Research and sourcing roadblocks. We all run into them. They’re unavoidable. The real test is how we overcome sourcing roadblocks and move past them. Research problems come in many different shapes and sizes, but in my experience, most of them fall into one of three categories:

1. Am I talking to the right people?
2. Am I sourcing in the right places?
3. Am I burnt out?

Disclaimer: I’m a senior researcher here at Qualigence and focus most of my time on recruitment research. Clients use my findings for sourcing and name generation.

So, how do we solve those 3 major sourcing roadblocks? 

1. Loosen the parameters

We all have the perfect person in mind when we start sourcing. You know, the person that has all the qualifications and does precisely what we want them to do. But, focusing too much on this one perfect person can lead us right into one of the research and sourcing roadblocks we’re trying to avoid.

Try loosening the parameters of your LinkedIn search and see how many more results you get to help overcome sourcing roadblocks. Someone less qualified on paper might turn out to be perfect if you actually talk to them. Not everyone puts every detail about themselves on their LinkedIn page. There’s also a chance if you talk to this person and they end up not being right, they might be able to refer you to the right one. A general rule of thumb is that talking to more people is going to lead to better results than talking to fewer people.

2. Look for the right person in the wrong place

Most times in research we try to find a qualified individual located in a specific location (e.g., country, state, city). So what happens when we can’t find the right person in the right place?

The easiest way around this sourcing roadblock is to look for the right person in the wrong location. Now, this may sound counterproductive, but hear me out.

For the sourcers who conduct initial outreach, find a person with the right qualifications at the right company but located outside of where you want them to be and talk to them. Chances are, this individual is going to be able to direct you to their counterpart located in the desired region. If that doesn’t work, find another qualified individual in a different location, wash, rinse, repeat.

3. Take a serious look at yourself

The burnout is potentially the most dangerous, as well as the most difficult to recognize. Often, we don’t realize we’ve hit this roadblock, and instead of dealing with the problem we try and power through it. The results are usually disastrous.

When you’re burnt out on a project you become distracted and make bad decisions. You end up making mistakes that can cost you and your client time and money. So, how do try to overcome this sourcing roadblock? Well, there isn’t one magic solution, but there are a few suggestions that’ll help. This goes for both sourcers, researchers, recruiters, you name it:

1. Take a break. Get up from your desk and take a walk. Maybe grab a fresh cup of coffee or water
2. Step outside for a minute and get a breath of fresh air
3. Consult with a colleague and get a different set of eyes on the problem that’s blocking your path
4. Read an article or watch a short video

Basically, the key to overcoming this block is to do anything that’s going to clear your mind. Once you accomplish this, you can return to the barrier impeding your progress and easily blast through it with a new sense of determination and focus.

These are definitely not all of the hurdles you’ll encounter when sourcing or researching, and by no means are these the only ways to deal with them. However, it should give you a leg up and help point you in the right direction.

Recruitment Research at Qualigence International

Qualigence is the largest recruitment research firm in the U.S. We offer an a la carte menu of research solutions, including competitive intelligence, name generationorganizational charts, and talent profilesGet in touch to learn more about recruitment research services at the Q.