Why having a strong candidate sourcing strategy is key to successful recruitment

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When it comes to attracting and engaging quality candidates, being strategic and proactive in your sourcing allows you to expand your outreach, discover quality prospects and build a strong talent pipeline. And to be successful in today’s competitive talent market, it’s essential to make candidate sourcing an integral part of your recruitment strategy. That’s why we’ve compiled this list outlining what you need to know to optimize your candidate sourcing strategy.


What is candidate sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of researching, identifying and connecting with prospective talent to convert them into job applicants and new hires. A fundamental part of it involves finding qualified candidates whose skills align with the roles you’re hiring for and would also be a great culture add to your organization.

Recruiters typically start sourcing candidates early in the recruitment process so they can build a consistent talent pipeline. Doing so ensures there’s always a large pool of qualified candidates they can look to as new roles open up.

Candidate sourcing can be divided into two categories: inbound sourcing and outbound sourcing.

Inbound sourcing usually involves posting job listings or job ads on your career page, job boards, and social media to generate awareness and interest from people who are actively seeking work. With this sourcing approach, it’s easier for recruiters to find candidates since they’re applying to jobs and actively looking for new opportunities. While this sourcing method draws in more active job seekers, it doesn’t attract many passive candidates.

Outbound sourcing, on the other hand, requires recruiters to be more proactive in their outreach because they want to connect with candidates who may not be actively looking for roles at that time – in other words, passive candidates. Recruiters usually create a targeted list of qualified prospects to reach out to, sharing current or future job opportunities with them through email, LinkedIn or other communication channels. Whether the prospect becomes a candidate or not, outbound sourcing allows recruiters to initiate conversations, build relationships with prospects and add them to their talent pool.

How to source candidates

Now that we’ve covered what candidate sourcing is, let’s take a look at the different methods you can use to source candidates.

  1. Create targeted lists of prospects
    To ensure you’re reaching the right people, it’s critical to create targeted lists of people to reach out to. As you create these lists, it’s important to properly vet each prospect before you segment them by skillset, role or other relevant criteria.
  2. Utilize different communication channels and tools to find candidates
    Using communication channels and tools such as email, LinkedIn, social media and CRM are all great ways to discover candidates. These methods allow you to attract and engage both active and passive candidates so you can consistently build and add people to your talent pool and pipeline.
  3. Promote employee referrals
    Who’s a better advocate than your employee? Employee referrals are an excellent way to find candidates since it’s likely that your employees already know people in their network who would be a great fit for your company’s open roles. One way to encourage referrals is by offering incentives or bonuses when a successful hire is made.
  4. Provide a great candidate experience
    Every interaction the candidate has from the initial outreach through the application process and beyond matters. It’s therefore crucial that every touchpoint in your sourcing strategy helps you deliver a great candidate experience. Otherwise, candidates may get a negative impression and lose interest in joining your company.
  5. Focus on building long-term relationships
    Last, but not least, a successful sourcing strategy must include building long-term relationships with people. While there’s not always an immediate payoff, it’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to connecting with people and building relationships with them over time. A great way to build and nurture these relationships is by setting reminders to check in on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.


Benefits of a strong candidate sourcing strategy

While sourcing requires dedicated time and effort up front, it also offers plenty of long-term benefits.

Improved quality of new hires
As you actively search for great candidates, you’ll also develop a better understanding of job requirements and what qualities are needed for success in various roles. And as you improve your sourcing capabilities, you’ll start getting better quality hires – it’s a win-win! Sourcing passive candidates also provides you with a competitive advantage since they’re not actively looking for new opportunities and interviewing elsewhere.

Reduced time and cost of hiring
The average cost per hire is approximately $4,700 and it can take a few weeks or up to 42 days to fill an open role on average, which takes up a lot of time, money and resources. When you consistently source candidates over time, it gets easier to fill positions as they open up since you’ve already built a pipeline of vetted candidates to choose from – saving you time and money.

Stronger employer brand
Candidate sourcing also plays a crucial role in building an employer brand, which is the company’s reputation as a desirable place to work. When your recruiting team shows interest in passive candidates by keeping them updated on new roles and product updates or sharing company news and employee stories, they’ll start to recognize and trust the company over time. They may even recommend your company to friends and people in their network, promoting and strengthening your employer brand through word of mouth.

If you’re not already including both inbound and outbound candidate sourcing as part of your recruitment strategy, it’s definitely worth considering for the many long-term benefits your company will enjoy and can help you find top talent more efficiently in today’s ultra-competitive market.


Learn more about Greenhouse Recruiting and Sourcing Automation by connecting with a member of our team today.

Jennifer Vu

Jennifer Vu

is Content Marketing Manager – Sourcing, at Greenhouse. Prior to joining Greenhouse, Jenn worked on content creation and product development focused on sourcing during her time at Interseller. When she’s not whipping up a new blog post, she enjoys reading and refining her culinary skills. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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