The Recruiting Blog | People First Recruiting

We Are Talent Sourcers

Posted by Annette Kohut on Thu, May 22, 2014

This blog was written by Barbara Nordal, Annette Kohut & Pamela Habing - Talent Sourcers of People First HR's Talent Discovery Group.


Every morning we walk into our office, sit down at our computer, take a look at our recruitment projects and off to the races we go.

We are Talent Sourcers and we partner with our Recruiters to ensure we are finding the best candidates for our clients.

But what is a Talent Sourcer you ask?

Talent SourcerThere is no one definition for what a Talent Sourcer is.  It varies from one company to another.  Even the titles can vary – what might be a Talent Sourcer at one company is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at another. What is the one constant? We all seek out and find candidates for our clients.

Our days consist of putting our heads down and finding the best talent the market has to offer.  We use every tool at our disposal including the internet, social media, online communities, associations, our own networks as well as those of our colleagues, and of course, the phone.  We conduct market and industry research to learn about positions, industries, companies and their people.  We ask ourselves “where would these candidates be?” and always do our best to put ourselves in their shoes.  The search is on and there is no challenge we aren’t willing to face.

As Talent Sourcers, we are often a candidate’s first point of contact, the person who ignites their curiosity and intrigues them about the possibilities out there for them.

Talent Sourcing is more than just name generation; to us it’s an art.  This art combines logic, problem solving and creativity.  The end result is the ideal pairing of employer and employee.  We love our jobs as a Talent Sourcers as it allows us to mix our passion for technology, research and our desire to help other people.  Helping others is what really motivates us around here.  

Talent Sourcing seems to be new and therefore a mystery within many industries.  In Winnipeg it is a fairly new term and an even newer career path.  The Talent Sourcing function combines research, technology, analysis, customer service and networking.  It takes a mix of commitment, problem solving and determination to develop a unique approach on where to find candidates. Every day is a learning experience for us.  

So what does a day in the life of a Talent Sourcer look like at People First?

  • Every new project starts with identifying key information. It begins with a meeting between the Recruiter and Talent Sourcer who partner on recruitment searches. This meeting allows us to gather all the key information that we need to conduct our portion of search.
  • The next step is to research, research and then do more research. Like any new project you do not jump right into the work. Take the time to learn about the role and the company. What is the current industry? Who are the other companies that have these qualified candidates and where would these qualified candidates be?
  • Once the first two steps are completed then the fun begins. This involves developing a sourcing strategy and an advertising strategy. It is the point where we create our list of keywords, contact scripts and assessment questions.
  • Now time to find the talent!

Talent Sourcing is so much more than finding that one candidate who can do the job.  It’s about finding that perfect candidate for that one job with the right company.  We love what we do because we get to work on a daily basis with people – our team, candidates, clients and the world of people is a fascinating one indeed.

You know what else we love?  That our team is growing and we are always looking for new Talent Sourcers.  You, or someone you know may be a Talent Sourcer and didn’t even know it!  

Topics: recruitment, recruitment, talent, Winnipeg, Winnipeg, career, sourcing, creativity, team, Recruitment team, People First Recruitment & Executive Search, Recruiting, talent sourcers

5 Years in Recruiting - post from a Talent Sourcer

Posted by Annette Kohut on Thu, Sep 12, 2013

celebrating 5 yearsIt’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun.  It was 5 years ago this August when I accepted my position with People First Recruitment & Executive Search, starting out as an Administrative Assistant in the Executive Search division. I remember waiting on pins and needles for the job offer to come through and how excited I was about joining such a respected and well-known employer. A lot of exciting things have happened over the past five years.  Little did I know then where my path would lead me!

Fast forward five years and today I’m a Talent Sourcer, supporting our Recruitment professionals and our Talent Sourcing & Consulting division.  People First invested in my learning and development and as a result I’m now professionally accredited and part of an elite team of specialized researchers (we call ourselves Talent Sourcers!), the first of its kind here in Winnipeg.  Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined my career choices leading me here – especially because I didn’t know a role like a Talent Sourcer even existed – but here I am today working in the most rewarding career of my life and absolutely loving it.

The best part is that I also get to flex my creative muscles by leading our division’s marketing efforts.  My past training in graphic design and experience with HTML has really come in handy when tasked with designing materials and deploying various marketing campaigns.  I enjoy the change in pace this aspect of my job affords me, as well as the creative control and responsibility I’ve been given. Learning how to navigate the social media landscape with LinkedIn and Twitter (I tweet as the Purple Squirrel) has been a challenging learning curve for me but at the same time it’s been fun learning something new!

Proposal writing is another aspect of my job that is very rewarding to me.  Both my sourcing and marketing hats have given me strong insight into our business, I know our team and our abilities inside and out.  I help write our responses to various RFPs, RFSO’s and other requests for information and nothing can beat the feeling you get when you find out a proposal you’ve worked long and hard on, together with the rest of your team, has been successful.  It’s a huge adrenaline rush.

I would be remiss not to mention the team I am lucky to work with.  Our team is made up of extremely talented and professional individuals who contribute to my job satisfaction in a big way.  It’s the reason why I love my job so much to be honest.  Never before have I been surrounded by mentors of this calibre, people who truly are the best at what they do. We’re like a family and celebrate our successes and challenges, always having a lot of fun along the way.  The opportunities for learning and advancement have been limitless and I’m so thankful for the growth I’ve experienced over the past 5 years.

It’s always been important to me that my employer have a vested interest in the community I live in.  I’m proud to say that People First is 100% committed to giving back and has been a strong supporter of the United Way for over 10 years.  I even had the opportunity to be part of the United Way fundraising committee for the past 3 years. We’ve been involved in numerous other fundraising initiatives that matter to me too, things like the Christmas Cheer Board and the Dragon Boat Races.  It feels good to work for an employer who really does care about giving back.

5 years ago I didn’t know what lay ahead and never could have predicted the phenomenal change and growth our company has gone through. Perhaps the most important piece was joining the People Corporation family. We’re now part of one of the fastest growing companies in Canada – something that really appeals to my entrepreneurial streak!  One of my fondest recent memories which really drove home how much we’ve grown happened during our annual company gathering.  Our CEO asked everyone who had joined the company during the past year to stand up.  I couldn’t believe the numbers – we had almost doubled in size. How exciting is that?!

There is nothing better than working with talented and professional people within a company that is growing at such a dynamic rate.  Thanks for the past 5 years People First, it’s been a memorable and truly remarkable ride. One that I hope continues for another 5 years! 

~written by Pamela Habing, Talent Sourcer and Creative wiz extraordinaire

Topics: talent sourcer, recruitment, Winnipeg, team, Recruitment team, People First Recruitment & Executive Search, Recruiting

The Art of Business Networking – It Begins Before the Event

Posted by Annette Kohut on Fri, May 31, 2013

Written by Linda Chammartin, Accounting & Finance Recruiter for People First Recruitment & Executive Search


For this, my very first blog post, I thought it would be appropriate to touch on the Art of Networking.  I feel the topic is especially fitting as I (and approximately 450 others in Winnipeg) will be attending the upcoming Manitoba Business Summit 2013 on June 12th and 13th at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

As someone that relies heavily on networking to be successful in my career, I’ve learned from experience that it’s always a good idea to have a plan of action and to set goals prior to a networking event.  It can be a simple goal; maybe it is based on the number of contacts you want to make, or the number of business cards you want to collect.  Or maybe it is more detailed and in-depth such as connecting specifically with those that have captured a niche market in your industry.

I recently came across this article on 6 Secrets to Better Networking at Conference on LinkedIn and thought it was a great approach for getting the most out of networking at a business conference.  These “secrets” caught my eye because most are tried and true though I'm not sure I’ll be wearing orange runners to the event (though I will definitely be doing or wearing something that makes me, in a professional manner, stand out from the crowd).  I also think it is very solid advice to research the speakers and attendees ahead of time.  I have done this myself for the upcoming Business Summit conference that I will be attending and it is a very well received approach.

Taking the preparation a little further for a networking event or a conference is to prepare a list of questions you might ask based on the backgrounds or industry focus of the attendees.  You will also want to brush up on any recent news about the industry so you can prepare questions that are current and relevant.  Some basic questions to have prepared:

    • What do you think about {insert topic based on your research}?  Will this effect your company and in what capacity?
    • Tell me about a business plan that you are undergoing at the moment?
    • What is a business goal that you have for the next year?
    • What is the biggest challenge that you face in your business?
    • What is the most exciting opportunity that you foresee within your business over the next year? 

Asking these types of open ended questions is a great way to articulate your interest in getting to know this person.  This will help you better identify whether or not you can be of service to them.  After all, the focus should be on how you can help them, not on you and your needs.  After your questions have been asked, think about and be ready to convey exactly how the product or service you have to offer them is relevant to their needs and how you can help them.

Finally, approach the event with an open mind and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to meet everyone in the room.  Set realistic goals and have a strategy in place to achieve those goals.  Most importantly, remember to have fun in the process! 

~Linda Chammartin

networking, business networking, connections

Topics: Linda Chammartin, Manitoba Business Summit 2013, business networking, conferences, networking, Winnipeg, business

Technology and the Future of Recruiters

Posted by Karin Pooley on Fri, Dec 14, 2012

A colleague of mine tweeted this article yesterday: “Recruiters: Your Days are Numbered” and when I read it my first inclination was to re-tweet it.  The only problem was that I was limited by the number of characters and I wouldn’t be able to clearly express how I felt about this article concerning the “future of Recruiters.”

I know why she tweeted it.  She was equally disturbed by the fact that a blog could be written about a career she so passionately and firmly believes in and that the success of an entire profession which is built around people (and the relationships you develop with these people) can be thought to be replaced by technology.

So often you read, regardless of the position or industry, that eventually a company or a function will no longer be relevant because technology will replace it.  Don’t get me wrong; we here at People First Recruiting completely support and embrace technology – in fact I love it and would like to have more of it.  What was shocking to me about this article is how recruiting can be boiled down to “3 critical ingredients” - sourcing, screening and verifying.

Boy, if only it were that simple. 

Any recruiter, one paid by a company like us here at People First Recruiting or one who works internally for a company, knows that recruiting is just not that simple – an industry focused on people never is. 

What’s interesting about this article is that it refers to technologies that only cover a small piece of the world of recruiting.  Recruiting isn’t just about finding 'key words' that match a job profile – it is about finding the right person for the role.  Sure, technology can run 24/7 - sweeping LinkedIn and/or the online world to hone in on the right keywords – but can technology then call that person up? Talk to them? Get a sense of whether or not they are truly happy doing what they are doing?   Analyze the actual fit between employer and employee, culture and personality?  Needs versus desires?

While we do embrace technology and look at technology as a partner in our business to help round out our skills, we still ensure we invest in our people.  An example is adding and training people to join our Talent Discovery Group; individuals who everyday utilize research techniques, social channels, and networks.  They turn to their existing relationships to reach out and engage with potential candidates to inform them of some of the incredible opportunities we have with Canadian businesses. 

When our clients come to us they need 3 things:

  • find me the best candidate
  • within a reasonable amount of time
  • for a fair fee

Never do they ask what specific technological tools we used to find that person.  Instead they ask us how we will go about our search.  Where will we focus?  Have we filled a position like this before?  Do we understand the role we are filling on their behalf?  Once they are satisfied we then use a proven methodology and approach to finding them candidates.  The next questions our clients ask us are: What is our screening process?  Do we know how to interview for these roles?  How do we assess candidates?  And so on.

The point I am trying to make is that leaders of companies are not looking for a person to just fill a role, they want the whole package.  They want to partner with experts who use the best processes to find the right candidates; experts with the strongest experience and knowledge to assess the fit and qualifications of candidates.  Companies want to be assured that the person we find for them will be that right fit so that they can retain that individual and remain free to focus on their business.

If you are a Recruiter right now and you believe your job is to simply source, screen and verify then you are missing out on what is the most fulfilling and rewarding part of your job as a Recruiter.  We have the privilege of meeting new people who are making important career decisions every day.  We get to learn about great companies and meet great leaders and then we get to bring the two of them together in what is hopefully a perfect match.  That cohesion is what gets us excited around here.

In an industry that is all about people, technology can never be, and will never be an aspect that will replace the human touch.

recruiting and the human touch


If you haven't figured it out, I am pretty passionate about recruiting, as is the team that I work with.  Because we love what we do and because we are growing - we are looking for more Recruiters to join our team here in Winnipeg.  Never considered recruiting before?  Take a look at our 10 Reasons You May be a Recruiter...and not even know it.  If you identify with these 10 reasons...drop us a line.

~Karin Pooley


Topics: relationship, candidate fit, people first recruiting, recruiter, employer, recruitment, Winnipeg, team, Recruiting, business, candidate

Putting the Pieces Together - Thoughts From a Talent Sourcer

Posted by Annette Kohut on Thu, Nov 08, 2012

As a Talent Sourcer at People First Recruiting I’m lucky to work with a team of incredibly talented individuals.  Oddly enough, we’re all very different yet we fit together like a beautifully crafted puzzle.  I like to think of the work I do in a similar way.  When I’m tasked with researching the talent landscape on behalf of a client, each piece of information I’m able to gather is like a piece of a puzzle, waiting to be solved.  Once the information is gathered, the fun of solving the puzzle begins and typically involves some good old fashioned teamwork. 

Over the past three years, I’ve been working on a puzzle of a different kind, artistically speaking.  As a proud Winnipeg resident I’d like to announce a newly unveiled mosaic mural located on the north wall of the Red Road Lodge at Logan and Main.  Working together with a team of talented and artistic individuals, and with the help of many community members, this mural was lovingly created over the span of three years. 

 winnipeg mural - red road lodge

Our group was comprised of a group of core artists, led by Annie Bergen and mentored by local tile mosaic artist Ursula Neufeld.  Most of the materials used were donated by local business people and the rest were purchased with funding we received from Neighborhoods Alive, Take Pride Winnipeg! and the Manitoba Arts Council.

Many lessons were learned during the planning and creation of this mural.  New acquaintances were made and lifelong friendships developed.  But most importantly the value of teamwork was clearly demonstrated and its power felt.  Without the many people who donated their time, many of it evenings and weekends, the mural may never have been finished.  What we started out to accomplish in the beginning, even if it was overly optimistic of us, was realized and the result is a beautiful community mural which Winnipeggers can take pride in.  I invite you to stop by and visit the mural yourself when you have the chance.

I personally found a great love for the way the tiles seemed to find their way back to one another, ultimately creating a beautiful mosaic of color and form.  Sifting through the various materials we had collected to find just the right complement of color and texture was like food for my soul.  It’s similar to a gigantic puzzle really, where you’re trying to find the pieces that fit best together.  Tile mosaic has become one of my favorite mediums as an artist and I believe in a way it further kindled the passion I have for the work I do at People First.

As I mentioned earlier, as a Talent Sourcer at People First I work as part of a team to identify talent on behalf of our clients.  This often involves creative thinking and problem solving, much like the fitting together of tile mosaic pieces on the mural.  There is nothing more gratifying than the successful completion of a project, whether the result is a person you identified through research offered a job by our client or a beautiful community mural.  With the strength of a team behind you, anything is possible.

Written by Pamela Habing - Talent Sourcer for People First Recruiting

Topics: talent sourcer, Winnipeg, sourcing, creativity, team

Hey Winnipeg, have I told you lately that I love you?

Posted by Karin Pooley on Fri, Feb 10, 2012

February is the month of love and in a few days it will be Valentine’s Day.  In keeping with the spirit of love, I am hoping you will all indulge me with my love letter to Winnipeg and why I’m so passionate about recruiting for jobs in my beloved city.

I have had a few people (thanks Hawkeye) describe me as an eternal optimist and quite frankly I take that as a compliment.  However I am not the only Winnipegger that is optimistic these days. Our province is humming with optimism – there is a great vibe out there.

Just think of some of the things that are happening in this great city:

And last Sunday I spent four hours with my family at Assiniboine Park.  I hadn’t been to the park in a while and I was amazed by the changes.  The new warming shack and duck pond was full of people.  The Assiniboine Park Zoo was busy and I was amazed to see the progress of the new Churchill Exhibit.

Although I’m not originally from Winnipeg (my home is Ontario), I love this city.   It’s my love for Winnipeg that makes it so easy to recruit for the amazing career opportunities that are starting to emerge here.

There has only been one time in my 20+ year recruiting career that I considered changing professions and that was back in 1992.  Am I ever glad I didn’t!   Through my involvement in the recruitment industry in Winnipeg I’ve witnessed the growth that is happening here, the pride of its citizens that grow with it and the organizations that are doing great things. 

Yes, we’ve experienced some economic struggles in the past but with any city anywhere that pain can be felt at any time.  To see a city start to have some faith in itself, as well as some passion, well that just makes my job recruiting here that much easier. 

Keep up the good work Winnipeg!


Curious to know what Winnipeg jobs are currently available?

Click me

Topics: winnipeg jobs, economic, Winnipeg, career, Recruiting, business