The recruitment journey – Sourcing candidates


Sourcing candidates is probably the most important step in the recruitment process. So, having an effective sourcing methodology is absolutely critical. There are many ways to achieve this, but these are probably the five main strategies:


Make sure you have a presence in relevant industry publications. If you want to source someone with a specific skill set, you need to ensure your adverts are appearing in the places these people are likely to be looking.



Jobs boards are the perfect platform to attract top candidates. There are plenty of “A” candidates available on CV databases. If your experience suggests otherwise, perhaps it’s your searches or your search strategy.



Word of mouth is very often the most powerful way to recruit. So, make sure you exploit this avenue to its full. Ask around.



If you’re not engaging, meeting, talking to, questioning and answering people then your sourcing strategy will have little impact in meeting your hiring needs. The best recruiters are often the best networkers, and networking gives you the perfect opportunity to find new talent.


Social media

This is seen by many as the most effective recruitment tool available today, with networks like Facebook and LinkedIn offering access to a potentially limitless pool of targeted talent. But it shouldn’t be seen as the be all and end all.


So how important is social media?

In recruiting, social media is certainly important but at the end of the day it is just another medium to use in your communication mix. What is really important in social recruiting, just like in any other communication medium, is the message – this is what will determine your success or failure. More importantly, social media is not a sourcing tool – it’s simply an engagement and relationship building channel.

But whatever channel you use, or whatever selection of channels, there are some basic things you need to remember…


Think before you search

As Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” You should spend time thinking about and researching your search strategy, as well as experimenting with search strings and reviewing the results for relevance before they start using the results to begin making calls.

Furthermore, you should remember not to over analyse CVs. The chances are that the people you are trying to find and recruit are not professional CV writers. Whether they are software engineers, lawyers, physical therapists or project managers, always remember you should hire people, not paper.

Of course, these channels are all well and good if your candidate wants to change jobs but a lot of them don’t. So how do you approach passive candidates?

Passive candidates are not in the market to buy anything so selling them something is absolutely the wrong approach. Instead, try establishing your credentials and reputation. The best way to start talking with passive candidates is to engage them in conversation, not to sell them on an opportunity.

Where possible, start this conversation with an email. Email is the quickest, most unobtrusive and the most commonly accepted way to establish rapport today. Using both the phone and email strongly increases the likelihood you will make a connection.

And, of course, remember, no doesn’t always mean no. The best passive candidates are successful and busy people so if you just accept this initial “no” all the time then you will be cheating yourself out of some top talent. Once someone answers you may get some initial resistance to the conversation or even a very outspoken “no”, but you can often overcome this initial reaction.

1 Comment

  1. charles hines January 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Read the above comments by Pete Roythorne on recruiting and wish this had been the attitude 10-15years ago as a job seeker. I was caught between a good general education and stylized specialisms in jobs which when viewed and discussed are largely common sense. Professions require acknowledged skills and attendant qualifications to practice; however much out there can be done with a good work background and essential communication skills discussed above.

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