by Sean Sheppard and Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
The role of sourcers is changing as quickly as the role of marketers and in very similar fashions.
The times when marketers assumed that customers would buy a product because they needed it (or be brainwashed by advertising into believing they did) are rapidly vanishing. Today, as consumers, we expect to build a relationship with a company. We expect an experience – a positive experience, not the “bad” experience that makes us return products and try competitors – as well as vent our disappointment on social networks or other public venues such as Groubal.
In today’s competitive business environment, consumers demand personalized attention before and after any transaction. So do job seekers. They don’t want to be treated as interchangeable pawns, even for lower positions. People are not job-fillers… They are people first – and if they are unhappy, they’ll just look for another opportunity. Let’s keep in mind that the vast majority of people who look for or are open to a new job already have one!

It’s time to start looking at things a little differently.

Staffing departments, just as all other departments must rewire the way they work to succeed in a world where brands are no longer what companies alone shape up, but are equally what customers/users declare to their friends and peers on social networks as “great” or “poor.” When our friends speak ill of a brand, do we rush to buy from it? No. We look at the competitor.
Candidates are just like customers. In fact they are customers, not wretched creatures who can be talked to condescendingly and should be happy to be offered a job no matter what. If they don’t like your brand, if they don’t gain sincere insight on what it’s really like to work for your company, they’ll go next door. You will lose that top 1% that all sourcers want to find, regardless of what this top 1% represents — whether it is the cool kid who has the potential to be an amazing administrative assistant, or a brilliant, tenured engineer.

A new approach to sourcing

So what can sourcers learn from what the social media groups in marketing and customer service departments are doing? How can they combine their efforts to engrain “social,” engagement, and relationship marketing into the corporate modus operandi? The urgency for such cross-departmental collaboration is all the more obvious as sourcers are in charge of identifying the job candidates who will be the flag-bearers of the “socialized” brand and the representatives of the new corporate behaviors.
Below are examples of conversation starters that sourcers can use to start learning from their social media and marketing counterparts:

  • How is social media redefining the company’s brand strategy?
  • How can we combine efforts in relationship marketing?
  • How can I/we become a digital leader and empower teams into digital leadership?
  • How is social media impacting key performance indicators?

In truth, sourcers are poised to become critical touch points in the “social” economy, for sourcing is where it all starts. Sourcers must immerse themselves into the engagement culture that will be able to spot and attract the socially connected who in turn will help companies to migrate from the 2000′s to the 2010′s and beyond.
By engaging and remaining connected with candidates, whether or not there is an available position for them at a particular point in time, sourcers have the power to turn potential job seekers into fans, and provide them with a sense of belonging and relevance. And just as marketers, sourcers will have a critical role in building the value and the equity of a brand within social networks, because social is a key differentiator. In the years to come, social capital will become a major indicator of companies’ performance and impact their market cap.
Sourcers and marketers have all the reasons in the world to share insights and collaborate in order to better adapt to a fast-changing business environment. They work for the same company and can only benefit from the success that can be found in combining forces – start the process of cross-company education and start learning from one another!
Originally posted on SourceCon.

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