Ready to Build a Talent Sourcing Team in HR? Here are 3 Tips to Get Started


I’ve had a great response from HR leaders on my earlier blog showing why the Outbound Sourcer was the most important hire to make in 2017.  As the landscape of talent acquisition shifts it’s great to see not only Tech companies but traditional industries also moving towards this model. Over coffees and calls across different continents the most common question to me is:  How do I build an Outbound Sourcing team from scratch?

Based on years of experience leading a global Tech 50 Sourcing team and conversations with over 100 current talent leaders, here are three tips to get started:

1.      Hire the right People

It seems like a no brainer but the DNA of an Outbound Sourcer is drastically different from most HR personalities.  Keep in mind these professionals will be constantly hunting and trying to convince passive (those not looking for jobs) prospects to interview and potentially join your company.  Someone coming from a third party recruiting agency tends to be the perfect blend of traits but companies I’ve worked with have also converted their Lead Gen team folks and even a few Skip Tracers.

2.      Establish ROI

What I mean here is you must shape what success looks like.  For example, a C Suite Talent Acquisition leader recently confided that even though they were a mid-sized company (2,000 employees) they’d spent $250k on 3rd party recruiting agency fees the year before to hire 13 Sales Professionals.  That’s roughly $20k they were paying per hire.  With that mentality, hiring an Outbound Sourcer to solely focus on filling hard to fill sales roles is a great place to start.  For example, Sarah the Sourcer has a base salary of $50k and by her six month she’s made three sales hires that you would have called out to an agency.  She’s already paid for herself with $60k in ROI and say she makes 5 more hard to fill Sales hires by the end of year one.  Sarah the Sourcer has now saved the company an astounding $110k in year one!

3.       Have fun!

Being given the opportunity to develop something new shows the faith of your leadership in you so enjoy every step of the way.  This is not only a great honor but a chance for you to dramatically change the way your HR team operates.  Know that there will be challenges and set-backs but ultimately the work your new team does will evolve the way your HR team is recognized.

Some of the most fun I’ve had in my professional career is building these sorts of teams from scratch.  Was it rewarding when I could show the executives the millions of dollars we’d saved the company?  Of course; but for me there’s nothing that’s as professionally rewarding as getting a new Outbound Sourcing program off the ground.  Best of luck and as always, feel free to contact me for any additional questions and/or advice!


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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