Sourcing Candidates in 2021

Sourcing candidates—even in the best of times—can be quite a daunting task. Sourcers and recruiters can spend weeks and sometimes months searching for the perfect candidate for a job opening and sometimes the person you want unfortunately may not exist. As the job market quickly recovers and candidates are now considering a move, organizations need to look to new and innovative ways to source, recruit and hire talent.

While you cannot wish the perfect candidates into existence or fast-forward past the pandemic, there are a number of candidate sourcing strategies you can deploy to help ensure that you have a quality talent pool at your fingertips as soon as you are ready to hire. In this article, we outline tips and strategies for sourcing candidates in 2021 that will help you improve your talent sourcing.

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Talking Talent: Sourcing in 2021

Sourcing Candidates Begins with Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand could be the difference between a candidate responding to your strategic sourcing and outreach or ignoring it. Candidates may not respond to your outreach messaging if they think poorly of your employer brand, so make sure you communicate your employer value proposition.

To improve your sourcing techniques and overall recruiting success, here are some tips on both repairing and building a better employer brand:

Respond to Reviews

Regularly check review sites like Glassdoor and respond to the feedback to let people know you appreciate their input and will take action where it’s necessary. This will generate goodwill, and help your employees feel engaged and heard.

Tell your Story

Engaging your employees in storytelling, encouraging them to personalize their LinkedIn profiles, starting a company blog, being active in the press and speaking at conferences are just a few of the ways employers can spread awareness about their brand.

Partner with your Marketing Team

The strategies and methods needed to help spread your employer brand to job seekers are similar to the ones marketing is using to promote your organization’s brand. Partner closely with your marketing team on both employer-branded content creation and distribution channels. 

Start Sourcing Candidates for Jobs Before You Are Ready

candidate sourcing

Sourcing candidates for jobs takes time, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. To get ahead of the candidate sourcing curve, start sourcing talent even if you do not have open positions. Typically, sourcing goes like this: “I have X job to fill, I’m going to source people for X job.” But smarter sourcers get even more proactive with their sourcing efforts and get ahead on roles they will need to hire for in the future.

First, take a look at your business growth plans. Then, build a corresponding workforce hiring strategy that gives you insight into when hires need to be made across the year to sustain your organization’s goals.

Once you have a picture of which teams need to grow, you can work with department leaders and HR to identify the level and skillsets required. Aggregate those skills and what you know about your company and team culture so you can begin to strategic sourcing for specific profiles candidates in a focused and on-ongoing way.   

Social Sourcing Tools and Platforms

sourcing tools

If you want to find and connect with the best talent, you should create a comprehensive social media sourcing strategy.

Social media channels provide strategic sourcing professionals an opportunity to share targeted job content and details about their organization, mission statements and hiring process to keep candidates warm, and better source talent.

Social talent sourcing tools and technology like PeopleScout’s Affinix technology solution help sourcing specialists and recruiters narrow their search and identify qualified candidates quicker. Here are some social media tools and platforms that will streamline your sourcing:

  • LinkedIn with 760 million users has been the social network of choice for sourcers and recruiters alike and for good reason, as professionals share their career history, advertise accomplishments and interact with industry experts. A LinkedIn Recruiter license lets you search profiles and send personal messages (InMails) to potential candidates, making LinkedIn an essential sourcing tool.
  • With 2.8 billion users, everyone is on Facebook, making every user a potential candidate. What’s more, users frequently research potential employers, look for job opportunities and apply for jobs through Facebook. Consider using paid job ads and Facebook groups to help you source candidates
  • Twitter has 330 million users and offers various tools, like search, lists and chat that help recruiters source candidates. Get the most out of your sourcing efforts by being active on Twitter. Engage in Twitter discussions, advertise conferences you sponsor and follow industry-related hashtags to find the talent you are looking for.

While the most popular platforms for social sourcing are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, if you want to expand your sourcing efforts to non-traditional social channels, consider the following social platforms:

  • Slack is a platform that allows group communications between professionals with similar interests. You can use Slack to source candidates by joining channels relevant to the job candidates you are looking to source in a more casual setting.
  • Meetup is a website that facilitates meetings and groups for people with common interests.
  • Reddit is an online community forum where members (Redditors) discuss a range of topics and interests. Reddit is not a traditional sourcing channel, but Reddit’s communities (called subreddits) are great places to post job ads and engage with potential candidates, especially in the professional communities you are searching for talent in.

Creative Ways For Sourcing Candidates: Leverage Your Employees’ Networks

sourcing strategies

According to LinkedIn, organizations can expand their talent pool by 10 times by recruiting through their employees’ networks. Run sourcing sessions and employee referral programs with your team to see if anyone in your employee’s networks would be interested in one of your open roles. Your employees can help you reach more untapped talent pools, and improve response rates with warmer candidates. 

Facebook, for instance, will display to your team, different job candidate search results based on their social graph, so you can uncover passive job candidates you would not have otherwise discovered. Job sourcing sites such as Sourcing.io allow your employees to connect their social media accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and GitHub so you can view candidates who are connected to your team members. When you find a qualified job candidate, you should encourage your team to send warm introductions to increase your candidate engagement and response rate.

Perfect Your Outreach Messages When Sourcing Candidates

sourcing techniques

You and your talent acquisition team have worked hard to source the qualified candidates, but that does not matter if you fail to create a real connection. A few rules of thumb: Lead with a subject line that will stand out and make the candidate want to open and read your message; always personalize your recruiting message with the relevant information you found about them; paint a brief picture of the role and your organization; and explain how you think they could contribute to your team.

Narrowing down and building a targeted audience is a way to create a strong and more personalized outreach message. According to Glassdoor, 78% of sales professionals said they would accept less money to work at a company selling something compelling, 66% of healthcare professionals are likely to accept less money to work at a company with a great culture.

Improve your response rates by personalizing and focusing on the issues that matter to candidates of all categories. Your goal is to give your pool of job candidates just enough content and engagement to pique their interest and respond to your outreach messaging, you want to be careful about overloading them with communications. Ask your recent hires for feedback on your outreach messages, and use that feedback to test different messaging to improve your response rates.

If your talent team invests the resources to sourcing a robust talent pipeline, you will find more candidates in your talent pool qualified for open roles in the future. Re-engaging prospects is a missed candidate sourcing opportunity for many organizations, you should remind your recruiting team to source from silver medal job candidates first because they are qualified and vetted.

Remember Strategic Sourcing Begins with Reexamining Your Program

Despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, the best candidates will always be in high demand, making it more important than ever to reevaluate your talent sourcing strategy in 2021. Attracting top talent is essential to your organization’s ability to recover and keep pace during the great rehire. These strategic sourcing methods can help you fill your pipeline with qualified talent so you can choose the best hire for your team.


Post by James Cleaver