How to Create a Better Candidate Sourcing Strategy

Candidate sourcing is sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably with recruiting, but it should be recognized as a different and very specialized part of the talent acquisition lifecycle. Sourcing forms the bedrock upon which your entire recruitment process is built, and is an essential part of a successful recruiting strategy.

Specifically, candidate sourcing refers to the act of proactively finding and identifying potential candidates who could fill an open or future role in your company. This creates a robust talent pipeline for your company’s recruitment efforts. Recruiting, on the other hand, is a reactive function of reviewing, interviewing, selecting, and hiring candidates to fill open positions.

Sourcing goes hand-in-hand with candidate engagement and recruitment marketing, with the goal of identifying the right talent, actively interacting with those candidates, and moving them to the point of conversion. Sourcing often has the specific end goal of supporting recruiting to hire the right person for the right role, but it can also be used as a tool for expanding the organization’s talent pool. By broadening the talent network, recruiters have a wider range of talent to choose from.

A solid recruitment strategy, therefore, requires an equally strong candidate sourcing strategy. Let’s examine what this entails and identify some ways that you can make sure your candidate sourcing strategy gets the results you need.

Refine Your Candidate Sourcing Strategy With These Four Best Practices

To build a better sourcing strategy, you need to prioritize activities that develop your talent pipeline, so you can hire the best candidates for your current and future roles. For more sourcing strategies, take a deeper look at the eBook Effective Sourcing: Where Quality Meets Quantity. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how to optimize your sourcing strategy with these four key tips:

#1: Be Specific & Streamline Candidate Searches

Having a well-thought-out sourcing strategy requires companies to consider the types of candidates they want to fill their open positions. When conducting candidate searches online or in your candidate relationship management (CRM) tool, don’t limit the search to generic queries based on the job title, location, or qualifications. Those are all important things to consider, but they’re not going to give the depth of results you are seeking.

Instead, be detailed. Use semantic search terms related to the position’s responsibilities and associated technologies or companies. Also, use modifiers and Boolean operators to zero in on the exact kind of candidates you’re looking for.

Better yet, consider using tools like Zero-Click Intelligent Sourcing (ZCIS) to eliminate manual search and automatically identify candidates for every new and existing job within your company’s ATS. ZCIS automatically processes every job in your applicant tracking system and attaches potential candidates to that job for further consideration.

#2: Maintain a Strong Sourcing Pipeline

One vital element of your sourcing strategy should include looking back and engaging with previous candidates and applicants. Because you will source qualified talent for each role, but typically only hire one person for each position, make sure you take the opportunity to keep in touch with talent.

Ensure you are reaching out to previous silver medalists, or candidates who made it through the interviews, but were not selected, to those individuals who have applied to your positions previously, to those candidates who have signed up for your talent network, or those who have visited your career site. Continue reaching out to candidates proactively and keep in touch with them using a variety of communication channels to maintain your sourcing pipeline.

Remember, candidates who have shown interest in your company previously won’t stay interested forever, and you never know when you might find yourself in need of someone to fill a crucial position. Ensuring you can directly reach out to candidates and turn job seekers into applicants is a valuable lever in every sourcing strategy.

#3: Take Care to Identify Passive Candidates

When sourcing candidates, it’s important not just to wait for job seekers to find you. The whole point of any good sourcing strategy should be to actively cultivate new candidates for potential hires. That means looking at passive candidates who are not actively seeking a new position.

Passive candidates can be found in a variety of ways, from browsing LinkedIn profiles to attending in-person industry networking events. It’s important to remember that the resumes of passive candidates aren’t always up-to-date though, so be careful. Cross-reference their information across sources, if possible.

#4: Identify Top Sources for Talent & Track the Right Metrics

When sourcing candidates, you shouldn’t just be assessing potential employees. You should also be evaluating the sources themselves. That means identifying the sources that have yielded the most positive results for your business. Where have you had the most success in finding talent? Where have you converted the most candidates into applicants? Are online sources like LinkedIn or Indeed your best source for top talent? What about employee referrals?

You should also keep track of recruiting analytics that help you make smarter, faster decisions when it comes to hiring. For example, you should know how long it takes you on average to fill a position. Compare your own time-to-hire with those of other companies in your industry and see how you measure up. This can help you understand what you should be doing differently and where you can optimize your hiring process to speed time to hire.

Jobvite Supports Enterprise Companies in Building a Stronger Sourcing

Sourcing candidates isn’t always easy, but with the help of Jobvite’s Evolve Talent Acquisition Suite, you’ll be well on your way to building a robust and streamlined sourcing engine that will help you recruit qualified candidates when you need them most. As part of the Evolve Suite, Jobvite’s Source & CRM solution empowers you to source and nurture your best talent at scale. Our Zero-Click Intelligent Sourcing tool also automatically finds top candidates when a requisition is first opened, saving recruiters up to 30% of their time.

Get more top sourcing tips in the Effective Sourcing: Where Quality Meets Quantity eBook. Or subscribe to our blog for more insights to evolve your talent acquisition function.