Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What is Candidate Sourcing? | A Guide for Recruiting and Hiring

What is Candidate Sourcing? A Guide for Recruiters

by | Dec 2, 2021 | Recruitment Software

In the world of employment, there is no greater need than that of effective candidate sourcing. While that might be a rather bold statement, an organization’s personnel represents their greatest resource. Just like the team with the best players wins, the company with the best employees wins, too. And you certainly can not recruit and hire the best professionals in the job market unless you first source those candidates.

However, before we expound and extrapolate upon the importance of candidate sourcing, let’s explore its definition and meaning, shall we? We shall!

What does sourcing candidates mean . . . really?

Simply put, the definition of candidate sourcing (or sourcing candidates, if you prefer) is the proactive searching for qualified job candidates for an open job or employment opportunity. This job or opportunity could be currently open, soon to be open in the near future, or planned to be open at some undetermined future date. The only certainty is that there will be an open position if there is not one already.

Now that we have the definition of sourcing candidates, what is it NOT? Candidate sourcing is not reviewing the resumes and applications of job seekers who respond to job postings or apply directly through an organization’s website.

One goal of candidate sourcing is to identify high-quality professionals who would be a good fit for the organization, both in terms of skills and experience and also company culture. Another goal is to find out as much information about the candidates as possible, primarily information that will allow you to contact them and help you to assess their potential candidacy.

Candidate sourcing is the responsibility of a great many people within the employment marketplace, primarily recruiters. This includes any and all types of recruiters, as well as those who do not have “recruiting” in their job title but who often undertake recruiting responsibilities:

  • Corporate or internal recruiters
  • Human Resources personnel
  • Hiring managers
  • Professional or agency recruiters, executive recruiters, and search consultants

In addition, there are two main types of professionals for which recruiters look when sourcing candidates. These types are active job seekers and passive candidates. However, recruiters do not wait for active job seekers to apply to job postings, which, as noted above, is reactive. Instead, they are proactive in their efforts.

The importance of candidate sourcing

The United States—and the world, really—are both in the grips of a worker and talent shortage the likes of which few people have seen. (If anybody has actually seen it.) As a result, effective candidate sourcing is more important than ever. Even in what one might consider a “normal” job market, it would be a priority for companies and organizations. That’s because sourcing the right candidates is the primary way in which employers manage their talent and leverage the value that talent provides to maximum effect.

Time is also a major consideration, especially when attempting to fill a position by a departing employee. The longer a position remains open, the more money the company loses. Effective candidate sourcing helps the organization find the right candidate and do so more quickly, not only filling the position with a person who can provide immediate value, but also doing so in less time to save money in the process.

That’s the “10,000-foot view” of the topic. Let’s dig into the specifics of why candidate sourcing is so important in terms of recruiting and hiring:

#1—Better quality of hires

This is a natural consequence of being proactive. By and large, the best talent is defined as being the top 5% to 10% of the job candidates in the employment marketplace. More likely than not, these candidates are not actively looking for a new opportunity. And even if they are, they’re doing it in a covert or confidential fashion. They’re not going to apply willy-nilly to a bunch of online job postings in carpet-bomb fashion to score some interviews.

Because of this, a proactive approach is required to actually find these job candidates, engage them, and convince them to consider your employment opportunity. This is what candidate sourcing is all about. Its very nature involves doing the things that are necessary to find the best candidates in the job market and increase the quality of your available talent pool.

#2—An accelerated hiring process

Another natural consequence of being proactive is a timely recruiting and hiring process. You don’t “let grass grow under your feet,” so to speak. There are a couple of critical benefits of an accelerated hiring process. The first one involves the job candidates who are part of that process. If you’re proactively sourcing candidates, then the quality of those candidates will be greater since they are typically top passive candidates (see item #1).

And if you’re dealing with top passive candidates, it’s more likely they will drop out of the process if it becomes protracted and/or cumbersome. Consequently, it is to your benefit to keep the process moving along at a brisk pace. This will keep these top candidates effectively engaged and interested in both the job and the larger employment opportunity.

#3—Savings of time, energy, and money

What’s the second critical benefit of an accelerated hiring process, you might be asking? That would be this particular benefit, which we touched upon earlier. Let’s start with the money first. When you fill a position quickly AND do it with a top passive job candidate, you’ve saved money for the organization. That’s because the duties associated with that position did not go unfilled for very long. (Sure, other employees could have “picked up the slack” while the position was open, but the quality of work may not have been the same. They have their own work to do, after all.)

And then there is the dual issue of time and energy. First, a number of people at the organization must spend time and energy to help with the mechanics of the hiring process, people whose full-time job is not to recruit and hire. This means they are diverting their attention from their main duties and responsibilities, which help to make money for the company. The longer they are forced to divert their attention, the less productive they are, and theoretically, the less profitable the organization will be.

And second, as we alluded to a moment ago, while a particular position remains open, there may be one or two (or more) employees who are helping to cover the responsibilities of the position. (If that position is not a newly created one, that is.) Once again, this distracts them from their main duties and responsibilities, theoretically making them less productive and the company less profitable.

Therefore, a streamlined and accelerated hiring process is in the best interests of absolutely everybody within the organization and not just those who are tasked with the actual recruiting and hiring of new employees.

#4—A better experience for job candidates (employer branding)

As you may have heard, the hiring process these days is all about providing a great experience for job candidates. That’s because not only do you want them to stay in the process and not drop out of it, but you also want them to say nice things about you to their friends and colleagues. When proactively sourcing candidates, you’re more engaged with those candidates, and they can feel that level of engagement and commitment.

One of the things that job candidates want most during the hiring process is to feel as though they’re wanted by a prospective new employer. That’s because it makes them feel valued, and perhaps that’s something missing from their current job. Hiring the right candidate is the number-one goal of a recruiting and hiring process. However, creating positive employer branding during that process is right behind it.

Candidate sourcing and recruiting software

One of the main ways in which to enhance your candidate sourcing efforts is with recruiting software or an applicant tracking system. That’s because the right software or system can help you to source more high-quality candidates more quickly and easily, and time is an essential component of recruiting and hiring. That’s especially the case in a tight labor market, where qualified candidates are scarce and jobs are plentiful.

Top Echelon’s recruiting software and ATS is a time-tested solution for recruiters who need to streamline their process, find better job candidates, and screen and evaluate those candidates quickly. And we make it easy to evaluate our software so that you can make the best decision for you and your organization. That’s because we offer both a live demonstration of the product and also a free 15-day trial. (Keep in mind that you do not need your credit card to start the trial. You can begin today with no credit card and no obligation!)

Click HERE to schedule a live demo of the Top Echelon recruiting software and click HERE to start your free 15-day trial.

Candidate sourcing is one of the most important parts of the recruiting and hiring process—and it might just be the most important part. Make sure that you gain every advantage possible, starting with a recruiting software package that can give you the power, flexibility, and convenience you need to be successful!

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