What Is Talent Sourcing?
Also known as direct sourcing, it’s an approach to recruiting that starts long before you have an opening. You start by identifying your company’s needs and the current hiring trends in your industry. What needs does your company have right now? What will they need in the near future? Talent sourcing looks beyond immediate hiring needs to future trends in your industry.
With a recruitment sourcing strategy, you can begin to find top-tier candidates who could potentially fill those roles. You generate leads from your network and begin the work of converting those leads into candidates.
How Does Direct Sourcing Differ From Regular Recruiting?
With direct sourcing, you don’t just look for candidates when there’s an active opening. You develop a pool of candidates you can tap when a position opens. Your emphasis will shift to focus on analysis, research and building a pipeline.
- Analysis: You need a thorough understanding of the job. You must know the details of what the position does, how it fits into the company’s goals, and what kind of person will do well in that job.
- Research: You will spend a considerable amount of time researching in two separate areas. First, which candidates have the skills you need? Second, what can your company offer those candidates? This research is a large part of what you’ll do when you talent source.
- Build a pipeline: This is the goal of your research. Every company needs a hiring and employment plan for its future workforce. Who are they looking for? Who among your contacts would be a good fit in terms of skills, experience, personality and company culture?
What Are the Benefits of a Talent Sourcing Strategy?
Here’s why you need a good recruitment sourcing strategy:
You tap into the hidden candidate pool: People have long talked about the hidden job market, but recruiters know the real hidden market is among candidates. These are highly skilled workers who want to work somewhere that’s more in line with their values. They’re not actively looking because they’ll only switch jobs if they can find the right cultural fit.
You work with a curated pool of talent: Instead of dealing with total strangers who know nothing about your company, you work with people you know. You can present your company in its best light to these candidates. With direct sourcing, you can choose from a group of talented, motivated candidates who already know you.
You develop a valuable network: if your ideal candidate isn’t among your talent pool, the candidates in your pool probably have their own networks. You can tap them for recommendations.
Elements of a Good Recruitment Sourcing Strategy
When you have built a successful talent pipeline, your candidate pool may comprise 20, 30 or 50 potential employees. This is a select list of highly skilled candidates who would be a good fit with your company’s culture.
You may not think that’s a huge pool, but compare it to what happens in most situations. You post a job opening and get hundreds of applications. Of these, only a handful might fit your qualifications. You still have to waste time weeding through all those applications.
With a direct sourcing approach, you avoid all that. You simply tap your candidate pool and find candidates who are perfect fits.
Steps to Direct Sourcing
How do you start a talent sourcing strategy? Here are some suggested steps:
1. Begin with your image of an ideal candidate: Develop the perfect candidate on paper. How many years of experience does this candidate have? What companies did he or she work at in the past? Developing this ideal candidate will require input from various departments in your company.
2. Search for potential candidates: Your chances are best if you search for candidates on specialized professional sites. Sites like LinkedIn can help, but they are not industry-specific. You want candidates who are active in their professional networks.
3. Keep communications brief: When you email your potential candidates, don’t ask them to apply for a job. Keep your communications brief. Talk about your company’s brand, culture and vision. Present your company in a positive light, but don’t use pushy sales tactics.
4. Stay in touch: Keep your candidate pool in the loop with occasional emails, holiday greetings and news about your company. Keep fine-tuning your efforts. It may take several contacts over many months to get a potential candidate to consider a position.
5. Use employee referrals: Referrals from your own employees are the key to building a talent pool. Your employees can tap into their own personal and professional networks to find workers who will be right for your company. Nobody knows the inside scoop like your own workers. Happy, productive employees are the best advertisement for your company.
Here Are the Three Most Important Ways Talent Sourcing Will Change
The talent sourcing definition is poised for change in the future. Here are three future trends to watch.
1. Fierce Competition for Top Talent
With low unemployment and a highly educated workforce, US employers are in a battle for the best workers. As reported in a recent article in Forbes magazine, business executives listed attracting top talent as their number one challenge in the future.
The competition is global. According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of the world’s growing companies list recruitment as their biggest challenge.
With a solid direct sourcing strategy, you’ll be several steps ahead of the competition. You’ll already be in touch with many strong candidates for future openings at your company.
2. More Workers Will Switch to Freelance, Contract or Contingent Positions
Many talented workers now work as freelance or contingent employees. These top tier workers are attracted to work arrangements that allow them to design their own schedules and work environments.
Employers will have to offer a workplace culture that can compete with the freedom and flexibility of a contracting position. Companies can offer paid benefits contractors don’t get, but they should also be prepared to offer flexible work schedules and mobile work opportunities.
3. Technology Will Play a Leading Role
Today’s workers are accustomed to working with the latest technology in a mobile, dynamic workplace. If you want to attract and retain these workers, you need a recruitment strategy that is equally technologically adept.
Companies and recruiters face the challenge of using technology to connect with potential workers all over the world. The recruiters who will pull ahead are those who use technology to communicate with potential workers, build a workforce and create a vibrant company culture.
Successful recruiters can start harnessing this technology now. They can turn their employees into enthusiastic, proactive influencers who reach out to potential candidates. Referrals are still the best way to find top talent.
How Will These Changes Affect Your Recruiting Strategy?
When you plan for the future, consider what your company’s needs will be in one year, 10 years and 15 years. Start building the talent pool you need to meet all these future needs.
- Adopt a direct sourcing strategy to create a curated pool of talent.
- Turn your employees into enthusiastic influencers.
- Build a solid source of referrals.
- Convey the vision, culture and message of your company.
- Learn to use technology and social media to expand your referral network.
Direct Sourcing Can Prepare You To Meet the Future
When you adopt a direct sourcing strategy, you can be ready for whatever the future brings. Start working on your referral network now to build your own talent pool.