Calendar Blocking for Intentional Sourcing

Tech recruiting…where to begin? Sourcing! In our current market condition (candidate’s market), it’s our responsibility as sourcers, recruiters, engineering managers, leaders, to invest time into building our teams/organizations.

For every one developer you want to bring in for an interview, you have ten other recruiters fighting to do the same. So, how can we maximize our efficiency and likelihood of getting in front of that candidate?

Let’s start from the top. Quality or quantity? How can we manage our time to GSD in the best way possible?

For every role I’m working on, I schedule 2 hours on my calendar that I devote to proactively sourcing and reaching out to folks I want to talk to. 50-60% to find the candidates, and 40-50% to message them.

I break up that time in four 25 minute intervals, using the good ol’ Pomodoro Technique. I’m guilty of being distracted by my phone, slack, emails – but during this time, there is nothing that can impede my workflow.

Notifications off! Seriously, throw your phone away if you have to (joking, but not really).


Craft your searches! A list of 40-50 profiles is a good starting point and perfect for combing through in this time frame. 

Note: * You can save these searches in the humanpredictions platform for future reference *

When I decide who I want to contact, I put them in a Watchlist, and tag them as “To Be Contacted”. I put the rest of the candidates in either; the same watchlist with the status “Not a fit”, or I add them to a separate Watchlist – This way I can keep track of who I’ve viewed and who I’ve shortlisted, so I don’t stumble across the same profiles over and over again.

5 Minute break: Coffee! Tea! Bathroom! Yoga! Literally, whatever floats your boat and preps your mind for your next work session… 

Second 25 minutes: Same as the first!

Third & Fourth 25 Minute Session: Either more sourcing (if you haven’t gotten to 20+ people worth messaging) or Outreach! For messaging candidates, pull up the list of folks you’d like to contact and send some email! Because I personalize each message, I don’t focus on the number of emails I send, but the quality – be curious!

At the end of the hour, you’ll be delighted by the quality of the work you finished, and even more delighted when you begin to get responses! Using this and calendar blocking, I have become more productive and successful with reaching candidates and making placements. 

Remember, the day you plant the seed isn’t the day you eat the fruit. Think of this time as a gift you give to your future self. Recruit for the long haul — Trust and relationships form over time and connection, not a templated email.

This method of time blocking can be applied to so many other tasks, outside of sourcing. In the age of digital distraction, it’s never been more valuable to be intentional with your screen time.

A recent read that inspired this post was Essentialism by Greg McKowen. For my friends who feel stretched thin, overworked and underproductive, and overall, not in control of their time – give it a listen. (Or read)

One thought on “Calendar Blocking for Intentional Sourcing”

  1. Thanks for sharing this very thoughtfully written and useful post! I really enjoyed learning your thoughts on how this method could be applied to tasks/projects other than sourcing. That is spot on!

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