Dig This: The Scavado Blog

Think Before You Source

When we help other recruiters and sourcers with Internet sourcing, I’m always surprised that so many people jump right into the tactical work before addressing their strategy.

Do you do any “pre-search” before your online research?  If not, you’re probably leaving some good prospects on the table.

I know hiring managers don’t love to spend a lot of time on intakes, but it’s critical to ask questions that will lead you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Most intakes cover the basics: must-haves, nice-to-haves, education, skills, and a few other basic aspects of a candidate profile.

Next time you do an intake, ask things like:

  • Which groups, online and offline, would your ideal candidate likely belong to?
  • Which companies churn out the best people in this role?
  • Where have you worked in the past, Mr. or Ms. Hiring Manager?
  • Which conferences would he/she likely attend?  Where would he/she speak?
  • Our company uses the job title “ABC.” What do other companies call it?
  • Besides the obvious keywords, what are some of the most specific keywords that will quickly help me zero in on likely prospects?

Another strategy that has helped me turn up more recruiting gold is to step away from the obvious. Here’s an example:

Say I’m looking for a Chief Scientific Officer for a pharmacogenomics company. I would naturally search on the term “pharmacogenomics,” but to take it a step further, I would also look up the definition.

Pharmacogenomics is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the influence of genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug’s efficacy or toxicity.

Now I’ll search using the following terms:

influence of genetic variation drug response gene expression PhD

Instead of just seeing people with profiles where the term pharmacogenomics is used, I’m now seeing people who have written a blog post, white paper, scientific paper, are mentioned in a press release, or have any of these related keywords in their profiles, CVs, bios, etc.

By adopting some simple changes to your process, you’ll undoubtedly land more quality candidates.  Most importantly, you’ll be able to better describe your roles to a prospect and develop a more consultative relationship with your colleagues.

About Lori Fenstermaker

Lori is the Founder and Search Guru at Scavado. She has spent over 18 years as a recruiter, participating in thousands of sourcing projects in various disciplines and running her boutique RPO for several years. That experience led to the famed "Mandarin-speaking cosmetics formulator" search that launched Scavado.