How to recruit like a headhunter - The i-potentials Active Sourcing Workshop


How to recruit like a headhunter - The i-potentials Active Sourcing Workshop
As experienced headhunters, active sourcing is our bread and butter. However, for recruiters just starting out or HR professionals with especially challenging job openings to fill, active sourcing can seem like a rather complex way of looking for talent. But when it comes to much sought after profiles like IT specialists, developers and engineers, it no longer suffices to post a job and wait for the right people to apply ("post and pray" as we say). At the same time these positions don't necessarily qualify for a detailed and comprehensive Executive Search, especially if they're junior to mid-level jobs. This is why we created our Active Sourcing Workshop. In this format we share our insights and knowledge and train the skills needed to become an expert recruiter.
Iulia Opera, Recruiter at formlabs, attended our most recent workshop and shared her experience with us:

Did you have any prior experience with Active Sourcing?

I actively sourced for candidates before, when I was working in the tourism sector. However, I did that primarily via my existing network and not in a structured and detailed process, so I was eager to find out how to set up such a process in a professional way. And, of course, I was familiar with passive sourcing - but in some cases, it just doesn't deliver the desired results. For some positions we want to fill, the people we are looking for are not just readily available on the labour market.

What were your specific challenges before the workshop?

There were two, actually. First, the preparation of the search. How to define a job profile for a certain position and what criteria to determine in order to assess whether a candidate is a good fit for the role. Without these preparatory steps, you end up just randomly blasting 50 messages out on LinkedIn and Xing without ever hearing back from anyone, which is highly frustrating. Preparation really is key when it comes to active sourcing. The second challenge was the Boolean Search, of which I already knew the basics, of course, but was eager to find out how to use it in a targeted way to identify candidates on professional networks.

What has changed since?

Well, I wouldn't necessarily say it changed my work, but it definitely added substantially to the skills and knowledge I already had.

What were your biggest insights?

First, how essential preparation is for an efficient active sourcing process. Second, how to find the right tone and authentic message to pitch the job to different people while making sure to approach every candidate individually. And third, that it's extremely useful to share your challenges, ideas and questions with other recruiters and HR professionals from different companies. Coming together in a group of peers that have similar experiences and face similar challenges in recruiting was very helpful. I will definitely pass on the knowledge that I gained in the workshop to my team.

The next i-potentials Active Sourcing Workshop takes place on 5 July 2017, 9.30-16.30 hrs, at the i-potentials office in Zimmerstrasse 79, Berlin Mitte. If you are interested in attending, please contact

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