In most industries, technology has made it easier, faster, and cheaper to recruit talent. While this may be debatable by some, there’s no doubt that recruitment tools improve the chances that an organization will land it’s best employees. From candidate assessments and tracking applications to onboarding and training solutions, there is value in technology’s contribution to recruitment.
Free and low cost sourcing tools such as recruitment websites, search engines, candidate aggregators, and social media channels have become a normal part of any working recruiters day. How do these tools work and are there any risks associated with using sourcing tools? We will also take a look at some popular candidate sourcing tools, along with the pros and cons.
How sourcing tools work
In general, any platform that supports recruiters in their search for candidates is considered a sourcing tool. Some of the most popular sourcing tools are career websites and job boards. Many recruiters have taken to using their own job boards, organized by industry niche to attract candidates. This can be a great way to post new jobs and build a talent pipeline, but it also poses as an information security risk for candidates.
Other sourcing tools that have grown in popularity include social networks, particularly those that lend themselves towards job advertisement and candidate attraction. Recruiters can search for candidates, post jobs, accept applications, communicate with candidates, and develop groups of candidates in specific industries. While most social networks were never meant for recruitment, being able to search for individuals and learn more about them was irresistible for recruiters. The risk here is that a recruiter may make decisions based on bias instead of job specific qualities that people have.
Search engines, while helpful for tracking down those who have an online presence, are not designed to work for this purpose. Instead, it depends on how much a candidate has marketed himself on the internet. For example, the candidate may have a public blog or resume that’s easy to find online, but he is putting too much information out there for scammers. Then there is the chance that the candidate is no longer looking for work and the information is out of date.
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Candidate aggregators for predicting recruitment success
Candidate aggregators are a relatively new sourcing tool that’s gaining traction in the world of recruitment. They essentially boost the standard Boolean search you may be doing with your standard search engine, focusing on specific types of candidates and those who have active public accounts. Now, with the inclusion of predictive algorithms, recruiters can essentially create a talent pipeline without candidates ever knowing. They can even find out who may be ripe for a job opportunity based on patterns in candidate behavior and other demographics.
TalentBin, by Monster, is one such candidate aggregator that sweeps the web to find talent based on characteristics that make them a good find. For example, this sourcing tool can be used to search for passive candidates from 50 or more online sources. TalentBin says that it can give recruiters, “A full picture of a candidate's professional and personal interests, aggregated from their entire social footprint.” This enables recruiters to build relationships with individuals rather than appear to be stalking them. However, there is still the factor that the recruiter may then know too much about a candidate and therefore pass an otherwise job-suited person due to something appearing in a social media post
Zillion Resumes works a little differently in that it gives recruiters access to nearly 20 million candidate resumes, gathered from all the possible resume applications and job boards available. A monthly package limits the number of resumes available for downloading, but recruiters can see the entire resume before doing so. Recruiters can keep track of resumes, candidate contact history, and distribute them to others on their hiring team. This again opens up the question of whether candidate data is safe and how this tool gets permission from candidates to share their information.
Recruiters should be mindful of the potential risks and influence that sourcing tools can pose. Choosing paid and secure methods of obtaining candidate information and connecting with candidates may be a better option. Too much information can get in the way of noticing a really good candidate.