To the uninitiated, sourcing and recruiting may seem like one and the same thing. In fact, with too many seasoned professionals in the industry, the difference between both is a somewhat foggy area. This is understandable as both tasks are quite often carried out by the same person or, at the very least, colleagues on the same team.  

But as you may have guessed from the title of this post, there is indeed a difference between the two. Actually, there are quite a few differences, and understanding what they are could have a positive impact on the efficiency of your team members. Most significantly though, it could affect your overall efforts to recruit successfully.

Now that we’ve cleared all that up, let’s look at the key responsibilities of both a source and recruiter – this is where it gets interesting.

The key responsibilities of a source
The key responsibilities of a source

The key responsibilities of a source:

  • Finding passive candidates
  • Understanding the future employment needs of the company
  • Creating interest in the company as an employer
  • Making the first contact with potential candidates
  • Networking
  • Paying close attention to diversity goals
  • Ensuring that unconscious bias is removed from the selection process
  • And if we’re honest, those are just the key responsibilities. A good sourcing consultant will have a million and one other small task to add to this list.

Now, what about a recruiter?

Key responsibilities of a recruiter
Key responsibilities of a recruiter

Key responsibilities of a recruiter:

  • Employment screening services
  • Arranging interview times
  • Liaising with the hiring manager
  • Communicating job details to potential candidates
  • Carrying out negotiations (talking about salary, benefits, etc.)
  • Nurturing candidates in the pipeline
  • Managing CRM and ATS software
  • Posting jobs on boards
  • Publishing ads on social media
  • Creating employer brand-focused content
  • And as with the source, these are just the key responsibilities.
Where the two meet
Where the two meet

Where the two meet

If you have spent any time at all working in the recruitment industry, then there’s a strong possibility that you have carried out most or even all of the tasks listed above.

The fact is that regardless of your official title as recruiter or source, there is often an overlap between the two roles. And as we said earlier, this is where the distinction between the two can get a little foggy.

However, it’s more often the recruiter that will carry out a source’s duties than vice versa. This is because many organizations assume that sourcing is an integral part of a recruiter’s role. And so they are often reluctant to hire a person to fill a role that they feel is unnecessary.

This is most common in smaller companies where there may be a very little budget set aside for recruitment. But in larger organizations, it’s essential that the two roles are clearly defined with both the source and recruiter carrying out their own duties and their own duties alone.

And why is this? We’re glad you asked.

The 3 main benefits of separating sourcing and recruiting

1) It’s more efficient

Imagine a situation where you have a recruiter or a small recruitment team tasked with carrying out every single one of the key responsibilities listed above. We know, it’s easy to imagine because that’s a reality for many recruiters.

As you can guess, overloading a team with work can play havoc on the efficiency of everyone involved. And; as a result, jobs are left undone, or worse, they’re done poorly.

But when roles are clearly defined, both source and recruiter can work more efficiently and carry out their respective roles to a higher standard.

When a client comes, it’s often because their team is overworked or they lack the required skills to source suitable candidates. We take over the sourcing tasks and allow them more time to focus on the things that they do best. Efficiency reigns and the team starts to hit their targets with greater ease. But most importantly, the right candidates enter the pipeline.

Virtual Recruiting
Virtual Recruiting

2) It’s cost-effective

Believe it or not, while a recruiter carrying out every task in the recruitment spectrum allows an employer to cut down on additional salary costs, the lack of efficiency we just mentioned can have a negative impact on the overall cost of recruitment.

This is because a less efficient team means a longer time to hire and as we all know, a longer time to hire leads to an increase in the cost per hire.

According to SHRM’s Human Capital Benchmarking Report, the average cost per hire in the US already stands at $4,129. And for management and c-level positions, the cost will be significantly more.

However, a dedicated sourcing professional on the team can help reduce that cost by ensuring that there is a ready-made candidate pipeline filled with suitable talent. This helps to accelerate time to hire which in turn reduces costs. As an example, one of our clients had more than 700,000 profiles provided for their pipeline and saved over 87,000 hours of their recruiters’ time in the process.

It also means that only qualified candidates make it anywhere near the interview stage of the recruitment funnel. And that brings us to our final benefit.

3) It gets better results

A recruiter’s to-do list is never-ending. So like a true professional, they will prioritize some tasks over others. Interviewing, engaging with candidates, and administration tasks simply cannot be left undone. Sourcing passive candidates to fill a pipeline, on the other hand, isn’t quite so critical or time-sensitive and is often the task that is bumped down the list.

When this happens, the majority of applicants for a vacant position will have to come in through jobs boards and ads resulting in fewer passive candidates. And as we have discussed before, passive candidates are often where you’ll find the best talent.

This is why a dedicated source or a contracted sourcing consultant is worth its weight in gold. Not only do they ensure that the recruiter has immediate access to high-quality candidates but as the company draws from the pipeline, they continue to replenish the pool with more talent. And for a busy recruiter, instant access to pre-qualified candidates is something akin to recruitment paradise.

As you can see, it pays dividends to not only separate both recruiting and sourcing tasks but to have people who know what they’re doing (and are good at it) carrying them out. Reduced time to hire, cost-effective, and better-quality candidates – need we say more?

Follow Author@

Senorita Joyce
Senorita Joyce
NameSenorita Joyce
About HerAuthor | Keynote Speaker | Social Activist
LinkedIn Handle

StartoCure is the online entrepreneurial magazine platform, where the team brings you Interview & Stories of Entrepreneurs, InspirationsInfluencersStartups eco-system & Change-makers. StaroCure also committed to bringing resources, research reports, funding reports, and analysis of the startups, as well as profiles of great businesses & entrepreneurs from all over the world.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments