Candidate Sourcing: Challenges, Strategies, Hacks and Tools


Having a robust sourcing strategy can help your company stay ahead of the game and make hiring a competitive advantage. During our 2015 Recruiting Optimization RoadshowVivek Reddy, Head of Talent at Entelo, shared some best practices and strategies to better source talent.

Vivek was an early employee at Entelo, where he worked on everything from Sales and Marketing to Customer Success before diving into Talent and Recruiting. Because of his diverse experiences, Vivek was able to see similarities between Sales, Marketing and Recruiting. He was then able to apply some of these skills to his new role in Talent.

Sourcing For Candidates: Why Does It Matter?

  • Tough to Fill Roles: The best people are not actively looking for jobs and are unlikely to apply to a job online. Active sourcing allows you to find and get in touch with the type of people you want to hire.
  • Predictability and Forecasting: A proven sourcing strategy can help you hone-in on the right candidate, reduce sourcing time, and focus on key channels, so you can accurately forecast your time to hire.
  • Messaging: Your sourcing activity is an avenue to spread your company’s brand and messaging. Just like marketing, make sure you have the right type of communication at each stage of the funnel to target candidates.
  • Other Roles: Sourcing is not just for tough-to-fill roles, but can be applied to almost every role in the company, from Office Managers to Senior VPs. Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to go after great candidates.

4 Ways to Prepare Sourcing for A New Role

Before you start your outreach efforts, have a strategy in place to ensure that your sourcing efforts are successful. Here are some ways to get started:

  • Align with Hiring Managers: Before you start reaching out to candidates, it’s important to gain alignment with the hiring manager. Ask them what they are looking for and don’t be afraid to set a ‘pie in the sky’ vision. Establish 5-10 key requirements, ask tough questions and crystallize what is actually core to the role and what isn’t.
  • Talent Mapping: In some cases, such as an executive role, there are only small subsets of people you want to go after. Talent mapping is especially helpful in these instances. Brainstorm the types of companies that would be an ideal fit, and then map out each person with that given profile.
  • Nurture: It’s a competitive hiring market, so you need more than just cold emails in your arsenal. Know what materials you have at your disposal, leverage marketing collateral, Glassdoor reviews, and blog posts to engage candidates.
  • List Building: Instead of reaching out to one candidate at a time, build out a list. Segment the list so you can send personalized messages to each group without sacrificing efficiency. This approach can help scale-up your hiring quickly, especially for sales and engineering roles where volume matters.

Helpful Tactics for Candidate Outreach

  • Templates: Build a template with information you use over and over again. From there you can customize and be specific based on the candidate and role.
  • A/B Test: What works and what doesn’t? Test your outreach headline, copy and content as you would with a marketing campaign.
  • Be Scrappy: Be where your candidates are: get on GitHub, Stack Overflow, Quora, Behance and Dribbble. Don’t be afraid to check them out on Twitter or Facebook for cultural context and contact information.
  • Metrics: Establish KPIs before you start sourcing. Ask yourself: How many candidates am I adding to my pipeline? How effective are we?
  • Use Multiple Channels: Work or personal email? Use both if needed. Reach out via multiple channels to increase response rates.
  • Drip Campaigns: These can be helpful if done right. Develop 3-5 emails spread out across multiple weeks or months, leveraging collateral and marketing materials to engage and drive awareness.

The right candidates are out there, but without a robust and targeted sourcing strategy, you might spend countless hours and effort doing things that don’t yield results. Help the right candidates find you by reaching out to them first! A strong sourcing strategy is the first step to hiring great talent.

The Recruiting Optimization Roadshow continues in LA, Seattle, Chicago, Boston and New York. Join us or get more information below!

Recruiting Optimization Roadshow


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