The 11 Best Practices for Sourcing Candidates

Does your sourcing practice deliver the results you need?

Sourcers act as the first point of contact with many potential candidates. They need a defined strategy for finding the best talent and engaging them to encourage a reply.

Sourcing candidates require discipline, but you can improve your practice and your candidate pool. Here are 11 of the best practices for sourcing candidates.

1. Differences and Limits: Sourcing Vs. Recruiting

As with any job, a high-quality performance needs precise clarification of the responsibilities involved from the get go. Let your employees know the extent of their responsibilities. Sourcers are not recruiters and vice versa.

Sourcers use online platforms to find and verify new candidates interest in a position. 79% of job seekers use social media platforms in their job search. Sourcers leverage this kind of information form and execute a sourcing strategy (more on this later).

Recruiters evaluate a candidate and handle the interview and hiring processes. Recruiters take advantage of different trends than sourcers.

This means that sourcers do not vet resumes or set up interviews between candidates and employers. However, these job descriptions sometimes get muddled.

Clear and defined delineation between sourcers and recruiters benefits your business. It makes evaluating performance easier and more effective. If a problem arises in your sourcing or recruiting process, you can more easily identify the problem so that no leads fall through the cracks.

2. Take The Time To Strategize

Before you begin sourcing candidates prepare a plan of attack. Start by defining the job role for which you’re sourcing candidates.

Develop a firm handle on every job requirement. Talk to hiring managers to understand the type of candidate they’re looking to hire. You want to ask a meaningful question about possible candidates, like whether the hiring manager would hire a candidate who doesn’t fit the level of the job but you believe could step up to fill the role.

After talking with hiring managers, craft a candidate persona. This is a mock-up of a job’s ideal applicant. Define their characteristics, skills, experience level, and any other relevant traits.

This mold will help you execute a more effective strategy.

Once you’ve performed these steps, consider the types of job titles potential candidates might carry now. Compile these job titles as they’ll help your search.

Last, you want to compile all relevant search criteria into a search string. Your initial Boolean searches will result in more information you may want to add as your sourcing effort increases.

From here, you’re ready to begin sourcing candidates.

3. Try Sourcing Candidates From Your Database

Chances are your own internal resume database or applicant tracking system is full of interested applicants.

On average, a single corporate job posting receives 250 applicants. That leaves 249 applicants who could prove qualified for the current opening in your company.

The benefit of using your own database for sourcing candidates is that these people already believe in your employer brand. Looking within your databases better uses resources devoted at an earlier time, like recruiter time used to vet and interview candidates.

Using your own database is a godsend for companies looking to reduce time to hire and cost.

4. Perform In Depth Searches

Remember those boolean searches we talked about earlier? You need to include relevant keywords beyond simple job titles and skills to perform effective sourcing.

Incorporate semantic search terms that describe responsibilities. Try terms like manage or create.

These types of searches expose you to untapped potential candidates that might prove more competent and overlooked.

5. Tips for Sourcing Candidates Through Social Media

More often than not, high-quality applicants across fields do not possess the necessary time it takes to update their social profiles like LinkedIn with hard or soft skills they acquire along the way. Active or passive, most people dread the detail that goes into these type of profiles and resumes.

Keep this in mind as you source new candidates and apply your own deductive reasoning to evaluating a candidate with an out of date profile.

6. Filter Candidates

The candidates you submit to recruiters reflect the effort you put into your job. As such, you need to operate with selectivity in mind. You want to find the absolute best people for the job.

We know you’re running on a deadline. Do not let this hurry your decision or evaluation.

Speak to several candidates before choosing which ones you think will perform best in a role. This is not a first-come, first serve scenario. Do not send in whoever you find.

If you do, you might find a disgruntled hiring manager waiting for you the next time you show up at work.

7. Create A Pipeline For Sourcing Candidates

The best method is one that sees no end. Your sourcing effort should run all the time.

Stay active in your search for new, quality candidates that fit your company’s culture and future plans.

While your company may not contain any open positions right now, this may change. Building a pipeline helps you maintain a pool of top-notch talent. You can contact them once your company wants to hire a new person.

Say you find a great candidate who does not want to move from their current position, needs a bit more experience, or won’t reply to your e-mails, Do not move on without adding these people to your pipeline. Build a relationship with these people.

If you build a pipeline for sourcing candidates and maintain it, you now have an invaluable and cost-effective tool at your disposal that guarantees the right talent.

8. Your Tech Stack Matters

The technology you use will impact your success at sourcing candidates for every job.

Choose a platform that serves the role you’re sourcing. You’re not going to find construction workers on LinkedIn.

Next, you need to manage candidates you deem qualified for the job. We don’t mean with spreadsheets. Recruitment Candidate-Relationship-Management (CRM) helps you manage your sourcing effort.

You also need the right technology to communicate with candidates. Engage them in ways they’ll want to respond to. How can you measure the tools that work?

Try email tracking to see when someone opens a message and clicks through. Template Analytics will help you track which type of messages people like to respond to.

9. Track Your Own Metrics

Speaking of analytics, you need to track sourcing metrics that deliver results. Recruiting metrics don’t offer enough insight into professionals sourcing candidates.

Instead, try tracking the following three sourcing metrics:

  1. Best new candidate sources – which avenues give you the best results?
  2. Time-to-hire speed – how quick does your pipeline deliver?
  3. The quality of feedback

That last one might not prove as self-explanatory as the first two. Your sourcing is about quality, not quantity. You want the best candidates for the job to go to recruiters.

How do you make sure you’re delivering on this tenant? Ask recruiters for feedback on candidates they screen.

If you’re doing a good job, you’ll receive positive feedback. If you receive negative screening reviews, take a look at your sourcing process again and refine your practice.

10. Know How To Engage

You need to develop expertise in sourcing outreach. Finding candidates is easy compared to knowing how to communicate with them. Reach out in a personable manner.

Don’t send automated e-mails from a no-reply address. Candidates want to speak to real people about opportunities available to them.

Never put all of your cards on the table in your initial interaction. Do not open by asking if they’re interested in a position with your company. Present them with relevant information that makes the opportunity intriguing.

Tailor your outreach to each candidate, their unique set of skills, and their past experience.

Your rate of reply will improve, and so will your company’s rapport with potential candidates.

11. Push Yourself

You might think sourcing is a cut and dry job. The truth is, it requires unique skills. The best sourcers practice their craft.

How can a sourcing professional practice? Push yourself to achieve new goals. Take on roles that prove more difficult to fill. Practice and master new sourcing tools.

Learn how to source through different platforms to give yourself an edge. Never stick with what feels comfortable. Persistence and practice are crucial to any sourcing professional.

Commit yourself to learning.

The Best Practices For Sourcing Candidates Start With You

Like any other job, the concerted effort you put into the task of sourcing candidates matter for your level of success. The best sourcers begin by making sure they know the job description in and out.

Sourcing candidates begin by making sure they know their job description in and out. Next, sourcers gain a complete portrait of the job they’re sourcing for to ensure their candidate persona is effective.

They perform in-depth searches across relevant platforms to find the best talent in the industry and they never stop. They build pipelines of candidates and build relationships with those candidates.

The best sourcers also approach each candidate in a personable way without jamming the position down anyone’s throat.

Most of all, sourcers should commit to upward growth.

If you want to learn more about how to improve your sourcing efforts, contact us today!