The sourcing stage is the culmination of all efforts to find and engage candidates. For small companies in particular, sourcing has been limited to posting open jobs on various job boards and social networks, often to fairly subdued results. We are seeing that as the competition for talent continues to increase, very few employers can rely on direct applications as a source of talent, and open job postings very rarely attract the best candidates.
With the extraordinary rise of web 2.0 and social media, a vast number of talent pipelines have been created. The source of your company’s hires can now come from an exponentially growing list of digital talent pools. Twenty years ago, your source of hire was limited to your newspaper ad, cold call, or employee referral. Today, determining the source of hire has become quite complicated. Employee referral programs have been moved online, newspaper ads have transformed into job boards, only be scraped by job aggregators, as specialist platforms to showcase industry specific skills have also moved into the spotlight. Taking advantage of this progression and using each of these tools efficiently is key to a strong sourcing strategy.
Garbage In, Garbage Out – Getting the Sourcing Briefing Right
Too often, not enough time is spent on getting the sourcing brief right. Having a fully developed sourcing brief means having a full understanding of who you are looking for. If this understanding is not there, then it is highly likely that this will be reflected in the eventual candidate engaged. Garbage in, garbage out.
To form a solid sourcing brief, you need to know the kind of demographics, experience, education, psychographics and personal and professional background you are looking for in candidate. This allows you to build a framework around your sourcing mission and enables you to put some data driven targeting behind it.
Horses for Courses
Nowadays, successful sourcing requires a more diverse approach than ever before. While the challenge for some recruiters is to cast a wider net, others need to do more targeted networking. With so many bespoke or industry specific social media platforms that candidates can use to enhance their professional profile, finding the best talent can be time consuming. However, these platforms are also valuable sourcing tools that can save time when looking for the right people.
For instance, if you are recruiting an I.T. candidate, a cursory browse of their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles will reveal their personal and professional background, but likely not much else. However, with platforms such as GitHub, Stack Overflow and Behance allowing candidates to showcase their work, a recruiter can get a fairly good feel for their competencies and compare it to others within the talent pool. However, you would not look at any of those three platforms if you are recruiting for an accounting or finance role, as those candidates simply would not use those platforms.
Which to use?
The answer is – it depends. With a great sourcing brief, and what you have learned from past experiences, you will soon know what is the most relevant means of sourcing for the particular assignment you are working on. That’s where we come in, as talent sourcing, engaging and recruiting experts. If you need to better define your sourcing brief, or need help developing your sourcing strategy, feel free to get in touch with us.