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The Promises of Active Sourcing

Digitalisation existed long before the keyword was coined. The World Wide Web has already been a place to search for and find personnel for 15 years. The opportunities for transmitting information electronically have rapidly accelerated search processes, lowered costs and increased coverage. The work of headhunters and recruiters has changed significantly since 2000. Human resources service providers must have the know-how and skills to reach target groups online and present themselves in the best way possible. Today, businesses searching for personnel can themselves reach candidate pools that did not exist before.

The digital candidate universe

Digitalisation has opened up access to a large host of candidates for companies, making it possible for them to search for suitable profiles. It currently seems both promising and relatively simple to pick out candidates from social media portals, to contact them directly and motivate them to change positions. But disillusionment follows immediately. While target groups and individuals are relatively easy to identify, the challenge lies in evaluating suitable personnel profiles and finding those who really are interested in changing jobs. The means needed to successfully contact individuals who are genuinely willing to move to another position is the same for active sourcing, for identifying and addressing candidates on social media portals, as it is for classic headhunting.

Evaluating sufficient numbers of profiles

For a favourable search, 500 profiles must be researched within the host of candidates, after which approximately 100 people are contacted, which filter down to scarcely more than 15 suitable individuals. This usually results in six applicants, from which three candidates finally end up on the shortlist. And if this process is not successful, you have to start all over again.

Automating research and selection

Until today, all attempts at automating the process of research and selection have failed. Experienced personnel consultants or in-house recruiters are still needed to successfully carry out the process of identification, contact, applicant selection and motivation. The promises of active sourcing, i.e. being able to quickly and easily recruit personnel, can only marginally be fulfilled. In reality, professionals are still needed who have experience in this line of work.

Engineering Management Selection E.M.S. AG is active throughout Switzerland as a human resources consultant for notable companies in electrical engineering, electronics, the power industry, information technology, consulting, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, mechanical engineering and plant equipment manufacturing, as well as structural engineering and civil engineering – also for public institutions. During the past 30 years, E.M.S. AG has successfully filled over 6000 specialist and management positions with engineers and IT specialists from all fields.

Theodor Klossner

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