At my current company, we’ve always focused on keeping an eye out for entry level talent that possesses the skillsets or “key elements” necessary in order to be successful in a Recruiting or Sourcing role and then we continuously work on teaching them the rest.
Often, in our initial conversations with potential Sourcers, we ask about their thought process and steps that they take to search for a particular product on the internet.  That may sound odd to some; however, if you really break it down, Sourcing and online shopping really mirror each other more than one would think.

Here are some things that most look for in a product and how they could compare to searching for the right candidate for almost any position.

Brand (Candidate’s Past/Current Company)

Product:  When searching for a product, you always have an idea, right off the bat, of the brand that you want to target, whether it be from word of mouth or from previous experiences with that brand.

Candidate: When searching for a candidate, you know which companies you want to pull people out of in order for them to be successful within the role that you’re sourcing for.  This could be because of similar industry or companies that have parallel roles to the one that you’re searching for.  It could also be for the simple reason that candidates coming from these companies have been successful already in the past at your organization.


Features/Specifications
(Candidates Skills)

Product:  If it’s something like a laptop that you’re searching for, you know that you’re looking for a certain processor, amount of storage space, or even screen size.  These are the things that you know that you want out of that product and you can normally use a sidebar to filter these types of things on certain websites

Candidate: For a technical position, this is self-explanatory as you normally need the candidate to have some particular sort of coding language to be successful in their role.  For other roles, you might need a strong communicator or someone that has demonstrated leadership skills.


Price
(Candidate’s Salary)

Product:  You normally have a set price in mind or a budget when searching for a product.  Too many people these days see a higher marked price on a product and immediately think that the product is better than any other; however, you never know that until you physically use the product.

Candidate:  Obviously, there is a budget and salary range that you have in mind when looking for a candidate, but you really never know if they’re worth that money until you speak with them or have them come in to prove that they’re the right fit (often displayed via contract roles)


Reviews
(References/Linkedin Recommendations)

Product:  I know that I never buy a product until I’ve spoken to someone else that has used the product or have read reviews of the product online.  There are always those select few that bash a product just for the sake of venting; although, if most of the reviews are positive, I’ll normally pull the trigger on the product

Candidate:  From a candidate searching standpoint, you always want to check on Linkedin for how many recommendations they have and what those recommendations focused on as far as work ethic, skills, and personality go.  You can also interpret the recommendations as references, but most candidates give biased references that rarely give them any criticism anyway. (That’s a subject for another time)


Product Longevity
(Candidate’s Years of Experience)

Product:  When a new tech product or even a software update comes out, I’m always hesitant to buy or upgrade because I know that there was a deadline to get that product out to market.  I almost always wait for the kinks to be worked out before I make that leap.

Candidate:  In the case of the candidate, I know that they’re coming from the right company (brand) and possess most of the skills (features/specs) necessary in order to perform in this position, but are they ready for it?  Do they need a little bit more time to get ready for this type of role? 

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between Sourcing candidates and shopping for a product.

As Recruiters, we often overlook skills and look at clear cut industry experience.  It’s something that we at People Science have come to realize and that has contributed to the overall success of our Recruiting team.

When I came into this company 8 years ago, all I had to my name was a degree in Graphic Design and I was given the opportunity to utilize my analytical and technical expertise to become a skilled Sourcer.

By Ryan Tarriff | People Science Sr Talent Advisor