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Killer sourcing strategies for finding top talent

Laura Ilioaea

Finding and recruiting talent is a challenge that recruitment professionals face daily. The first step toward hiring the right person for your company is to be aware of where top talent exists. While some people are talented in one area, others have multiple skills that might surprise you—and they may not even know! 

Finding exceptional talent starts with a solid recruiting plan which outlines your requirements and priorities. It should include details about the positions you’re trying to fill, how long you expect it takes to fill them, and how much budget you have for recruiting efforts. Talent sourcing is the starting point in talent acquisition which consists in identifying specific talent suited for the company’s needs. 

Engaging with passive candidates

Passive candidates are not actively looking for jobs, but they are open to opportunities. They will typically be happier in their current roles and less likely to jump ship at the first sign of trouble. According to Linkedin, only 36% of the candidates are actively looking for jobs while 90% of them are constantly open to hearing about other opportunities. For this reason, you may need to engage in proactive sourcing and take extra steps to attract them or convince them that your company is worth exploring.

Dig into your talent pool

While you previously had openings to be filled with one hire, you’re probably counting on a community of people who are familiar with your company and who have engaged with your hiring process already. Rather than starting a search from scratch whenever you open a new position, you can re-connect with the talent you already came across by digging into already-built pipelines.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) should be your main ally in building your talent pool as it can store all the information related to candidates so you can review them and evaluate their fit and qualifications the next time you need to hire quickly.

Think outside of the box

While sticking to Linkedin might feel like a safe choice, at some point you’ll reach the stage where you’re going to exhaust the search, feel like there’s no space for you to learn from it, or simply not find adequate talent you’re looking for. When any of these scenarios happen, you may want to consider alternative and specialized talent-sourcing tools such as Github, Xing, Behance, Talentbin, Join, Indeed, Hyrise,, and HiringSolved (to name a few). Some of these are position-specific platforms focused on helping you identify candidates with specialized skill sets, while some of them widen your search parameters to a wide range pool of candidates not easily accessible by the large.

Leverage social media

In the past years, social media has taken over the world, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, now is the time! Social media is a great way to find candidates who are already talking about the company they work for, the job they’re looking for, or even topics related to your business or industry. If you’re proactive about this strategy (and ready for some heavy lifting), you can find potential employees who fit into your culture and have been recommended by friends of friends—meaning you have an obvious leg up on other companies looking for talent.

Joining Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provides opportunities to find and connect with candidates who are looking for jobs in your industry and might be interested in working at your organization. Social media is a great way for you to find out more about candidates’ career goals and what they’re looking for in a job opening and have them stay informed about opportunities available so that you’ll be top-of-mind when the time comes for them to start their job search!

There’s no better place than these sites where professionals come together under one roof and who knows? You might even find someone who shares similar interests with you as well!

Search online communities

Online communities are a great way to find candidates. It’s worth doing some research first since there may already be strong competition among companies offering similar positions as yours. However, leveraging word-of-mouth marketing techniques within these communities while simultaneously targeting passive candidates elsewhere on social media platforms could lead to finding someone much better suited than those currently employed elsewhere! Some of the best ones to look for include:

  • LinkedIn groups and Slack communities allow you access to different networks that might include groups specifically geared toward professionals looking for jobs or freelancers seeking contracts within your specific industry.
  • Niche Linkedin and Facebook groups related to your field.
  • Online forums where people discuss topics related to your field (e.g., Quora).
  • Use those platforms to find candidates who are active in their field, passionate about their work, and able to communicate well with others (this is especially important in remote work).

Tap into your employees’ network

Employee referral programs are a great way to source talent. Your employees are your best source of information on how well you’re doing at building a culture that fits their needs and values, so they can help identify candidates who will fit in well with the team.

Employee referrals are rated as the best source of hires, accounting for 30-40% of all hires. Referrals are also more likely than any other channel to yield top performers whose skills match your requirements. This is because your employees have access to information about who is doing great work within your organization and they know what it takes to succeed in your industry and company culture as they live it daily.

In addition, referrals—people who aren’t actively looking for work but would consider your role if approached by someone they trust— are twice as likely as other channels to yield passive candidates and four times as likely to generate diverse candidate pools according to research from Glassdoor.

Track your metrics

Keeping track of conversion rates can make it easier for you to find excellent candidates for forthcoming openings. Analyze how many reach-outs and follow-ups it took for you to receive responses from candidates and what message templates sparked more interest. This sustains your A/B testing approach for the future and drives better results in the long run. 

On top of looking into template analytics, you should also track emails being opened and reply rates to gather data on message effectiveness and candidate engagement. Monitoring data such as the time to nurture a candidate and persuade them to jump on a call, the time from the initial interview of a sourced candidate to hire, and the source the best candidates are coming from allows you to understand where to find the right talent and what is the right way to approach them. Furthermore, you get the opportunity to adjust and optimize your sourcing strategy to maximize hiring success while saving time and money.

Finding top-tier talent will never get easier, all the more considering the arising competition out there. In order to win the right talent by your side and cast a wider net, you’ll have to think strategically, step out of your comfort zone and embrace new tactics and techniques that will set you up for success.

If you’re interested in efficiently employing innovative sourcing strategies in your recruitment process reach out today and see how we can help out. 

Laura Ilioaea

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