Active sourcing in recruiting: definition, benefits, and how it works
Table of contents
- Active sourcing in recruiting is a way to hire the best talent
- A scary truth that everyone knows but nobody admits about the search for passive talent
- Benefits of active sourcing for recruiters and business leaders
- Active sourcing process
- Tips for implementing active sourcing
Active sourcing in recruiting is a way to hire the best talent
The biggest challenge recruiters face today is finding and attracting highly qualified professionals. LinkedIn shared in the summer of 2022 that 73% of the global workforce consists of employees who would like to change their job but aren’t motivated to look for a new job or respond to job postings.
Moreover, companies around the world are experiencing a shortage of skilled employees. A more local example: in 2022, DIHK surveyed 22,000 companies in Germany, of which 53% reported a shortage of skilled labor. As a result, these companies struggle to find the right candidates for hard-to-fill positions. One effective method of searching for talent is active sourcing. Recruiters use this method to attract hidden and passive candidates and expand their talent pool to draw on when needed.
Active sourcing in HR is mainly used when hiring candidates for management positions, as C-level positions are usually the hardest to fill.
What is active sourcing, and how does it become an effective tool for HR managers? Get the answers below.
A scary truth that everyone knows but nobody admits about the search for passive talent
According to a Stack Overflow report, almost 83% of 65,000 developers surveyed reported that they were either not actively looking or not interested in new job opportunities. Only 15% of respondents said they were actively seeking new opportunities. Companies’ methods for finding talent should change, as each generation has its own way of sharing knowledge and practices. After all, the world is moving at the pace of new generations. Sure, posting job ads can attract active job seekers. However, most potential candidates won’t respond. That’s where active sourcing comes into play.
Passive vs active sourcing
Passive candidates, like passive calls, are cold and have limited efficacy.
So you’ve created a job posting and shared it on your website, hiring platform, and LinkedIn. And that’s all. Question: How quickly will passive candidates respond? Evidence suggests that the average length of a job vacancy is 42 days, and the average job listing is only active for up to 30 days. Meanwhile, 42 days of searching for a candidate can cost the company $4,129.
Employees in the talent search department who are passively awaiting the receipt of applications will likely be disappointed. And unfortunately, potential candidates also have a passive approach. It’s like two single people looking at each other across the dance floor and doing nothing. Won’t work, will it?
According to SHRM, 83% of HR experts reported in 2022 that in the last 12 months, they had experienced difficulties finding relevant candidates. Since so many companies are trying to attract the right candidates, HR experts need to know where to find candidates and how to attract the best talents.
Active sourcing changes the rules for finding candidates. Sourcing in HR emphasizes understanding your ideal candidates to create a personal approach to every specialist that will allow you to connect with and attract the most promising candidates, translating the search into an autonomous function during searching for candidates.
Active sourcing is a proactive hiring method that targets and attracts the most promising candidates, even if they aren’t seeking a job. In many cases, technical specialists identify relevant candidates and connect with them even before there are free positions in the company. Thus, active sourcing aims to create or expand a talent pool to meet an organization’s current and future needs.
You find outstanding people through a personal approach when you use active sourcing. Active sourcing involves comprehensive research, individual messages, a clear description of tasks, and increased answers.
Benefits of active sourcing for recruiters and business leaders
Although active sourcing is initially time-consuming, it pre-screens suitable candidates, reduces the length of the hiring process, and is economically profitable in the long run.
Recruiters need to understand candidates, especially when building their possible candidate network. And here’s where active sourcing delivers. Using sourcing in HR, you can identify candidates’ behavior online, create and nurture meaningful ongoing conversations with candidates, and provide value at every stage of the candidate journey. Ultimately, active sourcing is essential to creating a successful recruiting strategy.
“For recruiters, whether in staffing or internal, it’s hard to get somebody’s attention. Keep their attention. And get them to start.” — Katrina Collier, design-thinking facilitator, mentor, speaker, and author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter
Active sourcing helps to:
- Eliminate the need to constantly publish on job boards. You no longer have to sift through countless resumes and wait months for the perfect candidate. Instead, recruiters can choose an appropriate candidate from the existing talent pool.
- Quickly fill a new position that arises. Active sourcing allows you to interview successfully. Roles can be filled quickly, and employees can work for companies they carefully select.
- Create a database of intermediate talents that may be interested in vacancies. Active sourcing lifts the bar for quality. Recruiters can know they’re hiring the most qualified candidates across the labor market, not just the best candidates who’ve seen and applied to the job description. In addition, with active sourcing, recruiters can be certain they have chosen the most suitable candidate according to the corporate culture.
- Make the hiring process over time and money. The much lower cost of hiring offsets the cost of the initial effort. And since recruiters and candidates already have relationships, the duration of the hiring process is dramatically reduced.
- Adapt work descriptions and advertising to the pool of candidates based on their qualifications, personal interests, and cultures.
Active sourcing process
Active sourcing comprises several stages:
- Creating a requirements profile. The first step is to determine what profile recruiters are looking for. This profile should provide an initial idea of the ideal candidate to guide the subsequent search.
- Analyzing candidate search channels. Use relevant channels to search for candidates. For example, you might find software developers via GitHub or Stack Overflow.
- Identifying talents. With the help of relevant search queries, suitable candidates can be identified and placed on a list.
- Compiling appropriate approaches to talent. It is necessary to understand how to attract talent and get them to apply for an open position.
- Recruiting candidates. This is the part where you find candidates, send them an employment offer after the interview, and get hired.
Tips for implementing active sourcing
The following four tips will make it easy to incorporate active sourcing into your recruiting strategy.
Make sourcing a dedicated role
Active sourcing should play a special role in the hiring process. Recruiting agents typically work directly with a recruiter or team to seamlessly recruit candidates.
Combine your search tactics with your hiring strategy
Your business should set clear sourcing goals that meet ongoing needs. Comprehensive candidate profiles and personas will allow search agents to develop search tactics that attract the best candidates for the job.
Create a continuous pipeline of candidates
Companies should move from a reactive recruiting strategy, where they only start looking for candidates after a job opening becomes available, to an active sourcing strategy, where the HR team cultivates a continuous pool of potential candidates. Sourcing in HR increases conversion rates and speeds up the hiring process.
Prepare your outreach messages for sourcing candidates
You’ve worked hard to find qualified and targeted candidates, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t want to work with you. Work carefully on your messages when reaching out to potential candidates. According to the rules of email marketing:
- Choose a subject line to make the candidate open and read your message. Make it about the candidate, not the role.
- Keep the message focused on the candidate. Something like “Tell me about what you’re looking for” can go a long way.
- Personalize your message with relevant information about the candidate that you found online.
- Draw a brief picture of the role and your organization.
- Explain how you believe the candidate would add value to the team.
If your company wants to attract more passive candidates, you should prioritize active sourcing.
Active sourcing is a new way to attract talent that requires some upfront effort, but the return on investment is impressive. First, active recruiting helps recruiters build a pool of prescreened candidates, dramatically reducing the time and cost of the hiring process. And above all, active sourcing targets and attracts the most promising candidates in the labor market.
By integrating active sourcing with HR sourcing technologies, you will find your own unique way in which to connect with candidates so they can learn more about your organization.