Yazilya Nasibullina
Founder of the Academy
and Recruitment Agency
Just to be clear: a sourcer is not the same thing as a recruiter and a researcher.
Recruiter is a general position that includes a pool of different tasks: search, selection, interviews, etc. A recruiter can manage from 4 to 7 openings at the same time without any loss in quality.

Researcher is a novice recruiter. They help the recruiter when the latter has more than 10 openings at a time.

A researcher drafts letters, drives the candidate traffic, and schedules interviews with the recruiter. They can also become a recruiter in two or three months, but not before.


Sourcer is a strategist who performs an in-depth search for candidates. They can also have their own researcher. Sourcer is usually a role for someone who doesn't want to delve into the issues of motivation and adaptation of employees and doesn't go on to become a recruiter.

The main tasks of a sourcer are:

Developing a search strategy: collecting sources, determining their effectiveness, and analyzing information about candidates.

Writing Boolean queries, and using services and extensions that simplify the work (you can find out more about them later in the article).

Working together with a recruiter or manager who presents candidates to companies. Sourcers can also conduct interviews, so they need to be able to communicate with candidates.

In addition to these "technical" skills, sourcers are required to be analytical, creative, and good at time management.


Having a strategy comes with three significant benefits:

• you don't waste your time on chaotic, unorganized searches and you don't need to worry about running out of candidates;
•you can always present your strategy to a colleague and make sure you're doing it right, or make adjustments if needed;</li>
•you don't search on the same resources again and again, because you keep track of where you've already been. This saves time as well.</li></ul>

4 steps to develop a sourcing strategy on your own

Determine the essential requirements of the job.

Make a list of resources where you can search for candidates. If possible, add search tools and extensions to that list.

Prioritize your list of resources. Always start with the ones with the most engaged candidates — those who are actively looking for work and are open to communication.

Write your queries, from narrow to broad ones. Narrow queries are main skills, location, and salary. They will help you find the right candidates. Use the queries on priority resources first.

How to determine which resources are a priority and which are not?

To do that, you should always analyze the results after searching for a specialist. This will help you note the sources with the biggest number of relevant candidates.

You can note the results in Trello, Excel spreadsheets, or mind maps. Choose the option that works best for you.


«elow there are some resources for finding developers and IT professionals that we advise the newcomers to start with. Over time you will build up your own list, but at first, we suggest using ours as a reference point:

• HeadHunter
• LinkedIn
• Habr Career
• GitHub
• Stackoverflow
• Amazing Hiring
• Candy Jar
• Meetup
• Telegram
• Slack
• Gitter
• Twitter


You can find all these extensions by their names in the Chrome Web Store or by clicking on the name. You'll be surprised at the possibilities they can offer and at how quickly you can start using them.⠀


Simplifies search on GitHub using built-in filters. It helps you find a candidate's email and identify the main programming language.

GitHub Email Hunter

Finds a candidate's email via their username on GitHub.

Multi-highlight or HiglightThis

Highlights keywords in the text on a webpage or anywhere else you go. There's a box where you enter the keywords you want to find in the text or on the candidate's resume, and the extension highlights them with different colors.

This speeds up the sourcing process because you don't have to waste your time reading the resumes of candidates who don't have the skills you're looking for.

Helps you work faster with web pages when using the Boolean technique. Automatically opens the next page.

Glossary tech
Provides definitions of the technical skills. It will help you understand faster what the candidate is working with, and broaden your knowledge of IT at the same time.

Amazing Hiring
A free tool that allows you to search for technical candidates and see the candidate's profiles in other social and professional networks.

With this extension, you'll be able to close jobs faster because it aggregates more than 50 different sites and lets you work with passive candidates.

A corrector of grammar and spelling in English and Russian. It shows you where you've made a mistake or where to put a comma.

FlyMSG or ex. AutotextExpander
Sets the command to the email template, which speeds up the sending of emails and frees up time for personalization.

Candy Jar
Gives you the ability to search for candidates on different resources while using only one. The service collects contacts from 10+ sources, analyzes the source code on GitHub, and identifies candidates' hard skills.

Helps you enable and disable extensions from a single window without going to settings.

If you always have a hundred tabs open and you actually need all of them, this extension is for you. It collects all your tabs into one and saves them.


Writing boolean queries and keeping them all in your mind can be rather time-consuming. Try to use the services that automate this process.

They work in different ways and not every one of them is suited for every kind of opening and every resource.

Here's a list of some of them:

• Recruitem;
• Smart talent search;
• SourcingLab;
• the Boolean Assistant extension;
• the Bool extension;
telegram-channel Yazilya
• Irina Shamaeva's blog Boolean strings (not an automation tool, but a source of very useful information)

The automation tools help recruiters, but the best effect will come from narrow queries that are tailored for a specific company. And remember that the sorcerer's main tool is creativity and flexibility of thinking.


Strategic thinking — the ability to plan several steps ahead and to see the task of recruitment as more than just an episodic necessity.

Analytical skills — the ability to analyze your actions and see the causes and effects of things.

The ability to search for new solutions to get the desired result. Sourcers cannot afford to stand still and just keep using the same resources all the time.

The ability to concentrate on a single task.

Knowledge of the market — who is the leader, who has the authority, what competitor companies there are on the market, what conferences are being held, etc. All that information is vital to understanding where to find the people we need.

Ability to quickly analyze sources and apply only those that produce real results.

Ability to set priorities based on the information received from the customer.

Ability to communicate and build long-term relationships with candidates and customers.

Knowledge of tools, extensions, and Boolean techniques.

Ability to think like a sourcer, totally outside the box; adapt quickly to a changing situation and be flexible in a fluid IT environment.

Sourcing in recruitment is the use of technology to find professionals who are the best fit for the job. But it's more than just that. By learning the basics of sourcing, you will learn to effectively search the web not just for candidates, but for any information you might need.

If you are just starting to dive into sourcing and want to learn more about the search tools that are used today, subscribe to our Telegram channel

If you have some experience in IT recruiting or HR in general, but want to go deeper into sourcing and pump up that skill, we're waiting for you in the course Advanced Sourcing 2.0.

In the course you will learn:

• To manage the candidate funnel.
• To apply effective tools in your search for specialists.
• To build a sourcing strategy rather than searching chaotically for candidates.
• To search any resource with Boolean queries and X-ray techniques.
• To find any information on the web, not just job seekers ;)
• To analyze the candidate market and the resources.

Learn more about the course program here
In this article, you will learn what skills sourcers should have, what tools and services they should be able to work with, how to build a sourcing strategy and how to simplify the search for candidates.


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