Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

John Sumser Blames Sourcing For Recruiting Process Inadequacies
November 4, 2007, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Article Reviews

First off let me say that the ONLY reason I am paying any attention to this particular post by John Sumser is because I feel it needs the viewpoint of someone who actually understands sourcing and research. Otherwise, unknowing recruiters might read it and believe John’s negative opinions on sourcing, as evidenced by some of his prior postings on the topic.

I will start by addressing the very first paragraph in this post:

There are two ways to begin a search. If you know what you want, its easy. You simply tell the search engine what you want. If you don’t know what you want, you search until you find it or until you know what you want.

This couldn’t be more wrong! This is a narrow-sighted view of research evidenced by the attitude of “I just typed a word or two into Google and I got some results.” It’s not ‘simply’ telling a search engine what you want. It’s way more complicated. I will use the words of one of the translators I met last week: (pointing to an American walking by) just because that guy speaks English doesn’t mean he can write articles for the New York Times. Just because you have access to a search engine does not mean you know how to research, or that you are going to get your desired results.

I completely agree with the statement that “clear knowledge of what is desired is the starting point.” Unfortunately, this only exists in a utopian world. You are not always going to have clear knowledge of what you need. So more times than not, you have to simply make due with what you get.

Here, I would like to point out that the communication chain is only as strong as its weakest link, which by the way is not always sourcing! If a client is not providing enough details of their needs, then the recruiter is not getting the full picture. If that is the case, then obviously the sourcer/researcher will likely be off the mark on their results as well. So it is unfair to single sourcing out as the only function completely dependent on an adequate description. We are all connected here in what we need to accomplish in the end, and pointing fingers will not get the job done.

While I certainly respect Mr. Sumser’s track record with regards to recruiting, I think he missed the mark badly on this analysis of sourcing and research.

My overall message in response to this misunderstanding of the sourcing function is this: sourcing should not be viewed as the whipping boy of the recruiting process. Every company’s needs in the sourcing and research area are going to be different, so you cannot set a standard in those regards. And make sure you use due diligence when forming your own opinions on this topic. Check out multiple resources and do not rely solely on the opinions of one person, especially one who does not respect the job function. Yes, John is entitled to his opinions on sourcing. I am not questioning that. But we as sourcers are also equally entitled to set the record straight.

I welcome any kind of feedback on this post, especially from Mr. Sumser.

1 Comment so far
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Thank you sooooo much for addressing this issue.

Comment by Cushway

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