Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
Candidate sourcing is the active search for potential candidates to fill current and future job vacancies. It falls under the scope of talent acquisition, focusing on bringing qualified candidates into the recruiting and hiring funnel. Most Small to Medium-Sized businesses don’t have a “sourcer” or dedicated team member specialized in sourcing, but rather integrate sourcing responsibilities into their overall recruiting strategy.
Generally, candidate sourcing comprises:
Although the activities of each might often overlap, sourcing and recruiting are different. One of the main differences is that sourcing entails searching and finding passive candidates, those who would otherwise not apply to your job vacancy. Sourcing occurs in the early phase of the recruitment process and emphasizes outreach activities that create interest and drive talent acquisition. The focus is on engaging and building relationships with qualified candidates to build a talent pool for current and future job openings. Recruiting, on the other hand, follows the full funnel until a hire is made and sometimes extends to the onboarding process.
Many Small to Medium-sized businesses use recruiting software to combine sourcing and recruiting efforts for more cost-effective and efficient hiring. For example, JOIN software streamlines candidate screening and shortlisting, provides useful data insights, and facilitates team collaboration.
Businesses need to hire the most qualified talent for every role to stay competitive and grow. Here are some of the benefits of candidate sourcing:
If you know a job post will attract a high volume of qualified applications, there is probably no need to spend time and effort to source candidates. Sourcing is often best employed when looking to hire for a highly-specialized job that requires a less common skill set. In this case, sourcing efforts help save time and money as you’ll avoid attracting unqualified candidates.
Traditional sourcing combines a number of online and offline activities. For Small to Medium-sized businesses, sourcing candidates digitally is often a more popular method. Here is a quick overview of some best practices for sourcing:
It’s also important to consider different sourcing methods when searching for entry-level vs. executive-level candidates. For example, when sourcing entry-level candidates, it’s best to focus on skill sets rather than years of experience. Social media recruiting is also useful in attracting and engaging entry-level applicants. If sourcing executive-level candidates, identify and reach out to talent who demonstrate expert knowledge and leadership skills. As many high-level candidates are likely already employed, referrals and social sourcing methods might be most effective.
Social sourcing is the practice of using social networks to identify, attract, engage, and contact potential candidates to build your talent pool. The most popular social networks that SMEs use to source talent are LinkedIn, Indeed, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
SMEs should establish sourcing KPIs that are different from those used to evaluate the recruiting process. Some sourcing metrics are:
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