Making the client your ally… YES… as a sourcer!
If you think about it, sourcing is quite a magical skill to have. Not only because you are able to find the right candidate, but because sourcing could be the (THE!) key to success when it comes to building valuable relationships with your clients. To turn your client into your ally.
Before explaining this any further, we need to define our vision on what sourcing actually is in the whole hiring process, so here it comes: if sourcing is done well, it influences the entire domain.
Wait, what!? That sounds absurd! We as sourcers usually have very little contact with our clients, if any at all! Even if we sit internally, within a corporate, we face limitations.
That’s right, and before we get to our main point, let’s discuss success. Sourcing success. You are only successful if your candidate gets hired. Succes does not only depend on (the number of) introduced candidates. Because let’s face it: if they don’t get hired in the end, you just didn’t find the right candidates.
Us three are big believers in measuring the success of our sourcing centers within Randstad Nederland and Yacht by the number of placements we make, while our business model does not allow for direct contact with our clients. But we have a compelling reason for our clients to take us seriously as a business partner; market insights and wonderful data!
We have been busy building our centers in the past couple of years, Randstad Nederland currently employing 20 outstanding sourcing recruiters, having already delivered over 700 placements this year on scarce profiles; Yacht’s center has a focus on very high profiles and difficult functions, with 7 well trained sourcers, and together we have learnt the following: You have a bigger influence in success than you realize.
For example: Who hasn’t worked together with clients whose requirements were – let’s say politely – a bit far fetched? Don’t just think about positions where the role is well defined, existing on the market, but the salary on offer is 20% below market average.
Think about the times when you were faced with a position that does not exist on the market! What do we mean? For example the time our client was in a rush to bring someone on board because the only person knowing a crucial process from beginning to end was retiring in weeks. In was all in his head, no official trace of what/how/why to do. Thus they had to put their working hour registration process urgently on paper – a clear and simple process support/admin function. However, the client also wanted the same person to lead them in their quest for digitalizing more of their HR – a real “grown up” advisory function. Issue: two completely different skillset requirements in one position.
So as a sourcer, what are you to do? Will you give it a shot, because this is what the client wants, believing there is nothing else but trying to deliver? We cannot possibly reject working on a role in the current market!
But here’s the trick: to make it a success, you don’t have to.
How about sharing all that market intelligence you gathered as a sourcer honestly and advising your client for a smarter, more efficient solution? It is exactly what we did, helping them clarify their needs, making the right hiring choices – in this case a temporary admin function and an interim advisory one. With knowledge sharing we strenghtended the relationship with the client – positioning ourselves in our true role as experts – while helping ourselves to positions we had a real shot at filling.
We strongly believe that as sourcers we have more to offer than just our awesome searching/hacking skills. We are the single biggest market intelligence “tool” any company can ask for when it comes to either a one-time hire or forming complete talent acquisition strategies, even if you “sit agency side”. Our reach is global, we have information sources no other statistical/surveying institution can access. By sharing information, managing expectations, you have the ability to influence your clients/stakeholders decisions, making them your allies thus helping you make placements. The days of being considered a support function are over, own your own importance in hiring processes, strategies. You have a bigger influence on your success than you realize.
Let’s share the sourcing love,
P2G! Karlijn Veth & Zsuzsa Szabo,