March 23, 2023
Discovering top talent has come a long way from newspaper ads and “helped wanted” signs in windows. Businesses can no longer wait for the person with the skills and background they’re looking for to stumble across their door (or more accurately, their career page).
The talent that you’re looking for is out there, waiting to be introduced to your company. And while candidates may not be actively seeking a new role, many are still open to other opportunities.
This is where solid recruitment sourcing strategies come into play. These strategies refer to the various methods and channels that organizations use to find, attract, and engage passive candidates. Defining your strategy is essential. According to 87% of talent acquisition professionals, TA has become a more strategic function over the past year. Effective recruitment sourcing strategies help organizations:
Below, we’ll review the biggest challenges teams are facing in sourcing candidates right now, and the sourcing strategies they’re using to overcome them.
We’ve recently reviewed the benefits of sourcing passive candidates in today’s talent market; now the challenge is sourcing the right passive candidates for each role and for your company. A candidate’s background and skills are likely to be available online, but uncovering their values, goals, and motivations is trickier.
“My biggest challenge in sourcing passive talent right now is identifying individuals who have both a good culture and the desired skill set,” says Grace He, People and Culture Director at Team Building.
Ben Bašić, CEO at Router IP Net, agrees and says that the ambiguity with people who aren’t promoting themselves as open to new work adds another hurdle. “My biggest challenge in sourcing passive talent right now is identifying high-quality candidates who are genuinely interested in opportunities outside of their current role,” he adds.
Relevancy plays a big part too. If you reach out to a candidate about a role without much research or intent behind it, you’ll put them off.
“Passive candidates are especially prone to ghosting since they are usually not actively looking for a job, and may be more likely to disappear if the opportunity doesn’t turn out to be the perfect fit,” adds Gary Gray, CFO of Coupon Chief.
Automation and AI are leading solutions for talent discovery because they reduce the amount of time a recruiter needs to spend scouring the web or job boards. And, with the right criteria, they can effectively hone in on qualified candidates.
“I look to leverage advanced technologies to help proactively identify high-quality candidates and reach out to them with personalized messages,” says Ben Bašić at Router IP Net.
To overcome the problem of reaching relevant prospects, Grace He at Team Building says she utilizes an app that connects people within their own social networks by matching potential candidates with postings that align with their experience and interests.
“This helps me target strong fits outside of my traditional channels, shrinking my search area into a larger pool of talented professionals who might not normally appear on my radar,” adds Grace.
Candidates’ interest must be earned, and once it’s earned, it needs to be cultivated. Ghosting is still a regular reality for talent pros; three-quarters of recruiters say they were ghosted by candidates in 2022.
“Our biggest challenge in sourcing passive talent right now is timing,” says Maria Harutyunyan, Co-Founder of Loopex Digital. “Passive candidates may not be ready to move on from their current job right away, so it is important to catch them at the right moment when they are open to considering a change.”
Even if they are considering a change, currently employed prospects are busy. Sparking enough interest just to generate a response – positive or negative – doesn’t come easily.
“Passive candidates are trickier to connect with, especially if their present employment is satisfying their needs,” says Kathy Bennett, CEO and Founder of Bennett Packaging. “They need a compelling reason to respond to our communications.”
Talent leaders are combatting candidate drop-off by being mindful, creative, and consistent with their communication. First, consider the hiring process from their perspective. If you’re reaching out to them, you already have their contact info and some idea of their background and skills. Requiring them to submit an application is redundant and will send the message that you don’t value your prospects’ time.
Transparency and clarity about the process are also great for winning over candidates.
“The greatest levers we could pull is to improve candidate experience and communication from the moment of first contact with the candidate. We implemented a system where candidates can track their status in the hiring cycle at any point on their own without having to contact us,” says Gordana Sretenovic, Co-Founder at Workello.
Maria Harutyunyan at Loopex Digital says regular check-ins are a must to show your genuine interest in the individual candidate and their accomplishments. “Paying attention to industry trends and changes, as well as changes within their current company, gives us a better understanding of when they may be more open to considering a change,” she adds.
Tools like Fetcher enable more standardized communication across talent pools, by automating follow-ups and nurture campaigns (with personalization, of course!) Gordana at Workello notes that they’ve set up automated email updates for every passed or failed stage of the process, and it has lowered the percentage of candidates that drop off.
Although hiring in many industries has slowed, unemployment rates are at historic lows and candidates are still in command. As the Employ survey data revealed, more than half of candidates think finding a job now will be easy. And more than 40% would feel comfortable leaving their current job without another role lined up.
Needless to say, companies say they still face steep competition in attracting and retaining talent.
“With passive talent, the biggest challenge is that numerous organizations are targeting the top candidates. It’s like trying to catch a mermaid in a sea of suitors—no simple task,” says Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People and Culture Officer at HiJunior.
Many companies have also stayed remote-first after the pandemic, which has upset some regional talent markets that previously relied on traditional or local recruiting strategies.
“My biggest challenge in sourcing passive talent right now is locating qualified candidates without the traditional channels of recruitment,” says Michael Chen, Growth Director at Notta. “As many industries continue to transition to remote work, many of the traditional sources of passive talent (e.g., job fairs, networking events, etc.) are no longer available.”
Marketing your company matters more than ever. In Employ’s report, consistent brand messaging was rated highly among candidates, as were tailored content and experiences.
“Personalized and compelling messaging that highlights the benefits and unique opportunities that the company can offer helps pique the interest of passive candidates and encourages them to consider new job opportunities,” says Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth, at Resume Worded.
Donna Werner, Chief Administrative Officer and Co-Founder at GhostBed has also found investing in employer branding effective.
“We take a proactive approach by creating a compelling and attractive employer brand to set our business apart from competitors,” adds Donna. “Social media platforms can be a powerful tool for showcasing our family business culture.”
Relationship-building, as opposed to one-and-done outreach, has positively impacted recruiting outcomes for many businesses.
“It helps to reach out and build a positive professional relationship with them. This enables us to learn more about their specific needs, then we can offer benefits that will make a meaningful difference to them. That way, even if they remain where they are, they won’t feel they have wasted their time,” says Shawn Hill, Owner of The Grilling Dad.
No one wants to waste time. The faster recruiters and hiring managers can focus on the best-fit candidates, the greater the likelihood of a match on both sides. Between sourcing, outreach, employer branding, networking, and relationship-building, talent teams have a lot on their plates. Recruiting platforms like Fetcher aren’t just time-savers, they’re vital to talent discovery and nurturing.
Ready to launch a stellar sourcing strategy? Reach out to us to schedule a demo that’s personalized to your talent goals.
Check out our other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.
At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.
Recruiting Strategies, Workplace Trends