Most recruiters get started with the easiest way to Source and sometimes even succeed in getting applications but struggle to make progress. We too faced the same problem but once we found the 9 blocks of the Agile Recruiting Canvas, we learned the 8 Sourcing Categories and when to use them in the context of the whole Recruiting Strategy.
Best of all, everyone already knows these options and a thoughtful selection, appropriate to the position to be filled, has helped 200+ recruiters efficiently fill 5000 positions last year!
I know what is going on in your mind, it is a lot of questions. You are dealing with uncertainty and unknown. I understand. We all know that the popular job boards have millions of candidates and everyone else seems to be finding the right CVs there. But why is it that it’s not working for you?
Well, here’s the method to the madness…
We have seen the Applicant Persona Groups in the last blog and also how to categorize. Let’s look at the 8 key sourcing categories and then discuss each of these in the context of the Applicant Persona Groups so we know what works best for which Persona Group!
1. Talent Pool
This is one place that is ignored the most by recruiters and rightly so because it is never easy to first find a good match from the locally stored talent pool but more importantly it is difficult to know whether the candidate is still active and looking for a job change. It just means a lot of hard work for the recruiter.
Not if, you do it a bit more smartly though.
Imagine you are hiring for a football club (# of positions open = 1). Once you find Lionel Messi, all the Ronaldos and Rooneys are going to stay in the hiring process where they are – most likely in the interview process, shortlisted or otherwise. If you see the point I am making, they are not rejects! They are just as good as Messi but we didn’t have an open position to hire them.
What if you find a way to first get to such candidates before you did anything else? This is the most effective way to get the engine cranking as soon as you can!
2. Careers Page
We are going to see in our next blogs on how to work on Employer Branding from the employer reputation perspective but assuming that you have some effort already put into your Employer Branding side, you should see applications coming straight into your hiring process, against the right requisitions/jobs from the applicants who are “interested” in joining you!
If you could slip in a bit of auto pre-screening into the application process, what you get is a fully qualified top of the funnel for you to start!
3. Employee Referrals
In some industries and in some cases across industries, this is the most cost-effective source that also has the best conversion. This is very critical especially when you hire people in off-the-track situations – like a night shift position because its only the friends who can clarify all the concerns, with confidence.
Well, on the other side – overdo it and you have a risk of converting your employees into paid staffing consultants! Striking the balance is the key here so you can take advantage of this source but also avoid the conflict of interest too.
4. Social Media
This is primarily LinkedIn for most recruiters but a lot of recruiters have also been very successful in finding candidates on Facebook and Twitter as well. I am not entirely sure of the other social media channels but these 3 are worth a try for sure.
LinkedIn gets your jobs direct visibility to all your audience within seconds and if you have linked your careers page to the posts, then all you have to do is sell the job well and not just post the job links! Same would go on Facebook but Twitter might need a different strategy.
If you are looking to hire senior folks, you may first want to follow them on Twitter, understand their personality, what they share, like their posts and find a way to pitch!
5. CV Portals
This is quite natural and straight forward for most recruiters. These are mostly paid CV sources and often yield good results, quickly too. There are some nuances that I think most of us already know – for example, Dice is good to hire tech developers, engineers, and tech writers while Monster/Indeed can provide more candidates for non-tech positions.
There are specialized job boards as well for example Law Jobs for legal jobs, Craig’s List for creative jobs, medical workers for medical jobs.
On most of these job boards, you could either post a job or search and pull CV from their database. If you are considering posting a job, you might want to be doubly sure of where to post your jobs because that could result in a burst of applications and they may be junk from your perspective!
6. Staffing Partners / Consultants
This is perhaps the most expensive way of getting the applications but it may also be most effective – depends on the position you are working on.
If you are looking for people with specific skills that are not generally available, the amount of effort it takes to first know they hang out and then to chase them to apply could be a nightmare. Specialist staffing consultants could do this job with ease!
7. Campaigns / Walk-ins
Walk-ins or special campaigns another flavor of careers page based sourcing. If you have a strong Employer Branding, applicants are likely to follow your online campaigns, apply on careers page or even walk in to check if there are open jobs.
If applications come from a targeted campaign you are running, you will get the most qualified and interested applications but walk-ins may not. However, it is very important to look at walk-ins as a way to build the Employer Brand and long term investment rather than its usefulness to the open positions.
8. Internal Job Posting
It is not always that you have to go out and get new people in. When the organization policy, position type, resource utilization permit, you may open your jobs for internal employees also to apply!
Now that we know the 8 key categories to source applicants, it is equally important to know the following three key performance indicators that tell us whether we are using the right sources. Getting this wrong will only mean you will lose significant time and negatively impact your “time to fill”!
1. Conversion Ratio
The first important criteria is to look at your past records for each source category for the selected type of position and find out how many numbers of applications are required to fill a position!
Once you know that number, it gives you target to work with.
2. Availability of right candidates
Now that you know your target, it is important to find out which source category is likely to get you the right people in the right quantity in your funnel.
You may not want to post a completely non-tech job on Dice and hope that things will be all right.
3. Time to Source
And the last and mostly ignored key metric is to know how long it would take to get the right number of applications for the position. If you don’t get the right quantity in time, the rest of the process carries that forward impacting time to fill adversely.
So, in summary – if you choose the correct source category based on the three key performance indicators, you have set yourself up for guaranteed success!
Of course, it is not enough to just select the right source and get the applicants into your funnel as you will also need to process them efficiently, create a wonderful candidate experience, communicate the Employer Brand and why they should join you – all this is coming in the subsequent blogs.