Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Which job is more important – Research or Candidate Development?
July 21, 2007, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Recruiting, Research

This question was presented to the Recruiting Blogs community on Friday by Jeremy Langhans, a well-known and talented executive sourcer at Cisco Systems. He asks which job function within a recruiting organization is more important – the sourcing or the candidate development? In Jeremy’s opinion, in executive search candidate development is most important.

I can see this topic having many responses and varying opinions. Ben Gotkin‘s response expressed the sentiments of many in the recruiting community:

“Well, in general, you can’t develop candidates if you can’t find them in the first place. In Executive Search though, there are enough tools out there today where sourcing isn’t the hard part. Once you find Executive-level talent, convincing them to consider the opportunity, then coaching them to be a good candidate is much more difficult.
“So, IMO, for mid-level, ‘technical’ roles, sourcing is more important as that talent is typically more of a challenge to identify. With executives however, candidate development would likely be ‘more important’.”

Karen Mattonen brought up a good point by asking for clarification between the roles of research, sourcing, and recruiting. This has been an ongoing discussion on almost every recruiting blog and network as of late. Hopefully, this topic will be sorted out soon.

Jeremy continued on to ask about how a sourcing professional continue to develop all the talent in their pool. Since I am not a sourcer I am not qualified to answer this. Sourcing is more a combination of research and initial recruitment (verification of the potential candidate’s qualifications which generally requires a conversation with that person). I do not interact with candidates, so I do not consider myself a sourcer. I consider myself a researcher. This is another topic entirely, at the risk of going off on a tangent, I will write more on this subject another time. This is also something that will be addressed at SourceCon, so come to Atlanta in September if you want the 411 on the name gathering/research/sourcing/recruiting debate 🙂

My thoughts on the topic of importance however, as I responded, are that comparing ‘importance’ of the recruiting function vs. the research function vs. the hybrid function (sourcing) is like asking ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ and asking the question to both the chicken AND the egg. (in the end, we all get scrambled!)

If you ask a recruiter which is more important, they will most likely say recruiting because that’s what they do. If you ask a researcher, they will say research because it’s what THEY do.
The days of comparing importance of job function, in all honesty, are so far behind us. The recruiting organization can no longer be viewed in the typical pyramid structure of hierarchy as all organizations are structured. It is a working network to which all parts contribute equally. If a recruiter does not utilize the resources which the researcher provides, then the researcher’s efforts are worthless. If the recruiter does not have a constant funnel of contacts to qualify, then the recruiter’s efforts are worthless.

I know it’s very pie in the sky thinking, but I long for the day when we can all ‘just get along’ and quit saying ‘my job is more important than yours because…’. What needs to happen here is awareness, of all parties involved, of each part’s value contribution to the overall goal of the organization which is to make money.

1 Comment so far
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thanks for the exposure amybeth!
i love hearing your thoughts 🙂


Comment by JeremyLanghans

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