Once upon a time, I ran a sourcing program from Abu Dhabi that was well-funded and gave me access to any tool I wanted. It afforded me one of my most incredible career moments yet: SourceCon in Anaheim. I went to Black Hat in Las Vegas, held a cyber symposium and met incredible people from around the world.
I say “once upon a time” because I think we all know how much of a fairytale that is. It’s rare, especially today, to meet recruiting teams with all the world’s time and resources. When people hear the story, they often react the same way they may if I said there were lions, witches, and magical time-traveling wardrobes.
Instead, most companies are evolving into 360 recruiting teams who take on everything with the support of (costly) agencies. They’re the go-to for sourcing, inbound application review, interviews, and most importantly, hiring managers. Every step of this very complicated hiring equation falls on them.
While 100% ownership comes with pros and cons, it also comes with headaches and expenses. Eventually, elements of the process have to come off their plates to scale and systematically grow the company instead of creating a constant urgency. “We needed them yesterday,” isn’t the best situation for recruiting success.
Tools vs. Sourcers: What’s Your Best Investment?
I’ve been in those shoes. While working for a well-funded company in Abu Dhabi was grand, the recruiting wasn’t simple for a niche cyber-security company trying to convince people to relocate to Abu Dhabi. Inbound applications weren’t an option; the roles were too niche and the talent in-demand. They were also critical to our success.
Most managers have been in this challenging recruiting position; relying on inbound applications isn’t an option. Delayed hiring wasn’t either. The team needs a list of qualified candidates and to spend less time trying to find them in the first place.
That’s precisely where the predicament lies. Do you buy tools to help your team work faster or hire a sourcer who can take the responsibility off their plate in the first place? Here’s what I believe you should consider.
Sourcer Perks and Pros: You can have a conversation if requirements change. It’s far easier to redirect a human than plug requirements into a machine.
Sourcer Cons: While there’s a perception of guaranteed quality when hiring a human, there are no promises. You’ll need to invest in their salary and 12 months of training to get this person fully onboard. It’s a high-cost risk to hire.
Perks of A Plug-In and Tools: Tools can make roles you fill all the time much more manageable. Have a proven formula for hiring? Do the candidates have digital footprints? Great. Please bring in a tool to speed it up.
Negatives: No human input makes things more challenging. Tech is nowhere near where we say it is, and most tools take time to onboard. These tools also can’t tell you the total available hiring marker or highlight the fine line between niche requirements and never to be found wishlists.
Here’s the catch. The vendors are lying when they say, “it only takes 3 minutes,” and hiring someone takes weeks. You need to hire now.
Tools AND Sourcers: Does That Fairytale Exist?
Given constant increasing sourcing needs, several products have come out which combine both human+technology, yet most still haven’t mastered doing so efficiently. Between onboarding, customization, and pilots, most take weeks if not months to launch.
However, some have succeeded like Visage because they have created vehicles for two-way communication between the AI + Human capabilities. Balancing the strengths and inputs of both, you can readjust your search and provide feedback. It also lets you build a long-term pipeline, and it gives you “sourcing targets” on how many candidates you need to connect with in order to have a successful campaign.
Consider yourself lucky – this might sound like a fairytale, but it’s real. As someone who has sat in your shoes, I understand many of the difficult choices you’re making right now between team and tools. This shouldn’t be one of them.