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Talent Sourcing Strategies to Find the Right Candidates Faster

Posted by
Kaushik Satish
March 24, 2022

“There’s a war for talent on.”

“The Great Resignation is costing us.”

“It’s going to be tough to get people to come back into work.”

Find yourself nodding along to such remarks? As Aaron Levie, Box CEO, said in a recent Bloomberg interview, “The world has fully changed. There’s no going back to pre-2020.” And hiring is tougher than ever. In this post, we’ll delve into the challenges your sourcing recruiters battle every day and explore ways to get around them.

Sourcing strategies to build your talent pipeline

The top 10% of talent are employed elsewhere. They are not actively looking for a change. However, this doesn’t mean they are uninterested in a good opportunity.

But if they aren’t scouting LinkedIn or job portals, how do you reach them and get their attention? Here are four candidate sourcing techniques that may do the trick.

1. Uncover hidden talent you’ve already acquired

Start by looking within your own database if you’ve built up a sizable one. Chances are, top candidates are already in there from when they were last job-searching. Reactivate this passive talent with personalized, engaging emails that catch attention and prompt a reply. The right automation partner (that’s us!) can help you design and deploy highly effective reactivation campaigns that deliver 2X the response rate.

Example of a cold email to reactivate passive candidates. See more cold email templates for recruiters here.

Do you know who else you can reach this way? Employee alumni. Fifteen years ago, few companies rehired employees who had moved on—the term ‘boomerang employees’ originated there—but times are changing.

Think about the smartest, most effective people you’ve worked with in the past—wouldn’t you work with them again given a chance? Not only do they understand your culture well, but they also come with the benefit of experience and skills built during their time away. Reach out to the employee alumni in your database to check how they are doing and whether they’d be open to new roles with you. As Reid Hoffman, one of LinkedIn’s founders, said, “Lifetime employment is over but a lifetime relationship is ideal.”

2. Tap into networks beyond your own

Once you tap your own database, look for contacts at the next level—your employee/alumni networks. Most people spend a good part of their career in the same industry or function and build great contacts along the way. Ask them nicely and they can connect you to their high-quality talent pool right away. The fact that a friend or colleague referred them will make you more attractive to candidates and they’re more likely to give you a hearing.

With Sense Referrals, you can run referral programs seamlessly. Reach out via text, email or chat, whichever is easiest for your employees and alumni. They can check open positions and refer folks they know, directly from their phone. Not just that, you can manage all referrals and approve payouts and rewards from a single dashboard. Bonus: we make tax compliance easy too!

3. Discover and utilize under-tapped sources

During the pandemic, there has been a spike in professionals taking up digital courses to upskill or retrain themselves. These are candidates moving from ‘passive’ to ‘active' (i.e. not yet looking for a new job but preparing for one).

In many ways, they are already demonstrating initiative. They want to accelerate their career growth and are upskilling themselves. Why not proactively tap into this pool of high-intent, high-potential talent? You will be in good company—large employers including Google, IBM and even the US Federal Government are already rethinking degrees as an employability criterion and focusing on job skills instead.

4. Be creative with your outreach

Bumble is great for dating. Do you know what else it’s good for? Networking. Here’s how Bumble describes its professional section Bumble Bizz, “Today, most people find their next job through their network. We created Bumble Bizz so professionals can connect with each other, share, and learn.” And people are using it to find everything from their next job to their next round of funding.

Slack, similarly, started out as a platform for in-house teams to collaborate. But today, there are hundreds of open Slack communities frequented by professionals with specific interests. For instance, DesignerHangout for UX professionals, TechLondon for digital marketers, creative designers, and startup techies, developer communities for Elixir, Flutter, iOS, and more. These are great places to scout for talent. The bottom line is if you are hiring in niche spaces, think like an insider: look where the top talent is.

If you aren’t doing it already, sourcing candidates through social media should be on your list. But it’s not just online communities. After a two-year hiatus, people are networking in person again, especially those in niche spaces like tech, finance or design. Participate in networking events, community meet-ups and even coffee shop chats!

Like this founder 😃

5. Don't ignore your employer brand

The LinkedIn inboxes of the top talent, especially in high-demand functions like tech, are overflowing with recruiter messages. In this New York Times article, recruiter Tiffany Dyba shares how she sent out InMails to 75 prospects for a data analyst job in a VC-backed, great-benefits company growing at 400% YoY. She got five responses, three of which were “No, thank you's."

This is a candidate-driven market with the top 10% of talent able to take their pick from among multiple job offers. Most employers are desperate enough to pay them a premium too. How do you stand out?

When everyone is trying to woo candidates with top dollars, do it with your employer brand. This may seem ridiculous when you have so little time at hand and recruiting seems urgent. But working on your employer brand is not just a long-term strategy, It can pay dividends in the short term, too.

With money no longer a motivating factor, candidates are choosing to work for companies that are empathetic and flexible. If you have a great culture and non-monetary benefits that matter, talk about them actively and consistently. Leverage your company’s LinkedIn page, your leadership’s social media profiles and even your employees’ networks to spread the word. You’ll soon find your inbound numbers rising.

Read how we helped IT Recruiter DIVERSANT elevate their employer brand, improving NPS and Glassdoor scores by 35%. If you'd like to learn more, schedule a chat with our team to discover how we can amplify your sourcing numbers!

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