A guide to the dos and don’ts of candidate sourcing

While candidate sourcing, or head hunting, is undoubtedly time-intensive, it can also be extremely effective. In fact, sourced candidates account for 24-33% of all hires according to recent research.

A specialist recruiter with an eye for talent can root out the ideal candidate, even when that person would never have applied to a general vacancy or even considered leaving their existing job. It takes great communication, persistence and a good network of resources, but it can be the only way to find the niche skills and exceptional talent you need to drive your business forward.

Candidate sourcing is often best carried out by a specialist recruitment agency like SOLOS, which has the experience, time and resources to focus on the search. However, if you are attempting it yourself for a particular role, bear the following tips in mind:

  1. Don’t spam

On popular platforms used for candidate sourcing such as LinkedIn, people are used to getting a lot of messages from head hunters. Many are generic and not relevant at all to the person – so don’t be that spammer!

  1. Don’t get too hung up on search terms

Not everyone who says they are an engineer is the right kind of engineer. Rather than just firing out a message to everyone with this keyword in their job title, instead look carefully at the person’s profile and career history to ascertain if they’d be right for the role.

It’s just as important to be creative and flexible with your search terms. You may be looking for Java developers but what else might the people with the skills you need call themselves? For example, software engineers or software developers.

  1. Do focus on candidates who are right for the role

Hiring managers don’t want to see the CVs from lots of people that you’ve attracted into the pipeline who aren’t right for the role. This is a waste of their time, as well as yours and the unsuitable candidate’s. Remember that a handful of great applications is far better than hundreds of poor or unsuitable ones.

  1. Do optimise and analyse your search parameters

If your search says there are 20,000 people in the talent pool, then your search is probably too broad. To narrow it down to the specific people you want, use some filters or a different search string to make sure that what you’re looking for is what the hiring manager really wants.

Equally, if you do a search and only 6 people come up, and the role is in somewhere like London where there should be plenty of suitable candidates to choose from, you’re being too specific. This means that either your search is wrong or the hiring manager is looking for something that doesn’t exist.

  1. Do hone your communication skills

Candidate sourcing is all about effective communication. Your search is just the start. Talk to people to find our whether they’re the right fit for you, and are you the right fit for them? If not, there’s no shame in saying so.

You should also remember that people are busy and get a lot of messages, so you need to stand out and sell your USP right from the start. Engage the candidate with a question or dangle a carrot to leave them curious and wanting to find out more. Crucially, tailor all your communications to the person.

For fast, efficient candidate sourcing or expert help with recruiting for your organisation, get in touch with the specialist team at SOLOS Recruitment Consultants.


image courtesy of basketman @ freedigitalphotos.net

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