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15 Advanced Candidate Sourcing Techniques to Discover Talent

January 27, 2022

candidate sourcing techniques

The shift to a candidate-driven market is the most extensive and significant development in recruitment. 

For the first time, more positions are available than applicants, empowering candidates to apply. With so many employers desperately looking for the same talent and skills, recruiters and talent acquisition specialists work harder to differentiate and attract top talent and build a strong recruitment process

In this highly competitive market, candidate sourcing is the most critical recruiting skill to find and hire the best candidates. Candidate sourcing is one of the key steps to identify exceptional talent for future or existing positions that match your desired skills, education, and interests. It includes searching for both active and passive candidates.

Whether it's local or international human resources management, an exceptional candidate experience can go a long way when finding talent for your organization. Candidate sourcing is a proactive tactic to ensure potential candidates are not missed. This helps build a strong talent pipeline and long-lasting relationships. 

Candidate sourcing challenges

Many recent developments have altered global recruitment and international employment as we know it. Recruiters face different challenges when sourcing candidates. It's a strange mix of new complexities, high unemployment, talent shortages, and high churn rates.

83% of organizations have difficulty finding suitable candidates. Meanwhile, employers in nearly every US state are expected to experience substantial labor shortages by 2029

Additionally, the skills required for most professions have changed dramatically. The global average skills stability is predicted to be around 58%. Workers will experience a 42% shift in essential workplace abilities in 2022. 

This shift in skills availability needs the global workforce to become lifelong learners. The key to constructive and proactive change management is holistic workforce planning, reskilling, and upskilling.

With these trends already in play, tactical challenges like poorly written job descriptions and poor candidate experience can fuel the fire. Uncertain, ambiguous, or perplexing requirements make it difficult to find extraordinary talent.

This may adversely impact your brand image. Furthermore, experienced applicants may be hesitant to apply for a poorly described position. All this hurts your talent pipeline.

15 candidate sourcing techniques

As candidate sourcing accompanies many challenges, knowing human resource functions before diving into how sourcing works is essential. 

Sourcers discover and qualify new prospects, whereas recruiters manage the process from the moment a candidate is interested or qualified until hiring. If your team is large enough, don't have them all do the same thing. Instead, let the sourcers handle one end of the recruiting pipeline while the recruiters work on the other.

1. Develop a candidate sourcing strategy

Simply put, talent sourcing aims to transform non-applicants into applicants. On the other hand, recruitment necessitates converting applicants. Talent sourcing is the first step in the hiring process and a critical component in developing a strong talent pipeline. 

Building a sourcing strategy helps you fill open vacancies faster and expands your talent pool. Other advantages of developing a sourcing strategy include repurposing completed sourcing and recruitment efforts, cultivating relationships that lead to a better candidate experience, and establishing an internal recruiting and sourcing pipeline.

The key to a successful candidate sourcing strategy is tightening your team's focus and efforts to ensure quality. Start with a thorough understanding of your company's strategic goals. In other words, consider the positions currently open and future growth or changes that may affect your hiring needs.

It's good to consider "what if?" scenarios. This may be the most challenging phase in creating your talent pipeline since it necessitates substantial brainstorming and cross-departmental debate. The next logical step is researching your broad demographic and issuing reports that can help cover the available talent pool (even passive candidates).

Additionally, establishing a competency framework can empower sourcing and recruitment professionals to take more innovative steps and make better decisions impacting your business' bottom line.

Encourage your recruiters and sourcers to keep their eyes out for new applicants who fit your candidate personas and company culture. Train them, keeping your future employment plans in mind.

2. Create a sourcing pipeline

Build your sourcing pipeline effectively and efficiently to attract top talent. You can use different candidate sourcing techniques for this. 

Running creative campaigns can help capture a candidate’s attention and increase brand awareness. When more people know about your brand, more applicants come in, and you find the best talent. 

While organizations can use various messaging platforms, they shouldn’t overspread their message. A little research can go a long way. Consider employment sites, forums, and industry events specific to your business to send the right message to candidates.

Direct sourcing means finding potential applicants by creating a pool of freelancers and contingent or temporary talent instead of a third party like a recruiter. 

Connecting directly with the market helps you hire contingent workers for quick project work or even full-time employees. 

Here are some perks of sourcing candidates directly:

  • Eliminates dependency on third-party staffing and recruitment firms
  • Improves hiring speed
  • Reduces costs
  • Helps engage with niche talent
  • Provides great flexibility in hiring
  • Helps retain your brand image 

Indirect talent sourcing uses recruitment firms to source candidates. This entails paying external companies upfront to find the candidates and a fee later when you finish hiring. While this may help keep your payroll low, it eventually costs time and money.

3. Stay connected with your hiring manager

Recruiters and hiring managers want to find exceptional prospects as soon as possible. In an ideal world, their partnership is seamless and productive. Open communication is crucial to source candidates.

To create the best hiring environment, the hiring manager and recruiter need to discuss job requirements, what works and what doesn’t, major issues, expectations, and more to make their jobs easier. Identifying and addressing the hiring managers' needs can help recruiters make good hiring decisions.

4. Build awareness around your company culture

Your brand encompasses every touchpoint with candidates, from the first message to the exit interview. A strong employer brand is estimated to reduce turnover by 28% and cost per hire by 50%. Therefore, building your brand can help you level the playing field. 

Because your brand serves as the strategic foundation for your recruitment messaging, it's essential to take the time to comprehend and build it properly. Your brand statement should reflect what you stand for so that it resonates with current and potential employees alike. 

Employers can increase brand awareness by including their staff in their stories, encouraging them to personalize their LinkedIn accounts, starting a company blog, engaging in the press, and speaking at conferences.

Being present on job boards, social platforms, and forums can help amplify the brand message and exposure. You can provide just enough material and engagement to capture their interest and get them to respond to your outreach messaging.

5. Describe the role you’re sourcing for

Creating talent personas for each position helps you know exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate before the hiring process begins. Knowing who you're looking for lets you figure out where to find them. 

Identifying gaps in your organization and developing candidate profiles to actively seek people with fresh ideas, experiences, and personalities is a wonderful way to implement diversity hiring programs.

Because the job description is one of a candidate's first points of contact with your company, it's important to write job descriptions that reflect your target candidate’s profile.

This enables candidates to better understand what a company expects from them and determine whether they’re suitable for the position.

6. Source candidates from your recruitment database

The advantages of a good candidate database are undeniable. Candidates from an existing database are a recruiter's most reliable source of placements. Recruiters need to work at peak efficiency to generate job opportunities in today's competitive job market.

A well-maintained database allows them to communicate more effectively, spend less time on non-value-added tasks, and focus more on building connections.

Once you've determined your company's database needs, you're in a good position to find more candidates in less time or seek alternative sources for your search.

7. Acquire global talent with borderless hiring 

Employers benefit from a diverse global workforce. As the world becomes more global, candidates look for employers offering the possibility to work worldwide.

Expanding your talent pool can increase your chances of finding the ideal candidate and staying ahead of the competition. However, sourcing international candidates comes with many compliance challenges. 

Employers should know the labor laws in different countries to build a new office or enter a new market. A good way to do this is to partner with a third-party recruitment outsourcing company to ensure everything in your recruitment process is compliant.

Further complexities arise after the actual recruitment. You can work with an employer of record where your partner takes care of managing payroll, paying international employees compliantly, or offering comprehensive and consistent benefits based on local country laws. This reduces the hassle of being present in the country where you want to hire or employ staff.

8. Leverage the power of social media recruiting

Using social media to attract and convert talent has been one of the significant developments in recruiting in recent years. Social recruiting is more than just posting current vacancies on your company's social media pages.

When it comes to candidate sourcing, you can use social media to find suitable applicants early, build a relationship with them, and encourage them to apply. There is no better way to find passive candidates than job boards and social media. You get many recommendations since everyone is on social media.

Social media is more powerful than any other candidate sourcing tool, given the number of people using it. Every medium has its challenges, and in social recruiting, content must compete for users' limited attention, and messaging must be engaging and straightforward to attract potential candidates effectively.

9. Extend your reach by sourcing candidates online

There are many ways you can expand your reach to find candidates online. Job boards are a great way for candidates to research opportunities available in their field. Recruiting employees from job boards while creating unique job descriptions sets you apart from your competition and increases your brand awareness in the industry. 

Another great way is to partner with your recruiter network to find leads. These recruitment firms already have a large talent pool of active and passive candidates.

Recruiters and sources can leverage a virtual hiring event to connect and communicate with multiple candidates at a specific date and time, all from one online platform. Compared to traditional methods of screening and interviewing, virtual recruitment events allow companies to increase their candidate reach while saving time.

10. Set up a referral program

Passive candidates make up a significant portion of the global workforce.

Despite recent changes in the job market that have increased the number of job seekers, the best talent is often already in excellent and stable positions in most industries. This suggests that they may not be actively looking for a job but may be open to new options.

Referrals are an ideal approach to finding such people. Employee referrals give you instant access to talent as it’s sourced through your employees' connections. This saves time in the hiring process that would otherwise be spent on sourcing, testing, coordination, and negotiation.

11. Use automation to source passive candidates

Finding and recruiting candidates not currently looking for a job is called passive candidate sourcing. A good sourcing method can help you sift through the massive talent pool and come back with qualified, interested, and available individuals.

Talent teams can build larger, more diverse pools in less time with automation. AI-powered sourcing allows them to easily find candidates with the right skills and expertise for each role, resulting in higher-value hires. The benefits of adopting AI include improved accuracy in applicant matching and more time to focus on the human side of recruiting.

12. Employ candidate sourcing tools for advanced sourcing

With recruiting tools changing and evolving, it's crucial to stay current with the most current, effective, and efficient methods available. 

To perform various tasks in your sourcing role, you need a tool belt with capabilities.

The following tools can help you achieve your advanced sourcing goal and find candidates in time to build your pipeline:

  • Contact finding tools
  • Email tools
  • Email verification tools
  • Web Scrapers and extraction tools
  • Boolean generators
  • People search engines
  • Data tracking tools
13. Develop non-traditional sourcing methods

Your existing client list can also be a non-traditional talent source. People you deal with, especially those who benefit and maintain your business, can also become great employees.

Platforms like Slack and Reddit can also be home to the outstanding talent you're looking for and connect you with many passive candidates. Running workshops or classes can also help you identify the next best talent pool.

14. Source for future roles

The demand for skill is endless. Even if you're not currently recruiting or filling any vacancies, the future offers unlimited opportunities. You need to constantly seek resources to stay ahead of the competition and ensure great talent enters your pipeline.

College job boards, niche marketplaces, local recruitment firms, candidate referrals, employee referrals, and your client base can be the best places to find the candidates going forward.

15. Track your performance

Talent acquisition is a game of speed and intuition, and setting goals based on each requirement can be easy. It's not just about "open positions vs. filled positions" when it comes to candidate sourcing data!

Candidate sourcing’s ultimate purpose is to gain a competitive advantage by attracting top talent at a reasonable cost. For this, you need to fully diagnose your procurement process and find any opportunities for improvement. 

Here's an important set of metrics to consider to track your performance:

  • Pipeline speed 
  • Sourcing efficiency 
  • Sourcing conversion
  • Screening quality
  • Candidate experience

How creativity helps source strong candidates

Finding candidates is a tough business at the end of the day. Stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing new platforms, techniques, and tactics pay off. This newfound knowledge helps you cast a wider net and attract the most incredible talent to your business.

Applying these innovative tactics could give you a new perspective and ways to communicate with both active and passive prospects. Try them the next time you get stuck, and you'll be surprised at the results you get.

Creating a talent pool can be quite demanding. Try these strategies to effectively build a talent pool.  

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Go global!

Set up your business, hire the best talent, and manage global HR functions with international PEO software.

international PEO software
Go global!

Set up your business, hire the best talent, and manage global HR functions with international PEO software.

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