Maximize Your Talent Search: A 5-Step Guide to Sourcing Candidates

Explore the advantages of candidate sourcing and follow our 5-step guide to get ahead of the game and cultivate your own A+ team.

It's no secret that hiring is a challenge. It’s time-consuming and expensive. And it’s not getting any easier.

But what if there was a way to find candidates before they even knew you were hiring? If they aren’t actively looking for a job, how could you possibly hire them for your team?

That’s where candidate sourcing comes in. Candidate sourcing creates a direct line to the right candidates—and could be the secret of finding the right talent for your team.

In this article, we’ll help you decide if candidate sourcing is a strategy you want to add to your hiring efforts, give you a step-by-step guide on how to source candidates, and find out what it takes to get future passive applicants interested in working for you.

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is a powerful recruiting strategy that can help recruiters find top talent and fill open positions quickly and efficiently.

By proactively searching for candidates, companies can identify and attract individuals who may not be actively looking for new opportunities but have the qualifications and experience required for the role (passive candidates). This approach can be particularly useful when hiring for managerial and specialized roles or when there is a skill shortage (for example, if you’re hiring software engineers).

Essentially, this sourcing strategy provides an alternative or complementary way of finding qualified talent when the traditional methods aren’t producing results. You can source candidates through different channels, including using social media, attending networking events, and even email marketing.

The main advantage is that instead of having applicants come to you, you go directly to the candidates that have the experience and qualifications you are looking for, saving time and resources in the recruitment process.

What is Sourcing vs Recruiting?

Candidate sourcing and recruitment are terms often used interchangeably. They are distinct approaches to recruiting, albeit complementary.

Recruiting is the process of attracting potential candidates to apply for public open positions. This can include posting jobs on job boards, attending job fairs, sending out emails announcing openings, and conducting interviews with candidates who have applied through the company's website. This describes the typical recruitment method, which involves waiting for job seekers to apply. In this approach, only submitted applicant profiles will be reviewed.

With fierce competition for top talent, companies are turning to sourcing techniques to find the applicant profiles that better fit their organization and beat their competition in the process. Generally speaking, candidate sourcing is a proactive talent-hunting strategy that involves actively searching for and identifying potential candidates for current or future open positions.

Poaching is an example of candidate sourcing where a recruiter looks for qualified candidates in the competition and attempts to entice the talent to work for their company (the ethics of which are debatable). Another example of candidate sourcing is screening layoff-impacted employee lists, knowing that the likelihood of them being on the job hunt is high.

Sourcing is particularly useful in industries where the pool of qualified candidates is small or when there is a high demand for a specific set of skills. It is a way to discover candidates that may not be actively seeking new opportunities but could be a good fit for the role and the company culture.

By having more control over who is considered for each hiring pipeline, you’ll also have a higher chance of finding and securing your very own purple squirrel (that rare-to-find employee that perfectly matches your requirements and company culture).

Overall, sourcing and recruiting are complementary strategies that companies can use to find and attract top talent. By utilizing both techniques, you can increase your chances of finding the perfect fit for your open positions.

What Are the Benefits of Candidate Sourcing?

Although most hiring managers recognize the importance of seeking out candidates, few will truly invest in it as the main strategy to grow their team. The active sourcing approach will arguably require a bigger time investment during the first stages (compared with posting a job ad and waiting for applications) but will bring a higher ROI in later stages.

The benefits of candidate sourcing are many. Here are four reasons you might consider including it in your hiring process:

  1. Find candidates who match your exact requirements. The most obvious benefit is that you are in complete control of the skills and experience you’re targeting. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach, you can find candidates who match your exact requirements and who are most likely to make a positive impact on your company.
  2. Bypass time-consuming screening of unsuitable applicants. Weed out candidates who don't meet your criteria and focus only on those who do. This saves time and allows you to move on with the process more quickly than if you were screening hundreds of candidates that are not the right fit.
  3. Increase diversity. Candidate sourcing allows you to cast a wider net in your search for talent. By reaching out beyond your immediate network and targeting underrepresented groups, you can make your team more representative of society at large and foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
  4. Get a competitive advantage. By proactively sourcing top candidates, you can stay ahead of the competition by recruiting industry leaders and adding them to your organization—before your competition does.

Candidate sourcing is not new, but it is underutilized. Don’t miss out on this strategy to build a stellar team that pushes your business forward. By proactively searching for the right candidates, you can ensure that your company is well-positioned to grow and succeed in the long term.

Why is Hiring So Hard? — Common Challenges in Talent Sourcing

Pre-Internet, job seekers would go door to door with resumes in hand, hoping to be sponsored for the following forty-something years.

Times have dramatically changed and the process of finding a company-candidate fit has become simultaneously simpler and harder. With the birth of the internet, job seekers and talent hunters now have more options available to them. But with increased options come added challenges.

In today’s highly competitive labor market, finding the right people can be difficult.

For starters, hiring is expensive. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates an average cost-per-hiring of $4,129 to fill a position. This includes advertising, interviewing, and training new hires, but it does not include their income until they're autonomous at work.

Not only is it costly, but hiring also takes a long time. On average, takes around 42 days to fill a new position, precious time during which teams are at full capacity and unable to do their best work.

Lastly, employee turnover is the highest it's ever been, 20% higher than pre-pandemic rates. Companies not only have to invest in their hiring pipelines but also in employee retention.

Overall, we can agree that hiring is a time and resources sink. The ability to create an efficient hiring process can make or break a growing business. Arguably, candidate sourcing offers the flexibility to find candidates with the right skillsets and attitude on a friendly budget and timeline.

How Is Candidate Sourcing Done?

As we’ve seen, proactive candidate sourcing is a powerful strategy for finding the right talent for your company. By sourcing candidates, you can find the perfect match for your company's culture, values, and requirements, rather than waiting for them to come to you.

However, sourcing candidates can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to screening and outreaching out to passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new job. To help you navigate this process, we’ve compiled the main steps in the candidate sourcing process so you can start hiring like a pro.

5 Steps to Proactive Candidate Sourcing

Follow these steps to increase your chances of finding the right talent and building a strong and successful team.

  1. Define your ideal candidate. Before you even start looking for new hires, it's important to have an idea of what kind of person you want on your team. Think of qualifications, experience level, and location, among others. But remain flexible—prioritize core competencies and values over strict requirements.
  2. Search on the right platform. Depending on the position you’re hiring for, you’ll have an easier time finding the right candidates on industry-specific platforms. The first step is determining which platform(s) will yield the best results. Are they active on LinkedIn? Do they blog? Are they active on social media? For example, if you’re looking for a software engineer, your best bets are looking on AngelList, LinkedIn, or Hacker Earth.
  3. Communicate your employer brand effectively. Your employer brand is the perception that potential candidates have of your company as an employer. You’re essentially “selling” your company as a good employer, making you more attractive to potential candidates. Some ways you can build your employer brand are by sharing your company’s story, showcasing employee testimonials, and highlighting growth opportunities.
  4. Personalize your contact attempts. Personalization is key to standing out from other recruiters who may be sending out generic messages. By taking the time to get to know each candidate before making any offers or asking for interviews, you can create a more positive and personalized experience right from the start. This can include researching their background and experiences, tailoring your message to their specific interests and qualifications, and being responsive to their questions and concerns. This way you will increase the likelihood of them accepting an offer to join your company.
  5. Persuade them to join your mission! Persuading candidates to join your team requires more than just listing your company's benefits and opportunities; it requires a deeper understanding of their goals, aspirations, and what they're looking for in their next opportunity. One of the most effective ways to persuade candidates to join your mission is by listening more than you talk. Take the time to understand their career goals, what they're looking for in their next opportunity, and what's important to them.

Proactively sourcing candidates is a powerful strategy for finding the best talent for your company. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of finding the right talent and building a strong and successful team. Remember, sourcing candidates is not just about filling open roles but also about building a team that aligns with your company's mission and values.

Effortlessly Build Your Dream Team With Pareto

Now you can effortlessly build your dream team with fully customizable candidate sourcing. Get valid contacts, screen resumes, and qualify candidates based on your current needs so you can jump right to interviewing top talent.

With Pareto’s team by your side, you’ll build a team of top talent that will take your business to the next level. Send your candidate sourcing project today.

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