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The Importance of Sourcing in Recruitment

Companies cannot afford to sit back and wait for the right candidate to knock on their proverbial doors. Good talent is looking for worthwhile opportunities, and nowadays it’s up to recruiters to go the extra mile to attract these employees because if you don’t, someone else will. That’s why sourcing in recruitment is so important, because it’s a proactive way to identify possible candidates –who may be actively looking for a job or passively considering opportunities that come their way—and sell your company to them.

The process of sourcing for candidates involves aggressively searching for, identifying, and engaging with talent, which can include activities such as searching resume databases, Google, and various social media platforms for relevant keywords. By doing this, recruiters don’t have to rely solely on applicants to a specific position to fill a hiring funnel. In fact, recruiters may not even have a specific position in mind when they’re sourcing talent, but may want a built-in stable of potential candidates on hand when a position opens. 

You may wonder why a recruiter would go to this kind of trouble when they already have applicants responding to job posts. One reason candidate sourcing is so important is because many job seekers will actually apply for positions whether they are right for them or not: A survey by staffing firm Robert Half reveals that 42 percent of resumes HR managers receive are from applicants who simply don’t have the qualifications for the jobs they’re applying for, and 78 percent of job seekers admit to contributing to the problem by applying for positions even when they know they don’t meet the desired requirements.

On the other hand, people who are not actively looking for a job may still end up being viable candidates. According to LinkedIn, 90 percent of people are open to hearing about new job opportunities, even when they aren’t job hunting. In addition, SourceCon finds that with just a 35 minute a day investment in sourcing, recruiters can enjoy a 35 percent response rate from prospective candidates—making this time well spent.

What Are the Benefits of Sourcing?

Although sourcing may add to your workload, there are still several reasons why it’s worth adding to your recruitment activities:

1. Building Quality Relationships With Talent

Unlike engaging people who respond to job posts, good sourcing is not a one and done affair. When you find qualified talent and spend time building a relationship, it goes a long way toward selling your organization—even if they’re not currently looking for a job when you first get in touch with them. By finding the right would-be employees through sourcing and spending time nurturing relationships, you make it more likely to be able to hire them when they are job hunting—or even woo them away from a current position.

2. Increased Efficiency

Although sourcing can be time consuming, it can make the process of hiring much more efficient. Sourcing candidates allows recruiters to pre-screen people before making a first contact, so they don't have to worry about going through the process with a candidate only to be disappointed if they're not the right fit. When you're proactive in seeking out talent based on the qualifications you need, you know exactly what you're getting, so the hiring process becomes easier

3. Decreased Cost

If you're bringing in people for interviews who have responded to a job advertisement, you may not end up with the right candidate even though you've meticulously gone through resumes. When you source the candidates yourself, you have a better chance of interviewing the right people, so you don’t have to invest more time and money reposting ads because of a fruitless search. In addition, sourced candidates can be considered for numerous positions, which may actually mean you don't have to go through the process of posting job ads and reviewing applications at all because you already have a crop of good talent available.

4. Better Quality Hires

Sourcing allows you to confidently move candidates through the hiring funnel because you know they've met the qualifications you need ahead of time—which is not necessarily the case if you're screening people responding to job posts. Since sourcing creates better quality pipelines, you also have better quality hires, making it less likely that you'll have to start the process all over again because your company onboarded someone who really wasn’t a  good fit in the first place.

5. Meeting Diversity Hiring Goals

If you’re developing a diversity recruitment plan, adding a sourcing strategy can help you meet your goals. When posting jobs, you have no way of knowing the demographics of applicants until you get further down the line of the hiring process. With sourcing, you can specifically look for qualified candidates within specific demographics that aren’t represented at your company, which allows you to have a funnel made up of talent from underrepresented backgrounds.

Sourcing in recruitment gives you the power to create the type of hiring funnel you need at any given time, rather than relying on happenstance that occurs when you post a job advertisement. It can be a mixed bag of qualified and unqualified candidates with every job you post, so the pre-screening you do during sourcing can help you ensure you have only qualified candidates that possess the qualities you're looking for in a hire.

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