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Are you making the most of your sourcing efforts?

You probably already know that if you’re not sourcing candidates, you’re missing out on discovering top talent for your company. CodeSignal Co-Founders Sophia Baik and Tigran Sloyan discuss how to make the most of your sourcing efforts in order to hire the highest quality candidates. In this article you will learn:

  • Why sourcing is a crucial part of any talent acquisition strategy
  • Top 3 strategies for optimizing your sourcing efforts
  • The importance of long-term thinking in guiding your sourcing strategy

We often talk about top of the funnel recruitment here at CodeSignal – and especially, the importance of candidate skill assessment at the top of funnel. But even earlier in the recruiting funnel is another crucial phase: candidate sourcing. 

A recent study of talent acquisition professionals found that an overwhelming majority – 87 percent – use outbound sourcing to build their talent pipeline. Even more, the study found that 73 percent of these professionals reported higher-quality candidates through sourcing compared to other sources (like inbound applicants). 

Companies that see a large volume of quality inbound candidates might be tempted to ignore sourcing. That is a mistake, according to Baik and Sloyan. Especially for smaller companies that may not have the same brand recognition as industry leaders, sourcing is key. If you don’t supplement your inbound applicants with sourced candidates, says Sloyan, “you’re missing a huge chunk of the market that just never considered you in their job search process.”

Making the most of your sourcing efforts requires a clear, long-term strategy. Here are Baik and Sloyan’s top 3 tips for making sourcing work for your company:

1. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

Many sourcers and recruiters worry that sending more than one message to a passive candidate will be poorly received and counterproductive. But when you look at the data, that’s just not true. A study conducted early this year found that 77 percent of recruiters send more than two emails before sourced candidates engage. In other words: follow up!

“There are a million reasons aside from not being interested that someone might fail to get back to you,” Sloyan explains. Distraction and being busy at work, for instance. How many times have you meant to respond to an email, but it fell through the cracks? This happens for your sourced candidates, too.

Another reason? Timing. A sourced candidate might not have been interested a month ago when you first reached out – but would be happy to hear from you now, a month later. 

“You want to make sure that, if circumstances have changed, you’re the first opportunity that they’re thinking about,” says Sloyan.

2. Hand Off to a Recruiter at the Right Time

Let’s say you’ve reached out to a passive candidate (once, maybe twice) and they get back to you. That’s great! As a sourcer, however, your job is not over yet.

“At the end of the day, the goal of the sourcing organization is to get hires – not just get a handful of people interested and pass them off,” says Sloyan. Rather than handing off the interested candidate to a recruiter right away, communicate with them more to start building a relationship. 

It’s important to keep in mind that in these early interactions, your candidate will be curious about your company and wanting to learn more about the role. However, it’s likely that they are not yet committed. This is where a great sourcer will work to get the candidate more interested in your company and excited for the interview process, before handing them off. 

3. Build Long-Term Relationships

This last strategy asks you to rethink your overall approach to sourcing. At your company, is it just a numbers game – reaching out to X number of people and getting Y number of responses? 

While numbers matter, the reality of effective sourcing is more complicated. “The chance that the X number of people are at the right moment in their life and their career that they want to change jobs is low,” says Sloyan. “But if you do generate interest, you have an opportunity to build a relationship that can pay off months later.” 

Passive candidates who have a positive experience interacting with a sourcer will remember this experience and be impressed by how the sourcer presented your company. So even if you don’t reach out again at exactly the right time, you may not need to – your company will be top of mind the next time this candidate is looking for a job.

Sloyan’s advice to sourcers is to build long-term relationships with candidates that provide them value, without expecting anything back. This may mean, for instance, that you give a sourced candidate the honest feedback that you don’t think they are the best fit for a role, but you want to check back in a few months.

That honesty, says Sloyan, “is going to pay off a million times more than just trying to push the hire through to hit your numbers.”

Learn More

Want to learn more about how you can build a winning organization through data-driven recruiting? Visit CodeSignal to find out how you can measure technical skills effectively and objectively with its automated assessment and live interview solutions.