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14 01 2009

Hi everyone – Ray and I want to make sure you were aware that you can download printable PDF’s of each of the monthly newsletters. Check out our widget in the right-hand menu bar – you can download any copy of The Source all the way back to the first issue! We have provided this to you free of charge.

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Is Sourcing the Silver Bullet of Recruiting?

14 01 2009

The proliferation and accessibility of sourcing tools and techniques is exciting and fun and exhilarating.  Who doesn’t want to have the most followers on Twitter or the biggest network on LinkedIn?  But is sourcing the Silver Bullet of Recruiting?  Are all these tools really helping us do our jobs or just distracting us?  Are there really a lot of candidates out there using these cool new tools, or are we just running into other recruiters?  If recruiters are spending the majority of their time on sourcing, who is talking to the candidates? 

It wasn’t too long ago that only retained executive recruiters actually did proactive sourcing for candidates.  Corporate and contingency recruiters were “inbox recruiters.”  They were focused on screening the candidates that came to them in response to ads or employee referrals or those that they met at Career Fairs.  That approach worked pretty well for a while.  But now that social networking sites are gaining in popularity, classes on Internet search techniques are more affordable and recruiting budgets have been slashed; everyone seems too focused on the hunt for candidates!  It’s as if sourcing is a totally new concept – a silver bullet that will solve all recruiting problems!

Recruiters are posting on multiple niche boards, searching Craig’s list and user groups, growing their Linkedin and Facebook networks and Googling for candidates.  These are all great techniques, except that this has lead to the belief among sourcers, recruiters and hiring managers that if we just look hard enough we will find that purple squirrel at just the right price with just the right combination of skills at just the right time with no compromise necessary! 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that sourcing skills are important.  Someone in your organization should be on top of all the new tools out there.  I just don’t believe every recruiter has to be an expert in every new technology.  I also believe that sometimes sourcing should be left to the outside experts.

Recruiting has not really changed just because there is more information out on the Web.  Technology and searching tools are necessary, but they will never replace the need to TALK to your candidates, find out what they think of the job, the compensation you are offering and who they know.  You still have to get hiring managers and clients to compromise occasionally and you can’t do that till you can tell them what potential candidates have told YOU about employment market conditions.

My recruiting career began in Retained Executive Search where the distinction between sourcing and recruiting was very clear.  “Recruiting” was the total process; Candidate ID and Candidate Development were separate and distinct parts of that process.  Sometimes the recruiter did both parts of the process and sometimes the Candidate ID portion was outsourced.  

We didn’t call it “sourcing” though, we called it Candidate ID and it was narrowly defined as searching for names of people doing the job for which we were recruiting – it did not ever involve looking for posted resumes.  Let’s face it – why would corporate clients pay huge fees to an executive search firm just to get a candidate that had posted their resume online and could have been found with a few clicks?  We did purchase directories, search for attendee lists and look for associations that our candidates would join. 

When we needed deep sourcing for hard to find individuals, we contracted that out to someone who specialized in Candidate ID.  The recruiters did the upfront research on the companies to be targeted and the desired titles and the outside professionals usually did the phone sourcing.  Those professionals utilized phone sourcing techniques to deliver org chart type documents listing the person heading up the department we were interested in along with all of that individual’s direct reports.  The recruiters and outside sourcers worked together on developing and fine tuning the sourcing strategy.

The goal in any search is to get on the phone and start Candidate Development as soon as possible.  In a retained search firm, this involved contacting the candidates, selling them on the opportunity, assessing fit and negotiating.  Because we knew we had a limited number of names from the Candidate ID phase, we had to be sure that we made the most out of each interaction with a potential candidate. We asked for referrals and industry information so that we could go find more candidates if needed.  If a potential candidate was not interested, we found out why.  If a number of candidates expressed opinions about the pay being too low, or all the skills not typically existing within one person, we reported back to the client with that information.  We partnered with the hiring authorities to develop a realistic position description with an attractive compensation package so that we could fill the position to their satisfaction while addressing the needs of potential candidates. 

So what can we learn from retained executive search? 

  • The best Candidate ID (sourcing) won’t help you fill a position without good recruiting skills as well.
  • If the Candidate ID requires specialized skills (phone sourcing, deep Internet searching), outsource it or develop an internal sourcing group.
  • Successful recruiting and sourcing require good communication between all members of the team – sourcers, recruiters and hiring authorities.

Sourcing, in and of itself, is not the answer.  A good sourcing strategy coupled with good strong recruiting skills and good relationships with the hiring authorities – that will seal the deal every time!  



Cathy McCullough is an independent contract recruiter residing in the Washington, DC area. She has been in recruiting for nearly two decades, and is a respected professional in improving and establishing effective recruiting and sourcing processes. She is also involved in training and developing recruiters in all aspects of recruiting including sourcing, networking, screening, behavioral interviewing and closing.

SourceCon Spotlight: Up and Coming Sourcers – Lacy Harmon

14 01 2009

Our first Spotlight of 2009 belongs to Lacy Harmon, Recruitment Sourcer for C2HM HILL in Boulder, Colorado. There, Lacy supports the Civil Infrastructure part of the business in looking for hard to find skill sets related to water and transportation engineering.

Lacy has been in a research role for just about two years. In 2004, she started her career with CH2M HILL in the Human Resources group as a generalist. In 2006 CH2M HILL restructured its Human Resources group to include a Talent Acquisition Center in response to the tight labor market in the engineering field, and she decided to take on a sourcing position at that time.

According to Lacy, she feels privileged to work with an excellent group of recruiters and sourcers, all of whom she has been able to learn a great deal from. Her sourcing group in particular works together very well and shares new knowledge amongst one another on a daily basis. Attending SourceCon 2008 was a very eye opening experience for Lacy. She tells us that it was amazing to talk to other sourcers and learn about the technologies they are using successfully and hear about how their teams are structured and how they work with the recruiting team. She came away from the conference with a new outlook on sourcing and saw the need for sourcing at CH2M HILL to become more proactive and strategic.

Upon returning from SourceCon Lacy and her co-workers were able to take a new look at how sourcing at CH2M HILL could become more strategic and proactive. This motivated them to propose a new centralized/strategic sourcing group within the firm. They are currently implementing this new group and are all very excited about what lies ahead – so if anyone has any knowledge of how to successfully run a centralized sourcing team, I’m sure she’d be thrilled to talk!

A unique tool that Lacy has created for herself as well as her team is a “sourcing roadmap”, where she lists out all of the resources she has available and tracks her success with them in order to get more focused on searches and determine the most successful resources. This has been incredibly helpful in overcoming some of the biggest obstacles she faces, one of which is quite simply the areas in which she researches. Lacy says that some of the skill sets she looks for are hard to find. She works through this by not only referencing the sourcing roadmap, but also reaching out to her co-workers for brainstorming sessions.

In her spare time, Lacy has recently gone back to school to earn her Masters Degree. She has also recently gotten engaged, so the next several months are going to be consumed with studying and wedding planning for her.

Connect with Lacy Harmon:

How to Combine Boolean Search with Personalized Approach in Your Lead Generation Processes

13 01 2009

My daily work is a lot about looking for and making initial contacts with potential candidates for our job orders at Brain Gain Recruiting. I think that this how-to article should be easily applicable to any lead generation.  The methods suggested below are free for all and are mostly Google-based.

Let’s take an example. Suppose I am looking for a…

“Java/J2EE Engineer with good knowledge of the server side development and experience in software methodologies, especially Agile, living within 25 miles from Santa Clara, CA.” The employer named several competitors that are target companies for this search. The employer has a Dice account and has asked to only search for people outside of major job boards.

Let’s begin.

Step 1. Find a limited number of resumes and profiles of people who would be “the best” and contact them in a very personal manner.

a) Look for resumes on Google that are: 1) recent, 2) have as many keywords as possible, 3) are local to Santa Clara. As an example, you can run this search (this is just an example to show my approach; you could modify this string to your liking):

j2ee agile  engineer | developer server intitle:resume | inurl:resume 408 OR 650 OR “Bay Area”

You can also do a few variations in order to find resumes:

j2ee agile engineer | developer server  ~resume 408 OR 650 OR “Bay Area” -job -jobs -careers

j2ee agile engineer | developer server  ext:pdf | ext:doc 408 OR 650 OR “Bay Area” -job -jobs -careers

b) Look for profiles. Let’s look on LinkedIn using X-ray via Google:

“Bay Area” j2ee agile  engineer | developer server -intitle:answers -intitle:directory

(Have a large number of connections? Look using your LinkedIn account as well.)

Now, contact these great J2EE Server people in a very personal manner.

How? Review the resumes and the profiles. If the person seems outstanding, also do a bit of investigation; at least type his/her name into Google and see what comes up.

Write an interesting email to every person on this list; say that their background is impressive and mention a fact about them. Perhaps you also liked some graphic on their site? Are you both interested in soccer? A tiny personal touch can help to get conversation going.

If you are not sure that the person is looking for a new job, be gentle in your email: ask for his/her advice on finding others for this type of work or even just ask about his/her expertise. (Many of us know that this is a better way to start your communication with a “passive” candidate than asking whether they would want to interview for a job).

Follow up with a call. If you are going to call, it certainly makes sense to do some Internet research on that person beforehand.

You will find the contact information on the resumes but not on profiles. For profiles, you have to do some additional work. As an example, you can figure out the email address knowing the company and its email pattern; or send these people a message on LinkedIn if you belong to the same group, or do other applicable things. (I can write a whole separate blog post on this.)

Step 2. Now, relax your Google resume search: drop some keywords or drop the page age requirement or drop the location keywords etc.

Look only for resumes to start with. As an example, use the string with no location restriction:

j2ee agile  engineer | developer server  ~resume  -job -jobs -careers.

Other things to do with the initial string may include: use “methodology” instead of “agile“; try removing the word server; try using architect or lead or programmer instead of the above titles etc. Make sure the number of results remains reasonably low (under a few thousand), otherwise you are likely to get too many irrelevant results.

You can collect email addresses by hand, or using Contact Capture from Broadlook or some other tool.

Now you are about to write to many people who are still likely to be fine candidates. Perhaps you can’t be as personal any more. Send them a relatively short note asking “whether they might know someone who would be qualified…”.  Your email doesn’t need to feel impersonal to these people. Try sending your draft email to yourself and see how it feels. Always send individual emails, or use an email merge tool to send your email separately to every person.

Do not overload your email with too many details and (pretty much any) graphics.

Do not ask these people about too many things such as several open jobs. Do not expect them to click on links to your pages; put enough information right there in the email.

MS Word and Outlook will work well as email merge tools. Anybody you email should be able to ask you to stop emailing.

Step 3. Now, look for profiles, also having relaxed your search. The problem here is that you are looking to contact many people but there’s no published contact info for most of them. A work around in terms of efficiency may be to look for people from a particular company (and do this for every target company). If you get first, last names from LinkedIn and know the company’s email pattern, you could create an email list. Tell these people that you saw their profile on LinkedIn. Mention their company for a personal touch. If you are writing to someone’s work address, be careful about the subject; it’s probably best for the subject not to mention “job openings”.

Step 4. Look for contact information of people who might be relevant to your search. In particular, you can look for email addresses. There are so many places where you could look. Look on forums, conference sites, blogs, etc.

There are many search strings to help to look for email addresses. As just one example, including the work gmail in your search string is likely to bring addresses.

Let’s do this for a (theoretical, just to make my point) example; the search below will bring some resumes but will mostly bring non-resumes:

-resume  j2ee agile  engineer | developer server  -job -jobs -careers “email ** com”

We did use relevant keywords but there’s absolutely no guarantee that every email address on the result pages belongs to a software engineer.

Collect email addresses carefully, or you may accidentally grab emails from a high school alumni site or a nonprofit these people belong to. It’s useful to review your email list before you send out your email, and perhaps do some additional filtering. More recent pages found with more relevant keywords may be slightly more reliable in bringing in relevant addresses. After your email list is complied, you can remove addresses that come from irrelevant companies/domain names. Remove email addresses that come from a different country (ending in a two-letter country abbreviation such as .uk, .in etc.)

You could also try to find these people elsewhere and get more information about them before you write to them.

Be ready to respond. As a result of this process, I often get referrals, suggestions where to post the job, etc. Sometimes, also, one of my “best” candidates would reply saying that she doesn’t know anybody else but she is interested in the job herself!



shameave-irina-photoIrina Shamaeva is an Executive Recruiter and an Expert Sourcer. For the past 5 years she has been a Partner with Brain Gain Recruiting, placing senior full time employees in IT, Strategy Consulting, and Finances. She has an MS in Mathematics and a strong technical background.

Irina runs fast growing “Boolean Strings” Groups on LinkedIn and Recruiting Blogs. She organized the Boolean Contest for Recruiters and Sourcers in 2008. Read more on her blog. Irina’s LinkedIn Profile can be found here.



The Resilient Recruiter: Outer Resiliency

13 01 2009

Part Three of Four: Outer Resiliency

Welcome back to The Resilient Recruiter series, in which we are exploring the relevance of resiliency skills to the success of recruiting professionals during times of adversity.  Recruiting professionals need well-developed resiliency skills in order to perform at maximum effectiveness, particularly during this era of economic uncertainty and continuous change. 

Previously in this series, we defined resiliency as the ability to deal with adversity and bounce back, and we learned that resiliency consists of a set of skills that can be strengthened.  A resilient recruiter will “hit a wall” and then quickly and creatively adapt and find a way around it, becoming stronger in the process.  A recruiter, sourcer or researcher who is not as resilient, however, might hit that same wall, but instead succumb to discouragement and choose to linger at the wall in despair. 

In our last article, we explored the inner resiliency factors of defining values, setting goals, creating and following plans and confidently making decisions.  As implied by the name, inner resiliency factors are primarily those factors which are developed from within.

In this part three article we will depart from our previous interview format as we explore the following outer resiliency factors:  relationships, involvement in groups or community, participation in hobbies, volunteer work, healthy diet, exercise and sleep. 

We will start with the more basic and obvious outer resiliency factors of healthy diet, exercise and sleep.  Naturally, if you take care of your body during the good times, then your body will be more resilient during adversity.  The stress that usually accompanies adversity has been proven to lower immunity and can lead to physical illness at a time when you most need health and strength.  Waiting until adversity hits is not the time to suddenly decide to take proper care of your body.  A great place to start in boosting your outer resiliency is to develop healthy habits around what you eat and around obtaining regular exercise and adequate sleep daily.   

This brings us to the relational and activity related outer resiliency factors.  A good place to begin is to ask yourself about the quality of your relationships with those who matter to you the most.  That represents the cornerstone of your outer resiliency.  If you have trouble in those relationships, it will be well worth the time and expense to invest in help to improve those relationships.  Be prepared, though, to hold a mirror up and keep it up.  Improving those relationships will require you to “own” your contribution to difficulties. 

Now, step back a bit.  Are there any relationships which, if you are completely honest with yourself, drain you and leave you depleted?  If so, then seriously consider whether it is healthy for you to continue those relationships.  Perhaps there are some relationships you need to end and others that need some healthy boundaries put into place.  Be picky in choosing those with whom you will spend your time. 

The strength of your relationships – your network of support – will be a significant determinant in whether you thrive, versus just survive when adversity hits.  Those who have close, healthy, authentic relationships with a network of people who know them well will find themselves surrounded by the support they need at the time they need it.  Those who isolate and do not have close relationships are at risk for withdrawing into clinical depression and spiraling into blame and other unhealthy choices and behaviors (alcohol, drugs, over-eating, etc.) when faced with adversity. 

In addition to proactively taking care of their bodies and choosing healthy relationships, resilient recruiting professionals also participate in hobbies and activities.  Those who are involved in the community or do volunteer work have an expanded network of support and are found to have higher self-esteem than those who wallow in self-focus.  Those who are involved in church small groups also enjoy a strong support network, which significantly increases their outer resiliency.  It is wise to assess your relationships and involvement in groups, activities and hobbies prior to adversity coming your way.  Once adversity hits, it is much more difficult to cultivate relationships and outside interests in a meaningful and authentic way. 

In summary, whether you are a full life cycle recruiter, a sourcer or researcher, no amount of cool tools or gadgets will carry you when adversity hits.  All of us encounter challenging times at some point in our lives. The question is:  how will you navigate those times of adversity?  If your inner and outer resiliency skills are well developed, then you will have the ability to engage your creative problem-solving abilities with strength and confidence.  You will be able to maintain a sense of humor about your situation (without slipping into denial), while allowing your network of support to be there for you in the way that any human needs during difficult times.  You will then discover, on other side of adversity, that you are a better and stronger recruiting professional because of the adversity you experienced.  You will have flexed and strengthened your resiliency muscles, preparing you to navigate the next challenge in “finer form”. 

Stay tuned for this series’ final article, in which we will learn how to assess our resiliency and the resiliency of the candidates we are recruiting.


As “The Recruiter’s Recruiter,” Wendy Albrecht Kembel enjoys placing recruiting professionals. View Wendy’s profile at . Her company, Integrity Recruiting Group, Inc., works in alliance with Anderson Recruiting Consultants, Inc. . Feel free to email Wendy at

Ask the Sourcing Dude and Dudette

12 01 2009


We’ve enlisted the help of the Master Sourcers themselves, The Sourcing Dude and the Sourcing Dudette, to answer some questions that are at the forefront of many of our minds. In each issue of The Source, they will respond to some of these questions.

If you have a pressing issue you’d like the Sourcing Dude and Dudette to answer, please email us and we will bring it to the SourceCon shrine for consideration.

The Sourcing Dudette will be fielding this month’s inquiry:

“I am interested in working as a contract sourcer. What are some of the steps I need to take in order to begin this process, and what are some things you would recommend to be successful in such an endeavor?”

The initial steps would be to:

  1. Have two resumes, one that focuses on sourcing experience and one that focuses on recruiting experience.   If your resume reads all full life-cycle recruiting, then it is unlikely that you will be the top on the list for sourcing opportunities.  Most sourcers come from FLC recruiting backgrounds (or agency recruiting) and have transitioned well into sourcing roles.
  2. Get yourself registered with any of the local or national staffing agencies that may be dedicated to placing sourcers and recruiters.  
  3. Set up  a  profile on all of the relevant social networks.   Get connected with other Sourcers to share ideas and information.
  4. Sign up for all of the Yahoo! and LinkedIn groups that are specific to sourcing and research, candidate development, passive pipelines, etc.
  5. Meet with your financial advisor or tax accountant to find out your options for contract status (ie. 1099, W2, Corp-to-Corp).   Depending on your home state, home office expenses, tax bracket, income, etc. – it could make a huge difference in your taxable income.
  6. Be aware of ALL of the great resources available to the Sourcing Community for continuing education:   webinars (free and paid), local and national conferences, social networking groups, learning websites, etc.  
  7. Stay (or get) current and familiar with all of the sourcing-specific technologies that are prevalent in today’s market .


Make sure you follow the Sourcing Dude (and Dudette!) on Twitter as well: @SourceConDude

Recruiting From The Middle of Nowhere

12 01 2009

The evolution of the internet, teleworker technology, and the current shift in workforce demographics offer employment possibilities we once only dreamed about during our daily commutes.  For a growing number of companies and their employees, working remotely is the new virtual reality. This is part one of a two-part introduction to the Recruiting from the Middle of Nowhere series, which will explore and highlight virtual workforce practices.

I am one of a growing number of people who work virtually.  A couple of years ago, I moved from Warwick, New York, to Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Warwick was a great place to live – a nice town about sixty-five miles northwest of NYC, but the cost of living was becoming absurd. We chose Columbia County because we drove through it often on trips to visit my parents in Ohio. As it turns out, we chose well; Columbia County was recently ranked #1 as the Best Place for Rural Living in the Northeast United States, and #5 overall in the nation(i). Beauty aside, the only real disadvantage of living here is a lack of major employers. Otherwise, we are just over three hours away from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washington, DC. Close enough for weekend trips, but far enough to make a daily commute impractical.

I experienced no major calamities or disasters when I first started working remotely.  I knew my work and how to go about it.  The biggest problem was the nagging barrier of isolation.  My new manager was happy with my abilities and results, but I needed to overcome a lack of personal interaction.  I was productive, but always felt I had to prove I was doing just a little bit more. That mild worry was short lived…until my satellite internet service provider began experiencing connectivity issues during its acquisition.  How embarrassing to have my manager in Chicago waiting on the phone for what seems like an eternity before your screens are in synch when discussing a salient point about my additional workload!  This problem was remedied soon afterwards when we moved into our new home, complete with high speed cable.  I will discuss personal, technology, and other related issues in upcoming articles of Recruiting from the Middle of Nowhere soon.  

A Virtual Workplace is a Viable Alternative

Virtual Workers Trend

rmnw1In 1997, there were approximately 8 million people involved in some form of virtual work, according to the International Association of Virtual Organizations.  The Gartner Group, a technology research firm, predicts that, in 2008, approximately 41 million employees around the world will spend at least one day a week working virtually.  Nearly 100 million will work from home at least one day each month. The largest proportion of these employees will be U.S. workers(ii).

Forward-thinking companies use virtual employees of several types, with the two current prominent types coined co-located and totally virtual.  Virtual employees do all their work from a home office, or somewhere other than a cube at their place of employment (even at Starbucks, for example.)  Co-located employees have both a work location at their place of employment and one or more virtual location(s.)

The upside of a virtual office is that it offers the ability to focus on tasks without continual interruptions from phone calls, meetings, training classes, lunches, visitors, and other commotion associated with a typical office environment. Indeed, a number of co-located employees indicated to me that working from their home office at the beginning of a new project helps them with focus, structure, and planning momentum during the project’s initial phase. Distractions can be monumental in an office environment at times; even closing the office door, if you still have one, or draping a “Do Not Disturb” sign across the cubicle entrance doesn’t always work, and sequestering yourself in a conference room may be at odds with your company’s culture.

For me, the downside of working virtually centers on the lack of visibility and social interaction. You do not have the opportunity to participate first-hand in meetings, events, product launches, holiday celebrations, and other typical day-to-day interactions, which can put you at a real disadvantage. There are other times, however, when the office mood is not so endearing, and you can only imagine how lucky you are to have not been there.  Some mention the challenges of focusing on work at home; however, a virtual worker is totally in control of handling that set of distractions, even more so than at an office where you are simply one of the employees.  The key to addressing that obstacle is to set your work location apart from other home activities and to organize your time, setting aside work time and honoring your own work schedule.  Look for this to be covered in greater detail in an upcoming RFMN article about the ‘Changes and Challenges’ of the virtual workplace.

Corporate experience and politics also need to be weighed when considering a virtual or co-located role. After all, when you are in-house and lead a recruitment function, having lunch with the head of finance is relatively easy, for example.  Bonding, thought sharing, and visibility is easy when working in-house; not so easy if you work from 300 miles away.  From that standpoint, working in-house almost always give you a distinct political advantage.

Virtual Workers Make $ense for Recruitment

Companies can profit from using virtual recruiters in several ways, and the difference can be reduced to dollars and “sense.”  First, hiring ramp-up time can be greatly reduced by using virtual recruiters. Second, a virtual sourcer or recruiter can have the same impact as an agency, but at significantly lower cost per hire.  In addition, the virtual sourcer acts as a direct representative of the company, producing the collateral effect of positive company branding and development of a future candidate pipeline.  A virtual sourcer can develop a relationship with potential candidates for future contact in a way that doesn’t always occur when sourcing through an agency.

1. When companies hire, they must rapidly develop and implement a ramp-up strategy. Having a pool of high quality virtual recruiters is a great way to offset one of the obstacles that companies face: how to identify, qualify, interview, offer, close, and onboard employees in a quick and efficient manner.

  • An at-the-ready pool of professional sourcing or recruitment professionals can alleviate unnecessary delays of days or weeks when starting the hiring process, and, consequently, to the onboard prospective employees.  Since hiring managers often expect almost immediate results once they have an approved requisition (perhaps unreasonable expectations if the recruiter(s) involved have not managed that aspect properly,) the pressure for the recruiter(s) to produce is on.  Most companies have time-to-fill metrics or at least a mental expectation of delivery, based on the level of the position and the relative difficulty of the search.
  • rmnw2The ability of a seasoned virtual sourcer or recruiter to begin producing results rapidly helps not only to maximize the timeline associated with the search, but also to reinforce the hiring manager’s expectations that the recruiting effort is moving swiftly to meet his or her needs.  Simply put, after the position has been approved, getting a virtual sourcer or recruiter started can be as simple as following the company’s protocol for onboarding a contractor; usually a security check, email setup, ATS and/or job board access, access to any other ancillary tools such as InfoGist or Broadlook, and a process and protocol overview with the supervisor. This is minimal when compared to the search-for-hire approach for a new recruiter, especially if it involves relocation. Even without the ATS, job board, or other tool access, a seasoned search professional can begin to produce tangible and effective results almost immediately.

2. Virtual recruiters can also add to the effectiveness of an in-house recruiting staff and can save companies large sums in placement fees. 

  • My first virtual sourcing experience validated a suspicion that I had held for some time: large companies often have immense databases brimming with talent, many of whom had never been adequately qualified against position(s) they had initially applied for, let alone other possible roles.  I could retire a bit sooner if I had a dollar for every time a candidate told me “I’ve applied at this company several times, and you are the first person who has ever responded back to me.”
  • On the other hand, the time constraints of a typical recruiter’s day seldom leave the time necessary to adequately scour the ATS for the great candidates that are waiting to be discovered there. You would be surprised at how frequently this happens, and sadly, how often many of these positions go out to search for a sizeable fee due to a recruiter’s lack of time, or an inability to properly leverage an ATS search.
  • Paying a sourcer to scrub your database before authorizing an external search is worth every penny. In addition, it frees up the recruiter’s time to spend on customer service, building candidate rapport, and closing outstanding offers, where their time is best leveraged.
  • For the amount of a typical placement fee paid to a search firm for a $200K position, you could hire a dedicated virtual sourcer or recruiter for several months. By doing so you will provide not only continuity for assigned areas, but also a consistent message coupled with in-house credibility for the duration of the assignment. A virtual recruiter who represents only your company provides a level of familiarity and branding that most hiring managers and candidates find appealing. Contrast that to candidates being approached by external search firms, sometimes for the same positions, and the advantage of using a virtual recruiter becomes apparent.



larotonda-alan-photoAlan LaRotonda is a Talent Acquisition Professional who has worked since 1993 recruiting talent in the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, biotech, energy and medical device recruitment arenas. Alan is a charter member on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Metro Employment Management Association (, and was the 2006 Chapter President for that organization. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Mr. LaRotonda has been working virtually as a recruitment consultant/sourcer since 2006.  He now resides with his family in northeast Pennsylvania where he specializes in innovative sourcing and recruitment strategies for technology, pharmaceutical, wireless, biotech, energy, and medical device industries.

i. Progressive Farmer Magazine. Best Places to Live in Rural America. March 2008. Jamie Cole.

ii. February 2005. Steve Hargis and Mia Jacobsen.