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Top 5 Candidate Sourcing Strategies

Before the turn of the century, recruiters could put their “help wanted” ads in the newspaper, and applications would pour in. Since then, recruiting has turned a new page. The use of the internet and other technologies allows recruiters to broaden their candidate pool for the simple reason being

the audience has grown exponentially.

While a larger audience is a huge benefit, it still poses some frustration because a larger audience doesn’t necessarily mean more engagement. In fact, having a larger audience means recruiters must use unique sourcing techniques to define their target market and meet them where they are.

So, here are five candidate sourcing strategies that recruiters can personalize. Use these so that access to a larger audience translates into building a more practical, more qualified candidate pool.

Online Job Postings

candidate sourcing strategy #1

Utilizing online job boards is one of the most common sourcing methods. These job boards receive thousands of visitors (who are all searching for jobs), and they also send email alerts, which market jobs related to the candidate’s query.

To ensure you see the most benefit from utilizing job boards as a candidate sourcing tool, be sure to

  • choose the best job boards
  • employ more than one job board
  • construct a great job description
  • share your job ad

The only downside to using online job postings as a sourcing tool is that it does not help recruit passive candidates. Otherwise, it is a great sourcing tool for discovering quality candidates, especially when given the opportunity to post a free job.

Candidate Sourcing Strategy: How to decide what job boards are best

Social Sourcing

candidate sourcing strategy 2

Most recently, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have gained popularity as sourcing channels. Nevertheless, social sourcing does require more strategy than posting a job ad.

After you’ve found the right social platforms for the audience you wish to attract, you have to build a following. Social sourcing relies on great employer branding and whether you can provide valuable content. So if you want to engage candidates, you must put plenty of effort into branding and content strategies. Alternatively, if you are willing to spend money, you can just buy ads to expand your reach (i.e., Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Work With Us Ads).

Lastly, utilizing a combination of candidate sourcing tools and social media could be beneficial. For example, tools, such as Simppler, analyze your employee’s social networks and recommend candidates based on your job opening.

ATS Databases and Candidate Pipelines

candidate sourcing strategy 3

With an ATS system, recruiters can keep a record of previous applicants and candidates. These ATS databases will hold information on candidates, such as their resumes, cover letters, and contact information. Storing this data allows recruiters to build candidate pipelines.

A candidate pipeline represents a group of previous candidates who recruiters maintain relationships with. The ultimate goal is to hire them into the company one day. Building and sustaining candidate pipelines can be daunting, but it is one of the most efficient candidate sourcing strategies thus far. Not only does this strategy allow recruiters to control who engages in their application process, but it also speeds up the hiring process because sourcing requires less effort and resources.

Employee Referrals

candidate sourcing strategy 4

There are many reasons someone may use employee referrals to fill a position. Some of those reasons include

  • being on a strict hiring budget
  • the open role is a high-profile position (or comes with a lot of responsibility)
  • the recruiter must fill the position quickly
  • the role requires a niche set of skills

Even if you aren’t in one of these unique positions, employee referrals are one of the easiest candidate sourcing strategies. Assuming there is a great employee-employer relationship, you can take advantage of your employees’ professional network. As a result, the quality of candidates increases, and you control who goes through your application process. Additionally, because the referrals are already vetted, you can save time and resources on screening candidates.

While using employee referrals is a great way to fill an open position, this strategy has one disadvantage. Employees are more likely to refer people that are like them. In a way, this is a good thing because your employees are already a good fit for your culture. However, this could harm diversity efforts. So, if your go-to candidate sourcing strategy is employee referrals, it will be important to emphasize making unbiased referrals.

Attend In-Person Events

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One of job searchers’ biggest complaints is the lack of human elements in the recruiting and hiring process. Yes, technology and the internet has made sourcing and recruiting candidates so much easier. However, it has also nearly eliminated the presence of human touch during the hiring process. As a result, there is a level of distrust and uncertainty between candidates and recruiters.

Building a strong employer brand is one way to overcome the lack of human elements and build trust. Another way is to attend in-person events. Recruiters should always look for job- or industry-specific conferences and events. This is a great opportunity to meet qualified job searchers face-to-face and make a pitch to them. Additionally, you get to meet candidates before ever taking them through the hiring process.

If you’d like to get creative, you could even host your own career fairs or meetups to advertise your job openings. People who are interested in your company will show up. From there, you can meet and converse with potential candidates without the threat of competition.

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