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Strategic Sourcing Recruitment: What It Is, Top Strategies, and More

Morgan Lichtenstein
6 min read

Staying relevant in a job-candidate-driven market takes grit and ingenuity. Success starts with your sourcing strategy within the recruitment process.

What is a sourcing strategy? Which techniques work best? We’ll answer these questions below, plus provide talent sourcing best practices to help you widen your talent pool and end up with great candidates. 


What Is Strategic Sourcing Recruiting?

Companies must figure out where to find the best candidates when they need to fill their talent pipeline. They may use multiple sourcing channels and techniques to help them identify high-quality candidates.

The recruiting sourcing strategy is determined by the:

  • Type of candidates the recruiting team wants.
  • Sourcing channels they will use to find them.

Strategic sourcing is a key part of a full-cycle recruiting process. With strategic sourcing, you are proactive about finding great candidates for your company, whether they’re actively looking for new work or are passive candidates — and you might not even have one specific role in mind. Rather, when you source strategically, you source with your organization’s future and its goals in mind, and try to build a talent pool of candidates to fill future vacancies.


Why Is a Recruitment Sourcing Strategy Important?

Hiring for open roles is challenging. Companies can’t just bring on the first person who applies. They need candidates with the experience, education, skill sets, and attitude to perform the job and fit into the company’s culture.

The hiring process hinges on the ability to find top talent. If the recruiting team is looking in the wrong places or not using enough channels, they might never connect with the ideal candidate for the job.

Strategically building the sourcing plan gives companies a greater chance of finding talent to bring the necessary expertise to the table. It also lays a foundation to help the recruiting team narrow the candidate pool faster and reduce the time to fill open roles.


The Most Effective Strategic Sourcing Techniques for Recruiters

Every company is unique. However, there are certain methods for sourcing that return positive results for almost every business. Avoid the temptation of only using one of these techniques, as that decision pigeonholes your sourcing efforts and will undoubtedly fail to give you the deep candidate pool you need.

However, keep in mind that not all of these may work for your company and the role you’re trying to fill. It takes trial and error — and examining what worked and what didn’t — to completely flesh out a productive sourcing strategy. Here are a few avenues to leverage in the process:

1. Use a Trusted Recruiting Firm

One of the smartest decisions a company can make to enhance their candidate sourcing strategy is working with a professional recruiting agency. No matter how many other methods you employ, partnering with an experienced recruiting firm should be a cornerstone of your company’s sourcing strategy.

Your company may source talent a few times a year, but recruiting firms do it every day. This focus gives them intuitive insight into the market. It also keeps them in front of many qualified active and passive candidates looking for their next career move. 

When you partner with a reputable recruiting agency like Hunt Club, you gain access to a deep pool of talent that you wouldn't otherwise have access to. Our team of experts can connect you with the best candidates for your open roles — and we can do it faster than if you keep the process in-house. Contact us today to get started. 

2. Scout and Source Talent Using Social Channels

Social media impacts many aspects of our lives, including finding jobs. Employers should leverage the popularity of social media platforms to find the right candidates for their open positions.

You can use social media in two significant ways to accomplish your talent-sourcing goals:

  • Establish a compelling employer brand: Just like the brand your organization cultivates for your customers, you need a brand that attracts talented candidates. Your brand is built into your company culture, core values, management style, corporate philanthropy, and other aspects of your business. Your hiring managers and marketing team should work together to ensure your social media accounts showcase posts that strengthen your brand.
  • Connect with viable candidates: Social media channels make engaging with potential job seekers easier than other sourcing techniques. After all, it’s where they spend their time. While LinkedIn is the premier business social network, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok can be valuable avenues for quickly sourcing talent — depending on your industry and hiring needs.

3. Utilize Online Job Posting Boards

When individuals are looking for new opportunities, many turn to online job boards to see what’s available. Posting your open job description on multiple job boards is a good way to get your candidate sourcing initiatives moving forward. Plus, it’s easy to post jobs — especially if you use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to push them out automatically.

Remember that this method is popular, so your company will compete with many other employers. In addition, tons of job seekers visit these boards, which can cause you to receive resumes from unqualified applicants.

4. Create a Referral Network

Even with the seemingly anonymous and wide reach of the internet, you shouldn’t ignore the tried-and-true methods of finding top talent. Using a referral program is an old but good sourcing technique that never diminishes in effectiveness.

Executing an employee referral program can elevate your talent acquisition efforts and help you connect with candidates you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. Their former co-workers, friends, neighbors, and relatives may be your next perfect new hire. Make participation rewarding for your staff by offering cash incentives.

This talent sourcing technique may be old-school, but don’t ignore its powerful results: A referral program is a simple, fast way to find and connect with great applicants.

5. Leverage Your Current Team Members by Sourcing Within Your Organization

Looking outside your organization may be necessary to make your talent sourcing strategy work, but don’t forget to examine what’s right under your nose. We’re talking about hiring from within.

Using job opportunities to keep your best employees engaged and motivated is an all-around savvy business decision. This method proves you value exemplary performance and are committed to helping your current staff grow in their careers.

Promoting from within strengthens employee loyalty and improves retention.

Post open jobs in your break room or send a company-wide email encouraging interested parties to apply. This sourcing method both fills roles and keeps your high-value team members feeling appreciated at the same time.

6. Use a Recruiting Database

Employers and professional recruiters may store candidate information in a database. An ATS is a valuable sourcing tool for this, too. ATSs store information from candidates who have previously sent their resumes. When a new position opens up, your hiring team can quickly check the system files to see if there is a viable candidate they want to reach out to.

 Even if you didn’t see a good fit with them in previous roles, they might be a perfect candidate for positions down the road.

Since you’ve already gathered the person’s resume, there’s no lag time between the job opening and attracting talent to the role. Pulling candidates from a recruiting database helps your organization fill roles faster than other techniques involving more steps.


Strategic Sourcing Recruitment Best Practices

Knowing the techniques above and choosing which ones you want to use within your sourcing strategy is key. However, deciding which approaches to use isn't the only action you must take. Let's explore a few strategic best practices that can make your sourcing process as productive as possible.

Have a Deep Understanding of the Job Requirements

Before you can successfully source candidates, you need to unpack what the position requires. When we think about must-haves, our minds automatically veer to education and experience. While those are critical components of successfully filling a position, they aren’t the only ones that matter. What type of attitude does the candidate need? Who will they be interacting with? Are there difficult personalities on their team? What’s the job’s stress level? Does the job require working with financial assets that unscrupulous individuals could take advantage of?

These questions prove that the candidate’s education and expertise are only part of the job requirements. To get off to a good start, recruiters must nail down every facet of the job demands and understand what a successful candidate looks like — also known as a candidate persona. Employers that skip this step may sabotage themselves by looking for the wrong person from the beginning.

Consider Starting Your Recruiting Search With Former Candidates

If you previously hired for a similar position and gathered more than one high-quality job candidate, why not follow up with them to fill your new opportunity?

This sourcing technique works best if not much time has passed since the candidate applied. Chances are good that, if they were interested in working with you before, they’d still be attracted now.

For this method to work, employers need to ensure a positive candidate experience. Applicants who were treated rudely or “ghosted” by your recruiters in the past probably won’t be beating down the door to have that happen again.

Recruiters should always communicate proactively with applicants, even if there aren’t the ones chosen. This leaves the door open to tap that talent with future opportunities.

Add Potential Candidates to the Recruiting Pipeline ASAP

When you connect with applicants who match your job criteria, don’t delay in moving forward. If you do, you may suffer from a competitor ripping the candidate out from underneath you.

Start by adding their information (if it isn’t already there) to your ATS or filing it away where you can easily access it. Contact them for a short pre-screening conversation as soon as possible to ensure both sides see a fit.

If you wait until the job post has been visible in your sourcing channels before adding viable candidates to your pipeline, it gets confusing, and you chance losing out on that perfect new hire.

Fine-tune Your Outreach Messages and Language for Sourcing Candidates

Think of every touch and communication with your candidate as a way to make an impression — whether it's positive or negative. You can move the process forward, set it back, or derail it completely.

Periodically analyze every aspect of your sourcing process and address weaknesses or gaps. Ensure your employer brand is visible in every step, from the job description to the introduction subject line to the thank-you email.

Making an average process better and a good process awesome strengthens your sourcing efforts and keeps you relevant and competitive in the job market.


Source Talent Easily With Hunt Club

Building a powerful talent sourcing strategy is a pivotal part of a productive talent acquisition process that nets results. By using multiple sourcing channels, your organization can build a robust candidate pipeline, and land experienced talent that fits your company culture well.

In addition, using our best practices maximizes your chances of executing your sourcing process effectively. Attracting and engaging talent is the first step toward bringing them into your business as a high-performing new hire.

Companies focused on improving their candidate sourcing strategy should partner with Hunt Club. Our recruiting efforts leverage AI to bring top talent into our clients’ pipeline. Decrease your hiring risk by trusting Hunt Club to find your next perfect hire.

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