Sourcing Vs. Recruiting

They’re not as similar as you think.

When companies start looking to fill positions, it can be a wild and crazy course of events. Job postings go up, resumes flood in, and everyone involved waits with bated breath to see who gets to interview.

Of course, that’s not all that happens. The situation is far more complicated than input and output, hired or not hired. Many companies turn to outside sources to help them sift through the stacks of resumes and cover letters they receive on a daily basis. The skill required to pick out the good candidates is in high demand.

The difference between finding a good candidate usually boils down to whether a company is using a sourcer or a recruiter.

The new states of talent acquisiton

The new state of talent acquisition

How are they Different?

At their core, sourcers and recruiters are both necessary in skillful talent acquisition, but they both have very unique tasks. In a typical week, one source team can handle the hiring demands for up to 8 recruiters.  The talent source team will engage with and pre-screen prospective candidates, and make recommendations based on his or her findings.

But sourcing is so much more, sourcing is hands on, proactive approach.  It’s not just about finding talent but branding for talent.  Sourcers are the first human interaction in an automated world.

Instead of a reactive response to a resume, sourcing looks at the person behind the resume. The result is almost always promising, because sometimes a strong candidate can be passed over in the mad rush to the interview process. Instead of focusing on getting the job done, the focus is on human interaction and creating a long term solution.

Sourcing is also based on the principle of making people better. Even if a candidate isn’t right for a particular job, a sourcer will always take time to instruct and help. Resume tips and interview advice are part of the daily life of a sourcer. On the other hand, a recruiter will simply pass over “unworthy” candidates and continue their headhunt for a better fit.


It’s About Agendas (Or the Lack of one.)

Recruiting and sourcing diverge further based on the underlying philosophies of each. Recruiting is typically about meeting an agenda. A company needs a person behind a certain desk, so a recruiter finds the perfect resume and makes a recommendation. The focus is input, output, and paychecks for all. Unfortunately, quite often the recommendation falls through and the process starts over again. It’s a sad cycle.

Sourcing is a far cry from simply filling and agenda. Instead, sourcing is about conversations and relationships. It goes beyond looking at a resume and making a recommendation. Sourcing takes the time to research, and find the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. A long-term solution is always the desire, which means compromise isn’t a part of a sourcer’s vocabulary. The outcome is better for everyone involved.


How does it Work?

Sourcers are the frontline of any talent acquisition department within any company that’s competing in a global marketplace. They are the brand keepers of talent.

The sourcing process usually starts in very traditional places, more often the client-partner has the talent within their own database but don’t have the time to tap into it.  But other great sourcing forurms are schools, competing companies, meetup groups, stack overflow, Twitter, Facebook, or even Github are used to discover potential candidates for an open position. Once direct contact is made, honest questions are asked. Sourcers genuinely look to discover what people do, why they do it, and what tools they use to accomplish their goals.

Despite what you might guess, LinkedIn is actually never used by most sourcers. The process of plugging in some search terms and InMailing (or InMauling, as Steve Levy puts it) all of the results is frowned upon by sourcers. The small percentage of people who actually reply to these InMails and get schlepped past the company’s hiring managers usually result in bad hires. The reason why is simply because the talent acquisition teams were more interested in a resume than a person.

Let a Sourcer Help

If your company is looking to build itself long-term, then our recommendation is to find a trustworthy sourcer and introduce yourself. The promising candidates that will come flooding into your hiring managers will be worth it.

At 360HR, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality sourcing services for our clients-partners.  We service every type of company – from startups to established companies across a variety of vertical markets who want to scale their hiring or meet critical demands.  

Whether the role is in Sales, Operations, Engineering, Services at the University, Pro or Executive levels, if your company wants to provide a great candidate experience and build long-term relationships with talent, 360HR is the sourcing solution that can make that happen.  


Ask about our Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Sourcing too!  

520-314-6330520-314-6330 FREE


360 ENGAGE – Build a nurtured talent pool and generate a seamless candidate journey. This is how candidate engagement really works.

360 SOURCE- Source prospects, build a quality talent pipeline and create lasting candidate relationships.

360 RECRUIT – We provide quality candidates for direct hire staff: • University Level • Professional Level • Executive positions (contingency)

360 STAFF – Temporary – Contract employees to clients on a short-term, long-term or project basis.

360 DIVERSITY FORWARD – Cultural competency consulting and education to assist client -partners in moving from diversity through inclusion cultures in the workplace. (retained)


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