The Sourcer’s Fallacy

A significant step on the path of sourcing enlightenment is becoming aware of, and not falling prey to The Sourcer’s Fallacy.

The Sourcer’s Fallacy is the conscious or unconscious belief that:

#1 If you haven’t found what you’re looking for in a particular database, social network, or on the Internet – that it’s not there,


#2 After you’ve run searches in a particular database, social network, or on the Internet that you have found all that there is to be found.

Some quick secondary sourcing facts:

  • No single Boolean search string can find ALL qualified candidates
  • Unknowingly, most sourcers and recruiters employ Boolean search strings that make it nearly impossible to find every possible qualified candidate, let alone the BEST candidates
  • Most people are not aware of the candidates they did not find – but that does not mean that they are not there to be found

Enlightened sourcers and recruiters are always aware that there are candidates that they are missing and not finding when they run Boolean searches to find people. This awareness drives them to consciously and creatively think of ways to uncover those candidates hiding in of every source of human capital.

Don’t fall prey to the Sourcer’s Fallacy.