What is a Recruitment Sourcing Strategy?

We recently blogged about the most critical recruitment process steps. The fourth step on that list was “Identifying viable candidates.”

We also recently blogged about developing a staffing plan. The fourth step on that list was “Devise and implement talent acquisition strategies.”

Another way to term identifying and acquiring talent is sourcing talent, and as you can see, it’s an important step for companies and recruiters alike. With that in mind, a strategy is needed for sourcing that talent. That’s because a strategy produces a process, and having a set process is the only way to produce and track results.

So what we’ll be discussing is a . . . recruitment sourcing strategy. So as we’ve done with the other blog posts, a definition is in order.

What is a recruitment sourcing strategy?

A recruitment sourcing strategy is a strategy by which viable candidates are identified by organizations with a hiring need or by the executive recruiters or search consultants who have been hired by those organizations. This strategy is composed of multiple candidate sourcing techniques, which are typically used in combination to maximize results.

Basically, there is more than one recruitment sourcing method. The way in which these methods are used depends upon a wide array of factors, some of which include:

  • The types of candidates needed
  • The preferences of the hiring authorities or recruiters
  • Past success (or lack of success) using the method
  • The resources at the disposal of the person (or people) utilizing the strategy
  • The personnel available to utilize the strategy

And the list goes on and on. The point is this: an overriding talent sourcing strategy is composed of individual candidate sourcing techniques. The way in which the overriding strategy is composed depends at least in part on the factors listed above.

6 of the best sourcing techniques for recruiters

Okay, so now that we know what a recruitment sourcing strategy is and how it’s composed of multiple candidate sourcing techniques, what are some of those techniques?

#1—Sourcing candidates through a recruiting database

Of course, many hiring authorities and recruiters (both in-house and third-part) maintain their own recruiting database of candidates. When these hiring authorities and recruiters have a job order, they often automatically check their own database first as a way of sourcing candidates. Of course, the better your recruiting applicant tracking system is, the more quickly you’ll find the candidates you need.

#2—Sourcing candidates through social media

LinkedIn has become all the rage during the last several years, as countless companies and recruiters have added it to their talent sourcing strategy. They “camp out” within the social media platform on an almost daily, hoping to source high-quality candidates and then recruit them. While it’s true that they also use other social media platforms for sourcing, LinkedIn is most definitely the most effective and most popular method of sourcing candidates through social media.

#3—Sourcing candidates through online job postings

It seems almost everybody does this, right? Well, while just about every company does it, not all recruiters do. There is still a contingent of search consultants that refuse to add job posting boards and job board integration to their candidate sourcing methods. One reason is that online job postings usually attract active job seekers but aren’t great passive recruiting strategies. The latter are usually top performers at their current employer, are busy and compensated well, and aren’t even looking at online job postings.

So do job boards really work? The effectiveness of this candidate sourcing method depends on who you ask.

In addition to searching candidates that have applied to job board postings, try a Google resume search. Many people, especially in the tech space, will have their own websites that frequently host an updated copy of their resume.

#4—Sourcing candidates via referrals

Now this is one of the old-school sourcing strategies for recruiters that never actually gets old. That’s because it’s so darn effective. Organizations have official employee referral programs whereby employees are paid a referral bonus if they refer a candidate who is actually hired. Recruiters also employ such methods of sourcing. Offering a referral fee to candidates that suggest friends or colleagues that are later placed successfully is a very viable technique. The best place to find more candidates like the one you just placed is to ask that individual who they know.

#5—Sourcing candidates from within the organization

This is a technique that organizations often employ, especially if they’re heavy into succession planning. Of course, with this method, the organization does not need the services of a third-party recruiter. That’s because the talent is right there within the company. However, the talent still needs to be convinced to make a move, even though it’s with their current employer.

#6—Sourcing candidates through a recruiter network

We are currently in the midst of a “candidate’s” market.” That means candidates have the upper hand in the marketplace. That means the really good candidates are interviewing with more than one company, they’re often receiving multiple offers of employment, and they have plenty of options from which to choose. On the other hand, we have hiring managers and authorities who never seem to find the candidate they want. A recruiting network can provide a solution, since the recruiters within the network share candidates and job orders.

Latest and greatest recruiter sourcing strategies

Of course, as any recruiter knows, you sometimes have to get creative when attempting to source the right candidates. The Internet provides many opportunities for recruiters to be creative. The problem is that not many recruiters know that these creative sourcing methods exist.

That’s why Top Echelon has called upon some of the best sourcers and trainers in the recruiting industry to show recruiters how to source in a creative fashion. One of those trainers is Shally Steckerl of The Sourcing Institute.

Shally has presented numerous training webinars as part of the Top Echelon Recruiter Coaching Series. The one that he presented most recently is titled, “The Latest and Greatest Sourcing Strategies for Recruiters.” You can watch the recorded video for that webinar FREE by clicking the link below.

When it comes to sourcing candidates—especially A-level, passive candidates that your clients want to hire—you need every weapon possible in your arsenal. You might just find a sourcing strategy example that will work perfectly for you.

Recruitment sourcing strategies are like snowflakes

No two snowflakes are exactly alike. No two recruitment sourcing strategies are exactly alike, either. That’s because they’re comprised of a combination of whatever recruitment sourcing techniques and methods that the organization or search consultant choose to use.

Some companies rely heavily on third-party recruiters, while others do not.

Some rely heavily on online job posting, while others take a more measured approach.

In addition, some companies and recruiters use social media a ton, while others only turn to social media in certain situations. It’s a good bet that most organizations and recruiters use some sort of referral program, though.

It all comes down to which ways of sourcing candidates hiring managers and recruiters prefer to use, to what extent they use them, and in what capacity. The methods and techniques they choose to use ultimately comprise their overall recruitment sourcing strategy.

And a sourcing strategy is only as good as the last employee who was hired . . . or the last candidate who was placed.

That’s why a recruitment strategy should constantly evolve to maximize the effectiveness of the sourcing (and hiring) process.

candidate sourcing strategies

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