A Payscale study reveals that 88% of human resources leaders say recruiting is their biggest challenge. The most pressing recruitment concern is sourcing the right talent that would be a good fit for a company even before there are open positions.
Enter talent sourcing: a recruitment strategy that helps recruiters find talent to fill current openings and grow the talent pipeline. Although talent sourcing strategies vary based on industry, geographical region, and level of the role, it’s still good to have a framework you can use to craft a strategy that works for your brand.
That’s what we’re offering in this guide. We’ll help you move from being frustrated by your sourcing strategy to being confident that you have the best candidates in your pipeline.
Talent sourcing is the proactive process of researching and networking to find a wide pool of prospective candidates. The goal is to have viable job candidates to choose from when it’s time to fill vacant positions. This proactive approach to sourcing candidates makes it easier to tap into the 37.3% of passive job seekers who are highly-skilled candidates but may not be actively applying for jobs.
To source top talent, you need a solid talent acquisition process. It might seem pretty straightforward: You post a job online and wait for the applications to roll in, right?
We’ve outlined nine steps below that will help you connect with strong candidates and develop a company culture that makes your brand more appealing to the highly-skilled employees you want to attract.
Simply put, your employer brand is your company’s reputation as an employer. The best talent will want to work at your company if your employer brand is strong and positive. Here are some ways that you can develop your employer brand:
A job description shouldn’t be an exact copy of one that already exists within your company, or even a similar job description from a competitor. If you want to attract strong candidates, the job description must accurately reflect the job qualifications and what’s needed from a new hire in your business’s present context: The job description you had six months ago may no longer apply to what you need today.
Before crafting a job description, speak with people within the organization who will work with the person filling the role. Ask them about their own roles and how this position supports them. Get their feedback on the job description you crafted to determine if anything is missing or if any gaps need filling. Sometimes, these discussions reveal that a new position isn’t even needed—instead, the team just needs to be restructured so that everyone is more efficient in their roles.
Remember to include benefits and salary information in your job descriptions. It’s now mandated by law in New York City that employers with four or more employees must include the salary range in job descriptions. This is information that today’s talent wants and expects to see, and this strategy will also help you attract talent and increase your bargaining power during salary negotiations.
Once you determine what’s required and the qualifications needed to get the job done, the next step is figuring out the ideal candidate’s characteristics. These are the things that signal whether or not a candidate would thrive in the position. Three factors contribute to developing this list of characteristics:
Keeping your talent pipeline filled with viable candidates is key to strengthening your sourcing efforts. It’s not sufficient to have a list of names in a spreadsheet and call that your talent pipeline. Instead, you need what Alicia O’Brien, VP of Innovation at WilsonHCG, calls “talent communities.”
These communities help you nurture authentic relationships with the talent in your pipeline. Think of it as content marketing for potential employees. You can do this with a regular stream of content relevant to each person’s interests, or perhaps a series of mixers where recruiters from specific companies can mingle with interested tech professionals. A combination of relevant content and events will help you build a thriving talent community that keeps your pipeline engaged.
The trick here is to create content that educates talent and keeps them engaged. Your aim is to keep your company top-of-mind so that when an opportunity does arise, these highly-skilled people would be more willing to say yes to your request for an interview.
You should also explore what recruitment tools exist that can help you find the best candidates, even if they are not ready to move roles at the moment you find them. High-volume recruiters know that you always need to be pulling in new talent to keep up with turnover and labor shortages.
Now that you’ve engaged candidates in your pipeline, you need to look through your talent pool and focus on those who fit your criteria. Here are some questions you can ask:
But, you’ll want to ask these questions alongside feedback from hiring managers. The answers to these questions will help you revise your sourcing strategy so that you consistently fill your pipeline with the best possible candidates.
You’ve narrowed down your list to the top candidates who truly fit what you’re looking for in an employee—now it’s time to contact them. Bear in mind that it may be worthwhile to combine two outreach touch points (such as an email plus a phone call). This makes it less likely that your communication will slip through the cracks and increases your chances of scheduling an interview.
Recruiters are typically not involved in the interview and evaluation processes. But the company you represent may ask you to be a part of this stage of the process since you’ve had first-hand contact with the candidates. Remember to be conscious of any biases you may have so that your recommendations aren’t influenced by those biases.
The deal is set: Your hiring manager is happy with the successful candidate, and the candidate is excited to start a new role. Now it’s time to support your HR manager in delivering the contract and onboarding the new hire successfully. The key word here is support—you’re helping seal the deal.
Feedback is a key component of a recruiting strategy. You can use your observations, assumptions, and data to determine what worked and what didn’t. But the best way to evaluate whether your talent sourcing process is working is to hear what your hiring team and new candidates think.
You could send out a feedback survey or speak with the relevant parties individually and consider asking the following questions:
The sourcing method you choose depends on several factors: the level of the position you’re trying to fill, whether you want to hire someone to work remotely or in the office, etc. We’ve curated a list of six of the most popular talent sourcing methods to help you choose the options that meet your company’s needs.
One of the most popular talent sourcing methods is social recruiting (also called social sourcing): the process of using social media to find highly qualified candidates for jobs. More than ever, hourly job seekers are turning to branded social profiles like Facebook. In fact, 41% of younger workers are likely to search for jobs using social media.
(But there are also tools like Emi that help streamline the recruiting process across all your social media platforms.)
Online job boards and employer career sites are the top two places candidates use to submit job applications. It’s best to use job boards along with other talent sourcing methods that help you build relationships with potential candidates, as some of the best candidates for a job won’t be actively looking for new positions on a job board.
The best candidates for top-level positions are less likely to use job boards—you’re most likely to find them using other talent sourcing methods.
Research by Career Builders shows that 88% of employers rated employee referrals above all other talent sources for providing quality new hires. This is a talent sourcing method that’s worth your time and investment.
Job fairs bring multiple organizations and job seekers together in one place. Although job fairs make it easier to assess job candidates in person before they even apply, there are also some drawbacks.
These days, sophisticated applicant tracking systems (ATS) function as all-in-one talent management tools, giving recruiters access to talent databases, organizing application workflows, and managing new candidate onboarding.
Recruiting software has evolved from the days of it just being technology that sorted resumes using keywords and semantics to being an all-in-one suite where recruiters can improve their workflows, tap into the social media profiles of candidates, seamlessly schedule interviews, present offers to successful candidates, and manage new candidate onboarding. This sourcing tool can be your secret weapon.
Your list of passive candidates are those on your shortlist who aren’t actively looking for a job. You may have run across their LinkedIn profiles, seen their resumes through your recruiting software, or perhaps even met them via networking. These people have skill sets that are a great match for your position(s), but unlike active candidates, they haven’t actually applied for the open role.
These are excellent resources to keep at your fingertips, because you never know when someone may be looking for a rewarding new job opportunity.
Talent sourcing isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. We’ve described a nine-step process you can use as a guide for building a sourcing strategy that works for your brand. The key is to do what works for you and leads to attracting and retaining top talent.
Emi Labs is here to help you automate and streamline your talent sourcing process. Schedule a demo to discover how we can help you.