I am (finally) thinking about sourcing. At least on a part-time basis, some sourcing of candidates for a particular search. Do you have any recommendations for a particular company for that? What are some best practices and steps to follow? —Ned
There are two things. There is outsourcing research, and there is outsourcing sourcing or the initial contact—two entirely different skill sets. I highly advise that you do not try to combine those with one human being. My experience is people are good at one or the other.
How to Hire or Outsource Recruiting Research
If you do not have a researcher, that is the most expensive thing you can do in your business. Doing your research, I will repeat this, is the most expensive thing you can do in your business. You are not as good at it as they are. Sure, you might be able to identify LinkedIn profiles better. You might know the source better. But we are talking about paying around $15 an hour, depending on who you hire. You will get hundreds of names in a week—name, title, email address, cell phone number. You cannot do that on your own as effectively.
If you are hiring somebody on the research side, check our partner’s page at https://www.TheRecruiterU.com/partners, there are two companies: Legacy Group and Prudent. Our clients get pretty good results with both. Neither is perfect, but they do really, really well. Those are the two companies to investigate if you want to outsource research.
How to Hire an Individual Researcher
The other option is a company called Upwork. With Upwork, you are hiring an individual through a domestic or international job posting. Upwork is like eBay for professional services; you are protected. The person cannot take your money and not perform services. Upwork acts as a middleman. You get to see they did the work, and then the payment is released, so you are protected in that way.
The big mistake I see with people when they use Upwork is they are not specific enough in their directions for the researcher. You want to be granular in specificity. Give them 10 companies, or if it is a big company, like Cisco or General Motors, you want to ensure that you give them the divisions and titles they should find. Don’t say, find me 300 sales reps.
I would simultaneously hire 4 or 5 researchers on Upwork and do a group Zoom training to save time. I would give them each $50 to $100, which is not a huge investment, and I would say I want to see the results I can get. I am interested in quality over quantity. Give them all the same data points. I like to see their name, title, email addresses (a personal email address is a bonus), cell phone number, and the office number if they have it. I want to see how many quality candidates you can find for $50. Just wait. If you hire 4 or 5 at once, I promise you, a couple of them will be terrible. One might be outstanding. Two might be okay. But just like hiring anyone, you can coach them through.
Improving Your Sourcing Results
Coaching your researcher might sound like this: You gave me this list of 75 individuals—20 are totally off the mark, and here is why—25 of them are really on the spot, and here is why. Here are the ones in the middle that are close. Here is why they are close. Here is why they are off. It is a training process.
Many research companies have various subscriptions; for example, Legacy and Prudent have things like Hoover and ZoomInfo. You can ask them when you talk to them. And so do some of these people at Upwork. Hiring them means you do not have to pay for the subscription.
Again, outsourcing things like the initial approach and research is one of the most profitable things you can do. If you are doing your own research, you are a caveman. I have done the math on this a bunch of times. If you are going to bill $300,000, that is a $ 150-an-hour bill rate. You can outsource research today for $15 an hour. It is a 10 to 1 return on investment. I am telling you, once they are up and running, they will get you a lot more names quicker.
How to Hire or Outsource a Recruiting Sourcer
For the sourcing portion, where you’re going to hire somebody to make an initial approach, there is a company called HiKinex. You can find them on our partners’ page. If you tell them you are one of our Inner Circle members or clients, they will take excellent care of you because I am checking how they treat our clients. Again, they are not a perfect company, so do not expect perfection, but they are good. They train their salespeople. They are best at working with recruiting and staffing companies on the initial approach and setting up appointments. We use a sourcer, Bae, from HiKinex at The RecruiterU to arrange appointments for Priscilla. They are not the only company that does this, but they are the one I know that gives consistent results.
If you are going to hire your own, I often recommend hiring somebody domestically part-time. That way, you can teach them how to source and create intrigue. You can teach HiKinex your way of sourcing, too, do not get me wrong, but they have a system and process in place in their business.
Training Your Sourcer
When training a sourcer, we always recommend a very open-ended approach:
Hey, Mr. or Ms. Candidate, I have no idea what’s going on in your career. I just wanted to talk to you quietly and confidentially to see if you are open to hearing about something that could be potentially stronger than your current situation. What are your thoughts on that?
They can be incredibly effective when using that opening line with three or four follow-up questions. Do not get them hyper-involved in screening because we know it is a tight candidate market, especially when they are new. Tighten those gates a little bit, and then open them up as they gain experience.
Great question. A lot of details because where research falls apart is the specificity of the outcome that the recruiter wants. Thanks for the question, Ned.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your recruitment business:
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4. Work with me and my team privately
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