Having the right talent sourcing strategy, not only helps you increase the size of your talent pool but also helps you close positions faster.
What is a talent sourcing strategy?
The aim of a well-defined talent sourcing strategy is not only getting quality candidates but also create candidate engagement and enhance candidate experience. Having a talent sourcing strategy in-place helps companies recruit proactively and maintain a healthy pipeline of candidates.
From getting more quality candidates to enhancing candidate engagement to creating quality outreach strategy to having a great candidate experience—here are the best tips to create a winning talent sourcing strategies.
1. Create candidate persona to hire better
Before you start sourcing candidates for a position, it’s always advisable to create an ideal candidate persona.
An ideal candidate persona helps you identify the right channel, message and strategy to source more qualified candidates. Creating a candidate persona is a multi-step collaborative process, so you would need to talk to your team, hiring managers and do some research before you fix on a persona. We have talked in detail about candidate persona in our other blog post. You can read it here.
2. Source candidates who are similar to your candidate persona
Once you have successfully created the candidate persona, you need to source candidates actively who match your candidate persona. These candidates can be present on a number of platforms, however, depending on your candidate persona, you can choose a platform(s) of your choice. If I am recruiting developers, I would choose StackOverflow or GitHub as a candidate source, whereas if I am recruiting designers, I am better with Dribble or Behance. There are multiple tools out there using which you can enhance your sourcing efficiency:
Linkedin X-Ray Search
LinkedIn X-Ray search tool helps you create boolean queries to do an X-Ray search on LinkedIn. It gives you a list of LinkedIn profiles, which match your search criteria.
Recruiterflow Chrome Extension
Once you have a list of LinkedIn/Xing/Angel.co/GitHub profiles, whom you want to reach out to, just use the Recruiterflow Chrome Extension to import these profiles to Recruiterflow in 1-click.
You can not only import their personal details but professional details like Experience, Education, Skills as well.
StackOverflow SQL query generator
When you are looking for a developer, there’s no better plan to find them other than StackOverflow. However, searching through StackOverflow is not as simple as LinkedIn. In order to search through StackOverflow, you need to build an SQL query. But even if you are not a developer, you can this StackOverflow query generator to create an SQL query by just giving some manual inputs.
3. Find a way to connect with your leads
Finding a set of perfect candidates for a job is just the step in creating your talent sourcing strategy. Connecting with these leads and turning them into applicants is the major objective of any sourcing exercise. First things first, decide which channel to use to reach out to these users. I typically prefer LinkedIn messages to reach out to a sales guy vs emails when it comes to reaching out to a developer.
Get their email if you want to reach them through emails. You can use tools like Hunter.io, ContactOut or Lusha to get their email address. In case you want to reach out to them using social media, it’s always good to connect with them using a mutual contact.
4. Craft your personalized message to engage candidates
One message doesn’s suit all. This is true for recruitment! You need to personalize your message to candidates to get more replies and enhance engagement. Talk about common hobbies, common skills, why they are suitable for the role etc! Keep it short and sweet and never try to oversell a position. Remember, these candidates are not actively looking out and any overselling will only hurt your employer brand.
You should talk about your culture, team, vision and what drives your company in the 1st email.
One email is never enough, depending on your position, you should always follow-up with your candidates. At Recruiterflow, we have seen reply rates close to 45% for email sequences with 3 touchpoints and spread across 20 days. While your first email needs to be personalized, your follow-ups can be templates and should be automated to help you save time.
5. Always value the candidate’s time
A number of companies excel at sourcing candidates and reaching out to them. However, when it comes to the call to action in the email, they lose out on a large number of qualified candidates. Your call to action should always value the candidate’s time. Never ask them to:
- Apply for a job as you are the one reaching out to them
- Give a test before explaining on a call about the role and recruitment process
- Send their resume or cover letter in the first email as you should have this information before you reach out to them
We studied close to 200k emails and the only thing that works best is asking the candidate to come on a 10-15 mins call as per their convenience, so that you can talk more about the role and the company. When you are asking a candidate to spend the next 2-3 years of professional journey with you, the least you can do is spend 10-15 mins with them initially to value and appreciate their time.
6. Always nurture your passive leads
Sourcing and recruiting passive candidates is always a challenge. That’s why nurturing your existing candidate database is the key to maintaining a healthy talent pipeline. Whether you are recruiting actively for a job or not, you should always nurture your existing candidate database. Keep them updated about the latest happenings at your company, wish them on birthday and/or anniversary, reach out to them casually every 6 months. Nurturing your candidate database ensures that when the next time your candidate is ready to make a switch, they will surely reach out to you. Remember, recruiting is a marathon and not a sprint.
7. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
Creating a talent sourcing strategy is an iterative process. You should always run multiple experiments for all the above 6 points and see what works and what doesn’t work for your company. Define your KPIs before you start your experiments and always benchmark your results and iterate for getting a more efficient talent sourcing strategy. You can use tools like Tableau or an ATS like Recruiterflow or even Excel to record and get these numbers.
Lastly it doesn’t matter whether you’re running a recruiting agency or hiring in-house, trying to increase your organization’s recruiting effectiveness, or just become a better recruiters yourself, these data driven talent sourcing strategies will help you build a better recruitment engine.