The Highly Strategic Role of a Sourcer, Explained

Careers Team

Inna Skochko, sourcing manager, is shifting the narrative on a commonly misunderstood role in the Talent Acquisition team, recruitment sourcing. Inna fills in the knowledge gap about sourcers and tells us how these highly skilled strategic advisors are experts on converting candidates to hires.


In early 2019 when we talked about launching the sourcing function at GetYourGuide, there were only a few companies in Berlin that had in-house sourcers. Since then, the situation has changed and there are more companies going through extensive growth and building in-house sourcing teams.

Basically, we are now experiencing the same phenomenon of what happened a few years ago in the US market, when companies started to see sourcing as a separate skillset to invest in rather than an entry point to recruiting. And look at how strong the competence became with such companies like Google or Facebook.

Although the interest in sourcing is growing, it is still disappointing to find that when I run a search query on main competencies of a sourcer or sourcing strategy, I mostly come across articles that explain the differences between the roles of a recruiter and a sourcer. And funny enough, how can we expect anyone to fully understand the strategic role of the sourcer in a company when even the TA community talks about the topic like this?

Hopefully, we can start talking more about shaping the seniority of a sourcer and how sourcers can bring positive changes to the hiring processes and challenge the recruiting capabilities overall. Meanwhile, when I interview people who applied for a sourcer role, I hear many candidates say that they don’t want to be just a sourcer but only do the role within a few years because they don’t feel that the role is strategic enough.

Here are five good reasons why the sourcer role is a strategic one within a fast-growing company:

1. Sourcers understand and know the market best

Talent density is critical for every business. If you cannot make a hire then you are slowing down the business. A sourcer is in a proactive role; they don’t wait patiently for the applications. They talk to the business, understand the business needs, and run the targeted searches. This gives sourcers great exposure to the market situation.

You are advisors on the important question of where to get candidates. And your talent mapping skills are a must to be successful in this role.

2. Sourcers are strategic advisors to the business

You are the ones who pitch the role and understand why this role combined with the company is unique on the market. Moreover, you are an advisor to the business on how to convert candidates to hires. In the end, your role is not only to shape your pitching skills but to advise others in the company on the pitching strategy.

3. Sourcers are the company's employer brand ambassadors.

You represent the values and you turn the business needs into storytelling. And you do it through great pitching mails and calls, and supporting candidates throughout the recruiting process to make a hire, it’s a strong skill to build.

4. Sourcers are the ones who challenge the hiring processes.

Having sourced candidates interview at your company could be a blunt-spoken experience: Is the hiring team aligned on the profile they’re looking for? Are we screening for the right competencies during the interviews? How would we screen in a way that keeps candidates engaged? Why is it hard to make people accept an offer? The answers to all these questions can be influenced by a sourcer. Analyse the outcomes and bring them to the table.

5. Sourcing is a great field to apply your analytical skills and prove that your decision-making process is based on data.

If you keep track of your sourcing metrics, then how can you learn from them? How many candidates do you on average need in the process to make a hire? How would you ensure that you build that pipeline faster the next time the role is opened? How can you be less reactive, but more proactive?

Sourcing is a function within TA on its own merits. It is not just a step towards another role or a footnote in longer career development.

As a TA community we need to take responsibility for how we envision the role of sourcing in the companies, help people to build those competencies, and create a space for more strategic work. We should be more aware of, and promote, the possibilities of growing and developing careers within sourcing and continuously sharpening the skills and expertise.

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