Guide to Training a New Sourcer

Increasingly, talent sourcing is recognized as an indispensable recruitment skill, and is often its own separate job. In today’s world, sourcing new talent is fundamental to the entire recruitment process, and your candidate pipeline is only as good as your sourcers. When bringing a new sourcer on board, adequate training is absolutely critical.

When it comes to training there are three main aspects to focus on: candidate search, candidate research, and proactive recruiting. Sourcing training should cover each of these elements, ensuring new hires are well-equipped to bring as much value to your team as possible. Here are some key activities you can take to ensure your new sourcers are properly trained.

Let Them Shadow

When training new sourcers, avoid falling into the trap of information overload. Instead, focus on providing a good mix of theoretical and practical training. Shadowing is an extremely effective training method, especially in recruitment, where human interaction is key. Give new sourcers the chance to sit with some of your most experienced recruiters to see them in action. Not only does this present a real-world example of what good sourcing looks like, but it also gives new members a feel for your company culture. Every organization operates differently, so a watch-and-learn training program can help facilitate a faster learning process.

Introduce Candidate Search

Candidate search forms the basis of talent sourcing and should, therefore, be part of the initial training. Introduce the concept of candidate search and cover the fundamental platforms and techniques — such as social media and the x-raying method. If your new hire is already an experienced sourcer, focus on aligning their normal search strategy with the unique needs of your organization. If they are completely new to sourcing, start with a thorough overview before getting them to practice on real cases, and keep in mind that they will need the time to process all the new information you are giving them.

Paint the Bigger Picture

An essential part of new sourcer training is establishing how their role fits in to the company’s wider goals. Every organization has different needs, expectations and objectives — and these need to be clear from the get-go. Provide your sourcers with as much context as possible: what are your company’s ultimate recruitment goals, and how does this filter through to the sourcer? How does this define their priorities when searching for new candidates? It can be useful to provide a visual representation of the company structure and how sourcing fits in to the bigger picture.

Set Measurable Targets

One of the biggest challenges that talent sourcers face is converting hours of work into visible results. As part of the initial training, it is essential to address this challenge and establish measurable target values. In reality, time spent on search is not always reflected in the number of candidates sourced; however, it is still possible — and necessary — to work towards quantifiable targets. Train your sourcers to track and pursue results associated with outcomes rather than effort. For instance, time spent sourcing or number of candidates contacted aren’t great metrics, candidate response rates, qualified candidate ratios, etc. are.

Provide Regular Feedback

Most importantly, new sourcer training should be handled as an ongoing process. Regular feedback is the only way for new sourcers to know what’s working and what’s not. As their trainer, be sure to present ample opportunity for discussion and be ready to dish out advice, praise, and constructive criticism. This not only sets the tone for an honest working relationship, but also ensures continuous learning and professional development — a win-win scenario for you and your new sourcer.

New Sourcer Training: In Summary

As with any new hire, the time and effort invested in training has a direct impact on performance. It is essential to focus on two things: the fundamentals of candidate search, and how to source most effectively for your particular organization. Initial training should introduce the new sourcer to their role while providing clear insight into your company’s greater goals. By equipping new sourcers with useful theory and on-the-job training, you can ensure a smooth start and pave the way for long-term results.

Click here to read Part II.