Managing Expectations (Then Blowing Them Outta the Water)

Sourcers are sourcers because of passion. It’s an exhausting job and for most people, it would be too exhausting to be worthwhile without that passion in place. Regardless of how much you love the job, there are expectations that should be put in place no matter the industry, in order to stay sane every day…or at least as sane as possible.

We all want to be successful at our jobs, but to be successful we need to be able to embrace the expectations of the position. When there’s a miscommunication between a manager and an employee about what the expectations of the role are then there will undoubtedly be a conflict.

How can you manage these expectations while still proving your skill and dedication to the job? Let’s take a look:


Honest conversations:

This is going to be the backbone of any successful working relationship. A manager needs to be clear and direct about what the expectations of the role are from the start. An employee needs to be clear and direct about what their expectations of management are, what support they are in need of to do their job, etc. Expectations and job responsibilities will probably change over time so have check-ins regularly amongst your team and make sure that the doors of communication are always open.

Assuming makes an…you know the saying…:

This goes in line with honest communication. Don’t assume that someone has the same understanding of a task, project, candidate, client, etc., as you do. Err on the side of giving too much information and context. By making sure that everyone is on a transparent and understanding playing field, you’re providing everyone with the environment they need to be successful.

Expect the best, but plan for the worst:

There’s nothing wrong with expecting your employees or your manager to be amazing. We should all go into the world with the belief that those around us are trying to do the best they can! But the chances of absolutely nothing going wrong are slim to none. Take a minute to consider what the worst things that could happen in a day are and plan for them. Hopefully, you never need to use your plan, but if you do, you’re already good to go.

Now you know how to manage expectations, how can you be successful?


Set realistic goals:

Would it be great to fill pipelines for a thousand positions every month? Of course! But that’s an unattainable goal. Goals are fantastic, but if they aren’t realistic you could find yourself feeling demoralized by never being able to achieve them. Be sure to have a mix of long-term and short-term goals that are challenging, but realistic.

Keep yourself accountable:

There are few things better than an employee or manager that is accountable. They work hard for their achievements and they are willing to grow and learn from their mistakes. Lead by example and be the first one to hold yourself accountable if your company is missing that.

Ask questions:

Time and time again recruiters and hiring managers talk about how wonderful it is when candidates come into an interview with intelligent questions to ask the committee, so why wouldn’t you bring the same focus to work every day? Use questions to create conversations and get those communication doors open!

How Good Sourcing Leads to Good Employees

Coral Zelachowski wrote a great article for Sourcecon recently called A Sourcer Is and it got us thinking about just how large the effect sourcers have on the work world is.

For a lot of companies, sourcers are the start of the hiring journey. They can be responsible for anything from building talent pools to interacting with passive candidates to coordinating with hiring managers to being a champion for the types of employees that a company needs.

Since the sourcing team is the foundation of a candidate’s journey, they’re the first step towards the best staff.

Sourcers are often experts at cultivating a persona that they can then find out in the world. They spend their days looking for what has been deemed the “purple squirrel.” They are often exceptionally skilled at building relationships and opening the door for communication because they are sometimes the first people to do the first phone screen.

If a sourcer is internal, they’re also the ones showing candidates what sort of culture the company promotes. By being the first person that candidate interacts with, it’s on them to showcase all of the best parts of the company. If you’re a team leader, make sure you that you’re providing sourcers with the tools, information, and support that they need so they can use their brain power on doing what they do best, rather than worrying about how they’re going to get it done.

By being the start of the hiring process, sourcers can be the reason that good employees are brought on. Providing a positive work environment for them can make all the difference in making sure companies are getting the candidates they need.

What Team Leaders Can Do:

  • Make sure that hiring managers pass on extremely clear job requirements. Seriously. No one can find anyone perfect if they don’t know exactly what they’re supposed to be looking for.
  • Keep the lines of communication open for sourcers to share what it is that they need. Continuing education? New tools? A kind ear? Whatever it is, it should be a priority to see if there’s a way to make it happen. Be honest, direct, and decisive with your communication so nobody is left wondering what in the world is going on.
  • Be open to strategy changes. There’s no one who knows a sourcing strategy better than a sourcer. If there are changes that need to be made, you can bet your team will know what it needs.

What Sourcers Can Do:

  • Look at what you’ve already got. Use your ATS/CRM/internal candidates to start the search. If you’ve reached out to them before or they’ve reached out to you, they’re going to be significantly more likely to be open to chatting.
    • In addition to that: Keep your eye on the present…and the future. If you spot someone who would work well in your company but isn’t the right fit for the open position, don’t disregard them. You never know when they’ll be the perfect fit.
  • Ask for referrals. A star player at your company may know the perfect person for the position so keep your ears open.
  • Don’t be afraid of technology. You’ve got enough on your plate so don’t make it worse by spending unnecessary time looking for profiles and contact info. Might we suggest giving PROPHET II a shot? You can quickly find candidates and their contact info and get those candidate pools filled up with qualified candidates.

Every sourcing team faces different roadblocks so the number one thing to remember is to keep communication open and be willing to try new things. And don’t be afraid to spend time every so often reevaluating your strategy. Constant growth and learning means that you’re always making your strategy the best it can be.

We have one note left: Thank you sourcers! Your work isn’t going unnoticed!