Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Sourcing – Cost Vs. Value
December 29, 2007, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Research

Ah, once again the question that will never die (defining sourcing) has been brought up, in the guise of a question presented through LinkedIn wanting to know what to pay a sourcer. The most interesting part of this question is in the clarification section where the statement is made that ‘simply delivering names and contact info isn’t really worth paying for unless the people are not on LinkedIn/the Internet’.

I think that statement can be true or false depending on whom you’re asking.

Yes, I think that research and/or sourcing should not stop at LinkedIn. I love LinkedIn, but it seems to be becoming the new Monster in that it’s being picked clean by recruiters everywhere, and now everyone thinks they can be a recruiter because they just need to go to LinkedIn to find people. So simply searching LinkedIn is not good enough any more to be a good sourcer/researcher.

When you hire a researcher, you are in essence breaking away a piece of your recruiting process to be done separately from the other elements. You’re giving your recruiter a break from having to conduct a lot of their upfront research and allowing them to do what they’re best at – build relationships. Therefore, when you hire or contract a sourcer/researcher, you are hiring someone who is going beyond the resources that everyone else has sifted through and bringing to the surface those people who are off the radar. Also, the sourcer/researcher is targeting quality people based on the job description and not just sending out bulk messages to all their networked contacts like so many so-called ‘sourcers’ do.

Now, consider this: what is your time worth? Is your time best spent sniffing out these people and then tracking down their contact information, or is it better spent developing those relationships and getting folks hired?

Let’s look at this from a practical, every-day situation.

For those of you who own a home with a yard, you must mow the lawn every now and then or else your neighbors will start to complain and it might be nominated for Blue Collar TV’s Redneck Yard of the Week. Depending on the size of your yard, this task may take you anywhere from an hour to several hours. Some of you may find pleasure in mowing your own lawn, however I would guess that the majority of you would prefer to be doing something else. I would imagine that several of you in the latter group have either contemplated hiring or have actually gone ahead and hired a landscaping service to mow your lawn for you on a regular basis. In doing this, you have weighed the cost of spending your time on a task you are quite capable of doing yourself vs. the cost of hiring a professional do to it for you. You obviously know how to push or ride a mower around your own yard, but you have decided that you’d rather pay someone else to do it for you and spend your time doing something more productive.

Sound familiar?

Recruiters no doubt can do their own sourcing. But in many instances, it’s more cost-effective to hire someone else do to it for them so that they can use their talents in the most efficient manner. Sourcers are professional people-finders; they are every bit as good and almost always better at it than recruiters.

Lawn care professionals are no different – they are pros at making people’s yards look nice. They do what you’re perfectly capable of doing, except they’re probably a little better and faster at it than you, and they free up your time to do other things like spend time with your spouse and/or kids, get a little work done, go golfing, take a nap, etc.

Very often, people forget that the “cost” of something is not just a dollar amount attached to it. Cost includes many other variables, not the least of which is time that could be spent doing other things.

I am not offering up a dollar figure in response to the original question here. I am simply offering something to consider when you are thinking about hiring and compensating a sourcer. What is that time you spend doing your own research worth to you to get back?

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