Back to Basics: The Most Effective Methods for Candidate Sourcing

You already know (probably all too well) just how limited time, resources, and fresh ideas can feel when you’re tasked with immediate staffing needs. If you’re looking for some strategic boosts in your candidate sourcing, let’s review some of the best starting places to build your candidate pipeline.

Get Referrals From Trusted Sources

For any given open position in your organization, chances are good that you know someone who knows someone who’s a great candidate. Referrals (whether through existing employees or a trusted network) are one of the perennial top sources for solid candidates.

Referrals are such a valuable resource because you start with a base level of knowledge about a candidate: the referrer typically knows who the person is, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and why they would work well in the specific role. That’s a level of insight that can take several rounds of vetting otherwise. Welcome referrals, and actively seek them out!

Build Your Social Media Outreach To Passive Candidates

According to a LinkedIn survey, only about 36% of potential candidates are in an active job search, but a whopping 90% would be open to hearing about opportunities. That means there is a huge untapped market of passive job seekers who may not find your opening because they’re not really looking for it.

Recruiting passive candidates is a challenge, to be sure. How do you find people who don’t know to look for you? But that’s where diligent social media outreach especially can help boost your recruiting. The where is certainly important here—LinkedIn is classic for a reason, but it’s not the only option. For example, about 40% of recruiters say they don’t use Twitter at all in their outreach, so that’s one key candidate sourcing opportunity to find professionals who aren’t being approached by others.

Take A Second Look At Your ATS

If you have an applicant tracking system (ATS), you already have a database full of insights and potential. Applicants who didn’t make the cut for one position may well be right for another. Or maybe you had candidates who were promising, but ended up not moving forward in the process for whatever reason. It’s time to look at that information again with fresh eyes.

Depending on how comprehensive your tracking system is, you may have fairly complete profiles on potential candidates. But don’t let others slip through the cracks—if a candidate was missing important info (like contact info or other base info), try running searches to identify any gaps. If what you need is a simple matter of contact info, it may be a simple task to track it down and reach out about potential opportunities.

Go Outside

…The internet, that is. (Though who knows—the right candidate might be waiting next to you for a bus or enjoying a lunchtime bit of sun, so maybe try the literal outdoors as well.) We get so caught up in the unrelenting digitization of everything that we sometimes forget about some old school, reliable options. Job fairs, industry events, and other face-to-face opportunities can unearth great new candidates—or help you build up your network for referrals. Offline channels may feel very analog, but actually meeting with new people instead of browsing a resume PDF can help re-energize your searches.

One of the biggest challenges for candidate sourcing can be feeling like you’re in a rut or seeing the same old channels. Don’t be afraid to look at those “same old” candidates as if they’re new, or turn to reliable recommenders to get inspiration and recommendations.

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