No matter the job, finding good candidates is a bear. Everyone from a restaurant manager to a startup CEO to a hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company will tell you so. The modern economy demands highly specific, hard to find skillsets that all too few (readily hireable) people possess. It’s up to recruiters to bridge the gap.
Every recruiter has been there at some point: That moment when, because of some combination of factors, you have an overwhelming number of open roles in front of you that you just can’t fill on your own.
What do you do? Mass email every possible candidate until your fingers stop working? Offer jobs to people on the street like you’re hawking a new energy drink? No way. Grab a few colleagues and throw a sourcing party – a dedicated time during or after work hours where you rally together team members from the department you’re hiring for, order in some food and drinks, and dole out the open positions to marketers, salespeople, and engineers turned recruiters. At sourcing parties, making hiring a team sport comes into full effect.
Why do sourcing parties work? A few reasons:
Reason #1: People get messages from recruiters all the time, but they don’t always get messages from potential colleagues, peers or CEOs. That’s cool and exciting. It makes them feel special, and people who feel specifically chosen are also engaged, and more likely to respond to emails.
Reason #2: Recruiters, you’re essentially training people who aren’t on your hiring team how to develop an eye for qualified candidates. Similarly, recruiting candidates along with employees helps you learn the ideal professional profile of someone the team wants to hire that otherwise can’t be understood with only a job description. (And we all know how much time calibration saves us.)
Reason #3: You get a glimpse at your teams’ networks and have a chance to identify potential hires you may have overlooked while sourcing. Even better, there’s an opportunity for a warm introduction to candidates through a mutual connection. Now that we’ve covered the bases, here’s how to get started on your sourcing party.
First, distribute a list of open positions with some helpful keywords. For instance:
“Software Engineer” – “Developer”, “Java”, “Ruby”, “Python”
You get the idea.
Now evenly divvy up open positions between each sourcer. If you want to add even more fun to it, add a timer. Each person gets a set amount of time with each position, enough time for them to dig in, but not so much that they get bored. After a set amount of time, each person searches for a new role. Rinse and repeat. You can even add in challenges (source 10 fit candidates in 10 minutes or top sourcer gets free movie tickets) to get the competitive juices flowing.
Next, make sure you’ve got a spreadsheet that everyone can add names and info. If your sourcing platform allows you to add candidates to a list, even better. Create a designated list for your sourcing session and have your team add to it. We like Google Docs, but there are others good tools too. Not sure what info you need? Here’s a template. Set it up so that every participant in the party can easily add in new people.
Then, make sure you have easily personalized email templates ready to send. Writing individual emails can be time-consuming, so make sure all your sourcers can reach out to great candidates without too much trouble.
Remember: The goal of every pitch email is to get a response from the candidate. Pure and simple. Make sure everyone logs their outreach in the spreadsheet and keeps it updated based on any responses they might get.
At the end of the day, sourcing parties help you to find and contact tons of candidates in a short amount of time. The best thing is, you can keep hosting them. They are endlessly tweakable. You can source for one position or six, with four people or 10, and you can have them monthly or quarterly.
Sourcing parties are a hack that you can make fully compatible with your schedule, needs, team structure, and company culture. We want to hear your favorite sourcing party techniques. What’s the trick to sourcing at scale? What are some of the biggest do’s and dont’s of group sourcing? Let us know in the comments.