What is your definition of a Sourcer in Recruiting?

How to Create a Talent Pipeline That Gets Results 2/18 at at 1 PM EST by clicking here.

Hat tip to Jeremy Langhans for hipping me to a lively discussion he started over on Linkedin. The question? “What is your definition of a Sourcer?”

Here are a few of the answers…

Sourcer: creatively researches and locates passive candidates/talent. May or may not conduct an initial screen. If the candidate passes the initial screen, he/she is passed over to the recruiter for further screening.


1. Research/researcher – identifying contacts details and validating they are correct. Passing this information to a Recruiter or directly to a manager.

2. Sourcing/Resourcing – Research plus candidate phone contact and phone based screening interview.Shortlist passed to manager.

3. Recruiting – Research + Sourcing plus face-to-face candidate screening interviews. Shortlist passed to the manager.


The primary sourcer identify candidates via phone. Tapping candidates who are working with no visibility to the outside world. The only way is to call directly into organizations to uncover details on their role, title and responsibilities.


Sourcing is primarily name generation and identification of target candidates based on research utilizing any one of a number of techniques, both electronic internet based and other means including less ethical rusing approaches.

Profiling is actually calling the potential candidate up (real human dialog), verifying any one of a number of details, and depending on who you are working for, “qualifying” the candidate.


To me a Sourcer is one who identifies (via internet and/or phone tools) potential data / candidates / prospects with credentials which map to a given set of requirements / parameters.

The skills necessary to be an effective Sourcer are quite different from the Candidate Development skills necessary for success in turning leads into viable candidates.


A sourcer proactively identifies highly relevant prospects for target positions and profiles in an organization, then works to engage those prospects into potential candidates for that organization. The sourcer may use previously generated research to identify these prospects, or may identify those prospects themselves via various online resources, over the phone, and/or through networking activities.


Someone who is great at making contact with talent that may fit a particular job need… the key to this is the “making contact” effort!


Plain and simple, a sourcer finds the passive candidates, the ones who are not posted on the job boards and find people from selected/targeted competitors and searches.


Its just a question of jargon. The reality is that differrent companies use differrent words. The job functionality remains the same. Three core basics.
IDENTIFY APPROACH & ATTRACT talent. The rest is just industry BS..


You can’t put this in a box because every organization has it’s own desires of a sourcer. Some may want the ‘sourcer’ to just identify resumes, others may want them to qualify it, and then there are the few that want them to be identified, screened and sent to recruiters.

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One comment

  1. Jeremy Langhans

    thanks jimmy! wow, we are at about ~50 responses so far — VERY COOL and should be enough to consolidate to the good answers soooon. then i’ll most likely put it up on the wiki or somethin 😉

    hope u r well!