from their mind.

I am aware of many companies that spend quite a bit of time, effort and money on their job posting efforts, including “interactive recruiting solutions.” It makes me wonder if as much time, energy, and money is being spent on enabling their proactive sourcing capability, which would afford them with significantly more control over candidate qualifications and quality, as well as more truly social engagement with the highly coveted “passive” talent pool.

When assessing job posting solutions and efforts, I believe the less obvious but true value of job posting lies primarily in the collection of active candidates and the ability to cultivate them over time through regular engagement (electronic and over the phone) into more experienced/qualified candidates who will inevitably become passive/inactive job seekers.

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About Glen Cathey

Glen Cathey is a sourcing and recruiting thought leader with over 16 years of experience working in large staffing agency and global RPO environments (>1,000 recruiters and nearly 100,000 hires annually). Starting out his career as a top producing recruiter, he quickly advanced into senior management roles and now currently serves as the SVP of Strategic Talent Acquisition and Innovation for Kforce, working out of their renowned National Recruiting Center with over 300 recruiters. Often requested to speak on sourcing and recruiting best practices, trends and strategies, Glen has traveled internationally to present at many talent acquisition conferences (5X LinkedIn Talent Connect - U.S. '10, '11, '12, Toronto '12, London '12, 2X Australasian Talent Conference - Sydney & Melbourne '11, '12, 6X SourceCon, 2X TruLondon, 2X HCI) and is regularly requested to present to companies (e.g., PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen Hamilton, Citigroup, etc.). This blog is his personal passion and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone other than himself.

  • Pyaritz

    Great article! I totally agree. I wrote a presentation a while ago called the 12 year old and the Ferrari… Why do we let candidates drive? Thank you for restating this very eloquently!

  • Tom Bolt

    Great article! In defense of some “lazy” recruiters, they may work for management that is stuck in the post-and-pray era of recruiting and discourage original thinking. Recruiters who don’t have time to source may be passive because of laziness, lack of sourcing knowledge, or bogged down in administrative duties and project work that has nothing to do with finding candidates. The problem lies not only with the lazy recruiters but also with the ones who lack the initiative to learn new things or don’t have the courage to speak out.  

  • http://twitter.com/PaulMBacon Paul Bacon

    Glen thanks for this, another well thought out, researched & documented post!

  • http://twitter.com/MNHeadhunter Paul DeBettignies

    I want to challenge the idea that job board posting is lazy. I agree that it should not be (for most) the only recruiting strategy but how long does it take to post a job? And if one negotiates properly the postings are not that expensive.

    Is this passive? Yes. Is it a waste of time? That would be a great debate to have and I hope I am invited.

    I think we also forget that the job postings if done properly are marketing opportunities.

    They are also opportunities to plant seeds today for connections and applicants at a later date.

  • Mike Watson

    I have worked in IT Recruitment for over 24 years (even back in the days when there was no job postings and paper advertsing was one of the few mediums to get your jobs and name out there) and to my knowledge and I am pretty sure the statistics will prove, job postings bring in more placements to an organisation than any other form of advertising or marketing including Headhunting, Networking, Database Search etc. This is in essence why companies like Seek, Monster, CareerOne etc make so much money.

    Whilst I don’t always agree with it, if a job posting is written well it does actually inivite responses from passive applicants but more importantly it keeps your brand out in the market.

    In recruitment you have to use a number of resources to locate that ideal candidate and a lot of companies encourage Job Posting, this doesn’t mean a Recruitment Consultant is  lazy, they are just using all the tools that they have.

    More importantly and I am sure a lot of Recruitment Consultants have found this useful from time to time. How many candidates have responded to a specific role where they are not suitable but you have placed them elsewhere or one of your colleagues have placed them elsewhere because there skills were very good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leena-S-Athanikar/522276088 Leena S Athanikar

    True and experienced article. I believe in sourcing.

  • http://twitter.com/Wise_Man_Say Wise Man Say

    Great post Glenn, as always.

    My only critique is the characterization of recruiters being ‘lazy’ – I don’t think this is true and I don’t think you believe it either!

    Recruiters may be many things, but laziness is generally not a sin they are guilty of – they work some of longest hours of any white collar job out there – and the time ‘saved’ by job posting is typically not spent with feet up on the table, but working on yet more roles, or trying to develop yet more business.

    It’s fairer to say that Job Boards and Job Posting have been an enabler for a different way to do recruitment – sales rather than delivery orientation, far greater number of commissions worked, far lower percentage success rate. This is an entirely in alignment with the idea that we recruiters have, in effect, been deskilling ourselves ever since Job Boards first made their appearance. Corporates, clients and recruiters all can take a fair share of the blame here – undue pressure from sales targets & open competition has led to many recruiters simply defaulting to acquiring more clients, rather than develop the capacity to deliver to the ones they already have. And most recruitment companies have gone along with this is in an unseen and unstated realignment of the business model. The sad truth is, a lot of recruiters don’t know how to ‘source’ at all – they have become sales people who post ads, and simply sell some more when the ads fail to deliver.

  • Jim LaBelle

    I’ts all important, every single step in the life-cycle of a requirement!  This has been true for all ages and always will be! 

  • Pingback: Talent Sourging vs Job Posting? | Recruiting Online

  • Anonymous

    Timely article Glen! We are having the same discussion on our recruiting team: how do we move beyond passive techniques to identify a better cohort of candidates. This article helps bolster my argument for a more robust & aggressive candidate sourcing strategies. More important is that it offers tangible suggestions on how to target and reach out to those potential candidates who are not actively looking (or who may not have seen our job postings).

  • Anonymous

    Timely article Glen! We are having the same discussion on our recruiting team: how do we move beyond passive techniques to identify a better cohort of candidates. This article helps bolster my argument for a more robust & aggressive candidate sourcing strategies. More important is that it offers tangible suggestions on how to target and reach out to those potential candidates who are not actively looking (or who may not have seen our job postings).

  • http://twitter.com/jer425 jeremy langhans

    i hate to say it, but someone has to; OFCCP 

    SEC. 202. Except in contracts exempted in accordance with Section 204 of this Order, all Government contracting agencies shall include in every Government contract hereafter entered into the following provisions:During the performance of this contract, the contractor agrees as follows:The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Such action shall include, but not be limited to the following: employment, upgrading, demotion, or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship. The contractor agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices to be provided by the contracting officer setting forth the provisions of this nondiscrimination clause.

  • John Turnberg

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  • http://www.booleanblackbelt.com Glen Cathey

    Wow!

    Based on some of the comments, it seems that the inclusion of my parenthetical interrogative of “lazy?” may have overshadowed all of the (what at least I thought were) sound and fact-based observations about the limitations of job posting and the complimentary strengths of sourcing. For that, I regret including it.

    I do have to point out that in the “Final Thoughts” section, I did say that “…posting jobs online is a logical thing to do and is certainly a part of a balanced ‘diet’ of recruiting methods, and it can produce results.”

    I will stand by my assertions that if an organization relies heavily or primarily on posting jobs to find the right candidates at the right time, let alone the best candidates available, that organization is at a serious competitive disadvantage in the war for talent. If the *only* effort a recruiter puts forth to find candidates is to post a job and wait for responses, I’m sorry – but that smacks of laziness to me.

    There is no denying the serious limitations of posting jobs and the fact that proactive sourcing affords significant control over candidate qualifications, as well as enables a company to tap into the deeper end of the talent pool – the passive and non-job seekers.

    John,
    01001001001000000111010001101111011101000110000101101100011011000111100100100000011000010110011101110010011001010110010100100000011101000110100001100001011101000010000001110011011011110111010101110010011000110110100101101110011001110010000001100001011011100110010000100000011100000110111101110011011101000110100101101110011001110010000001101010011011110110001001110011001000000110010001101111001000000110111001101111011101000010000001101110011001010110010101100100001000000111010001101111001000000110001001100101001000000110110101110101011101000111010101100001011011000110110001111001001000000110010101111000011000110110110001110101011100110110100101110110011001010010111000100000010010000110111101110111011001010111011001100101011100100010110000100000010010010010000001100100011011110010000001110111011000010110111001110100001000000111010001101111001000000110001101101000011000010110110001101100011001010110111001100111011001010010000001100001011011100110010000100000011100000111010101110011011010000010000001101111011100100110011101100001011011100110100101111010011000010111010001101001011011110110111001110011001000000111010001101000011000010111010000100000011100100110010101101100011110010010000001110000011100100110100101101101011000010111001001101001011011000111100100100000011011110110111000100000011100000110111101110011011101000110100101101110011001110010000001101010011011110110001001110011001000000110011001101111011100100010000001110100011000010110110001100101011011100111010000100000011000010110001101110001011101010110100101110011011010010111010001101001011011110110111000100000011101000110111100100000011001010111100001110000011011000110111101110010011001010010000001110100011010000110010100100000011101100110000101101100011101010110010100100000011100000111001001101111011100000110111101110011011010010111010001101001011011110110111000100000011101000110100001100001011101000010000001110000011100100110111101100001011000110111010001101001011101100110010100100000011101000110000101101100011001010110111001110100001000000111001101101111011101010111001001100011011010010110111001100111001000000111000001110010011011110111011001101001011001000110010101110011001011100010000001000001011011100110010000100000010010010010000001101101011101010111001101110100001000000111001101100001011110010010000001110100011010000110000101110100001000000100100100100000011100110110100101101110011000110110010101110010011001010110110001111001001000000110000101110000011100000111001001100101011000110110100101100001011101000110010101100100001000000111100101101111011101010111001000100000011000100110100101101110011000010111001001111001001000000110001101101111011011010110110101100101011011100111010000100001

    :-)

  • Jimmy

    12 years recruiting and running Aixion Group and I’ve never posted a job…whoot!

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  • http://twitter.com/toecrusher Shoaib Ahmed

    Excellent article. Came across by chance, but thoroughly worth the read.

  • Sophie Gélinas

    Interresting point of view. I guess I am not fiting in the statistic. I always found a job by mysel via posting job

  • http://twitter.com/mitchsullivan Mitch Sullivan

    Assuming this article isn’t just aimed at internal recruiters – taking a ‘direct sourcing only’ approach is only really feasible when the recruiter has been retained exclusively.  If you have multiple agencies all direct sourcing for one role, you’re just inviting all kinds of problems.

  • Darren Revell

    In Google UK there are 330 million jobs searches
    per month, so many job searches are performed in Google that it has in 2011
    recognised a new kind of SEO is needed/accepted to match up job data for those
    job seekers.  Job advertising on
    the web then is not so much about hope but commonsense.

     

    If you think advertising jobs is passive and lazy
    then you are more like the rabbit trapped in the head lights of the very bright
    light that is the job board, career site, social job revolution that has been
    growing by 34000% since 2004/5 when Gen Y started to influence the job markets
    through their online trend towards job searching and your about to get run over
    by a very large truck which will be the entire Eddie Stobbart fleet delivering
    profits to recruiters for people they place from job ads or targeted their
    websites to match the aforesaid job searches over the next boom period of the
    industry.

     

    The other fundamental that this piece misses is
    that recruiters thrive on multiple registrations from candidates, most of my
    best leads came from asking candidates where they had been for interview, who
    they reported to at their present site etc.  It mattered not to me they did not match my job immediately,
    plus led me to up sell my time for proactive services like headhunting.  Back to the point abut CV/job seeker
    data… the people who apply for your jobs enable you to map out where the jobs
    are in your market to back fill, which sites have been spending money on
    contractors etc.  In my time as a
    recruiter we have resources specifically targeted to target such data so we
    could then sell on to those sites. 
    Good candidate matches from job ads made you placements and weaker
    candidates from job ads gave you sales leads for how to place your better
    candidates.

     

    Advertising jobs then is more than the sum of its
    parts, and if you don’t know that you don’t really know what recruiters
    actually do with job applications from advertising.

  • http://www.booleanblackbelt.com Glen Cathey

    Darren – thank you for your comment! It’s obvious you are passionate about posting jobs!

    There’s no arguing that it works for many people and organizations.

    I do have to point out that I don’t think posting jobs is lazy – I posed the question, which seemed to have struck a nerve with many people.

    I stand by my position that if a recruiter ONLY posts jobs and never actually tries to proactively find candidates, they are not playing an active part in identifying the best candidate – but merely processing the people who have come to them.

    I also stand by my view that posting jobs is instrinsically passive – perhaps the action of posting the job is an active effort, but only in an of itself. After the job is posted, you are 100% reliant on who responds, and you have no control over who responds or there qualifications – it is a sit and wait endeavor. It’s not referred to as “post and pray” without good reason.

    I certainly know all of the positive outcomes of posting jobs, including gathering the intel that comes with them and leveraging responses from people who are not qualified for the job – I believe I’ve actually posted every single job I have ever worked in the past 14+ years.

    Having posted every job as well as performing proactive sourcing, I can tell you I’ve filled over 95% of the positions I have recruited on with candidates I have sourced, and sometimes with people I’ve sourced who actually responded to other positions posted in the past for which they were not qualified, and in fact they were a much better match for positions they did not respond to.

    Posting is trapping, sourcing is hunting. Combining the two is logical and recommended. Performing only one and not the other is not something I would recommend, but if I were to, I would most definitely not choose to only post and not try to find the best candidates.

    It also cannot be overlooked that the only people who respond to jobs are active and casual job seekers, which represent approximately 1/3rd of the total talent pool. Proactive sourcing allows you to dip into the other 2/3rds of the talent pool – the deep end – which includes passive and non job-seekers. There is no arguing that some of the best candidates are working and are not really looking for a new job, but when presented with a superior opportunity – anyone is recruitable.

    I think the ultimate question to ask any recruiter is this: are you happy recruiting the best candidates who happen to respond to your job, or would you rather recruit the best candidates in your market?

    Perhaps the best answer would be “both.” :-)

    Thanks again for sharing your opinion. If we all agreed, some of us wouldn’t be necessary.

  • http://www.booleanblackbelt.com Glen Cathey

    Mitch,
    Thanks for commenting!

    The article was aimed squarely at any/all recruiters.

    While everyone loves an exclusive job order, working with some of the larger global companies means in some cases you are competing with a vendor list comprised of 3 to 30+ other companies that can receive and work the same job order.

    I have to tell you I relish working those positions because I am insanely competitive, and I get significant satisfaction filling jobs with fantastic candidates in the face of stiff competition. Competition that has access to many of the same resources I do (at the very least, we all have access to LinkedIn and the Internet – and in other cases, the same job boards). In these cases, a good analogy would be a fishing competition – just because we all fish in the same lake(s) doesn’t mean we are all capable of finding and hooking the same fish, let alone reeling them in.

    :-)

    Do you classify searching LinkedIn, the Internet, your ATS/CRM, and online resume databases as “direct sourcing?”

  • Suzanne

    Good article and thank you for bringing it to attention!

  • Darren

    Glen I am passionate about recruiters/recruitment and when a communication seeks to generalize 250,000 workers in 18000+ firms I like to pass comment.  I also like to jump in with both feet ad get a reaction :)

    In the past 23 years I have worked in the sector I have been a record biller in my industry, sold all known recruitment services and latterly trained thousands of recruiters to do the same before settling on my present role in technology for recruiters.  What I object to then is ‘sound bites’ which paint only part of the picture.I joined recruitment in 1990 and was taught the value of advertising and the value of sourcing/headhunting, roll forward 10 years I could not find a firm where recruiters did not advertise jobs, source candidates directly and use search even if not retained.  From 2000 to 2004 I then went on the road training recruiters and trained 5000 individuals in that period in the ways of direct sourcing and I brought to the UK a sourcing product to mine CV’s, people profiles, staff directories and alike from the web so that sourcing and networking/headhunting could be done easily.  So no I am not pro job posting I just am a little better informed maybe as to the audience for whom it targets as are major employers and they way they are now using job postings and SEO to bring in talent direct.One approach is not better than the other across if you take the whole recruitment industry as one.  If it were we would not have a recruitment industry.  So yes I agree that all methods need to be employed.In respect of those who respond to job ads you need to do more work on how Gen Y acts on the web this assumption does not fit their profile of web use. A solid web presence and attraction strategy allows you to map out people for headhunting and causes a shift in active passive status of candidates in some cases.  The concept you have may have fitted the print media of the 90’s but is not true of 2011.To be fair there is a section of IT recruiters who believe they can not do their jobs without jobserve and would leave their employers if that resource were cut, in that respect both jobserve and the employer have allowed the recruiter to become deskilled which is no use to man nor beats.  In which case the message should be made loud and clear, get of your backside and do some sourcing.However I come back to the other point I made, ad response is useful for telling you where the interviews are being held and for providing you with candidates to market.  Marketing candidates is a way of life for a huge sections of the recruitment industry and advertising is the perfect medium to pick up the people needed.Thanks for your feedback and allowing me to air my views.

  • Kent

    Great article.  Very interesting take on job posting and the positive / negative features that come with posting for employers and job seekers.  

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  • Reem

    Sourcing talent can be a tough thing to do, and yes it may go the wrong way. Here are a few tips for better talent sourcing: http://goo.gl/TgSVY.

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  • C.J

    As an active job seeker…and possibly a little bitter or ill-inform. This all seems a overwhelming concept.

    Because I am actively seeking I am not considered the best qualified, however, (just for example) a recent college graduate with no experience is a better preference? ??

    I’m not convinced!

    Nonetheless, very valid points!