Holistic Sourcing for Sales Professionals

Do you ever look at a job description and scan for the keywords to run a keyword search? While keyword sourcing can be effective for a tech search, sales sourcing requires a different approach.

A client may be looking for an Account Executive who is managing the book of enterprise clients in the healthcare industry.

While you may think that running a boolean along the lines of (account AND exec*) AND enterprise AND (healthcare OR “health care” OR “health-care”) may pull up a solid list of candidates, you would more than likely find yourself lost in a sea of candidates that are not quite right for the job.

Not to mention, you are probably pulling a whopping list of candidates that you have to sift through. You’ll need to adjust your string and think outside the box for your search.

Upon closer inspection, you may take a look at a profile and notice that your “Account Executive” has not actually researched prospective new clients. But is actually working with a book of existing clients and expanding the existing relationship with new products.

{Holistic sourcing enters stage right}


Rather than focusing on titles and must-have requirements given to you in a checklist, think about how you would describe what the candidate is doing to someone else in their industry.


A Different Approach

Let’s walk through another possible profile and how we could take a different approach with our boolean. An account executive may describe themselves as a “2018 and 2019 President’s Club hunter targeting enterprise accounts in the tri-state area.” This candidate may elaborate that they “successfully identified and executed sales for Company X’s women’s health product suite.”

GEM Recruiting AI

Thinking outside the box, you may make a search string that looks more like:

((account OR sales OR healthcare OR outside) AND (sales OR exec* OR representative)) AND (hunt* OR “new account” OR “new accounts” OR “new business” OR prospect*) AND (hospital* OR clinic* OR health* OR healthcare OR doctor*) AND (major OR enterprise OR large OR key) AND (“president’s club” OR “top performer” OR “top sales” OR overachieve* OR exceed*)

We are still looking for a pretty standard title string. But, we are now adding keywords that are speaking to that title. As we went over earlier, the title a company assigns can sometimes be misleading. We will now see profiles for candidates that are “hunting” for new business, as a traditional Account Executive does.

From there, we are looking at the type of accounts this candidate is looking for. We are targeting healthcare sales working with enterprise accounts. While someone may say: “I am a healthcare sales professional targeting enterprise accounts.”

They may say something more along the lines of: “I target prospective and existing key accounts. I present to doctors and stakeholders at major hospitals regarding our women’s health product suite.” With this new string, you are targeting the same skills based on the way someone may naturally discuss their job.


Target Top Performers

Lastly, in order to narrow your search down. I include a string that will target top performers within companies. Sales teams typically have a President’s Club incentive program for top performers. If you have a target company list, you can research what those companies call their President’s Club programs to delve even deeper!

Using a string that targets the natural language of a candidate will allow you to more successfully glean candidates that have the appropriate background. Sales titles can sometimes mislabel a candidate’s experience. So, being mindful of common language within the industry can save you time sifting through candidates and pull up others that you may not have seen with a keyword search.

In summary, taking a more holistic approach to sourcing can help TA professionals to accurately identify candidates with soft skills as well. Taking some time to look at sample profiles to learn how a candidate speaks about their experience can save you time and frustration. Work this in as a best sourcing practice to become a stronger and more agile sourcer.

As Steve Jobs said, “creativity is just connecting things,”… in a holistic boolean string!

Julia Adler

Julia "Wonder Woman" Adler Sourcer Julia Adler is currently working as a Sourcer at Wayne Technologies. She works based on clear deliverables, provide full-cycle transparent data, and are changing the way our clients view sourcing. On a day to day basis, she sources candidates, delivers talent maps and market data, finds emails, uses/has experience with a wide variety of tools, and contacts candidates with messaging built around the DISC personality profiles. Outside of Wayne Tech, Julia volunteers as the Editor of ATAP (Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals), is a Staff Writer for SourceCon, and was a Speaker at SourceCon 2020. In her free time, you can find her on a run with her pup, painting, or listening to podcasts. She has been working in recruiting/sourcing for the past four years and specializes in recruitment tooling, building boolean strings, natural language search, and raw sourcing. She believes that you are never done learning, regardless of where you are in your career.