The Sourcing Secrets That Will Help You Nurture and Win Top Talent

The best recruiters know that making a hire is rarely a “one and done” transaction. Instead, they look for ways to build and nurture relationships with candidates over time. And while a shift in your mindset is a helpful first step, there are tools of the trade that can help boost your relationship-building abilities.

How do you know which tools to use and how to make the most of them? In the recent “Sourcing Secrets: How to Nurture and Win Top Talent” webinar, our panelists discussed tips, technology and best practices for fostering meaningful interactions with prospects and candidates.

Greenhouse’s Product Portfolio Manager Jennifer Ho, Gem’s Head of People Caroline Stevenson, Cockroach Labs’ Manager of Recruiter Operations Shannon Zwicker and Greenhouse’s Technical Recruiter Alexis Tissian shared case studies and advice about candidate relationship manager (CRM) and email automation tools before tackling more specific questions from the audience. Did you watch the webinar and have a question that wasn’t answered at the time? The panelists responded to all attendee questions in this detailed post on Gem’s blog.

We’ll be sharing some highlights from the webinar below. Want to watch it all? You can catch it on demand here.

Nurture and Outreach Best Practices

In our quick poll of webinar attendees, 38% said they use both CRM and email automation tools to organize and nurture prospects while 25% said they use neither.

Technology like CRM and email automation can make it easier to keep track of – and keep in touch with – promising candidates. Here are a few tips for incorporating these tools into your workflow.

Use a CRM to Track and Resurface Top Talent

What happens when a new req opens at your company? If you feel like sourcing is always a scramble and you wish you’d started yesterday, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Jennifer Ho explained that a CRM allows you to re-engage with prospects and candidates rather than starting candidate pipelines from scratch. It also serves as a historical record that helps you track all the relevant information for a particular prospect or candidate – when you were last in contact, who from your team was in touch and what the appropriate next steps would be.

Define Your Talent Pools

You can organize your CRM into different talent pools – networks of prospective employees you’ve identified as promising candidates to nurture for existing or future jobs. You can then tailor your messaging appropriately depending on the prospect and the types of communication you’ve already had with them.

You can define your talent pools in whichever way makes the most sense for your company, but some of our recommended categories are internal talent, interns and “silver medalists” (candidates from prior roles who were promising but ultimately not hired).

Solidify Your Email Nurture Strategy

According to Gem’s research, the average prospect receives 121 email messages per day. That, by the way, is roughly twice the number of times most people look at their phone in a given day. So it’s fair to say that many of those messages are getting lost in the shuffle.

One of the key takeaways from Gem’s research is that emails have short lifespans. In the world of the inbox, silence doesn’t equal rejection. In fact, sequences that contained four emails had the highest reply rate – 35% compared with a 15% reply rate for one-off emails.

The best recruiters know the power of a good follow-up.

What should each email in the series contain? You’ll want to experiment with different content and combinations, but Shannon Zwicker from Cockroach Labs recommends starting off with a message about the role, following up with relevant blog content or news about a product release, inviting the prospect to get coffee with the hiring manager for the role and finally sharing links to the hiring manager or recruiter’s LinkedIn profile. Remember it’s not always about making a hire – the goal is to keep the lines of communication open.

Email is a medium that’s perfect for experimentation. You can test out different subject lines, send times and levels of personalization. You may be surprised by what you discover!



After Jennifer discussed these general best practices, Caroline led a panel discussion with Shannon and Alexis to learn more about their specific tactics for managing CRM and email automation tools. Want to dig deeper into how they structure emails, set up sequences and involve hiring managers in the sourcing process? Tune in to the on-demand webinar here to learn more.

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Candidate Sourcing