Five ways to improve your sourcing strategy

September 1, 2022
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Mikaella McInerney
Five ways to improve your sourcing strategy

The hiring market is tough out there—for both recruiters and candidates. Candidates have to stand out from the crowd. Recruiters have to efficiently sort through that crowd to find the right fit for their open role. And it is a crowd: corporate recruiting specialist Dr. John Sullivan found that the average corporate role gets 250 applicants. At the same time, many of these applicants won’t even have the qualifications they would need for an interview, as the Wall Street Journal found that at least 50% of job hunters don’t have the basic qualifications they need for the role they apply to. And just to add to the pressure, McKinsey reports that the Great Resignation has meant that employers are competing with one another for the best talent out there.

In this competitive talent market, recruiters need a more proactive approach in sourcing talent in their recruiting strategies. Many companies are now turning to strategic sourcing as a way to find and secure the brightest candidates before the role is even open. That creates a more efficient, competitive, and successful way of doing business. And it can help sourcing candidates turn from a hassle into one of the key points of your company’s triumphs.

Over 80% of companies are now sourcing proactively, so you need to make it part of your strategy to stay competitive. But you don’t have to be part of the crowd. A number of factors makes your strategic sourcing approach stand out, including expanding your reach, filling your pipeline, and discovering high-quality candidates ahead of time. In this article, we’ll walk you through it to give your talent sourcing strategy the boost it needs.

What is talent sourcing?

Talent sourcing (sometimes also called passive candidate sourcing) is the way in which you find the candidates you need for open roles at your company. With strategic sourcing, you take this to the next level. Instead of only sourcing active candidates for open roles, you can strategically source for future needs and target both active and passive candidates. A good recruitment sourcing strategy template speeds your hiring funnel up while also ensuring you’re reaching the highest quality talent from the get go.

If you’re practicing sourcing strategy, you’ll connect future business needs with current recruitment processes. That means forecasting applications and hires to identify when you’ll need new roles filled well before the opening becomes urgent. It also means that the recruitment team should be well-advised and informed about market information, aligning with the company’s business intelligence and strategy teams. And it means working on your company brand and building relationships through networking so that your target candidates will already have you in mind well before you approach them.

Why should strategic sourcing be part of your recruiting process?

Engaging passive candidates offers many advantages. In the first place, it increases hiring efficiency: with strategic sourcing, your recruiting team can forecast talent pipelines months in advance, giving you extra time to plan for interviewing time and resourcing, onboarding, training, ramp-up times, workload, and more.

Secondly, it puts you ahead of the competition, with a faster hiring process that is likely to snag the best candidates. On average, 78.4% of job offers in professional and technical industries are accepted. That means there’s a huge advantage to being first in the gate—if your dream candidate is job hunting, the first offer is usually the winner.

Finally, strategic sourcing is a good insight into company health overall. If you work a six- or twelve-month plan into your recruitment process, you’re less likely to run into typical start-up problems, like hiring-and-firing cycles. Knowing who you’re going to hire and when gives you a better sense of the company’s trajectory and strategy going forward.

With that in mind, let’s consider five practical ways you can improve your sourcing strategy.

1. Optimize your LinkedIn usage

More than a social media platform, LinkedIn offers a way to network remotely—an invaluable tool in these post-COVID times! Use every opportunity LinkedIn offers you both as a company and as individuals within that company. On your company page, push branding content and make sure available roles are clearly advertised. On your individual page, network and connect with people you think might be a valuable fit later down the road.

You can also use LinkedIn during active recruitment periods, with job postings and campaigns. As well as this, try other, lesser known techniques to find the best candidates, including the “Similar Profiles” feature, or starting at the bottom of a list of candidates and working your way up so as to spot any hidden candidates who might not get as many messages as those who rank highly.

2. Use sourcing tools

Sourcing software, platforms, and other tools offer specific and precise ways to find the candidate you need. For example, for a designer role you might spend more time on Carbonmade, while you could go looking for engineers on Github. You could also use a program you almost certainly already have—like Slack!—to track your hiring funnel online, keep an eye on progress, and make informed decisions by keeping your entire recruitment team in the loop.

3. Push employee referrals

No one knows better what working at your company requires than the people who work there! Incentivizing employee referrals is a great way to mine your own employees’ network and contacts and find people tailor-picked to be a good fit for the role. On top of this, employee referrals can work to build company loyalty and increase retention, as people are less likely to leave when they have a hand-picked team they have been part of building.

4. Make social media work for you

Social media isn’t just a way to communicate with your customers or audience: it’s also a way to reach out to people who might want to work with you. Make sure to advertise all open roles on every social media platform you use. At the same time, even when you’re not actively recruiting you can use social media to track who interacts with you a lot: is there a promising product manager who likes all of your posts? Add them to your internal database! And finally, social media is a great way to show off not just your product, but your working culture, building brand recognition and creating a company that people will race to apply for.

5. Utilize CRM tools

Talent CRM (customer or candidate relationship manager) tools are a great way to streamline your process. They give you an overview of jobseekers and potential employees, helping you keep track of people interested in your company, create talent pools, and build and nurture relationships with passive talent. Better than keeping CVs in a filing cabinet or a clunky spreadsheet, CRM tools mean you have the information you need when you need it at your fingertips—already organized and ready to go.

Sourcing strategically is an investment… but one that pays off!

Sourcing strategically takes time, effort, and communication. But it pays off with more successful hires and an efficient recruiting process. Learning how to source candidates not just when you need them but continuously and proactively is a massive win for your company. At the same time, comparing candidates and having this information at the tips of your fingers is undeniably a massive investment of time and effort.

Want to make it simple? That’s where we come in. Book a demo with HiPeople today to learn how we can help your sourcing strategy and help you manage your hiring processes to bring in the best candidates as quickly as you can.

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