Insight March 4, 2022 Lisa Sacchetti

12 Candidate Sourcing Strategies to Find Top Talent

Finding top talent is more difficult than ever, yet filling key positions remains critically important in today’s high-growth Education and Technology market. Highly qualified candidates are being hired at a rapid pace; research from Clutch shows that 58% of hires spend less than two months to secure their new job. If your organization is to thrive in our modern landscape, you have to go beyond traditional recruiting and craft a strategy that resonates with the market as it is today.

To help you do that, we’ve laid out 12 different candidate sourcing strategies that you should be paying attention to today. Dig through them one by one and see what you can apply to your specific situation.

1. Diversify Your Online Candidate Sourcing Channels

Everyone uses LinkedIn. So, while it is an incredibly useful tool for candidate sourcing, it is also the most crowded channel. If you want to stand out from the rest and find the talent that no one else is finding, you should be looking to diversify your recruitment channels outside of the traditional ones that everyone else is using. Spend some time engaging with potential candidates on Facebook groups, message boards, specialized job boards, online communities, or anywhere else that your ideal candidates might be spending time, and you might just find that you’ll connect with that perfect match.

2. Texting is an Excellent Way to Engage Candidates

To engage and connect with top talent today, you need to meet them where they are. The world has shifted away from phone calls and towards instant messaging – so why shouldn’t you adapt your communication accordingly? This matters because texting has a 90% open rate as a channel, with most messages being read within the first 3 minutes. Texting is a great way to engage candidates of all types, and it should be a key component of your overall recruitment strategy.

3. Utilize Your Employees’ Networks for Sourcing Candidates

Many companies don’t utilize one of the most powerful assets at their disposal – their current staff complement. Who better to help you source new talent than the people you deemed the “right fit” to work for you in the first place? If you’re able to leverage your employees’ networks to find candidates, you’ll be amazed at the sorts of people they can bring to your organization. Just be sure to offer an employee bonus for bringing someone on board, and you’ll have an army of vetted recruiters helping to strengthen your team.

4. Source Candidates for Roles You Don’t Have Open Yet

Timing is everything in recruiting, and you should always be looking to find and attract talent, even if you don’t have an open role at that time. Building a bench proactively will ensure that you always have a group of talented prospects to start from when you’re looking to fill a role. This is even more important in our current time, where attrition is higher than ever. Treat your bench like you would an open position, and it will supercharge your recruitment efforts.

5. Make Sure the Message You’re Using is Clear, Concise, and Grabs Candidates Immediately

The storytelling around your recruitment means everything, especially when you’re looking to hire millennials. Instead of going with something generic, spend some time crafting clear, concise, and compelling messaging. That way, you’ll attract incoming interest that already aligns with the mission – making the recruitment part of things that much easier.

6. Follow Up With Candidates Who Don’t Respond

A big mistake many recruiters make is to give up when a candidate doesn’t respond. The truth is that it typically takes multiple touchpoints to convince and close a talented person. Be sure to follow up with candidates who don’t respond because you’ll never know which message actually makes the difference. You can diversify your communication across email, LinkedIn, text, and phone calls accordingly – maximizing your chances of grabbing their attention.

7. Build a Strong Employer Brand

One of the upstream things that you should be focusing on is building a strong brand for your company so that when prospects research you, the first impression is as strong as it can be. For example, make sure your Glassdoor reviews are strong, and your public-facing image portrays a vibrant and meaningful place to work. This brand building goes a long way to pre-empting prospect research and will allow you to close a higher number of your talent prospects.

8. Start Your Search With Former Candidates

Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you’ve done similar recruiting projects in the past, go back to those candidates you once considered and see if they are still available. Sometimes the timing will work out perfectly, and you can leverage the work you’ve already done to get results fast.

9. Use AI in Sourcing

The technological landscape in hiring has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and there are more tools than ever to help accelerate your progress. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the heart of a lot of this, so it makes sense to consider implementing AI in your sourcing efforts to get the most out of your searches. Research from Entelo showed that 64% of the budgets being allocated to talent acquisition are going to AI-related tools.

10. Think About Hiring Internally

Any time you have a role open, you should first look to see if you can promote someone internally before looking elsewhere. Often, you’ll have the perfect person in waiting who is looking for new growth opportunities, and you can save on all the onboarding and training costs of an external hire. Don’t overlook the talented people that you already have within the organization.

11. Keep Track of Your Sourcing and Recruiting Metrics

Running an efficient and effective sourcing function requires data-driven decision-making beyond your intuition. The only way that you can achieve this is by keeping track of key sourcing and recruiting metrics that impact how you fulfill the function. By knowing where candidates come in, you’ll be able to focus on the paths that bring the most traction and ignore those just wasting resources. An ideal solution would include securing an application tracking system (ATS) that provides data and improves compliance with current hiring rules and regulations.

12. Target Passive Candidates

The people you really want to supercharge your team are not actively applying for jobs. They are passive because they are successful and very engaged in their current roles. They often are not aware of the many opportunities available to them. Also, be aware of the risks when directly targeting direct competitors (including non-compete agreements). Click here for TRN’s strategies to attract passive candidates, including participating in live events and producing great content.

These 12 candidate sourcing strategies can help you identify, engage, and hire some of the most talented people in your industry. If you follow these and apply the principles effectively, you can completely transform your sourcing activities across the board.

Here at The Renaissance Network, we offer executive search capabilities, organizational growth strategy consulting and much more to the Educational and Technology industry at large. If you’d like to work with us to implement some of these strategies, be sure to get in touch today and let’s see how we can help!

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Lisa founded The Renaissance Network in 1996 with the mission of building world-class teams and quickly developed a focus on the growing Education and Technology vertical.

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