How to Source for Candidates

Sourcing candidates is the first aspect of hiring workers for your company. When thinking about how to source for candidates, you need to consider the different ways that you can proactively search for the right people and the best methods of engaging them.

The person or team responsible for sourcing candidates will perform the following tasks:

  • Post job openings on the relevant platforms.
  • Collect the candidates’ application forms, resumes and samples of work.
  • Determine whether the candidates are suitable to progress through the hiring process, by conducting pre- employment screening.
  • Communicate with candidates about new job opportunities.
  • Nurture relationships with people who are not ready to leave their existing jobs immediately.

Understanding the difference between sourcing and recruiting

Although employee sourcing and recruiting are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference. Sourcing involves finding and making the initial contact with candidates. On the other hand, recruiting happens after the candidate has been sourced. Interviewing and candidate evaluation are aspects of the recruiting process. It is not unusual for the same person or team to handle both sourcing and recruiting, especially in small businesses that have a limited Human Resources budget.

How you source for candidates has a direct impact on the following:

  • The effectiveness of your talent pipeline to include a constant stream of qualified candidates.
  • A reduction in your time to hire.
  • Enabling your company to meet its short-term and long-term hiring objectives.

When thinking about how to source for candidates, the strategies and techniques you use will depend on issues such as, your budget, your industry and whether you are looking for contract workers vs. employees. The tips below will help you to source the best candidates for your company.

Always be aware of your brand

Branding may not have an obvious impact on sourcing candidates, so it can be easy to overlook this aspect. Your brand is how your company is represented to the outside world. It demonstrates your values and what you stand for. Candidates will be more likely to want to join a company with a positive brand identity. Therefore, answering the following questions will help you to attract the best candidates:

  • Does your company believe in a particular cause?
  • Are you experiencing a period of stable growth?
  • What is your mission and how do you share it with your employees?

New employees want to work for companies with a good reputation. You can affirm your company’s brand by showing how your work culture represents your core beliefs. You can also reinforce your brand during the sourcing process by paying attention to every detail, for example, sending timely branded communication to candidates.

Boost your brand by taking every opportunity to show that you are a great employer. You can achieve this by:

  • Showcasing employees’ experiences.
  • Offering meaningful benefits and perks, like health insurance.
  • Filling out a complete profile on sites where candidates research companies, like LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

Work out your hiring costs

Before you decide to source for candidates, you must work out the budget for sourcing and recruiting employees.

The first step is to decide how many job openings you want to fill, by:

  • Predicting how many hires different teams will require.
  • Estimating the number of new workers that will be needed, taking into consideration your company’s turnover rates.
  • Accounting for events like retirements.

Determine how much candidate sourcing will cost

Generally, sourcing costs include:

  • Salary for in-house recruiters.
  • Posting on job boards.
  • Branding your company.
  • External recruitment agencies.

You should also include the cost of the relevant technology in your recruitment budget, for example:

  • Applicant tracking system.
  • Premium membership to recruitment sites, like LinkedIn.
  • Candidate sourcing tools.

If you face challenges in relation to sourcing costs because you cannot afford an in-house team and you find external agencies too pricey, think about using Fountain’s Boost.

Boost is our new and popular feature that posts job openings on the relevant platforms. Using Boost is easy, as you simply let us know how many job openings you need to fill and we can start to search for candidates for free.

However, if you want to widen your candidate search:

  • You decide on a budget and,
  • We post your vacancy on the appropriate ad networks while,
  • You sit back and manage your candidates in one user-friendly dashboard.

Book a personalized demo to find out how you will benefit from getting an external agency service, without paying the high fees.

How to source for candidates online

There are many options to consider when finding employees online. The internet, which includes your company’s website, is an essential tool in sourcing candidates. When sourcing for candidates online, you can go beyond the usual job boards and consider the following:

  • Professional association websites – If you are recruiting for a specialized profession, like a nurse, advertise your job vacancy on a professional association website. Most association websites have local chapters, which means that you will be able to source talent with the right qualifications within your community.
  • Local or state websites – You can post your open job positions on government websites. For instance, if you are hiring in the state of Michigan, MLive.com offers you the opportunity to post job openings for free. Check with your local labor department to find out whether there is a similar resource for your state.

How to source for candidates using social media

Utilizing social media to source candidates is known as social sourcing and involves using social platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Three of the most common social media platforms for sourcing candidates include:

  • LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known as the professional social network, because there are over 600 million professionals who use the platform to highlight their career histories and accomplishments. LinkedIn is used to network and to source potential candidates. Some professionals also use LinkedIn to establish themselves as thought-leaders by sharing their expertise.

You can sign up for LinkedIn’s recruiter license to source candidates by using in-depth searches. With the recruiter’s license, you are also able to message people who are not directly connected to you. If you are looking for a free way to source candidates on LinkedIn, you can join professional groups and interact with members to find out whether anyone is interested in your job opening.

  • Twitter

Twitter has over 300 million active monthly users and the search and chat features can be useful tools for sourcing candidates. When working out how to use Twitter to source candidates, you need to represent your company’s brand in the best way by writing a clear personal bio, which should include your job title and interests. You should also include the words “we’re hiring”, which should link to the open job positions.

You need to build your following on Twitter to expand the pool of potential candidates. Use Twitter discussions to build relationships and the industry-related hashtags to attract the right candidates. You must also tweet regularly to keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds. Use the advanced search feature to identify and target suitable candidates. If you want to use a paid option, you can buy Twitter ads to promote your job tweets.

  • Facebook

Facebook has 1.52 billion daily active users, which makes it one of the most popular social networks. Users not only socialize on Facebook but they also use the platform to look for work and make job applications. You can post a job for free using the ‘jobs’ tab on your Facebook business page. If you want your job posting to reach a wider audience, you can boost your post by paying an amount that is specified by Facebook.

How to source candidates using hiring software

The workforce is changing, therefore businesses need a modern solution to take advantage of these changes. One of the biggest shifts in the modern workforce is the use of contingent workers, also known as on-demand or gig workers. On-demand work is normally characterized by the requirements of a high number of candidates at one time. Businesses who hire on-demand workers, like restaurants and delivery companies also experience a high turnover rate.

On-demand employers need to source and recruit at speed, without affecting the quality of the workers. When considering how to source candidates for the gig economy, your sourcing and recruitment strategy will only be as effective as the tools you use.

Your hiring software should be equipped to handle different amounts of candidates, ranging from one person to thousands.

Read this case study to find out how Fountain helped Deliveroo to manage approximately 10,000 applications per week

Your hiring software should also provide you with an end to end recruitment solution by integrating with other relevant tools, for example background screening services. Your hiring tool should provide a simple and clean interface, for a short learning curve for everyone that is included in the hiring process.

The candidates must also have a first class experience with your hiring tool, which will benefit your company’s brand. Sourcing and recruiting must be seamless when using fit for purpose hiring software for your on-demand workers.

Fountain provides a complete sourcing and recruitment solution for on-demand businesses. The process is seamless and allows your candidates to form a great impression of your company, as soon as their application is submitted.

How to source for candidates using your applicant tracking system (ATS)

Your ATS should be used to source candidates by building a talent pipeline, which enables you to keep in touch with people who may have an interest in working with your company in the future.

With your ATS, you can store resumes and completed application forms, which can be used later to fill a specific vacancy. Utilizing your ATS to source candidates can save you time and money because you already have the information in-house. Additionally, the candidate has shown a willingness to work for your company because they have taken the time to make an application. Your ATS should be one of the first methods you use when thinking about how to source for candidates.

How to source for candidates using referrals

When working out how to source for candidates, you should use every available avenue, including your employees. Get your employees involved in finding the right candidates for your company. They may be aware of previous colleagues that are looking for work. Using your employees in your sourcing efforts may not only result in the reduction of time to hire rates, but also of a better quality candidate. If your current employee values their job, they will want to introduce someone to your company that will reflect well on them.

Introduce an employee referral program to incentivize your employees for every referral that leads to a successful hire. You can offer different types of incentives, such as extra days off or a bonus payment.

Contact existing connections

LinkedIn is based on social networking with existing connections as a way to grow your professional network. However, making contact with your connections can also be done offline, especially for hard to fill positions. You can meet with former colleagues to ask whether they know of anyone who is looking for the type of work on offer.

Attend conferences and trade shows to talk to people in your industry. These conversations may reveal that the person is looking for new opportunities. If time constraints make it difficult to talk to a large number of people at conferences and trade shows, you should collect as many business cards as possible. After the conference, email the person you met and ask whether they know anyone who is looking for a new role.

Want to source candidates, faster, smarter and in a more cost-effective way? Sign up for a free trial of Fountain.


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