The Primary Difference Between Recruiters and Sourcers

sourcer vs recruiter

Sourcer vs Recruiter

In the world of talent acquisition, there are more people in charge of finding and hiring a candidate than just the manager.

While the hiring manager typically has the final say in an applicant and is an extremely important part of the overall hiring process, sourcers and recruiters are an often overlooked piece of the puzzle. 

But what do they actually do and how are they different? We have the answers.

People often believe that sourcing and recruiting professionals do the same thing. While many of their tasks can overlap, they are two very different professions.

What is a Recruiter?

Recruiters are often in charge of the overall recruitment project – helping enlist or enroll people as employees for the specific organization they work with. 

They are often tasked with sourcing, qualifying and interviewing potential candidates. 

What is a Sourcer? 

A sourcer typically works closely with a hiring manager or recruiter to generate applications by “sourcing” job seekers from various platforms and talent pools. 

The hiring manager will typically make the final hiring decision based on what the sourcer provides in terms of applicants.

What is the difference between a recruiter and sourcer?

The difference between sourcers and recruiters is that sourcers find and qualify candidates while recruiters often take on the same responsibility plus managing the other aspect of the hiring process for a client. 

They are both an important part of the overall recruitment process and they rely heavily on each other for success in their specific roles.

To sum it up, a recruiter is more of a manager for the entire recruitment process where a sourcer is typically involved in the beginning stages of that process.

Why Do They Get Mixed Up So Often?

You might be wondering why they are used interchangeably if they do different jobs. Well, this has more to do with the recruiter role. 

A recruiter tends to do quite a bit of sourcing, as well.

You’ve probably been in a position where you have a ton of responsibilities, and for some reason, your boss decides you can take on more. That happens with recruiters.

While they should be recruiting leads and managing recruitment projects directly, they’re often forced to go after passive applicants to supplement their already massive workload. 

In a sense, a recruiter is a sourcer sometimes, but a sourcer is never a recruiter. It’s like rectangles and squares if you know that old saying. 

Why Are Both Important for a Team? 

You might have noticed that we said a recruiter OFTEN does both jobs; even though that’s a bit too much. That’s exactly why both are necessary parts of a team. 

You can have one team member taking on the jobs of two people and struggling with both. That tends to create a lot of slowdowns and inefficient mistakes. Ideally, you can also hire two people to do one job each. Then, they can each do their specified job more effectively, and the entire team benefits. 

By having both a sourcer and recruiter on a team, the sourcer can focus on passive applicant opportunities, and the recruiter can focus on managing more direct recruitment. 

Talent Acquisition Lifecycle

  1. Initial Meeting
  2. Sourcing
  3. Screening
  4. Interviewing 
  5. Hiring

“The key difference between HR and Recruitment is that recruiters attract and screen talent to meet the hiring objectives of the company. In contrast, HR helps employees and the company develop a comfortable work environment by providing conflict resolving skills and ensuring certain standards are followed.”

— Global Strategic

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Wrapping Up | Sourcer vs Recruiter

While they may have different job titles, recruiters and sourcers complement each other well in the talent acquisition space. The primary task of finding and qualifying candidates falls upon both parties to properly make things work.

We hope this helped clarify the differences between the two and how important they are in any growing organizations org chart.

Best of luck in your hiring endeavors!

Title: Sourcer vs Recruiter

Category: Career Development

Tags: sourcer vs recruiter, talent sourcer vs recruiter, sourcer vs recruiter salary, difference between, primary difference between recruiters and sourcers

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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