talent sourcing

Having the right talent sourcing strategy in recruitment not only helps you increase the size of your talent pool but also helps you close positions faster.

In this guide, we’ll dive into what is a talent sourcing strategy, effective sourcing techniques, and tools that can help you along the way.

What is a Talent Sourcing Strategy?

The aim of a well-defined talent sourcing strategy is not only to get quality candidates but also to create candidate engagement and improve the candidate experience. Having a talent sourcing strategy in place helps companies recruit proactively and maintain a healthy pipeline of candidates.

7 Talent Sourcing Strategies That’ll Work in 2024

From getting more quality candidates to enhancing candidate engagement to creating a quality outreach strategy to having a great candidate experience—here are the best tips to create winning talent-sourcing strategies.

1. Create a 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, and hiring managers, and do some research before you fix a persona. You can also read our blog on how to create a candidate persona to hire better.

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 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, just use the Recruiterflow Chrome Extension to import these profiles to Recruiterflow in 1-click.

Import profiles in 1 click
Import profiles in 1 click

You can not only their personal details but professional details like Experience, Education, and Skills as well.

StackOverflow SQL query generator

When you are looking for a developer, there’s no better plan to find them 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.

You can also check How to use the SQL query generator to source candidates on Stackoverflow.

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 recruitment sourcing method. 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. If you’re planning to send bulk messages on LinkedIn, make sure to personalize each message and avoid coming across as spammy to increase your chances of getting positive responses

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 mutual contact.

Also, check out The Hidden Treasure of exceptional developers you never knew about

4. Craft Personalized Email Sequences

One message doesn’t fit all. This is especially 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 to change roles and any overselling will only hurt your employer’s brand.

You should talk about your culture, team, vision, and what drives your company in the 1st email. If you don’t hear back immediately,  you should always follow up with your candidates within a few days. If you don’t know how to make a catchy letter, you can use ChatGPT VPN to access to AI bot for generating letter templates.

See how I built a team of 40 amazing people in 1 year.

At Recruiterflow, we have seen reply rates close to 45% for email sequences with 3 touch points 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. We have compiled some cold recruiting email templates that you can use to get started.

Check out our webinar on How to get the most out of your email sequences

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. Whether you’re using an in-house or outsourcing recruitment strategy, 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 at 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 your 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 happy birthdays and/or anniversaries, and reach out to them casually every 6 months. Nurturing your candidate database ensures that 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 recruitment metrics before you start your experiments and always benchmark your results and iterate to get a more efficient talent-sourcing strategy. You can use an ATS like Recruiterflow or even Excel to record and get these numbers.

You can also check the Recruiterflow sourcing benchmarks report.

Finally, 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 becoming a better recruiter yourself – these data-driven talent sourcing strategies will help you build a better recruitment engine for your business.

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