A sourcing strategy is key to your recruitment efforts. Without one, you might find yourself struggling to get enough resumes or grow a diverse pool of qualified candidates.
What do you need for a successful strategy, and how can you be sure it’s implemented consistently?
In this article, we’ll outline the building blocks you need to create a comprehensive sourcing strategy that can help you build a better hiring process — no matter what industry you’re in.
What Is a Sourcing Strategy?
A sourcing strategy is the process you have in place to find and engage potential candidates who have not yet applied for your job.
Sourcing can also refer to the candidates you have on file who previously applied for a job but did not get hired, but still might be the right candidate for another role.
Sourcing is a proactive strategy. Rather than posting a job description and waiting for resumes to come to you, you go out and engage with qualified candidates so that they are primed and ready when a hiring opportunity comes up at your company. As a recruiting manager, this is a great practice to utilize so that you have top talent on hand when you need to fill a role.
6 Essential Components of a Sourcing Strategy Template
The strategy you use for sourcing should take several different components and put them together into a single, unified template.
This sourcing template is an effective recruiting method that helps you find great candidates who are looking for new jobs and new opportunities.
1. Job Analysis and Requirements
First things first, you need to know all brass tacks and the very basics about the job you’re sourcing for.
Take a look at the open roles you’re trying to fill, or may need to fill in the future. Carefully examine the job description, skill sets needed, and other requirements so you know exactly what the ideal candidate or persona will look like for the role.
As you begin to source candidates, ensure they are a good fit for the job posting by always asking:
- Is their experience a close match?
- Do they have all the required certifications? If not, do they have the capacity to earn them?
- Are their skills transferable?
If the answer to these questions is “no,” it won’t be an effective use of your time to nurture people who won’t be the best candidate.
Additionally, you want to lay out details about compensation and pay ranges.
2. Candidate Sourcing Channels
The next step is to find the right candidate sourcing channels. A sourcing channel refers to the categories or methods used to find new candidates.
This might include things like:
- Your company website
- A referral program
- Internal or external job boards
- Social media platforms like LinkedIn
- Previously submitted resumes
- Networking events
Keep in mind that not every channel will be the right place for your business and staffing needs, so you need to identify which sourcing channels will be the most effective for your unique recruiting process.
For example, if you’re trying to fill an executive or C-suite position, you may consider starting with referrals, as these candidates already have proven reputations.
3. Recruitment Process Optimization
After you’ve identified your channels, you should take a look at your recruitment process as a whole:
- Where can improvements and optimizations be made?
- What areas of your recruitment process are turning candidates away?
Asking yourself these questions can help you make the recruitment process less painful for all involved. Even something like automating emails for passive candidates or reducing the downtime between interviews can make a big difference.
4. A Strong Employer Brand
Building your employer brand is another important part of the strategic recruiting template. An employer brand is different from the company brand:
- The company brand is meant to represent what the company is to consumers.
- The employer brand is what represents your brand to potential employees and team members.
Your employer brand should differentiate your company from others on the job market. It should help portray your company with a positive focus to attract and retain the best people.
A strong employer brand establishes credibility with potential candidates. After all, if your business has a reputation of being unfair to employees, top talent won’t want to work for you.
5. Engagement With Potential Candidates
The next essential component of a sourcing strategy is to engage with your potential candidates. Just as you need to engage with employees to bring the best out of them, it’s equally important to nurture candidates so they are interested and engaged throughout the entire recruitment process.
You may consider incorporating a few of the following strategies to help keep candidates engaged:
- Review and respond to applications quickly.
- Follow up with candidates who are slow to respond.
- Confirm and notify at every opportunity (i.e., an email to confirm receipt of their resume/application, informing them they’ve moved onto the next stage, confirm receipt of supplementary documents like references or credentials, etc.).
Touchpoints with candidates typically happen via email. These don’t need to be long messages — quick check-ins are often all you need to keep a candidate engaged. For example, here’s a quick message you could send to a candidate after their interview.
Hi [Candidate Name],
Thank you for meeting with us on [Date] to discuss our [Name of Role] position. Our team will be in touch with you by [Date] regarding the next steps. In the meantime, do you have any questions about the role or the company that I can answer for you?
6. Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement
The final component of any good sourcing strategy template is to continually improve your process and measure performance. Pick a few metrics of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you understand how well your sourcing strategy is working, like:
- Number of total applications
- Offers accepted
- Interview-to-offer ratio
Tracking these metrics after creating a starting benchmark will help you understand how you can improve the sourcing process.
Best Practices for Accomplishing Your Sourcing Strategy
Now that you have a template in place to act as a guideline, let’s take a look at some of the best practices you should implement to ensure that your sourcing strategy works as optimally as possible to deliver an effective recruiting process.
Partner With a Recruiting Agency
Sometimes, a situation calls for the professionals to take over. A recruiting agency is a company that specializes in things like candidate sourcing and interviewing so that you don’t have to do all the hands-on work yourself. A good recruiting agency can represent your brand to candidates and use the best sourcing methods to find quality candidates.
Hunt Club can help you create a candidate sourcing strategy that works for your brand. Find out more about how our experts and advanced technology can speed up your professional search.
Use a Mix of Candidate Sourcing Channels
The next best practice for the talent sourcing process is to pull candidates from a mix of different sourcing channels.
Rather than using one single source (like social networks) to fill your entire talent pool, you will have a better chance of finding the ideal candidate when you pull from multiple places.
In addition to open calls via job boards and proactively scouring candidate profiles on LinkedIn, consider attending networking events or creating an incentive program for employee referrals. This will allow for more diversity in your outreach and help extend your sourcing process.
Develop an Effective Screening Process
An important part of the recruitment process is to screen your candidates to ensure that there isn’t anything unexpected about them that will make them a poor fit for your business or company culture.
Screening an employee means looking at their:
- Previous employers
- Social media accounts
- Public records
Your screening process should be efficient, effective, and happen early on in the hiring process, so you don’t spend time nurturing a candidate who ends up not being a good fit.
For example, if you’re hiring for a specialized software development role, require proof of certification up front — either submitted along with their resume, or ask the candidate to provide it during your initial communications. This can help automatically screen out individuals without the necessary credentials early in the process.
Establish a Positive Candidate Experience
You are the candidate’s first touchpoint with your company, and first impressions are crucial. Being late for phone calls or interviews, exhibiting unprofessional behavior, or dragging the hiring process out longer than promised can all create a bad experience for candidates.
Lay the foundation for a positive candidate experience so the candidate is excited about the potential opportunity.
Respect the candidate’s time by being prompt for calls (or returning emails), and be proactive in your communication — if there’s been a delay in the hiring process, contact the candidate and explain as early as possible.
Benefits of an Effective Sourcing Strategy
An effective sourcing strategy will bring about many important benefits to your hiring process. Here are a few of the top reasons why it’s a great idea to invest in a sourcing strategy and use the template above to help guide your efforts.
Higher Candidate Quality
If you passively wait for individuals to send in resumes, you might not be getting the highest quality candidates.
When you’re actively going out and finding the best people for the role, you can improve the overall quality of your candidates and source the ideal ones for your job openings.
Better Employer Brand
Another great benefit of an effective sourcing strategy is the boost to your employer brand. If you take active steps to improve the relationship you have with candidates and make the recruiting process smoother and more positive, it will improve your company’s reputation as an employer and make you more attractive to future candidates.
Greater Employee Retention
Employee retention is an important factor to consider when hiring for any role. Hiring a new employee can be expensive, time-consuming, and add a strain to your internal teams. You want to make sure the people you hire are sticking around for the long haul.
When you have a sourcing strategy in place, you begin strong relationships with candidates from the first message. This helps strengthen that connection between them and the brand, which can increase their interest in a long-term career at your company.
Efficient and Cost-Effective
Another important benefit of an optimized recruiting process as a whole is creating a smooth, efficient strategy that saves both time and money.
When you have an optimized recruitment workflow, teams can operate more efficiently. This prevents delays, reduces downtime, and ensures that everyone makes the most of their time.
It also cuts down on the time between posting an open job role and filling it. And, as mentioned above, a sourcing strategy also helps reduce expensive employee turnover. Overall, a great strategy can be an incredible cost savings tactic for the business.
Download our Sourcing Strategy Template and start connecting with top talent.
Source Top Talent More Efficiently With Hunt Club
A sourcing strategy is an incredibly effective tool that allows you to proactively find the best candidates to fill your open positions and source top talent.
However, trying to go at it alone can often be overwhelming, especially when you need to fill C-suite and other senior executive roles.
That’s where Hunt Club comes in.
Hunt Club offers full-service recruitment to help you find the best candidate for your most critical roles. To learn more about how you can partner with Hunt Club and hire the best talent for executive roles, contact our experts today.