Batman vs. Superman

Batman vs Superman

aka why you need to combine SOURCING WITH RECRUITMENT

Originally I tried to write an article about what happens when you separate them, but my brain just protested approaching the issue from that angle. It does not make sense.

Instead, I am going to evangelize (#1) about why you should. I am sure you guys are familiar with the ever ongoing debate about who a sourcer is even among the thought leaders (#2) of the tribe (#3) disrupting (#4) the industry, driving change (#5). The two approaches have core differences and I am clearly siding with one of them.


Maybe the best way to go about it is to highlight sourcing’s benefits as we go through the hiring process (applicable for both agency and corporate recruitment).

Hold on, forgot to tell you what I think sourcing is: as The Dragonslayer put it (100% correct) – SOURCING IS NOT A TECHNICAL TRICK. Sourcing incorporates market research, understanding and translating data into action-decisions and marketing savviness besides having a bunch of shortcuts/tricks up your sleeve about how to find “hidden” info.

  1. Defining the role

I deliberately wrote defining. Because let’s face it, most hiring managers need help in formulating a persona (#6) that truly describes the needs combined with good fill potential. Sourcers are very well versed in the world of work – they go through thousands of CVs, job descriptions from both client and candidate side, making them the perfect ally in distilling the ideas into informative job specs combined with attractive conditions on offer. They work from the candidate’s side – bringing all the quality data around typical career movements, scarcity, geographical distribution, motivators & change inducers into perspective. I know facing the facts is not always pleasant, but it is crucial that the client has an insight into how they fare on the talent market (#7)

        2. Search/advertisement

Not much to say here really regarding searching – this is one point where both parties agree: the sourcer with their unique skill set is better equipped to find those needles in the haystacks. However, knowing where to fish also helps them carry out targeted “advertising”, suited to their particular audience. Let’s face it: spamming wide talent communities (#8) with below average ads is pretty yesterday.

        3. Candidate engagement & Selection


There have been many great presentations, speeches about candidate engagement. With one common message: personalize. No doubt, a recruiter is more than skilled in communication – however when targeting a scarcer talent pool, you need to go the extra mile. That is being able to hold your own when it comes to specific,  industry related (technical) questions besides sending a savvy enough message that opens up a conversation. A vertical sourcer will in an ideal world be part of their target community anyways – so speaking the lingo is no problem. However, any decent recruiter will dig up enough knowledge on the subject at hand before embarking on potentially embarrassing exchanges. So, if your recruiter does not have time (say whaaaat???) or does not want to (even bigger say whaaaat???) spend time on it – it is only natural that your sourcer would carry out the interviews/selection ensuring better results.

     4. Coordinating interview process and follow-up steps (hire/rejection)

Well this is a point where I cannot argue why a sourcer should do it – besides the fact that it might be  disturbing to the candidate to have more than one contact points in the hiring process. Plus should there be need for further negotiations with either the hiring manager or the candidate themselves, the best person to do it is the one who knows most of the role AND the candidate = the sourcer.

All in all, I think there is much to say to have SuperBatmans on the floor, but at least involve sourcing into decision-making at all stages in an equal manner. The sole biggest frustrator for sourcers is when their stakeholders don’t listen to what they have to say.


There is much that I have not even touched on in this post, but if you already disagree – try to convince me at this year’s truAmsterdam! It is definitely going to be an awesome track where we will try to discuss this important question from an organisational structure/sustainability point of view too!


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