Good and bad ways of sourcing candidates

This is an interesting one. I believe, as I’ve said in previous blogs, that good recruitment is all about relationships and not sales targets. Bear this in mind when sourcing candidates, as you’ll have a better chance of filling your client vacancies if you can talk passionately and confidently to your clients about the candidates you are putting in front of them.

Technology has been a game changer for recruitment. I was around when online job boards exploded onto the scene and all of a sudden you had this bank of candidates readily available. However, clients expect you to be selective about who you put forward, and there are still recruiters out there who are downloading candidates’ details from databases and simply sending them on to clients without even having had a conversation with the candidate first.

This is bad recruitment. Not even attempting to get to know your candidates, who will ultimately drive your commission, to me is scandalous.


The effects of social media

Social media has been a fantastic tool for recruiters and candidates alike, with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter quickly proving useful. Engaging effectively with this audience is going to be vital in fulfilling future recruitment needs. The fan base that brands have online, represent a potential candidate pool, which in most cases currently remains untapped by many. Most recruiters are now up to speed with social media, but truly harnessing its power is a must. It’s cheap to implement and when used well, can reach a huge audience across a number of sectors.

Job boards will still have a role to play alongside social media in candidate sourcing, but these will have to be competitive to attract responses in an ever-changing market. I really hope that recruiters put passion into their adverts and that they’re not simply cutting and pasting the clients’ job descriptions. It amazes me that this still happens, bullet points and all, and then recruiters seriously cannot understand why their adverts don’t work. Be creative and innovative and you’ll attract the best candidates.

I’m really excited to see new platforms emerging, which are engaged in bringing recruiters and candidates together. They have real potential to take off in the next 12 months, so watch this space!



For all of the advances in technology, when it comes down it, referrals are one of the best recruitment sources. In my in-house days, I always made sure that I had a robust referrals scheme in place that offered a real incentive to colleagues to refer friends and family to the business, increasing engagement across it as a result. This also drove down attrition rates, especially in some head office areas, where turnover within the first year was over 50%.

There is also still something to be said for headhunting, although it’s probably harder now than it was in the past to engage with inactive candidates, as they’ll tend to give an “I’ll stick with what I know rather than taking a risk” response. This is where the recruiter or headhunter can show their true value by succeeding in engaging with the inactive candidate and persuading them to take that risk.

So, that’s my take on good and bad candidate sourcing! As always, may I wish all of my fellow recruiters happy hunting and, don’t forget…always put your candidate first!

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