9 Proven Talent Sourcing Strategies to Get More Candidates

There’s often stiff competition for finding new hires. Read on for a few tips on how to keep new talent flowing through your organization.

What’s a manager without their team? What’s a business without its team? While it’s possible to run an organization by yourself, the bigger your organization gets, the more help you’ll need. And sure, there’s a robust job market full of potential candidates. In reality, though, hiring them isn’t as simple as taking on the first person that walks through your door. Instead, finding the most qualified candidates often requires some well-developed talent sourcing strategies. 

What is talent sourcing?

Talent sourcing is a proactive method of finding new people for your organization – you’ll seek them out yourself using various methods. You’ll do this even when you’re not actively hiring. This gives you more control over your recruitment process and helps you fill in new openings sooner than later. 

The importance of talent sourcing 

Even with stiff competition between organizations to find the ideal candidates, there are still a lot of people looking for work. That means dozens of applications to sift through and dozens of applicants to interview. Despite that, though, it’s still possible to hire someone who isn’t fit for the role. With talent sourcing, you have a better chance of finding someone who can do the work and thrive in your organization’s work environment

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Acquisition, sourcing, and recruiting – What’s the difference?

Talent acquisition is the umbrella term for both recruitment and sourcing, representing the process from start to finish. Talent sourcing is the step-by-step method your organization uses to search for and contact ideal candidates for open positions. Recruiting, on the other hand, involves interviews, background checks, onboarding, and anything else that helps you find the ideal candidate. 

The talent sourcing process explained

Talent sourcing isn’t quite as simple as advertising an open position at every opportunity. That’s how you get flooded with unqualified candidates, with the good ones lost in the shuffle. Sourcing candidates helps narrow the search to only people who can likely handle the job. Here are the steps to do it right.

1List the job requirements

Your sourcing efforts will stall at the starting line if you don’t know what you actually need from new hires. After all, every role within your organization will require certain skills, educational backgrounds, or mindsets. Without making this clear, you might be up to your neck in applications from unqualified candidates or candidates who misunderstood what you’re seeking. 

2Figure out your ideal candidate

You know what traits the position calls for – now, you can decide who you want to fill it. You could settle for someone who meets the job requirements and call it a day. But just because they have the right skills or education doesn’t mean they’re right for your team or organization as a whole. Try and figure out the passions and personality traits that would best fit in with your work environment too. 

3Start researching

Next, your talent-sourcing experts can start scouring social media profiles, career fairs, and job boards. This can be time-consuming, especially since you’ll be looking for a specific set of traits, but it’s worth it. The time you put in to find top talent will often lead to higher-quality job applicants. 

4Strike up a conversation

Once your recruiters have found applicants that check all the boxes, they can make initial contact. This should be to gauge interest rather than immediately persuade them to join your organization. Coming on too strong can drive people away from your organization entirely. 

5Look at the whole talent pool

Go over all the candidates you’ve spotted. If any of them have shown interest in the opportunity, schedule a more formal interview. This can ensure they’re the right fit for the job and kickstart your whole recruiting process.

Strategies and best practices for sourcing talent

If your recruiters aren’t having much luck finding great candidates, they might need to tweak their approach. Use the below tips and strategies to give your sourcing efforts a boost. 

1Edit your description of your ideal candidate

If you can get candidates into an interview but none of them work out, your team might not be looking for the right people. Take a look at your imaginary ideal candidate and see whether you might be setting the requirements a bit too low or high.

2Build your brand reputation

If you’re struggling to attract new team members with your sourcing strategy, it’s possible your organization is scaring people off somehow. Many candidates will research organizations before deciding to work there, and they’ll pick organizations with positive reputations over bad ones. Take care of your less-than-glowing standing sooner than later so you can keep up a flow of new talent. 

3Respect the candidate’s time

If you’re seeking the candidate out rather than the other way around, then you should fast-track them to an interview. Asking them to submit their resume or take a test after scouting them won’t go over well. Why would you contact them just to ask them for extra labor? 

4Reach out to previous applicants

Only seeking out brand-new applicants can be limiting. After all, you might already know some candidates who can potentially fit in at your organization. Dusting off old applications can be a way to skip the initial stages of talent acquisition and go right to the interview room. 

5Make use of team referrals

If your best team members have friends or family members they think would fit well at your organization, there’s no harm in setting up an interview. Think about it – your team knows just as much about your work environment as a recruiter. Plus, since the recommendation comes from a trusted source, you might end up with another great team member in a fraction of the time. 

6Personalize your emails

Email templates often tend to read like, well, templates. Sending these to potential candidates can turn them off from working for your organization. Instead, take the time to personalize each email. Talk a little about why you think the candidate fits the bill, but keep brevity in mind. Job candidates will only have so much time to put aside for longer messages, and they may not appreciate a hard sell. 

7Use an applicant tracking system

Hiring managers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen applicants automatically and filter out unqualified candidates. You can use these programs to deal with dozens or hundreds of applications whenever a position is open. This will only make your talent sourcing process more efficient.

8Search a variety of talent pools

Your recruiters shouldn’t limit themselves to any one approach when searching for candidates. Searching through job boards, social media, and real-life locations like job fairs can help you cast as large a net as possible. And you can do it all while keeping your ideal candidate front-of-mind.

9Keep track of your sourcing progress

You’ll never know there’s a problem with your sourcing if you don’t keep an eye on it. Tracking hiring data is how you’ll really know everything about your organization’s flow of new hires. If the numbers aren’t meeting your objectives and key results (OKRs), you’ll know it’s time to make changes.

Pro tip: Stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs in Fellow’s Objectives tool. The best part? You can quickly review those objectives during your team meetings!

Scout the best to find success

Finding new team members can be tough with the amount of competition out there, and a strong sourcing strategy that keeps up the flow of new hires. Working with your hiring managers is one of the best ways to create an effective talent sourcing plan, and with Fellow, collaboration becomes much easier. 

Fellow’s collaborative meeting agendas, meeting action item tools, and real-time feedback features can help you and your hiring managers brainstorm your talent acquisition process. And even when you’re not hiring, Fellow is a powerful asset in any meeting room. It’s how you can ensure all your meetings – from onboarding onward – go off without a hitch.

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