In an industry filled with qualified candidates, distinguishing the average from the exceptional is a real challenge for recruiters. 

This is where effective candidate sourcing comes into play. 

In this article we will help you explore more about accelerating your sourcing strategies to find and attract the top talent. Keep reading. 

What is candidate sourcing?

Candidate sourcing

Candidate sourcing is a proactive process where recruiters seek out potential candidates to fill open positions. 

These efforts might take you to LinkedIn, industry-specific forums, or even the depths of Google. 

But just like digging for precious artifacts, it’s not just about knowing where to look—it’s also about what tools you’re using. 

Why is candidate sourcing important?

  • Candidate sourcing helps you maintain a continuous pipeline of the best candidates—an ever-flowing stream of talent pool.
  • Secondly, it facilitates targeting passive candidates—those elusive creatures currently employed but could be tempted to jump ship for the right offer.
  • Finally, effective sourcing allows you to improve your recruitment metrics reducing time-to-hire and cost-per-hire, which is a win-win situation for your agency in the grand scheme of things.

5 essential tools you must use for candidate sourcing

1. All-in-one software for recruitment agencies

Using an all-in-one hiring software helps streamline your sourcing process, making it more efficient and effective.

It can help you manage candidates, clients, and hiring manager relationships while maintaining a seamless recruiting process.

Most software come with a candidate sourcing Chrome extension. You can try out Recruit CRM’s robust Chrome extension for free by simply signing up here

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the golden ticket for recruiters and job seekers. It is the perfect hunting ground if your goal is diversity sourcing.

You can search for candidates using filters like location, industry, skills, and education, making it easier to find individuals who fit specific job requirements.

LinkedIn serves as a one-stop hub for identifying, contacting, and vetting potential candidates.

But remember, always reach out to candidates if there is a job opening. Don’t wait around for their text!

3. Email

Emailing is a reliable, professional, and perfect way for communicating with ideal candidates.

When sending an email, use a clear and enticing subject line, ideally personalized to the candidate. 

Always, include a clear call to action, such as requesting a reply, scheduling a call, or inviting them to apply. This personalized, targeted approach can enhance response rates, making your sourcing efforts more effective.

4. Video Conferencing Tools

In the age of remote work, tools like Zoom and Google Meet have become indispensable for conducting interviews and maintaining clear communication with candidates.      

5. Miscellaneous Tools

Grammarly and Trello, while not typically considered recruitment tools, can be used creatively to support candidate sourcing.

  1. Grammarly: This tool assists in ensuring your communication with potential candidates is polished and professional. It’s especially useful when crafting job descriptions, emails, and messages to candidates. A clear, concise, and error-free job description can attract the right talent.
  2. Trello: This project management tool can be used to organize and manage your recruitment pipeline. Each card can represent a candidate, and lists can represent different stages in the recruitment process (sourced, contacted, interviewed, etc.). This visual layout of your recruitment pipeline allows for more effective and efficient candidate management.

Top 3 candidate sourcing strategies to help you source better

candidate sourcing strategies

1. Social recruiting

With 57% of candidates using social media for job search, platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook are fertile grounds for sourcing candidates. 

But beware, it’s not a place for spamming. 

Engage, interact, and you’ll find the right candidate in no time.

2. Employee referrals

92% of applicants say they won’t join a company with a bad reputation despite a better salary.

Nobody knows your company culture better than your employees. So, establish a robust employee referral program and a strong employer brand—a surefire way to source high-quality candidates.

3. Networking

Build relationships, not just connections. Attend industry events, and conferences, join online forums, job fairs, and use every opportunity to network. Remember, every conversation might lead you to find the best candidate.

4 major steps in candidate sourcing

Once you have a recruitment mandate from a client and have understood the job description & specifications of the role, you are ready for the next step, which is to create a talent pipeline. Much as the activity of calling prospective candidates and offering them job opportunities may sound very straightforward, it is obviously complicated.

Candidate sourcing involves four distinct activities:

  • Identifying a suitable candidate
  • Shortlisting the candidate
  • Connecting (or establishing contact) with the candidate
  • Convincing the candidate to participate in the client’s selection process

Step 1: Identify the candidate

Identifying a candidate would require sourcing CVs and then shortlisting them as required. There are various options to source resumes from, and we shall list out some of them:

  • Job boards – The easiest option for a recruiter new to this business is to buy a subscription to a popular job board like Indeed. You can post your job openings on any job board. Make sure that your job posting has unique and attractive job titles.
  • Using social media – You could post your jobs on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. However, the reach would be limited to your connections/friends/followers. There is an option of sponsoring posts, though it would be difficult to do precise targeting.
  • In-house database – It is important to maintain an in-house database which could be useful for specific types of jobs that you may have worked on before. This database lets you find candidates in an offline mode.

So what is the best source for a candidate? It depends on the type of job that you are recruiting for and that you will only discover with experience. 

Though job boards work well for entry/junior level positions, social network/link is useful for mid-level, and headhunting & networking/references are the best for senior levels.

Step 2: Shortlist the candidate

When you have a large pile of resumes, your recruiting strategy will squarely depend on your shortlisting ability.  

Invest in recruiting software like an applicant tracking system that can sort and parse resumes within a fraction of a second.

It is very important that you understand the job specifications in great detail. 

You can also use various assessments like skill tests, psychometric tests, aptitude tests, etc. to know the candidate better. This approach is the most common and helps save time and resources.

Step 3: Contact the candidate

Preparing a brief about the position in a readable format is always a good idea. Most candidates would prefer a scheduled call and therefore writing them a mail requesting a call ( and even suggesting preferred time slots).

The format of your mail may vary depending on how you have sourced the CV ( job board, application, reference, etc.). The more optimal the information, the less energy and time would be spent explaining the position over a call.

The call should be used more to gather information about the candidate ( that may not have been mentioned in the CV). If a candidate is not interested in a job change, you must use the opportunity to ask if the candidate knows anyone with similar skills who may be interested.

You can use several email templates available to source candidates.

Step 4: Convince the candidate

This is the most important task. First, understand the job description thoroughly and the candidate’s skills, experience, and motives for the job change. You need to be convinced they are a good fit for the job before trying to convince them. 

Ensure you learn everything about the candidate in an interview, including the personality and body language of the candidate. 

Candidate sourcing is an art—one that requires skill, dedication, and a touch of audacity. But with the perfect strategies and tools, your treasure hunt is bound to be successful.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. How to automate candidate sourcing?

Automating candidate sourcing can save time and effort in the recruitment process. Here are some steps to help you automate the process:

  1. Define your requirements: Clearly outline the qualifications and skills you seek in candidates to create effective search parameters.
  2. Leverage automation tools: Utilize web scraping, AI-powered candidate search tools, and social media monitoring to automate the sourcing process.
  3. Implement an ATS and automated email campaigns: Utilize an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage candidate information and set up automated email campaigns for efficient communication and outreach.

2. What are the three traits to look out for when sourcing candidates?

When sourcing candidates, there are several traits to consider. Here are three important ones to look out for:

  1. Relevant skills and qualifications: Look for candidates with the specific skills and qualifications required for the role. Assess their technical expertise, educational background, certifications, and industry experience to ensure they have the necessary capabilities.
  2. Cultural fit: Cultural fit is crucial for long-term success and collaboration within a team. Consider a candidate’s values, work style, and how well they align with your organization’s culture and core values. Assess their communication skills, teamwork abilities, adaptability, and overall fit with your company’s environment.
  3. Motivation and potential: Look for candidates with a strong drive and motivation to excel in their field. Assess their passion for the industry, willingness to learn and grow, and ability to take on new challenges. Identifying candidates with growth potential can be valuable for future development and advancement within your organization.

Remember that these traits should be considered alongside the specific requirements of the role and your organization’s goals. Additionally, conducting thorough interviews, reference checks, and skills assessments can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates.

3. What is a candidate sourcing platform?

A candidate sourcing platform is a software or online platform that helps streamline and optimize finding and attracting potential job candidates. It provides recruiters and hiring teams with tools and resources to effectively source, search, and engage with candidates. 

These platforms often integrate with various job boards, professional networking sites, and other online sources to collect candidate data. 

P.S.: If you’re looking for an AI-powered ATS + CRM platform, then don’t forget to check out Recruit CRM. Book a demo to see the tool in action.