4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Structuring Your Sourcing Team

Structuring your sourcing team in the most effective way has never been more important than in today’s candidate-driven market, where recruitment has turned into a sport of ‘who can win the best talent, the quickest’. And whilst speed and quality are obviously clear drivers, resourcing teams continue to be pushed to make these top-quality hires in the cheapest way possible.

With increasing pressure to win the war for talent, businesses have to think strategically about how they best source candidates. Many organisations will operate with sourcing teams to do the initial candidate identification and screening, before involving their recruitment colleagues to take the process further. Businesses are then faced with the question of how they structure their sourcing teams to get the best results in the most cost-effective way.

Sourcing Team Oasis HR Think Tank Series Infor

Following a Resourcing Think Tank, hosted by Infor, we asked the question ‘on-shore, near-shore or off-shore?’ and are now pleased to share four questions you should ask yourself when structuring your sourcing team.

1. What am I trying to achieve with my sourcing team?

When questioning whether your sourcing strategy needs a revamp, always keep the problem you’re trying to solve front of mind. Are you looking to reduce costs, increase the volume candidates, tap into a niche talent pool, or address shortcomings with your candidate experience? Whatever the reason, be clear on what your driver is and revisit it on a regular basis. This insight will help you measure the impact of your approach, and will help you fine-tune the details of your strategy, for example understanding what skills and competencies your sourcers will need.

It’s important that you lean on data and key metrics to understand which sourcing model is going to be most effective from a fill rate vs. overheads perspective. How does what you ‘want’ balance out against what you can afford? Again, this will all relate back to what it is that you’re ultimately trying to achieve. When considering moving to an off-shore model, it’s advisable to run a small pilot before rolling it out across the business, assuming the desired outcomes are being achieved.

2. How should I structure my sourcing team?

There are many ways to structure your sourcing team(s), which will be largely influenced by the size of your business/sourcing team and the volume/type of hires you’re looking to make. 

Please see below a selection of some of the different approaches used by our Think Tank members and some of the things you might want to consider if opting for one of these models…

  • Localised sourcing

Localised sourcing is a common model for businesses that do a lot of hiring in certain countries, particularly where language and cultural nuances exist. And whilst it’s important to respond to potential cultural differences, candidates should be receiving a consistent employer brand experience. Teams need to have a joined-up ‘business language’ and ensure that they’re working toward a collective purpose and measuring impact/success in a congruous way. 


  • Off-shore sourcing


When deciding whether to off-shore your sourcing, you need to be clear on whether your sourcers have a pure candidate identification and ‘desk research’ focus, or if they will be engaging with talent throughout the recruitment process. It’s important to take potential cultural barriers into consideration and to implement a model that’s going to enhance candidate experience, not detract from it. 


  • Flexible sourcing support


Many businesses will experience peaks and troughs with their recruitment; often related to seasonal activity and the market they operate in. For these organisations, flexible sourcing support makes a lot of sense as they can lean on temporary/contract sourcers when the demand for talent is high. However, the question of out-source, on-site or off-shore still exists!


  • Specialised sourcing


Specialised sourcing (aligning sourcers to a certain geography or role specialism) is a great way to influence hiring managers and secure buy-in. This is, of course, most effective when there’s a high volume of hiring in key areas. It can also positively help with candidate pipelining and reduce time to hire as your sourcers build up talent pools in specific areas. 

Opting for a more structured approach to your sourcing can also help ensure that both individual sourcers and teams have greater accountability. What’s more it will enhance recruitment’s reputation within the business as the function is more likely to be regarded for its expertise.

3. How can I engage remote and off-shore sourcing teams?

For businesses that don’t have centralised sourcing functions, driving engagement and influencing these teams/individuals can present a challenge. Some businesses have sourcing teams based all over the world or employ sourcers who predominantly work from home. These individuals need to feel empowered to deliver. If they don’t feel bought-in to your business, your candidate experience will suffer and your employer brand will get damaged.

Things to consider:

  • Create internal communities for your sourcing and recruitment teams to help them feel connected
  • Facilitate lots of face-to-face and virtual ‘meetups’ within your sourcing teams
  • Encourage your sourcers to get involved with wider projects to help empower them
  • Define your sourcing/recruitment career paths so they know what they’re working towards
  • Ensure your end-to-end recruitment process is clearly mapped out so the expectations of your sourcers are clear; consistency is key!

4. How can I ensure my sourcing strategy is as effective as possible? 

The effectiveness of any sourcing approach will ultimately come down to the quality of people in your team(s). These individuals need to be equipped with the right tools/systems, should be invested in from a training/development perspective and must feel valued by the business for their contributions. If you can get these things right, positives outcomes will be achieved. 

Sarah-May Mans

Written by , Senior Recruiter at Oasis HR Group

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