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Candidate sourcing strategies: Proven ways to source top talent


The competitive labor market landscape is making it increasingly challenging to find, hire, and retain the talent your organization needs to drive the business forward.

On average, companies need 42 days to complete a hire. Across all industries, the process is somewhere between 14 and 63 days. For small businesses, hiring challenges can push the process toward the longer end of that range. And when forced to balance hiring and urgent day-to-day matters, the effectiveness of your duties can suffer.

To overcome hiring obstacles, invest in candidate sourcing as a proactive approach to the recruitment process. It can help reduce skill gaps and speed up the time to hire.

Read on to learn more about candidate sourcing and how to source the best candidates.


What is candidate sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of actively searching for and qualifying job candidates who haven’t applied to an open role. You might do this by collecting names and contact information, asking for resumes, and building relationships with potential hires.

But candidate sourcing isn’t a perfect recruitment solution. Skilled labor shortages make it increasingly challenging to build a talent pool, and it can be tricky to keep skilled talent engaged until the next opening rolls around.


6 tips for successful candidate sourcing

Candidate sourcing thrives on leaving no stone unturned. As a recruiter, you need to understand where to look for candidates, how to attract candidates to the organization, and how to better engage candidates to keep them in your pipeline.

Here are six tips for building a comprehensive sourcing strategy:

Look for candidates on all channels

Don’t limit your sourcing strategy to job boards or professional networking sites like LinkedIn. Consider reaching your ideal candidate where they would search for work or hang out online. You can use a wide array of channels such as:

  • Social media (like Facebook or Instagram)
  • Company website
  • Reddit
  • Craigslist
  • Industry-specific job boards 
  • Niche forums
  • Employer review websites (like Glassdoor)

Share attractive job postings

Reach out to your professional network to share job descriptions for your top positions. This could be through a LinkedIn post or direct email, for example. Encourage your connections to refer any applicants within their own network who they feel would be a good fit for the role.

Create a strong employer branding

Your employer branding indeed plays a role in attracting candidates. It’s what will set your business apart from the competition and help attract top talent. Build an employer brand that highlights your company’s values and work culture. Then work with your marketing team to find unique ways to promote your employer’s brands, such as sharing images from staff events, perks of the job, and employee videos.

Offer incentives for referrals

Hiring employee referrals can help improve the quality of hire and increase retention rates. In fact, 45% of employees sourced from referrals stay with an organization for longer than four years. Offer incentives to encourage existing employees to refer qualified friends and family for future roles. This could include cash bonuses, paid vacation time, gift cards, and more.

Look back into your candidate pipeline

Your talent pipeline may include any candidates who’ve previously shown interest in your organization. Their skills and experience may match the requirements of the positions you’re looking to fill. Before sourcing new applicants for a role, look through your candidate pipeline to see if there’s a match.

Focus on effective candidate engagement

Effective candidate engagement can help build lasting relationships with job candidates through the recruitment process and beyond. This can help to keep qualified candidates interested in your business and open to future roles. 

Here are a few ways to improve candidate engagement:

  • Create a better candidate experience with an easier application process
  • Promote your employer branding and give candidates a reason to want to work for you
  • Update candidates on their application status and provide constructive feedback if you’re not moving forward with them


Auditing your candidate sourcing ROI

Once you’ve put candidate sourcing strategies into practice, track your results. Then audit your candidate sourcing ROI to refine the steps to what works best.

Using candidate sourcing tools like artificial intelligence (AI) recruiting software can help you streamline the candidate sourcing process. It becomes easier to match past candidates in your candidate pool to future job opportunities or attract better applicants to your organization.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is sourcing vs. recruiting?

Recruiting is the process of finding, interviewing, and hiring a candidate for a specific role. Sourcing is engaging with skilled potential candidates about an upcoming or future position.

What is inbound sourcing?

Inbound sourcing involves collecting resumes and applications from qualified candidates who are interested in working for your organization, either now or in the future. Inbound sourcing methods include posting positions on online job boards, growing your employer brand, or creating an employee referral program.

What is outbound sourcing?

Outbound sourcing involves reaching out to potential applicants about upcoming positions or job openings. You might use an existing talent pool for outbound sourcing or conduct outreach on platforms such as LinkedIn to engage qualified applicants for your talent pipeline. Outbound sourcing is a harder way to attract new talent as candidates often see this outreach as spam.


Ready to build an effective candidate sourcing strategy?

It’s a competitive labor market, and today’s top talent is in high demand. Creating a candidate sourcing strategy helps your business overcome hiring challenges to source, hire, and retain top talent. 

To create an effective candidate sourcing strategy, you’ll need the right tech to help. Implementing AI recruiting software like Arya Quantum helps you improve your candidate sourcing strategy and find better candidates for your business.

Arya Quantum can help you:

  • Place your job ads in front of qualified candidates to improve the quality of applications
  • Find the best candidates for your positions that are more likely to succeed in the role
  • Reduce unconscious bias within your hiring process with diversity options built into the platform
  • Improve candidate engagement with a consolidated communication dashboard to manage texts, automated chatbots, and email
  • Easily review and shortlist your top candidates from any of your sourcing channels

Find more compatible talent with Artificial Intuition.

Discover how Arya goes beyond conventional AI recruiting