You may rest assured that this situation will not last.
The web is best when it tears down the friction that separates information from the people who need it. The folks who work hard mining data manually today will be flipping burgers in the near future. The skills required to move forward are unlike the ones being taught. Contemporary sourcing is a dead-end occupation with little in the way of transferrable skills.
Next generation recruiting is about relating intimately, not about mutual discovery. It's about fidelity and long term value exchange, not one night stands. It's about data that updates itself because the relationship is constantly working. Finding each other? Easy. Building an enduring relationship? Hard.
For a while, sourcing will be a high dollar, easy pickings income source. But, in the relatively short term, the need for the expertise will evaporate. Former sourcing luminaries will be familiarizing themselves with the alarm on the French fry machine and the relative difference between Rare, Medium and Well done.
Evaporate, as in "What air freshener scent would you like with your car wash?"
So, what do you do if you're a sourcer (or any kind of Recruiter, for that matter)?
I was a recruiter and very successful. Then came the profit oriented shift to Sourcing or cybersleuthing = to me just plain hacking. I would not go that route. I am not considered hireable
With the current downturn some people may have the opportunity to put integrity back into recruiting.
Its not all about tricks and tricking people
You know, Maureen, the great thing is that the twin arches on the uniform look just like a Star Fleet Insignia, if you squint your eyes. You save on your clothing budget at the same time.
People who do actual telephone sourcing are really courageous. The willingness to hear "No" while relentlesly pursuing an objective is laudable. I'm sure that the core skill will endure. It's really hard to build relationships and keep them current.
The vast majority of people who do sourcing these days are glued to their computers running nuanced Boolean search strings. Their output isn't a warmed up connection, it's a list. Why sometimes it even comes from the "deep web".
The shuck and jive about sourcing is about this particular aspect of it. The technical skills are transient. The people skills are not.
My original post wasn't about "phone sourcing". Now that I've had some time to think about it in public, there's some merit to what you are saying.
My guess is that the number of real seasoned pros who do the human side of sourcing is pretty small. My guess is that technology that makes finding people a lot easier will increase the demand for relationship builders. That's a great place to invest good people skills. Building good search strings doesn't get you much when the machine does it for you.
The other thing that is becoming apparent to me is that the term sourcer is no more useful than the term recruiter. We don't have good specific shared meanings for these roles. Generalizations break down in a hurry when we use the same words to mean different things.
Just thought I would weigh back in on this line of thinking as it doesn't appear to be going away any time soon (the concept that sourcing will die), if Dr. john Sullivan's 2013 article is any indication:
Sourcing will never die - it will only evolve:
I see this discussion might come alive again.
I hope so.
Four years is a good long time to let things percolate.
Here's what I can tell you.
Last year we had one of our BEST YEARS EVER.
Not the best but a 3rd or 4th in rank in 16 yrs isn't bad!
I also see John you never came forward with an answer to my:
John, are you saying all the members on LI are Americans with college degrees?
I'm not rubbing salt into your wounds; however - misconceptions like yours are/were/ (at the time) are/were common among the population and LI does NOTHING, in my opinion, to correct them.
In my opinion it profits them to let people think EVERYONE IS ONLINE.
In my opinion they sell their subscriptions to BOTH sides of the equation (what ever happened to the concept "conflict of interest"?) with a wink and a nod instead of a truthful presentation and assessment of the products offered.
In my opinion, my rear end!
(By the way, and once again this is MY opinion, I'd bet dollars to donuts LI is being looked at very closely (past sale practices) just as TheLadders was. Their product webpages change constantly to stay ahead of probing and scrutinizing eyes. They just changed up their Recruiter Pro and Jobseeker Pro pages. The class action guys love big targets like them and need a new one.)
Yeah, and what Glen just said.
I have found ZERO need for phone sourcing in quite a few years. Everything I need to know is available to anyone with half a brain on the internet.
I see this is a long and varied string.
I'm sure you acknowledged my question somewhere John so please accept MY APOLOGIES!
SM is getting so confusing...
Jerry, you are right. Everyone is on the net these days. When my 5 year old can zip through my Ipad quicker than I can and my 70 year old father is on Facebook nightly, you know stuff can be found on the Net.
I'm certain there are quite a few "non internet" people as well. Though, as a recruiter, I find no need to drag those people out of the basement only to have them realize they want no part of the greater landscape and are quite happy right where they are.
No need whatsoever to uncover the people who are not engaged enough to at least have some sense of internet basics.
Have at 'em Maureen!