What is sourcing in recruitment? Types and tactics

What is sourcing in recruitment?

Sourcing is the first stage of the recruitment process in any industry, the stage where the company begins actively looking for new candidates for a vacancy on its team. It represents the absolute beginning of the process of gathering data about potential applicants, including names, professional and academic qualifications, and professional titles.

As part of the sourcing process, HR professionals look for potential candidates to a position. These can be passive candidates (individuals who are not currently looking for a new job) and activate candidates, who are already looking to join a new company. Common locations where HR looks for candidates as part of the sourcing process include job websites, social media sites, unions, and more.

What are the different types of sourcing?

There are a number of different types of sourcing companies that can utilize to find the right candidate for your team. Which method you use depends on the type of candidate you need and the industry you work in. Some examples of sourcing methods include:

Outsourcing: You can hire an external company or candidate to perform the function you need as the benefits are quick delivery and oftentimes value for labor. Make sure you vet the vendors you look to.

Insourcing: This choice saves you time and money, and ensures you choose a candidate that knows your team well. It will also be simple to draw up a contract that meets the requirements of your organization.

Global sourcing : The employment marketplace is more global and competitive than ever so consider recruiting where the talent is, especially for team remote work. Just be mindful of potential cultural differences.

Subcontracting: Companies working on larger projects often subcontract sections out to different companies. Just make sure you agree on an advantageous contract. A good solution for a number of factors.

Referrals: Asking your colleagues or contacts to recommend someone for a vacant position is an efficient way to find a qualified candidate. A strong relationship will help the candidate integrate into the company well.

Old applications: One can often find that individuals who were not suitable for previous applications may be perfect for a new one, so keep old applications for analysis. One team has different requirements from another after all.

What is the difference between sourcing and recruitment?

Sourcing and recruitment are often considered to be the same thing but as we mentioned above there are differences, and sourcing is actually only one part of the recruitment process. Sourcing comes before the hiring process stage, and as the initial step in the overall recruitment process, it is one of the most important. Once the person in charge of the sourcing step of the process has whittled down the initial list of candidates to a shortlist they pass that information on to whoever is responsible for the hiring process.

The reason for some of the confusion about the difference between sourcing and recruitment is because at many companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, the same person is responsible for both processes. Larger companies are able to employ dedicated people for each stage of the recruitment process, which gives them a competitive advantage. As you might imagine, it’s always best to employ a dedicated specialist for each stage of recruiting if you can. As sourcing is arguably the most important (as the initial) step, you should engage a specialist.

What sourcing tactics can I use?

Sourcing is rather like fishing, one can cast their line into a body of water and hope for the best, but it’s better to know your ‘hunting ground, and that your hook will actually get a bite. Some of the best tactics you can employ in sourcing include:

1. Create a candidate persona

It’s not enough to understand the vacancy that needs to be filled, you also need to understand exactly who your candidate should be. By creating a persona you’ll be able to readily identify the candidates you’re looking for so be sure to create a persona that’s as detailed as possible and understand the exact personality factors you need.

2. Diversify your Hiring ‘hunting ground’

A hunter that stalks five watering holes will have more success than if they focus on just one. The same goes for sourcing, don’t limit yourself to, for example, one page on your website, make your vacancy open on multiple social media sites, recruiting companies, and more. Base your research on which sites to use on detailed analysis.

3. Ask colleagues to recommend contacts

We mentioned earlier that getting referrals is a good way to find candidates suited for your vacancy, so you can create a referral scheme within the company. Any employee that recommends a candidate that successfully receives a bonus, a good incentive for them to find a candidate and make your job a bit easier.

4. Build a visible brand

This might sound like the preserve of the marketing business and not recruitment, but candidates do their research too. They’ll check reviews of your company as well as the feedback of former employees, so ensure you establish a strong presence on such websites and control the narrative of your competitive image.

How can I succeed at sourcing?

As we outlined above sourcing requires a dedicated specialist to be truly successful, and at PeopleForce that’s what we do. Regardless of the size of your company, or what industry it works in, we can help ensure that your business makes a success of its sourcing. Our dedicated specialists will be happy to help you.

Get in touch with us today and we can tell you more about how we can help, and about our dedicated tools like PeopleRecruit, designed to make sourcing smoother and more efficient than ever before.

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