Many years ago, I had been a full cycle recruiter working on just about anything and everything my company had to give me. I did it well, but always felt that I wasn’t building the relationships I needed in order to attract the right people to my roles. I always felt that the external agencies I use to work with did a much better job doing that. It really irked me. However, Monster. com had been created and I felt that that’s all I needed, plus the reputation of the company I had been working for at the time. A year or two, my company had decided to train 2 people to conduct internet research and mine monster.com for resumes. I thought it was boring and a waste of time….and I never really did see any benefit to it. Then my organization brought in Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler to talk to our recruiting group and the light bulb finally started to flicker.
Fast forward, 10 years, I now manage a team of Sourcers and as I see it, the best of the best in the industry. Our team of internet detectives never cease to amaze me. X-raying, spidering, flipping sites are all now commonplace, but in addition to that, we haven’t lost sight of how important it is to pick up the phone, reach out to connect and attract not only the professionals we want, but their friends too. We are now the internal agencies that I had always marveled 10 years ago, but a lot cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a “bash the agency” blog…we still need them, especially the ones that deliver, we just don’t need them as much.
You’re probably wondering at this point, where are the metrics to back this claim. Guess what? I have them. A few years ago before the creation of the sourcing team we had a 30% rate of hiring from external agencies. Today, our percentage of roles filled by agencies is only 1%. It’s been a substantial cost savings and a huge morale boost for the team itself. They feel a sense of pride when “their candidate” gets the offer over the “agency’s candidate”. It also creates a bit of a competitive edge; you can feel the exhilaration of “the game” begin when the hiring manager suggests the use of an agency.
Internal Sourcing teams definitely have a very important function in today’s market. They are relationship builders, trust earners and communicators of the company. They not only understand the subtle nuances of the hiring departments, but the competition as well. They know where their prospects hide and sniff them out with a dangling carrot; the wonderful opportunity he or she can’t afford not to hear. They acquire talent more for the win than for the money.