What is a Talent Sourcer? Tech Talent Sourcer vs. Recruiter

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Are you stuck in a labyrinth of recruitment terminologies? With recruiters, talent sourcers, and staffing agencies buzzing around, it’s like a safari in a bustling tech metropolis. Don’t fret! In today’s field guide, we’ll shine the spotlight on two fascinating species: the Talent Sourcer and the Recruiter.

Table of Content

What's a Talent Sourcer?

A talent sourcer is a professional who specializes in finding and engaging potential candidates for open job positions within a company. They focus on proactively identifying passive candidates – individuals who are not actively searching for a new job but may be open to exploring new opportunities if approached with the right offer.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, talent sourcers are akin to rare bird watchers. They are the scouts, the ones who scan LinkedIn profiles and peer through the foliage of GitHub repositories. Their eyes are trained to spot the elusive passive candidate—a developer who’s not actively job-hunting but would be a perfect fit for your company’s unique ecosystem. They’ll use tactics from social media stalking (in the most professional way, of course) to attending networking events, and beyond. Their role would be a little like playing matchmaker – not for romantic interests, but for people and jobs!

🔍 Did You Know?: According to a survey from LinkedIn, nearly 70% of the workforce is made up of passive candidates. That’s a whole lot of untapped talent!

Talent Sourcer vs. Recruiter: What’s the Difference?

Recruiters are more like park rangers. They oversee the entire recruitment forest, not just the rare birds. Once a talent sourcer identifies potential candidates, the recruiter steps in to engage, interview, and hopefully make an offer.

Now, for the question of the day: Why choose one over the other?

  • Talent Sourcers: Great for specific, hard-to-find skills.
  • Recruiters: Best for a full-service, end-to-end recruitment process.

📊 Stat Alert: A study by Glassdoor reveals that 76% of hiring decision-makers say attracting quality candidates is their #1 challenge.

Why TurnKey is Your Ultimate Safari Guide

To succeed, you need a guide who knows every tree, trail, and tweeting tech talent. And TurnKey, your Silicon Valley Staff Augmentation Company, can help you with that! We’ve got it all under one canopy—talent sourcers to find the rare birds and recruiters for the complete tour. We even built a team for the popular Headspace app! Ready to embark on your talent safari? Don’t wander aimlessly; choose the best path for your needs. Contact TurnKey now.

Tech Talent Sourcers vs. Recruiters: A Side-by-Side Comparison

It’s not just about filling a role; it’s about finding the right person who can drive your project to success. While both tech talent sourcers and recruiters aim to seat the best candidates in your open positions, they have different hunting strategies. Here’s a comparative table to break it down:

Comparing Tech Talent Sourcers and Recruiters

A talent sourcer acts like a skilled angler, casting the line in specific pools where the big fish swim but aren’t necessarily biting. They use advanced search techniques on platforms like LinkedIn, where a whopping 90% of recruiters regularly search for candidates, according to LinkedIn’s own reports. In stark contrast, recruiters are like fishermen with large nets, catching whatever swims into their territory, which includes candidates who are actively applying for jobs.

At TurnKey, we know that a blended approach often yields the best results. We have talent sourcers who excel in spotting potential candidates who aren’t necessarily looking for a job but could be a great fit for your project. On the other hand, our recruiters are adept at sifting through the influx of incoming applications to find the gems that meet your specific needs. The choice isn’t an “either-or” but a “best of both worlds” situation.

So, if you’re in a sector where specific skills are hard to find, a talent sourcer might be your go-to. If your inbox is overflowing with resumes for an open position, a recruiter will serve you well. 

Ready to find your ideal candidate? Call TurnKey!

Who also can perform the functions of a Talent Sourcer in a company?

The functions of a Tech Talent Sourcer in small companies can be performed by various specialists, depending on how the hiring processes have been established. Here are a few options:

Internal Employees

  • HR Manager: In smaller companies, the HR manager might take on the role of a Tech Talent Sourcer.
  • Specialized Talent Sourcer: Larger companies often have specialized Talent Sourcers who focus solely on sourcing technical talent.
  • Recruiter with Technical Background:Individuals with technical education or experience who have transitioned into HR.

External Partners

  • Staffing Agency: Specialized agencies can provide services for sourcing and recruiting technical talent.
  • Freelancer: Larger companies often have specialized Talent Sourcers who focus solely on sourcing technical talent.
  • Recruiter with Technical Background: Individuals with technical education or experience who have transitioned into HR.

Other Options:

  • Tech Leads: In small startups, the technical lead might take on the role of Talent Sourcer for key team members.
  • Hybrid Role: In some companies, there might be a hybrid role like "HR/Technical Recruiter" that includes Tech Talent Sourcer responsibilities.

It all depends on the size of your company and your stage of development. For example, it’s normal for small companies (more precisely, for companies with a small and moderately busy HR department) to involve other employees in the role of Talent Sourcer. On the contrary, it would be terrible to see such a merging of roles in companies where recruiters are already overloaded or are currently in a stage of rapid growth, for example, after receiving funding.

Why Should Tech Companies Choose Talent Sourcers Over Recruiters?

While recruiters have their place in the tech hiring ecosystem, talent sourcers offer unique advantages that can be particularly beneficial for tech companies:

  1. Access to a Wider Pool of Candidates. Talent sourcers expand your reach into the job market by actively searching for potential candidates. According to a report by ERE Media, up to 85% of the workforce is willing to hear about new job opportunities, but only 30% are actively looking. This suggests that talent sourcers can tap into a far larger and international talent pool than recruiters who are limited to applicants.
  2. Finding Specialized Skills. With the fast-paced changes in the tech industry, having access to specialized skills is a must. Talent sourcers are adept at navigating various niches within the tech sector, making them more effective at locating individuals with the specific skills you need. According to TechRepublic, 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer learning and development are critical to their business success.
  3. Speed. In a sector where the average time to fill a position is 36 days, the ability to quickly find the right talent is invaluable (by Deloitte). Talent sourcers, who are always expanding their networks and staying updated on industry trends, can often present you with ideal candidates much faster than traditional recruiters.

The Benefits of Working with a Tech Talent Sourcer

When you choose to collaborate with a tech talent sourcer like TurnKey, you’re investing in efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

  • Efficiency. Tech talent sourcers have the capability to quickly identify and engage with potential candidates, thereby reducing the time it takes to fill positions.
  • Quality. Focusing on passive candidates can often yield better results in terms of quality compared to active job seekers. This allows you to have a more selective hiring process, ultimately building a stronger team.
  • Cost Savings. Opting for a tech talent sourcer can offer a more cost-efficient hiring solution. According to Glassdoor, the average company in the U.S. spends about $4,000 to hire a new employee. By utilizing a tech talent sourcer, particularly for offshore or remote opportunities, you can significantly reduce this cost.

Contact TurnKey today and experience a more streamlined, effective, and cost-efficient hiring process.

The Role of Staff Augmentation Companies in Tech Talent Sourcing

Staff augmentation companies like TurnKey serve as vital connectors between organizations and the highly skilled developers they need. These companies excel in tech talent sourcing, making them indispensable partners for businesses seeking to build or expand their development teams.

TurnKey: A Silicon Valley Tech Staffing Company

As a Silicon Valley leader in Tech staffing, TurnKey brings a wealth of experience in sourcing top-tier developers. We have a track record of success, epitomized by our work with Headspace, in which we rapidly built a high-performing remote team, thereby accelerating their time-to-market and scaling capabilities.

Benefits of Staff Augmentation

Key Takeaways

  • Specialized Focus: Tech talent sourcers are laser-focused on identifying and engaging candidates with specific technical skills. They often go where traditional recruiters don’t, searching through specialized forums, coding repositories, and exclusive networks to find the right candidates.
  • Distinctive Strategy: Unlike recruiters who mostly work with active job seekers, tech talent sourcers are proactive, scouting for passive candidates who may not even be considering a career move. This leads to a more tailored candidate pool with highly specialized skills.
  • Time-Efficiency: Staff augmentation companies often can deliver qualified candidates more quickly than traditional recruiting methods. According to Glassdoor, the average time to hire can be as much as 52 days. TurnKey significantly beats this metric, with Headspace’s R&D innovation center being staffed within just 30 days.
  • Successful Collaborations: The collaboration between TurnKey and Headspace stands as a real-world example of how a staff augmentation company can accelerate the recruitment process, enabling businesses to focus on their core competencies.
  • Growing Relevance: With the increasing demand for specialized tech skills, the role of staff augmentation companies in tech talent sourcing is more crucial than ever. Companies that leverage this specialized service stand to gain in terms of quality, speed, and efficiency in their hiring process.

If you’re a business grappling with the intricacies of sourcing highly skilled tech talent, TurnKey can be your go-to partner. Our expertise ensures not just a fast recruitment process but a highly effective one, connecting you with candidates who fit perfectly into your business culture and project requirements. Reach out to us to experience a truly streamlined and focused hiring process.


How does a tech talent sourcer differ from a recruiter?

While both roles aim to fill open positions with qualified candidates, the approach and focus differ. A recruiter usually posts job openings and waits for applications, sifting through resumes to find suitable candidates. On the other hand, a tech talent sourcer takes a proactive approach, identifying potential candidates through various methods and engaging them to consider the open roles. According to a study by Recruiting Daily, 62% of companies use sourcing tools specifically designed to find passive candidates, underscoring the growing importance of this role.

Why would a company choose to work with a tech talent sourcer instead of a recruiter?

Companies might opt for a tech talent sourcer over a traditional recruiter for several reasons:

  • Wider Pool: Talent sourcers tap into a broader talent pool, including passive candidates who aren't actively looking for a new job but might be interested if the right opportunity comes along.
  • Specialized Skills: Tech talent sourcers, with their industry-specific knowledge, are better equipped to understand the intricacies of specialized roles, ensuring a more precise match.
  • Efficiency: According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 50% of all employers say most of their candidates come from sourcing. This reflects the effectiveness and speed of talent sourcing in today's competitive market.


Can you provide an example of a successful tech talent-sourcing partnership?

TurnKey and Headspace are an excellent example of a successful tech talent-sourcing partnership. My Team helped Headspace build an R&D center in Mexico, resulting in high-quality hires within just 30 days of signing the contract. Our expertise ensures not just a fast recruitment process but a highly effective one, connecting you with candidates who fit perfectly into your business culture and project requirements. Reach out to us to experience a truly streamlined and focused hiring process.

April 7, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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