Hiring managers know finding quality candidates doesn’t just happen. Several factors must fall into place first, including having access to a strong talent pool. Candidate sourcing puts more people in your talent pipeline, helping reduce your time to hire and filling your skills gaps. Developing solid sourcing strategies makes the recruiting process easier and more efficient.

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of finding candidates for roles that currently need to be filled or for future positions. Sourcing is the proactive part of the hiring process. It involves recruiters and hiring managers actively seeking out candidates. According to SHRM, the goal of sourcing is to collect relevant data about qualified candidates, such as names, titles and job responsibilities. By collecting this data, you build a diverse talent pool that you can add to your pipeline.

Candidate sourcing is done by HR and managers. It targets not only active job seekers but passive ones as well. Passive job seekers are those candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job but are open to being recruited. Candidates are sourced through job boards, social media sites, associations and all types of networking.

Sourcing Vs. Recruiting

To further explain sourcing, you need to understand how it differs from recruiting.

Sourcing is focused on the talent pipeline – not the application, interview and hiring processes. According to HR Daily Advisor, the sourcing role is similar to a sales role. The sourcing manager’s job is to find candidates and get them to apply, not unlike how a salesperson sometimes reaches out “cold” to potential customers to try to get them into the sales funnel on their way to buying a service or product.

That means the person doing the sourcing:

  • Only interacts with candidates before the application process.
  • Seeks out both active and passive candidates.
  • Considers different strategies to build the talent pool for future positions.
  • Pursues attractive candidates even when there are no special positions to fill.

Recruiting on the other hand encompasses the entire hiring process, starting with sourcing and ending with hiring. That means recruiting includes writing the job description, posting the job, tracking applicants, screening candidates, doing background checks, scheduling and facilitating interviews, hiring and onboarding. Typically, recruiters are active when a position needs to be filled.

recruiting tips

Examples of Sourcing Strategies

Use Your ATS

Candidate sourcing begins internally by utilizing your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS not only automatically posts your job description but it tracks every applicant who applied for the position. That information—name, state, zip code, email, resume, etc.—all gets stored in a candidate database that can be viewed, reviewed and searched at any time. Starting your search in your system saves time, money and builds on the relationship that already exists with past candidates.

Take Advantage of Employee Networks

Referrals are powerful tools for candidate sourcing. According to LinkedIn, referrals are the number one way people discover a new job. An employee referral program (ERP) encourages employees to recommend and recruit qualified potential candidates from their personal and professional networks. An ERP offers a referral bonus for every successful referral that ends up as a new hire. Bonuses can include cash, PTO, gift cards, eligibility for a drawing, recognition or other types of compensation. Make ERPs work by:

  • Reminding employees about the program.
  • Explain what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate.
  • Provide sample text for use when posting on social media or approaching prospects directly.
  • Include a job description that includes a position overview, key duties and responsibilities, tools and skills necessary, physical demands, qualifications desired, scheduling requirements, and levels of authority and supervision.
  • Treat referrals as VIPs by keeping employees updated on the process and giving feedback about any unsuitable recommendations.

Diversify Sourcing Channels

If you need to use external resources to source candidates, make sure to diversify your channels. Every company has a go-to social media platform based on its audience. Many find LinkedIn to be the best source; others get the most ROI from Facebook. But even if the tried-and-true channel works, it pays to put effort into other channels as well, especially if you’re trying to attract and hire a more diverse workforce.

Diversifying your sourcing channels gives you the ability to reach different candidates and gain unique information about them. Choose channels that allow you to specifically target candidates where they congregate. Examples include:

  • Professional associations specific to your industry
  • Niche job boards, like boards specifically for developers, designers, writers, accountants and tech specialists
  • Social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and even TikTok or Snap Chat

Plan a Meet and Greet

When possible, in-person events are a great way to source candidates. You can provide a better candidate experience if you can connect to someone face-to-face. You’ll also get the opportunity to introduce candidates to your company culture, which many times can be the deciding factor between you and the competition. According to a study by Glassdoor, 56% of workers in the United States say a strong workplace culture is more important than salary, and three in four workers say they’d consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Meeting candidates in person allows you to tell them about your company and employee benefits.

Reach Out to Passive Candidates

The most desired candidates are no longer sitting behind their computers scanning LinkedIn and job boards. The perfect candidates may be already employed and working hard at their current job, though willing to look elsewhere if the right opportunity presents itself. Use your social media channels to post a steady flow of interesting content like videos, blog posts and e-newsletters that will make passive candidates stop and look at your company. Invite passive candidates to enter your talent pipeline for future positions. Recruiters can collect a large pool of candidates, maintain relationships and reach out when an opportunity arises.

Build a Strong Employer Brand

Building and growing your employer brand takes time, resources and strategic planning, but it can also bring about company growth. Ensuring your social media accounts are updated regularly, and that your website and external marketing materials are cohesive, is a good place to start. You can reinforce your employer brand by:

  • Creating job ads that include your company’s mission statement, colors and logo
  • Responding to every candidate’s application – whether you think you’ll hire them or not
  • Offering (and publicizing) benefits that are important to employees
  • Making your careers page easy to find
  • Having a simple, straightforward application process
  • Tying job postings to your website, social media and other branding

Use an ATS with AI

Artificial Intelligence or AI automates sourcing processes, saving hiring managers and recruiters at least 30 hours per week. Programs and software integrated with AI algorithms, like Arcoro’s ATS, can automatically scan talent pools based on your specific criteria. Possible candidates who aren’t hired can also be stored and automatically notified when a new position opens with their specific skill sets. The AI recruiter can contact candidates and follow up with them about available positions.

AI can capture candidate information and nurture them through the rest of the process by texting reminders and directing them to your online application. And, once you get the candidates in your talent pipeline, the AI recruiter can automatically screen them, determining if they’re qualified to move forward. An AI assistant can also automatically send an email response to a qualified applicant or reject those who don’t possess your minimum requirements, leaving you to move forward with the best pool of talent for the position.

Arcoro’s Applicant Tracking Software reduces the process of sourcing candidates to as few steps as possible. An ATS saves HR and hiring managers time, allowing you and your team to focus on securing that great hire. See the solutions for yourself by scheduling a demo today.