Sourcers Are From Mars, Recruiters Are From Venus: Bridging the Great Divide

Sourcers and recruiters both have the same purpose: to facilitate the hiring of the best talent. So, why is it that we don’t always work as a team? Let me tell you a story. When I first started my work as a sourcer, I went about my work with my sourcing team, the way we always did it. We focused on finding stellar candidates. And the recruiters? Well, they were in another location, doing their thing, finding… stellar candidates. One day, after a few interactions with each other, we realized that our two teams didn’t really know that much about what the other one did, or how they did it, or what they struggled with, or that we had tools that could make the entire process so much easier. So, we decided to do the next logical thing: we moved in with them. That’s right, into the same office space. We now sat next to each other all day. And what happened? We started having conversations, learning from each other, and getting to know the value we each brought to the game. Where do we stand today? We’re a seamless team of colleagues that leverages our combined strengths to achieve a common goal.

Not all sourcers and recruiters are as lucky as we were to have this type of teambuilding experience. That’s why I wanted to share some of what we’ve learned, so that you can work toward fostering a true partnership and team spirit.

Here are some top tips:

  1. Check your attitude at the door. We’re a proud bunch, we’re competitive, and we like to win. But to create a team spirit, there’s no room for seeing each other as less than equal partners. Sourcers and recruiters have equally important roles to play, and together, we’re stronger.
  2. Get to know each other as people. Being in the same physical space may not be possible for you, and if not, then get creative. Hold joint luncheons, social hours, go on an outing together. Put names and faces together and find out more about what a typical day looks like for your counterparts.
  3. Have a game plan. It helps to have a strategy for explaining what your team’s key strengths are. Think like a marketer: what would be the main selling points for your work? Knowing these and being self-aware of your teams’ weaknesses are essential for being able to collaborate effectively.
  4. Educate each other. Don’t assume that you know what each other does all day. Dialogue about processes, challenges, lessons learned, and tips and tricks, and then educate each other on the resources you each have to bring to the table. Hold a “day in the life” experience, where team members take turns shadowing members of the other team; observing, learning, and seeing first-hand what it’s like to be in that role.
  5. Stay focused on your common purpose. You are both there to achieve the same ultimate goal: up the organization’s competitive ante by getting the best talent onboard. Keep your common purpose in front of you. You are both vital resources and can achieve better results when you collaborate and work as a team.
  6. Celebrate success together. When one of you wins, you all win. You all celebrate. That’s the attitude that will foster cohesiveness and collaboration. It will help you to honor each other’s hard work and contribution and solidify that sense of being in it together.

Fostering a team collaboration requires that someone step up in a leadership role and lead change. It takes some time and commitment to cultivate the relationships and interactions that need to happen to build a partnership among the teams. When you make that investment, you’ll reap the rewards of having a high-performing team of multi-discipline specialists focused on organizational success.

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  • Khaden

    Great article Andrea! You make some really good points here. Sometimes we underestimate the importance of getting to know our colleagues. People will always go the extra mile to help someone that they like.

  • Andrea

    Thank you for the feedback, Khaden! I would also say that while it is important to go the extra mile to help someone we like – as you mentioned – it is also vital to go the extra mile to help someone we want to build a relationship with, so this may not always be someone we “like.” Over time, we can certainly see a difference in the level of the relationship we have built, and I think that leads to a more friendly interaction for sure. Great point though!