Studies show that out of 90% of people willing to learn about new job opportunities, only 36% are active job seekers. That is why recruiters engage in candidate sourcing and proactively hunt for candidates they want to hire.
Research shows that a passive candidate is 120% more likely to impact business than an active candidate, making them a desired choice for recruiters. 98% of recruiters even agree with this stat.
Hence, recruiters need to understand the importance and implement the right strategies to source candidates who aren’t even actively engaged in job hunting.
Hiring team members who master candidate sourcing and understand what role good or bad sourcing plays in the company’s growth will give you an advantage in the market.
What is Candidate Sourcing?
Candidate sourcing refers to identifying the potential candidates who possess the necessary skills and qualifications and fit your overall candidate persona.
The process involves researching, networking, and convincing the candidates to apply for the open position. This may be done both online and offline.
Some benefits of Candidate Sourcing are:
- Improves the quality of hire: Actively seeking the candidate allows recruiters to find someone who fits their candidate persona instead of screening hundreds of unqualified applicants. This leads to higher-quality hires.
- Increases Diversity: Engaging in candidate sourcing helps recruiters build a more diverse talent pool. Having a pipeline of qualified people will give recruiters more options to fill the position with diverse candidates.
- Reduces time and cost per hire: A lot of money and time is spent on the hiring process, especially during interviews. Candidate sourcing cuts down this cost since recruiters already have a pipeline of potential candidates who can fill in for the position.
- Improves Employer Branding: Since building a positive candidate experience is the priority of recruiters while sourcing talents, candidates often get a positive impression of the agency, strengthening employer branding.
How to Source a Potential Candidate?
1. Create Your Ideal Candidate Persona
It can be challenging to find something if you don’t know what you are looking for. The same happens while sourcing candidates. So here is when the candidate profile comes into play.
A candidate persona is just like a blueprint where the recruiter maps out all the candidate’s desired qualities and personality traits for the open position.
It may include hard skills like proficiency in particular software, skills, qualifications, and soft skills like independent thinking, communication, confidence, etc.
Creating an ideal candidate profile allows recruiters to plan the hiring process and ensures that only a high-skilled candidate is hired.
Steps to create an ideal candidate persona:
- Define the job you are hiring for
- Consider your clients’ mission and values.
- Observe the company’s top performer, which will give you an understanding of what kind of candidate will fit its work culture.
- Define the hard and soft skills you desire in your ideal candidate
- Look for the channels your ideal candidate may be found. For example, is it a LinkedIn group or some local event around the place?
- Now keep the candidate profile in your mind throughout the recruitment process.
2. Reach Out on the Right Channel
There are many ways recruiters can source talent through many channels, but which one works well for them needs proper research and a little experiment. Still, here is a list of options you can start your talent hunt from:
- Job boards: This is the most accessible option for recruiters to gather the attention of many applicants, provided the right strategies are used. Writing an inclusive job advertisement, using sponsor ads, engaging in different groups, etc., can help you in your candidate sourcing.
- LinkedIn: Today, LinkedIn is the home to around 756 million users who are either professionals looking for jobs, small or big businesses, and other like-minded people who aim to grow their business network. LinkedIn is the best platform to look for both active and passive candidates. You should buy LinkedIn Recruiter’s plan for better features and outcomes.
- Social Media: Social Media is a great place to connect with talented people, build a diverse talent pipeline and enhance your employer branding. You can target candidates through paid advertisements too.
- On-field sourcing: Depending on the position type, you can reach out to your desired candidates. Remember, you must not offer the job directly; instead, asking about their acquaintance who may be interested in the position can spark their interest. Leave them your contact information so they can reach out to you if they are interested or maybe for other recommendations.
- Applicant Tracking System: You can search for the candidate in your in-house database if you have hired for a particular niche earlier. Recruitment Software stores applicants’ information in its database, which can be leveraged for sourcing talent anytime in the future.
3. Shortlist the Potential Candidates
With many CVs on your desk, hiring solely depends on the recruiter’s ability to shortlist the best one out of all. Therefore, you need to know the specifications to look for in the resumes.
Here are a few tips to quicken your shortlisting process:
- Use specific keywords. Your Applicant Tracking System can screen the resumes based on your specified keywords, eventually quickening the hiring process.
- Use Boolean Search to define your specifications and get more detailed results.
- By customizing your recruitment software’s algorithm according to your hiring needs, a lot of work can be done in a few seconds.
- You can gain a deeper insight into a candidate’s potential through pre-assessment tests, saving a lot of time evaluating unqualified applicants.
- Automate your shortlisting process using good Recruitment Software. An AI proctored recruitment software analyzes the skillsets of existing employees and shortlists the resumes based on the analysis.
These strategies can be great for agency recruiters, primarily while high-volume recruiting. But before jumping into the shortlisting process, it is essential to have a list of “must-haves” and “should not have” qualities of the candidate in your hand.
4. Engage With the Candidate
After shortlisting the potential candidates, the next step is to contact them. This is crucial because how you engage with clients will impact their decision to move further with the hiring process or drop off.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind before contacting the shortlisted candidates:
- Keep a doc file or even a short ppt ready in advance that could give the candidate a brief about you, your agency, and the client you are hiring for.
- Make sure the documents you share with the candidate are not distorted and can be easily opened and read.
- Schedule a call with them at their preferred time and day.
- Make sure you customize your emails and messages correctly before sending them to candidates, especially in high-volume recruiting.
- Make sure your emails are precise and brief. Better the cold emails, the less energy spent during the call to explain the position.
- During the call, try to gather the information not available in the CV. Keep the questions prepared in advance to avoid last-moment chaos.
- If the candidate rejects the offer due to any reason, ask them to recommend any of their acquaintances who may fit the job role.
5. Convince the Candidate to Accept the Job Offer
Before convincing a candidate, you must be convinced of your sourced candidate first. You must ask yourself these questions:
- Does this candidate fit your candidate persona?
- Will they be able to match the company’s work culture?
- Why will they change their current job? What are you providing them so they are retained in the company for longer?
- Are the reasons for the candidate’s job change valid? Is it just money, or is the candidate actually focusing on career growth?
- Will the candidate be able to blend in with the company’s employees?
These questions are essential because no matter how skilled the candidate is, they won’t be ideal for the company unless they can adapt themselves and grow along.
It is always a great idea to meet the candidates face to face, either in-person or through video calls, to understand them better.
10 Strategies to Make Candidate Sourcing Simple
- Stay connected with your client. It is essential to coordinate with the HR Manager time-to-time to know the exact expectations and preferences of the candidate. You can create your candidate persona around your client’s wish list.
- Candidate Experience must be your top priority. No matter how great your sourced candidate is, if their impression of your recruitment process is terrible, they won’t work with you.
- Leverage Employee Referral Program. Often the best candidate can be found within the network of someone who already is connected with the company, so why not reach out to them? There are higher chances of your offer being accepted if brought through by their acquaintances.
- Network as much as possible. Attend industry-specific events, hackathons, or other events where you can find professionals to create a solid talent pool. It will also increase your exposure to prospective clients.
- Invest in the right Recruitment Software. An Applicant Tracking System, Tools like Resume Parser, and a Candidate Relationship Management System can help you streamline your candidate sourcing process.
- Craft a perfect outreach message. This point is significant because an outreach message is the first thing a candidate comes across when a recruiter approaches. Ensure you introduce yourself, tell them about the job post, and why you think they would be perfect for the position? Keep your message personalized. It must not look like a spam message.
- Keep your career page updated. After the candidate reads your outreach message, they will google you. Hence, your career page must be updated regularly. Also, it will improve your website’s ranking, impacting your overall recruitment brand.
- Follow the trend. Keep your eyes on the latest trends and technologies in the recruitment industry. It will keep you ahead of your competitors and help attract more candidates.
- Keep your talent pool full. Ensure you contact candidates from different niches and skill levels, so you already have a candidate to approach as soon as a new position opens.
- Follow up with candidates who don’t respond. There are possibilities that you won’t receive any response to your outreach message from some candidates. Don’t just forget about them. Find ways to make them re-engage. Ask for their feedback. The goal is to include them in your talent pool.
A high-skilled candidate is like a celebrity nowadays, with every recruiter trying to hire them. Therefore, you need to be strategic. You will have to go out or scroll through hundreds of resumes to find that one ideal candidate.
Candidate sourcing, indeed, requires a lot of effort, but the result is always fruitful. The best way to not exhaust yourself in this process is to have the best hiring team around you, working with the same goal: Sourcing the best possible candidate in the marketplace.
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