Sourcing Specialists – The Emerging Right Hand of Recruiters

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Sourcing Specialists are rapidly becoming a crucial part of many HR and Talent Acquisition departments. Requiring top recruiters to source their own candidates is slightly akin to sales personnel handling all their own marketing. It may make sense to smaller organizations with budget constraints or less work flow, but for larger corporations and businesses scaling quickly, Sourcing Specialists may be the key to buttering the Recruiter’s bread.

What exactly does a Sourcing Specialist do? Basically acting as the right-hand man to Recruiters and Hiring Managers, Sourcing Specialists do exactly as their title suggests; they source candidates through a variety of mediums to find a qualified pool of applicants to select from. According to Wise Geek, success is dependent upon the Specialist’s ability to take the job parameters and find a candidate who is willing to perform the functions for set pay in a set location.

Before the age of technology, a sourcing specialist had to rely solely on newspapers, trade publications, and job or career fairs to find job candidates. The process was effective, but tedious and slow. For even the most common positions, the interviewing, job history verification, and hiring processes were often labor-intensive and frustrating.

The arrival of the Internet provided many advantages to make the job much easier. A recruiter can post jobs, review resumes, check references, and even conduct interviews without ever leaving her home or office. When not working at her desk, she has mobile devices that enable her to monitor works in progress. She can remotely communicate with job applicants and employers, as well as add, delete, update, or alter her own job postings.

Not only must a sourcing specialist shine in the area of communications, but her organizational skills must also be beyond reproach. She generally is constantly in touch with prospective candidates, human resource representatives, and referring sources. Her day normally includes many appointments and meetings, with time allowed for phone calls, texting, and e-mail correspondence.

On the less social side of the job, she must educate herself on employment rules and regulations set forth by various government agencies in her area. Lack of compliance in any of these areas could result in legal problems or a tarnished professional image for her or her company. It is also important for a sourcing specialist to be aware of the demographics of the area in which she is recruiting to determine if qualified candidates are available or if she will be required to expand her search.

Many companies prefer a bachelor’s degree for these jobs. A successful and impressive background in sourcing and recruitment, however, can often substitute for this educational requirement. Continuing education while being employed is also a popular option.

Depending on the size of the organization a Sourcing Specialist can be a specialized Recruiter or a focused addition to the HR team. Either way, with the economy in an upswing and the number of potential sources exponentially heightened by the internet, a Sourcing Specialist may be what your company needs to find the right candidate for the job.


Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

1 Comment

  1. Sal Bevivino on February 25, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I agree with article wholeheartedly. I am hiring an internal sourcing person. Are there any professional guidelines on how to train such an important person to a staffing agency? I am referring to methods of internet sourcing in reference to organizing and approach to the research. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
    Sal Bevivino, (215) 997-9262,

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