Is there a difference between sourcing and recruiting?

The Reason for the Confusion

There are a number of factors that contribute to the current state of ambiguity concerning the terms “sourcer” and “recruiter”. One such factor is the increasingly global nature of talent acquisition. Another is the evolving role of social media in identifying and acquiring new talent. For many companies, factors like these have blurred the line between sourcers and recruiters more than ever before, as the job descriptions of each overlap in many cases.

Though their job duties may at times be similar, there are some fundamental differences between sourcers and recruiters. In general, it can be said that sourcing is done as an important early part of the recruiting process. Therefore, while the two terms are indeed related, they are not synonymous.

The Role of the Sourcer

LinkedIn’s “Recruiting vs. Sourcing (A Day in the Life)” provides the unique perspective of Geoff Webb, a 17-year recruiter turned sourcer in recent years. Having performed both jobs, Webb offers his take on the essential job differences between sourcers and recruiters.

Defining the role of a sourcer, he notes: “A sourcer finds the passive candidates, the ones not applying through the corporate website or posting on the job boards. A sourcer is a hunter. A sourcer creates interest and drives talent to the organization. This means doing research: poring over org charts, job descriptions, and social media profiles, and hitting search engines and competitor web pages. This means engaging potential candidates: messaging through social media, sending emails, picking up the phone. And because a hunt often involves a chase, this means repeating, tweaking, and refining these activities — until you have a slate of qualified prospects.”

If this sounds suspiciously like what you thought a recruiter does, you are not entirely wrong. Recruiter’s“Sourcing” observes: “Some recruiters perform the sourcing function through to placement; other recruiting professionals specialize in only one aspect of the recruitment cycle. Professional recruiters who specialize only in the initial procurement of names and candidates are called sourcers. Many larger companies and specialist staffing firms employ teams of sourcing professionals that concentrate only on the initial procurement of candidates.”

Thus, sourcers perform an essential function in the recruitment process, using tools such as string searches and data mining to identify qualified candidates who have not actively applied for a position with the company.

The Role of the Recruiter

For most companies, it is at this stage when the sourcer hands over the qualified candidate to the recruiter. On the role of the recruiter, Webb continues: “The Recruiter manages the relationships, guiding the candidates and the hiring manager through the screening, selection, and hiring process. This means phone calls, meetings, and interviews.”

The recruiter typically also handles administrative duties like posting jobs, coordinating interviews, making formal employment offers, and so on. It is the recruiter’s job to follow the process through until the position within the company is actually filled. In some cases, the recruiter also helps to facilitate the onboarding process as well.

A Recruiting Solution in which Collaboration is Key

Considering the complementary nature of the work of the sourcer and the recruiter, it falls upon both to work together to identify and retain top talent for an organization. Strong communication and collaboration between sourcers and recruiters contributes to a deeper talent pool and ensures that an organization’s talent pipeline is healthy.

ThriveTRM is a recruiting solution that facilitates healthy collaboration between all involved parties during the entire recruitment process. With real-time collaboration and an easy-to-use dashboard that provides a bird’s eye view of your talent pipeline at any given time, ThriveTRM allows your entire recruitment team to work together to maintain a deep pool of talent. To see how ThriveTRM can work for your organization,schedule a demo today.