“Rocking” The Sourcing Boat – Do we need to “re-calculate” and re-evaluate some issues in the sourcing industry?


My intention is to, first and foremost, make us stop for a second and take a hard look at ourselves and what is going on in our industry. We are all creatures of habit and most of us swim with the current, some of us because we don’t want to create any waves (or don’t have the time to do so…) and others because we do not necessarily notice the undercurrents. And as far as I am concerned, there are definately some of those going on.

I have read many truly enlightening 2017 trend articles and posts, but there are some topics that I have not seen anyone discuss (and I apologize if someone did and I have not seen it) and I feel compelled to bring them up even if I will, as we say in Hebrew, “slaughter some sacred cows” during the process …
Perhaps reflecting here together on these issues will prompt us to “re-calculate” our route and bring in some needed changes (IMHO).

1.  How to educate the recruiting/sourcing market
Challenge: Regardless of the huge advancement in the sourcing arena and technology, a whooping massive percentage of the recruiting market is still very traditional – They source via Linkedin and Boolean searches only, not aware of the huge benefit and effectiveness of the ever evolving world of sourcing technology.
Getting new information through “to the masses” is not very effective. Allocating time to read professional material from all over the internet in the various different websites and social networks is challenging and tedious. The sourcing Conferences are doing an amazing job out there, but are extremely expensive and inaccessible and are the privilege of the few. The “Sourcing Message” does not seem to reach the recruiting/sourcing “masses”.

Leading sourcing conferences should introduce live streaming (fee based if you wish) and virtual sourcing conferences should grow in numbers (Introducing the First Virtual Summit on Sourcing Talent 2017, Jantje Bartels), so that focused information and knowledge becomes within reach for everyone.

2.  Cost of sourcing tools
Challenge – Some of the great sourcing tools out there are super expensive. Regretfully, founders are not eager to accommodate those that their tools are not within their reach.

– Introduce convenient price models for sole recruiters, smaller companies etc. I believe, that beyond the materialistic goal (which is fine and they can charge corporates and successful companies as much as they want) they have a social responsibility to enable every recruiter/sourcer out there to be able to use them. There are social revolutions all over the globe to make housing and everyday necessities more affordable. As I see it…Sourcing tools should not be an exception!

3.  Get more people involved
Challenge – The sourcing industry (as well as Sourcing Conferences) are mostly led by the same few. They are an elite unit, impacting the profession and designing and paving the industry to what it is today. They take us to “where no one has gone before” and deserve all the recognition in the world. However, they are the voice of the very few, many others out there are also doing amazing work and are not part of the mainstream “buzz”.

Solution – We have to find a way to get more people involved in our industry, perhaps via unconferences, such as TRU HR (Bill Boorman) and other local initiatives such as Meetups (Kasia Borowicz) that will enable a less intimidating venue for those who are considered “less sexy” (as they are not affiliated with a known brand) or are intimidated to speak in front of hundreds of people to shine their true colors and then for “conference scouts” to invite them to speak in an international conference and share their message and “out of the box” thinking.

4.  Sourcing Professionals Road Map
Challenge: Since Linkedin, chrome plugins and tools are available to and for everyone – Companies tend, more than ever, to hire low level and inexperienced sourcers in house to do the job. The more professional sourcers (with a higher price tag) are approached less often and if so more for higher level, managerial roles (build and lead sourcing teams, for example).

Suggested (interim) solution – Experienced sourcers will reposition themselves as mentors, consultants, Sourcing Trainers, researchers or even “sourcing recruiters” (Jan Bernhart). Some will continue with the craft, but will deal with the more complex roles, rather with the low complexity ones.


I realize we are all building our industry as we go along, as it is in its infancy. We are all doing the best we can and in the best way we know how. But we should also take the time to check ourselves as a collective (Sourcing professionals, vendors etc) and see what it is we can do better, for the sake of all of us in this amazing profession.


About me: I’m a passionate Sourcing Professional, Advanced Sourcing Trainer and International Lecturer. I love to share my thoughts and ideas on everything and anything sourcing 🙂 Don’t hesitate to connect with me on Twitter @karenazulai, Linkedin and Facebook, or email me at karen@everythingsourcing.com.

2 thoughts on ““Rocking” The Sourcing Boat – Do we need to “re-calculate” and re-evaluate some issues in the sourcing industry?

  1. Thought provoking as always, Karen.
    The virtual events piece is close to my heart. I don’t always have the time, budget or inclination to travel and I know that’s the same for a lot of people around the globe. The way things are going in the US, many might not be able to travel to events like SourceCon. I’m looking forward to bringing AirSource.one to the word in May – my attempt at an accessible virtual sourcing event.
    I’m really excited about Irina’s new tool – Social List. At this moment, it’s much more viable from a cost perspective than many other tools, especially LinkedIn.
    Keep us thinking! 🙂

    1. Thank YOU Katharine! And I think what you are planning is definately going to take us in the right direction!! Irina’s tool is indeed cool and affordable too! Waiting to be able to toot about it 🙂

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