So you wanna be a…Sourcing Specialist

Looking for a TA career change but not too sure how to get there? Our ‘So you wanna be a…‘ series takes a look at some of the more niche TA roles and digs deep into the who, how, and why behind them. We chat with some of your favourite TA leaders in that space to find out how they got started, what their role really looks like, and what tips and tricks they have for other TA superstars looking to get a foot in the door.

Dij Thulasi

In this issue, we sat down with Dij Thulasi, Talent Sourcing Manager @ Slalom Build, to find out what really goes on in the life of a Sourcing Specialist.

What led you to become a sourcing specialist?  

I’ve previously worked in many large to mid-size companies as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. A lot of these companies were going through large scale transformations, and this enabled me to get direct exposure to sourcing and projects. I love the aspect of finding candidates and utilising data/insights to drive sourcing strategies.

What does your day-to-day involve? What about the bigger picture work?

I was fortunate enough to head up the Sourcing Function from scratch for Slalom/Slalom Build Australia. We’ve had such great success with the function, and this is going to be rolled out and embedded in other markets globally. Slalom being relatively new here in Australia, my role is to let the external market know our story and drive career conversations. So there is a combination of key focus points such as working with recruitment marketing, driving candidate experience, and focussing on D&I initiatives. I am also hands-on sourcing for six technology capabilities for Slalom Build and working on some key transformation projects.

My day-to-day is always different but generally I am market mapping, building rapport with candidates and building sourcing strategies across the various capabilities. I am also generally working with the business to understand the succession planning to source for business-critical roles and engaging in conversations with the use of data/insights.  The bigger picture work is to roll out a similar function globally and be a subject matter expert in this area to assist TA Directors/Senior Managers from other markets.

Obviously sourcing specialists would be involved at the start of the recruitment process – how involved are you in the later stages of the recruitment process?

I am across the full process. I am lucky enough to be working with a fantastic and collaborative team here at Slalom/Slalom Build. We celebrate our wins, and it is a combination of a team effort across both Sourcing and TA. My manager Matt Woodard reinforces the importance of celebrating our wins.

What are some of the biggest blockers/challenges you come across in your everyday work?

In this current market, there are heaps and heaps of challenges. As everyone knows there is a huge shortage of candidates, and it is extremely competitive. Here are some of the key challenges right now:

  • Making sure the business understands the external market
  • Keeping the candidates engaged in the process
  • Being able to push back if you don’t have capacity
What do you love most about your job?

I really enjoy working for Slalom/Slalom Build and there is a real sense of purpose here.  We are doing things differently in the market and it makes my life a lot easier in telling our story. We’ve got a diverse and inclusive culture, with a mindset of being creative. Everyone who works here is a brand ambassador and plays a pivotal role in shaping our brand presence. In my current role what I really enjoy is being able to build the function from scratch. It is a journey but so well worth it!  We are having such great success with this TA model, with sourcing being the backbone for finding passive candidates and bringing significant transformation for the business.

What types of qualities do you think make a good sourcing specialist?

Someone who is persistent and organised.  Another quality would be building rapport and providing a fantastic candidate experience.

The last two years have been tough for anyone working in the talent acquisition space. How has a global pandemic, frequent lockdowns, and a move towards people wanting more hybrid work options impacted the type of work you are doing right now? 

One of the positives is that I’m seeing a lot more demand for internal companies adopting sourcing functions i.e. retail, health, and technology. A lot of companies are looking to work in this type of model due to demand in roles (especially in technology). If you have a robust sourcing function this enables reduced ‘time to fill’, greater candidate experience, and better brand presence.

And lastly, for those of us who aren’t sourcing specialists, what’s your top sourcing tip?

When you think of a sourcer, you generally think of an administrator or someone who is supporting a TA Specialist. A sourcer has unique skillsets but the same level of seniority as a TA specialist but who can partner with a business on a strategic level. If you love the blend of data, TA operations and research – then being a sourcer just makes sense!

Dij’s Cheat Sheet for Aspiring Sourcing Specialists

What are some of the actionable things you can do if you want to be a Sourcing Specialist? Here are some suggestions from Dij of who to follow, what to use, and where to seek out your info.

Industry experts and influencers to follow

I generally read a lot of AFR and Tech industry forums.

Absolute must-use productivity and tech tools to make your life so much easier

SeekOut, Human Predictions and X-Ray searches.

Newsletter and event recommendations to keep the brain ticking over and your network fresh?

Of course ATC events and TalentTable are the key standouts!

Is there a specific niche area of recruitment you’d like to know more about? Email us and let us know.

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