How to Train your Recruiters to be better Sourcers

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If I went to the gym every single day and worked out, would that make me a personal trainer?

If I told someone how to exercise or ate healthy food…. would that make me a personal trainer?

The answer to all these questions is no of course.

Just because I do something every day doesn’t mean that I’m up to date with the latest information, developments or tactics in my field.   It doesn’t make me proficient in delivering high level capability, understanding the process by which excellence can be achieve and really learning the skills, knowledge and ‘how to’ of doing something well.

The same rules apply to the recruiters and sourcers in your team and your business.   Many recruiters have career long habits that are hard to break, they also work day in and day out doing the same thing and can find it hard to apply the information they are reading or learning to their everyday work!  Getting your recruiters to behave and act in a different way takes a number of key actions.

Image by angietorres

1) Training with context

Training with context is much more powerful than training on it’s own.  I can train you and teach you something new, but unless you apply it to your everyday activity or apply it often enough for it to become habit, then that training will serve little purpose.

Now you may train your staff maybe once or twice a year (hopefully)  in new source techniques then cross your fingers and hope that they take some of what they have learnt back to their desks and use it.   In my experience that doesn’t happen very often unfortunately and it’s not the recruiters fault.    Along with training, needs to be a specific goals as to what you want that training to achieve.

Do you want your recruiters to start searching social platforms for candidates?  If you do then how will you change that behaviour post training?

Do they now have a target of placing 1, 2, 5, candidates through the platforms you want them to start searching?

Explain what the catalyst for change has been.  Is it increasing quality of hire, or decreasing cost?  Is it increasing candidates engagement and employer branding through the way they interact with candidates?

Discussing the application of the training will help recruiters to be more goal orientated in the way they use what they have learnt.

2)  Measurable change

“If I don’t know what you want me to do then it’s hard for me to change my behaviour to do it.”

Understanding where the change needs to happen is key.  This is where data becomes your friend {if you have it and if it isn’t already!}.   I hear clients say, “I want us to be better at sourcing”.  When I ask what that means, very rarely is there the answer clear.   Before you can put change into action you need to know what you want the outcome to look like.  When it comes to sourcing the outcome may look different for different job families.

So for your marketing division, the change that needs to happen is that the recruiter needs to build up a more indepth network in the market of these people therefore they need to do X … whatever having a more indepth network means to your business.

If it’s for another role then maybe you want to reduce your job board reliance and use your talent pools instead.

Whatever it is that needs to happen,  be in a position to tell your recruiters and sourcers what the shift needs to be and what it needs to look like.  This means having a baseline level of  information.  So what it is now  and what do you want it to be? ie: reduce recruitment spend by 10% in the next 6 months; or increase the number of candidates hired from our Talent pools by 3%.

3) Reward and recognition

Reward and recognition shouldn’t just be outcome driven; it should be behaviour driven.   Whether your recruiter made a placement this month through the talent pool or not, the fact that they have grow the talent pool by 10 highly skilled and qualified candidates should be recognised.  If that is the outcome that you wanted then be vocal in acknowledging the change that has occurred and the outcome that was achieve.  Also reinforce why the change is good and what it means for the team.

Allowing your recruiters to own their own data, so that they can track the information you want to change, I’ve found to be a big driver.  If they are being rewarded on source of hire which may then result in reduced recruitment costs then being able to run these reports and check the data themselves provides them with the information they need to see if they are on track or not.    I remember when I was a recruiter in the UK, I knew exactly what my source mix needed to be to hit my targets.  I knew how many direct candidates I need to have, how many from agency, referral, internal etc.   As I was able to pull my own data, I’d know well in advance how to drive my activity to ensure that I was able to meet those target.  It was empowering, encouraging and exactly what I needed to change my behaviours when it came to sourcing tactics.  It also provided me with the data I needed to have proactive conversation with my business groups as to what we could be doing re sourcing more of the right candidates.


Key Point Snapshot:  

Give your recruiters the ability to be better at what they do.

1) Train them with purpose and targeted outcomes – what do you want them to do exactly?

2) Measure the changes –  Have a base line so you know your starting point.  Be clear again on what the measure needs to look like at the end of the day/week/month/year.

3) Recognise and Reward – if you know what the outcomes needs to be then reward your recruiters when they start changing their behaviours not just once they have reached the goal.

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