Finding the right sources to fill the jobs in your talent pipeline isn't always easy. There’s a tremendous amount of digital noise these days, and new platforms are seemingly born every second. As a sourcer, with a finite amount of time in a given day and week, where should you concentrate your efforts at finding good fits for your roles? Obviously this is going to vary a little bit based on what your industry is, because different industries tend to have different niche websites and networking approaches, but there are still some general ideas we can consider to help out the sourcing community. So next time you hire, think about where your candidates are coming from and what you can do to reach new potential job seekers.
Where should you source candidates from?
If you ask any recruiter or hiring manager where they source candidates, odds are they can give you a list of a few favourite websites. While some sites are easy to navigate than others, a general list of popular sourcing options usually includes:
This list focuses on websites, of course, but it's important to keep in mind a savvy hiring manager will likely go beyond online research. Employee referrals, career day events, community networking, and talent pools are all excellent real-world alternatives to keep in mind.
How is sourcing changing?
How is the way we find and recruit candidates changing from the strategies of the past? Well for one, job boards are being seen as less and less relevant over time. They are good for low-hourly-wage jobs or sales commission jobs and those types of candidates are traditionally on job boards in bulk. Because of the way job boards tend to operate and monetize, you have a lot of resumes there -- but not necessarily a lot of quality talent (What we mean by “operate and monetize” is that job boards are traditionally only making money from the employers, and not charging candidates to be on there. As a result, they don’t often prioritize the experience of the candidates, and as such, top-quality candidates stop using them.).
LinkedIn has evolved a few times in the past half-decade and is still a good source just because of a high volume of qualified people. But LinkedIn has some drawbacks. It doesn’t help you source for blue-collar or service industry roles well, and you typically need another way to reach out to someone once you find them on LinkedIn. Why is that? Only about 22% of LinkedIn users log on more than once a month. If you send someone an InMail about an urgent role, there’s a good chance you won’t hear from them for a bit -- and the role will get filled elsewhere.
Some of the aggregator sites, like the aforementioned Zillionresumes, can be great sources of available, possibly-employed-but-more-than-passive talent.
Social media is also a channel that has increased its recruitment potential over time. Twitter can be effective, but it’s better for finding new trends in sourcing -- use this hashtag -- or starting conversations, such as “Anyone know a good #AI developer in the broader #Toronto area or #remotework possible?” That can get you some leads. Twitter has a low active monthly user base -- about 321M, compared to billions for sites like Facebook and YouTube -- but the random smattering of people checking in and checking out of threads there can mine you some gold.
Referral remains your highest-quality source, typically (again, this varies by geography and industry). You should be proactive about emailing your current employees -- and visiting them, if you sit in the same office -- once a month explaining open roles, the need for those roles (why they exist), who the roles report to, what they might be doing all week, etc. and asking for referrals or recommendations of people that your current crew used to work with. If people start responding consistently to these updates, get email intros from your current employee and instead of coming in hard with the job offer and specs to close the deal, instead ask the referral to coffee or happy hour or equivalent. Build the relationship proactively instead of trying to close the open req.
And that brings us to a new idea.
The idea of “Sourcing 3.0” is that sourcing moves beyond just filling open seats and instead looks at bigger issues like:
- The culture of a company
- The purpose of the organization
- The desired employer brand
- How people are onboarded
- How people are communicated with
- The long-term career progression possibilities
Instead of “OK, we have a marketing role and we can offer a maximum of $62,000 for the right candidate,” someone thinking along Sourcing 3.0 lines would start with those basics -- job title, salary -- and build out content around the culture of the marketing department, key projects they’ve worked on, how they work together as a team, a quick profile on the boss of the role, some stories about promotions within the department, a look at the responsibilities you could evolve into in three years, and more. Basically, you are creating a full ecosystem around “Why work here and why work in this specific role,” showing the candidate the people, the culture, the career path, and more. You are going from transactional to transformative and helping cement your brand as a top company to seek out employment from. That’s the true future of sourcing.
Sourcing is changing
The way in which we find and hire talent is evolving, likely as a result of tech's parallel growth. There are now more tools and online resources that hiring managers can use to find and get in front of the right kind of potential candidate. Talent sourcing isn't an activity with any hard or fast rules, it's up to a recruiter to get creative in how they locate job seekers. But being aware of the key online sites and real-world options can help boost your talent acquisition process and land you some highly qualified candidates, especially if you think about an open role in terms of the full ecosystem of how that job fits into the larger company. Candidates are choosy these days so using new unique sources and offering a fully fleshed out job description can go a long way toward winning the attention of the right kind of talent.