There’s been a lot of disruption in the talent market in recent years. (Is it safe to mention The Great Resignation yet?) These shifts have forced employers to rethink their approach to recruiting and retaining employees. And HR teams have been hard at work leveraging recruitment sourcing strategies to improve their hiring processes.
Some companies are tapping into their internal talent pools to fill new, more specialized roles. Global IT firm Infosys, for example, considers existing employees for 100% of its available positions. Other companies are reevaluating what they have to offer employees. They’re accessing the power of employee referrals, and nurturing broader talent pools to improve their talent acquisition.
In this article, we’re going to put some of the most effective recruitment sourcing strategies under a microscope to evaluate their potential and see how they deliver results.
What are recruitment sourcing strategies?
Recruitment sourcing strategies are methods you use to acquire your ideal talent. Sourcing strategies for recruitment can either involve:
- Whole processes: Like implementing an employee referral program.
- Changes to your existing recruiting strategy: Like using more inclusive language in your messaging to help diversify your talent pool.
Both strategies are helpful for improving your recruitment sourcing.
How do recruiters source candidates?
Recruiters source candidates from various channels, like social media platforms, job boards, recruitment drives at universities, remote hiring platforms, and employee referrals.
Some channels offer quicker results. Posting a job on an ad board, for example, usually sees many submissions in a short period of time. Some of these applications, however, might not be the best fit.
Other recruitment sourcing strategies, like building internal talent pools or implementing an employee referral program, may take longer. But they can help you source better talent.
6 ways to get your recruitment sourcing right
Looking to improve your talent acquisition? Check out these popular sourcing strategies for recruiters.
1. Diversify your direct talent sources
By “direct” talent sources, we mean:
- Job boards
- Talent marketplaces
And any other channel(s) where you can put up job listings to source talent from. When it comes to sourcing from direct channels, there’s a lot of opportunity to diversify your sourcing. For example, you can use talent sourcing platforms that connect you with specific talent, like:
- Wellfound, which connects you with the best start-up talent.
- WeWorkRemotely, for sourcing the best remote talent.
- Sourcing.io, to connect with the best engineering talent in your network.
Check out the our list with the best sourcing tools for recruiters. Diversifying your direct talent sources increases your talent pool and helps you connect with more specialized job seekers.
2. Create and nurture a talent pool
A talent pool is a collection of talent, and potential applicants, that you maintain an ongoing relationship with. A talent pool can consist of:
- People who applied for a job at your company, but weren’t the right fit for the role. They might have skills and experience that could be valuable to your company in the future.
- Talent that you’ve connected with and built relationships with over the years. They could be people you’ve met through events, networking on social media, interacting in communities, have previously worked with, etc.
- Talent that has discovered your company through your employer branding—such as your company’s presence on LinkedIn—and is interested in, or might be interested in, joining your company at some stage.
Maintaining a talent pool helps you fill roles faster because you’ll always have a pool of available applicants that are already interested in your company. Plus, if you really get to know them, you’re in a better position to judge how good a fit they are for your company.
3. Leverage internal hiring
It’s no secret that specialized roles are difficult to fill, especially because of the growing skills gap. According to a McKinsey Global Survey, almost 90% of surveyed executives and managers report that skills gaps already exist within their organizations, or will develop within five years.
And, according to McKinsey’s research, the most common strategy for addressing the skills gap is to hire new people. No surprise there, but the second most popular tactic is quite interesting: 56% of those surveyed claimed to be using skills-building initiatives (reskilling and upskilling internal talent) to bridge the gap.
Tapping into your internal talent pool—and enhancing the skills available based on employees interests and capabilities—can be a great way to fill new roles.
4. Implement an employee referral program
Did you know that referred employees…
- Have a cost-per-hire of less than $1,000 on average than other recruiting sources
- Have a higher retention rate than job board hires
- And stay 70% longer than other employees?
It’s no wonder that 88% of employers cite employee referrals as the best return on investment for talent sourcing. So if your organization doesn’t already have an employee referral program in place, now’s the time to consider implementing one.
An employee referral program doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated—you just need to get the essentials in order. That means clearly communicating the hiring requirements with your employees, offering them relevant incentives, and having systems in place to source, evaluate, and recruit referrals.
There are even dedicated tools, like EmployeeReferrals, that help you set up an end-to-end referral program.
5. Work on your employee value proposition
Your employee value proposition is everything that your organization offers employees. This includes compensation, like salary and benefits, as well as factors like learning and development opportunities, a positive work culture, flexible working options, and so on.
If you’re planning to improve your talent sourcing efforts, it’s worth updating your employee value proposition to match what modern talent is looking for. Compensation packages are still very much a priority for top talent, but job seekers are also looking for:
- Diversity and inclusion: 76% of employees and job seekers surveyed by Glassdoor consider diversity to be a deciding factor when they’re evaluating an employer.
- Learning and development opportunities: Skills training opportunities are important to 93% of millennials.
- Culture: One survey found that over 75% of job seekers look into, and evaluate, your company’s culture before they consider applying for a job.
- Flexible work options: According to research by FlexJobs, flexible work arrangements are important to over 95% of employees.
If your employee value proposition doesn’t deliver on these fronts, it can hurt your talent sourcing efforts across the board. So it’s really worth rethinking what your organization is putting out there for job seekers—and revamping your offering to match their expectations.
6. Scrutinize your messaging
When you reach out to applicants directly—like through LinkedIn InMail messages or via email—your messaging influences whether they respond and how they respond. In general, it’s a good idea to:
- Keep your messages short and snappy. Remember, the purpose of the first interaction is just to register their interest and see if they want to move to the next steps. You don’t need to give them a load of information upfront, just enough to pique their interest.
- Personalize your messages. That means addressing them by their name, and mentioning something from their profile (like whether their experience or skills are relevant to the role you’re recruiting for). You might find these LinkedIn recruiter message templates helpful for sending personalized messages at scale.
- Make it easy for them to respond. Increase your response rates by making it easy for candidates to respond. For example, a question like: “Would you like me to send you a follow-up message with more details about the role?” just requires the person to respond with a “yes, please” or a “no, thanks.”
Ready to try these new recruitment sourcing strategies out?
The recent flux we’ve seen in the recruiting landscape is likely to stay with us for some time to come. But with the right strategy in place, recruiters should be able to keep up with these changes.
And really, the true essence of recruitment is the same: you’re connecting applicants to their dream job, and employers to their ideal talent. It’s just a matter of doing this in the most attentive and effective way possible.