Why Internet Sourcing Isn’t Your Recruiting Savior

Take our end of the year blog reader survey. Complete and be entered to win 1 of 5 $25 Visa gift cards. Click here.

Social media combined with the power of the internet has re-invigorated a once overlooked skill of sourcing within recruiting. Simply put, sourcing is the proactive searching for qualified job candidates for current or planned open positions. In terms of internet sourcing, it is research for the purposes of recruiting.

What is Internet Sourcing?

While internet sourcing has been around in different capacities for a while, with the recent growth and popularity of various social media platforms, it has taken on a new life. Recruiters use different forms of technology, some of which are still in various stages of development, to query through information found in the online profiles of potential candidates. Algorithms monitor these profiles for updates and changes that may allow making connections with these possible recruits easier. With these tools, through strategy and various search techniques, sourcers are able to better find and connect with this talent.

These internet hackers scour the interwebs combing through social networks, blog comments, online databases and other communities to find hidden talent within their midst. It goes far beyond your basic Google search. They know the ins and outs of countless sites and are skilled in finding the exact information they need.

What it Does?

Sourcing provides companies the freedom beyond choosing from the traditional resume mining database or from resumes submitted to a specific job posting. They are able to find and seek out candidates who may not have applied to their company or for the roles they are wishing to fill.

I’m a fan of sourcing. In 2001, I successfully sourced candidates on a dating website and made a number of hires for the retailer where I worked. You read that right. I used a dating website to find talent. Sourcing is definitely a creative art that often requires thinking outside of the box. It takes skill and an ability to connect and see the world and its infrastructure in a different light.

Why it isn’t Your Savior

In some instances, sourcing done well is being treated like the be all end all, the answer to all of your recruiting needs. In truth, sourcing won’t save your talent acquisition team. It isn’t your savior because it’s only one part of the employee life cycle at your company.

When it comes to the Recruitment portion of the life cycle, sourcing is absolutely a valuable resource. Being able to do it correctly will help you find talent and potentially fill those hard to fill positions. Even still, it is important not to put all of your eggs in the sourcing basket. There is still something to be said for other types of talent acquisition.

As for the rest of the cycle; Selection, Performance, Succession, Development, and transition, it is important to remember and consider the pertinent aspect of these factors within your organization and how they relate back to the job of your HR department and specifically those involved with talent acquisition. Finding the right candidate is only the first piece of the puzzle.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Hi Mrs. Miller-Merrell,

    you state: “Algorithms monitor these profiles for updates and changes that may allow making connections with these possible recruits easier. With these tools, through strategy and various search techniques, sourcers are able to better find and connect with this talent.”

    Would you mind to give some more insights about which tools and techniques you live to use?

    Thanks in advance,
    looking forward to your reply,

    • Hi Eva,

      Happy to. The algorithm based sourcing HR tech part of the industry is one that is growing rapidly. There are tech like Dice Open Web, Guild, TalentBin, SwoopTalent and Entelo that come to mind immediately. This tech sources multiple social channels, online platforms and websites for you instead of sourcing each platform and site individually building a full profile of the candidate. Some of the tech even offers triggers based on when their algorithm identifies that a particular candidate might become actively looking for work based on their online activities. Recruiters are alerted to a candidate who might be active and can decide to engage them via an online channel or through their email or phone information if it is found available online.

      Before these tools, I would source and search social media and online databases individually or using Boolean setting up specific triggers or Yahoo Pipes to alert me to certain accounts or activity of a candidate I was interested in. People still prefer the manual approach to sourcing which is fine too and I actually prefer in some cases because what relationships are so important in effective recruiting and hiring. Archively is one that I recommend to organize your candidates you are interested in monitoring and connecting with across all social platforms if you prefer to take a more hands on sourcing approach which many recruiters and sourcers prefer to do.

      Hope this answers your question. I will likely write a follow up post to this one expanding on some of the things I mentioned in my response to you.

      Thank you for your question.



Leave a Comment