6 Sourcing Secrets of Top Recruiters

top recruiting sourcing secrets

Sourcing talent is a talent acquisition discipline involving the identification and engagement of prospective hires through proactive recruitment. The primary goals of sourcing are to convert qualified individuals into applicants and to capture referrals.

Sourcers (also known as sourcing specialists, internet recruiters, recruiting researchers, or talent scouts) employ a variety of recruitment strategy tactics to develop qualified leads, including:

  • building comprehensive search strings
  • cold calling
  • networking

The best sourcing strategy balances the search for potential job applicants with fostering existing leads in the service of eventual conversion.  

Here are the recruitment strategies sourcers from LinkedIn, Robert Half, and Yelp use to find the industry-best talent their companies employ.

1. Communicate with your hiring manager

Before you start searching for a job candidate, confirm with your hiring manager that you share the same vision for the ideal hire. Heather Frank, a talent sourcer at LinkedIn, advises meeting with the hiring manager to understand the job requirements as soon as you receive the job description. “I start the conversation with, ‘I would love to hear the day-to-day responsibilities of this employee,’” Franks says.

Additional questions for the hiring manager:

  • What projects will the employee work on?
  • What basic qualifications should this person have?
  • What is the ideal skill-set this person would have?

Frank also asks the hiring manager to provide profiles of current employees with professional backgrounds similar to that of the ideal candidate as part of her recruiting strategy.

2. Learn about the role from co-workers in similar positions

Reach out to coworkers on the team you are hiring for to better understand the responsibilities and work environment of the position. “Find out what a typical day is like in their work: what challenges they face, what they enjoy, what the team is like, and who they work with day-to-day,” Frank says. These insights will help you better describe the job to candidates which in turn will help them visualize themselves in the role.

3. Know what to find out in the pre-screening interview

Even if basic qualifications for the position are missing from an otherwise suitable candidate’s résumé, don’t assume he or she does not meet the job’s requirements. “Candidates forget to include some skills and qualifications on their résumés,” says Caitlyn Wolf, a hiring manager at Robert Half. To avoid overlooking potentially successful hires, call candidates to learn their actual suitability.

When you call, ask questions to determine:

  • Does the candidate have the basic qualifications for the job?
  • Does the candidate effectively communicate what they have done in their past work experiences?
  • Are the candidate’s personal values in line with the mission and values of my company?

“Talking on the phone changes everything,” Frank says. “Candidates don’t include much detail in their LinkedIn profiles, but once you ask them questions, you can find out if they are a fit.”

4. Attend networking events

Networking allows you to discover people you wouldn’t necessarily find online. Since many of the best candidates are highly involved in their industry, networking events such as industry meet-ups are ideal places to meet potential candidates. “The talent levels at a networking event can vary, but the key is to walk away with a connection that can add something to your organization,” says Keith Hooper, a senior recruiter at Yelp. The connection can become a future hire or become part of your network.

 “You never know who is looking for a job or who knows someone that is looking for a job,” Wolf says.

5. Personalize your communications

Capture the attention of passive candidates by identifying mutual connections on social media who can introduce you. If you don’t have a connection, send an InMail on LinkedIn. “Make it personal,” Hooper says. “Candidates respond more often to catchy subject lines which speak directly to them, but don’t stop there. Mention something from the candidate's profile in your note.” Keep messages short to avoid overwhelming recipients. And while most people won’t respond, those who do can become assets to your company, either by expanding your network or by becoming new employees.

6. Inform past candidates of new job opportunities

Maintain relationships with candidates, even those who do not receive job offers. “You’ve created a connection,” Frank says. “Keep the conversation going. Remind the unsuccessful candidate that a ‘no’ now is not a ‘no’ forever. Invite them for coffee or lunch.” By maintaining relationships with quality candidates, you can easily contact the right people when a suitable job opportunity becomes available.

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