Human resource professionals, recruiters, and sourcing executives share a unique problem in the current economy. Despite a wealth of resources and technology tools, 86% of HR managers report having difficulty finding technical talent.
Many also report a longer time-to-hire over the past 3 years and confess to hiring unqualified talent just to fill empty roles. Experts believe that the biggest challenge in business for 2018 is a lack of qualified labor.
Economists state that the job market is nearly at full employment. Now more than ever it is important that recruiters and sourcing pros have the best sourcing strategies for attracting talent.
Use these 7 techniques and you’ll stay ahead of the market:
1. Promote Referrals
Referrals are one of the most trusted sourcing strategies for a simple reason: they offer the highest ROI for any sourcing or HR professional.
Salespeople know the power of referrals. For growing sales and delivering revenues to the bottom line, the majority of people still prefer earned media. When making decisions about goods or services earned media, a.k.a. referrals, are the best.
These same principles can provide the foundation for your sourcing strategies, only more so. Because culture and retention are so important, referrals also offer an advanced screen for your candidates and applicants.
Get Active With Referrals
Unfortunately, some sourcing professionals enjoy the low cost of passive referrals too much. They don’t work to reinvest in the strategy.
If you plan on spending on databases, advertising, and marketing, why not reinvest in the power of referrals too?
The costs associated with recruiting and retention can be extraordinary. However, using a small percentage of these costs to advertise the benefits of referrals provides great ROI.
Reward referrals with cash incentives.
Don’t let your referral pipeline grow stale. Make sure to actively promote and encourage referrals.
2. Think Like a Candidate
As you use a variety of tools to engage candidates and grow your network, leverage the best practices of digital marketing. Beyond using successful social media platforms, deploying technology tools, and growing a network, you need to think like a marketer, as well as an HR professional.
One of the keys to marketing is designing the customer experience. Rather than thinking about what you and your clients need, focus your communications on what your candidates need.
In this way, you will be more likely to craft messages they respond to. If the average human has an attention span that is shorter than a goldfish, your candidates do too.
When crafting content or reaching out via tech tools, keep your messages brief and to the point. 500 characters or less is a great rule of thumb.
Your sourcing strategy should focus on quality, not quantity. Hook them in with what they’re looking for. Present openings in your company as a solution to their problems.
3. Invest in A Database
Sourcing strategies may benefit from paying for access to a database. A database will help maintain your growing network of candidates.
You can also search and sort candidates with a database tool. When tied into other technology tools, you can use your database to get more precise with candidates and their responses.
The complexity of open positions, varying clients, and a range of communications tools can be difficult to manage. Without a database tool to track contact points and manage relationships, it’s impossible.
The core principles of database management have always been included in sourcing strategies. But today’s sourcing professionals can integrate this practice. Tie in e-mail, LinkedIn, and other channels for the best results.
4. Sourcing Strategies for Your Social Media
One of the more interesting shifts in recent years is the effectiveness of a quality social media strategy.
With over half of the world on Facebook, how can your sourcing strategy ignore such a large audience? If advertising is on your to-do list, you may want to invest in social media ads as well.
CEOs report that one of the bigger challenges of the new economy is lining up candidates with company culture. HR professionals and sourcing executives know that challenge.
It isn’t just checking off experience, education, and accomplishments. You need to source candidates who will be a great fit for the company.
They should provide a high chance of development and retention, and align with the company values of your client or employer.
Facebook and other social media outlets offer a unique ability to source candidates. You can use demographics, interests, and geographical location.
Investing in trade magazine ads and industry organizations can provide great benefits, but so can social media targeting. The days of frowning on social media as a tool for sourcing are long gone. Your sourcing strategy will benefit from an investment in this approach.
5. Participate in Groups
We will talk later about how to become an expert in your industry and sourcing strategies as a whole, but one way to increase your communications channels is to become active in online groups.
These groups can be as varied as Reddit discussions around your industry and market trends. They can also include LinkedIn groups.
As with all networking, the more active you can be, the better. As the face and voice of your company, your participation will market its core values. You will also show the specific competencies of you and your clients within a specific market sector.
There is no need to limit yourself to virtual groups. But there is an obvious geographical advantage to internet participation. That said, with industry-specific organizations you need to be there. Your physical presence is also one of the most effective sourcing strategies.
6. Streamlined For Mobile
One of the biggest trends for 2018 is the boom of mobile recruiting trends. While mobile is not necessarily a tried and true method in terms of sourcing strategies, the core principles behind it are as old as the first referral.
Your sourcing strategies need to meet candidates where they are and make it as easy as possible for them to enter your network and participate effectively. If your sourcing strategies haven’t caught up to mobile applications you are likely missing out on a huge market of highly qualified talent.
Streamlining your sourcing strategy for mobile means making sure that entering information, replying, and tracking communications are optimized for mobile connections. Too many sourcing strategies still begin with a desktop application and try to reverse engineer for mobile.
Follow The Mobile Leaders
Facebook now sells more mobile ads than desktop. Consumers are on smartphones and tablets more than ever before.
Don’t risk losing a communication or interaction because they can’t reply easily or provide the information you need to help their placement. Make sure your database components, applications, and informational sessions are optimized for mobile.
This approach doesn’t just help you cast a wider net for qualified candidates. The mobile optimization also communicates ease of access and sets the tone for great functional interaction going forward.
7. Become An Expert
Sourcing managers and HR professionals are in a unique position. They can become highly visible experts in their industries, as well as in recruiting and sourcing as a whole. With an economy that is a candidate’s market and includes many underemployed employees across industries, there has never been a better time to differentiate yourself from your competition.
One of the best sourcing strategies is growing a network that lets candidates come to you. As with sales, many HR professionals see this process as similar to creating a funnel with qualified leads.
It’s one thing to have a network filled with passive members. It’s something else to attract active participants who share and promote you and what you do.
Whether you act as your own enterprise or work for a larger employer, most sourcing professionals know they need to be the face of their clients or company.
Investing in Digital Content
By creating useful, shareable content on social networks, blogs, and company websites you will be working to differentiate yourself within the industry. As a recognizable and trustworthy name in sourcing, candidates will be attracted to you through the principles of digital marketing.
Your sourcing strategy should include candidates as clients. Invest in setting yourself apart as a trustworthy voice in the industry and your network will grow.
The Best Tool For Sourcing
While there are a number of tried and true sourcing strategies, the best recruiting professionals don’t waste time when attracting the best talent to fill their client’s needs.
Meet Toby is a cold email outreach tool created with recruiters and sourcing professionals in mind. Meet Toby allows you to send that first cold email to a potential candidate for a job opening and helps you get more responses.
We provide analytics, auto sending of follow-up emails, and simple polling within the email of a candidate’s interest in the job description.