9 tips for sourcing talent in an unpredictable job market

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By The Fetcher Team

9 tips for sourcing talent in an unpredictable job market

9 mins read

Candidate sourcing strategies for any job market
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It’s a tricky proposition: how do you keep passive sourcing, recruiting, and talent nurturing a priority in an unpredictable economy and job market?

With a volatile 2023 in the rearview, we asked a host of industry experts to share some of their top tips and strategies to help you source and nurture candidates more effectively and efficiently on any budget.

Quote from Melissa Pennington, DBA

1. Strategize and Engage with Educational Partners

As an HR professional, maintaining a robust talent pipeline in unpredictable markets involves strategic planning and community engagement. Keeping hourly roles open and regularly refreshed is crucial, as it allows for a continuous flow of potential candidates.

Establishing solid relationships with local resources, particularly community colleges, facilitates the nurturing of talent through mentoring, leadership, and next-generation programs. To sustain passive sourcing and recruitment, leverage these educational partnerships for a steady influx of trained and motivated individuals.

Emphasize employer branding and foster a culture of continuous learning and development to attract and retain talent, ensuring resilience in the face of economic fluctuations.

Melissa Pennington, DBA, HR Manager, Phase Change Energy Solutions

Quote from Tracey Beveridge

2. Be Active in Your Recruitment Niche

It's essential to make a conscious effort to actively engage in the niche or community in which you focus your passive recruitment efforts. You need to be seen as a person or business that your market would want to work for, and being active (and helpful consistently) is one of the best ways to do so.

Tracey Beveridge, HR Director, Personnel Checks

Quote from Luciano Colos

3. Stay Informed and Flexible in your Industry

One piece of advice I would give others is to stay on top of industry trends and news. The more you know about your industry and current affairs, the better equipped you will be to navigate the unpredictable economy and job market. Additionally, be open to new ideas and ways of doing things.

The job market is constantly changing, and what worked in the past may be ineffective today; for example, instead of relying solely on job postings, which may not capture the attention of passive candidates, prioritize targeted outreach and engagement on social media and industry platforms.

Stay flexible and be willing to try new strategies and approaches to sourcing, recruiting, and talent nurturing. Finally, build a strong network of industry contacts. Your network can be a valuable resource for sourcing candidates and staying informed about industry trends.

Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Quote from Linn Atiyeh

4. Brand Your Company for Passive Interest

The key to passive sourcing is branding. As a recruiter in the industrial sector, I constantly remind companies that they need a solid name and presence to market themselves effectively through a down job climate. While I will always incorporate outbound sourcing into my hiring strategies, nothing provides a steady stream of talent like a strong reputation. In today's economy, no sector can skimp on careful marketing development.

Make your business a place where people want to work by showcasing your principles widely. Build a company culture. Keep your website and social media pages updated, and make it easy for workers to contact you. Your name and logo should instantly invoke a sense of who you are; this is how you maintain passive interest during an unpredictable economy.

Linn Atiyeh, CEO, Bemana

Quote from Michael Chen

5. Create a Talent Community for Long-Term Engagement

My distinctive approach to navigating an uncertain job market involves creating a talent community. Even without immediate job openings, I maintain a pool of passive candidates interested in our organization. To nurture these relationships, I regularly share industry insights, host webinars, or offer skill-building resources. This keeps them engaged and informed.

I suggest adopting a long-term mindset in talent management. Invest in building a community of potential candidates who trust your organization. When opportunities arise, you'll have a pre-qualified talent pool ready to explore new roles, giving your company a competitive edge in turbulent times.

Michael Chen, Head of Growth, Notta

Quote from Stefan Campbell

6. Be Proactive and Competitive in Talent Searches

In this unpredictable economy and hiring market, securing efficient professionals for employment and job satisfaction can be difficult. As a business expert, I know the current economic climate is shaky. But that does not mean companies must be at the mercy of such uncertainty.

Hiring managers must also be competitive in function, as they must be informed and actively present in the industry where they seek talent. It is not enough to sit back and wait for a viable candidate to seek employment. HR professionals need to be frequent faces at networking events and keep informed of industry developments.

One hiring strategy I also recommend is to bring people on board with proven skill sets for the roles they have been brought in to fill. This is the best way to ensure employee satisfaction and productivity from the start, which helps the organization in the long run by reducing turnover from the outset.

Stefan Campbell, Owner, The Small Business Blog

Quote from Ankit Prakash

7. Invest in Adaptability and Relationship Building

Our approach at my software research company has been to prioritize adaptability and long-term relationship building. Passive sourcing, recruiting, and talent nurturing are essential to our strategy. We focus on creating a compelling employer brand that resonates with potential candidates' aspirations, even when they're not actively looking. This involves regular engagement through social media, industry events, and thought leadership.

For others in this space, I suggest building a robust talent pipeline that can weather economic shifts. This means looking for immediate fits and identifying individuals who could be valuable in the future. Second, emphasize continuous learning and development within your organization. This not only nurtures existing talent but also makes your company attractive to passive candidates who are keen on growth and development.

Remember, in a fluctuating market, your best asset is a workforce that's skilled, resilient, and adaptable. Building and nurturing this kind of team requires a long-term view and a commitment to people, not just positions.

Ankit Prakash, Founder, Sprout24

Quote from Adrian Hall

8. Network at Events for Passive Candidate Engagement

I attend numerous events and conferences to keep up with passive sourcing, recruiting, and talent nurturing in an unpredictable economy and job market. Sometimes, I organize business conferences, too. Such events and conferences offer plenty of networking opportunities. Besides meeting prominent industrial leaders, I can meet potential passive candidates. Some of them may be on a sabbatical from their job or taking a career break.

There can also be people who are facing discontent in their jobs. Whatever the reason, it's beneficial to interact with such candidates. Foremost, I explain how they will be happier working at my company by highlighting the perks. Once they show interest, I ask them to meet again for further discussion. Business leaders can utilize the same approach to attract candidates.

Adrian Hall, Business Development Manager, Pharmacist Schools

Quote from Shawn Draisey

9. Adapt to Market Changes with Strategic Thinking

Remember that this is not the first unstable or unpredictable economic environment we have experienced, i.e., the pandemic of 2020, the 2008-2009 recession, and the 2000-2001 dot-com bubble, to name a few. The market is moving at all times, 24/7. Follow the money and the sector rotation, i.e., AI, green tech, engineering infrastructure, etc. Out of downturns, new ideas are born, invented, or repurposed.

Advice? Change your paradigm; think outside in. Take a foresight or futures course, a competitive intelligence course, or a Red Team Thinking course.

Shawn Draisey, Senior Talent Acquisition, TouchBistro

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