Candidate Sourcing Solutions

Candidate sourcing is an essential building block of an exceptional recruiting strategy. A stellar hire often results from meticulous research and the creation of a talent pipeline for effective recruitment and talent acquisition.
While sourcing and research are often used interchangeably, they work hand in hand but are different.

Candidate Research: 

Candidate research refers to the process of gathering relevant information and evaluating potential candidates for a specific purpose or position. Initially, this process encompasses a wide demographic scope and typically generates comprehensive reports detailing the entire talent pool available for a specific position within a specified area. This comprises individuals currently occupying the desired position elsewhere, as well as insights on the educational pipeline and potential positions that could lead to more qualified candidates.

Candidate research also entails finding accurate contact information for outreach via email, phone, or text.

Candidate Sourcing:

Candidate sourcing is the process of actively searching, identifying, and attracting potential candidates for job openings within an organization. That being said, candidate sourcing gets even more granular than candidate research. A proficient sourcing team armed with candidate research reports can efficiently compile targeted lists of potential candidates, complete with their contact information, for the recruiting team to engage with. Sourcing collaborates seamlessly with candidate research and recruiting to seamlessly progress the candidate or talent pipeline to its next stage.

Research and sourcing often go hand in hand. In fact, many sourcing teams and outsourced solutions providers, such as on-demand recruiting firms and flexible RPOs, excel in both.

Companies leverage these complementary disciplines to:

  • Leverage an in-house sourcing team during a period of growth.
  • Ensure internal recruiters have an always-fresh pipeline of talent.
  • Create a sourcing presence in a new industry or location.
  • Ensure you are equipped to hire at scale.
  • Assist with seasonal hiring issues.

The IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process: A Closer Look

Experts have been saying that the marketing funnel is dead. When it comes to recruiting, sourcing, and talent acquisition, we couldn’t agree more.

Instead of seeing this as a funnel, we like to think of it as a diamond. As recruiters, we aim to find those hidden gems - the outstanding candidates with amazing potential. Diamonds truly are a recruiter's best friend, helping us efficiently select top-notch talent.

The IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process is built on the premise that while a candidate funnel is one of the most-used terms in the sourcing and recruiting worlds, it’s also the least useful. At IQTalent, we have quite literally turned the box on its head to create the IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process.

Instead of a funnel shape, the IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process starts with a tight focus (the tip of the diamond) on the Ideal Candidate Profile. Our team takes the time to Calibrate the Ideal Candidate Profile; from discussing current employees that fit into the role to creating a candidate persona that encompasses the necessary and desired traits for the job, we leave no stone unturned in our quest to ensure we’ve calibrated the Ideal Candidate Profile correctly.

In the Calibration process, we test, identify, verify internally and externally and delve into company Culture, ensuring that not only does our Ideal Candidate Profile meet the job requirements, but they will be a culture fit inside the company. In the funnel model, this step often comes last; however, moving this to the front of the process as we create the Ideal Candidate Profile allows sourcers and recruiters to keep that narrow focus and eliminate the time and energy spent on candidates who will not ultimately be a match.

Collaboration is a crucial piece of the IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process. Armed with the Ideal Candidate Profile and vetted against Culture, the sourcing team, hiring manager, and recruitment pros go into action. Because the Ideal Candidate Profile is so detailed and offers multiple ways to seek out this carefully Calibrated Candidate, the Collaboration process offers a strong selection of candidates from which to choose.

And that’s where the IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process ends: with the Candidate. As we again narrow the focus to select the most qualified Candidate (by definition, the one who most closely matches the Ideal Candidate Profile), we come to the final point of the diamond and make our selection.

The IQTalent Diamond Recruiting Process allows sourcers and recruiters to start with a tightly focused Candidate profile, Collaborate across the enterprise, align Culture to sourcing in the beginning, and result in the right Candidate for the role and a healthy talent pipeline for future sourcing efforts. 



Download the IQTalent Diamond Process Infographic

The Four Cs of Great Candidate Sourcing

When it comes to candidate sourcing, there are numerous reliable models available to choose from. Once considered simply a subset of recruiting, sourcing has become a respected part of the talent acquisition process. Here are 4 principles that guide great candidate sourcing teams:


Collaboration in candidate sourcing means that each team in the sourcing and recruiting process works together seamlessly, side by side. Technology and process must be simple, intuitive, and agreed upon by all team members for this to work well. 


Don’t wait until you are frustrated with lower-quality or misaligned candidates to create a candidate profile. Calibration of an ideal candidate profile makes alignment across the whole sourcing and recruiting team simple. 


To maintain consistent candidate quality and ensure adherence to the process, sourcing and recruiting team members must establish a unified framework that applies across all candidate pools. This framework promotes an unbiased sourcing team,  maximizes candidate quality, and improves the overall effectiveness of the process.


Once candidates have been selected according to the framework put in place, the sourcing team works within the company to ensure they choose the candidate who fits the hiring organization's culture.

Looking to add to your candidate sourcing toolbox?

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The History of Candidate Sourcing

It's hard to imagine a time when we used to rely on physical mail and Rolodexes for sending resumes and cover letters, not to mention faxing them in. These traditional methods emphasized the importance of personal connections and the tendency for individuals to stay with a company for extended periods, if not their entire career.

Job listings in newspapers used to be a magnet for an overwhelming number of resumes. Companies relied on various methods to source candidates, including local employment office postings, temp agencies, and internal hiring. Local employment office postings were strategically placed in areas job seekers frequented, while temp agencies facilitated the discovery of candidates with specialized skills. Even today, internal hiring remains a popular and effective approach for promoting employees and swiftly filling positions.

Old sourcing and recruiting tactics solely revolved around the people-based industry and making connections. Once the connection was made, recruiters would get the job candidate approved by the hiring manager, and their job would be done. Sourcers and Researchers often lacked visibility into the candidate experience once they were identified and contacted. Now, because of new software and more transparent processes, we get to see how the candidates progress through the process.


As our sourcing strategies continue to move beyond traditional methods and even beyond what passed as sourcing a few years ago, our approach to sourcing for today and tomorrow must change.

Candidate Sourcing For the Modern Age

Over the last three years specifically, it has been difficult to pin down top talent. With the disruption to business operations, furloughs, and layoffs in certain industries, many organizations have had to rework their strategies to accommodate these changes. Candidate sourcing in today’s modern marketplace needs to account for the shifts in workplace behavior, location (or lack thereof), and unstable market conditions.

As organizations navigate candidate sourcing in the ever-changing workplace, recruiters must capitalize on opportunities to create a personalized and positive candidate experience. Modernizing tried and true strategies can lead to an innovative solution attracting the top talent you need.

Here are some tried and true passive candidate sourcing strategies that can help you navigate this new age of candidate sourcing:

Create Better Job Descriptions

This means writing to the person and not just about your company, including compensation upfront and reconsidering your qualification list. Another smart move? If the position is now remote, say so!

To nail your job descriptions, follow these best practices:

  • Avoid the third person. "The ideal candidate” sounds dry—incorporate language with “you” and “we” in it instead.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the description. How your company talks about diversity and inclusion will significantly impact whether your job posts attract a diverse pool of candidates. Postings that include even a basic equal opportunity employer statement will fill 6% more quickly than those that don’t.
  • Use growth-focused language. Rather than terms like “expert” or “natural talent,” use language like “persevere,” “forward thinker,” and “opportunity to grow” to show that your company values growth within positions.
  • Choose precise language. Using this language over vague action words to keep your descriptions succinct and straightforward.

Lean on Your Team

Employee referrals mean a LOT these days. They serve as a testament to the expertise and trustworthiness of a candidate, making them highly influential in the decision-making process of hiring new talent. Plus, employee referrals often result in a better cultural fit within organizations, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding among colleagues. 

DYK? 45% of employees sourced from employee referrals stay for longer than 4 years, while just 25% of employees sourced through job boards stick around for over 2 years.

Keep your team in the know about current and upcoming openings along with the job description you’ve already crafted.  Even better — incentivize your referrals! Offer your employees referral bonuses for new hires (after meeting a probationary period) to keep morale high. 

Don’t Rule Out Fresh Hires

You never know if someone’s dream job can turn out to be a nightmare. Approximately 38% of employees choose to leave their jobs within the first year of employment. Shockingly, over 40% of these departures occur within the initial 90 days. Just because a potential candidate has recently accepted a new position doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a conversation with them.

Perfect Your Outreach

Knowing your audience is crucial — that generic message you’ve sent to 10 other candidates won’t cut it. And, it must be said, understanding the industry will help you navigate different professional values.

DYK? 78% of sales professionals say they would accept less money to work at a company selling something compelling, and 66% of healthcare professionals are likely to accept less money to work at a company with a great culture.

TIP: Give them just enough information to pique their interest and respond, but you want to be careful about overloading them with too many details. Snag one of our outreach templates (our team swears by their effectiveness!)

Master Your Social Ads

Recruiters know social ads are an excellent way to target the right audience. But do you know enough to stop top talent in their tracks? Some quick tips:

  • See who already follows your company’s Facebook page. 
  • Try Facebook or LinkedIn job postings and have current employees share.
  • Manually source candidates with creative search queries on all three networks.
  • Hashtags, images, and a clear call to action can create a great deal of reach. 
  • Referencing a former common employer within your InMail outreach can increase your chances of getting a response by 27%!

On-Demand Recruiting and Flexible RPO

By using on-demand recruiting firms or a flexible RPO, organizations can hire at scale and recruit in accordance with market demands. The on-demand firm provides a buffer for the talent acquisition budget— on-demand sourcers and recruiters augment the internal team when hiring demand is surging, so they only assist the organization when necessary. On-demand recruiting also saves organizations time and money by reducing costs associated with onboarding full-time employees or during an unfortunate RIF.

Candidate Sourcing Strategies to Build Your Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline doesn’t happen overnight. But if you follow these tried-and-true candidate sourcing strategies, you will create a healthy foundation for your team for years to come.

  • Communicate with the Hiring Manager. Not only will this verify your team is sourcing quality talent, but this also allows you to fine-tune your search criteria based on the team’s feedback. 
  • Source Your ATS First. Leverage your team's past efforts by beginning every search with the candidates your team has already deemed qualified to work at your organization.
  • Diversify Your Online Sourcing Channels. Candidates may be more receptive to outreach messages on less conventional websites. The key is understanding your target candidates to predict better where to find them online.
  • Use Your Employee Networks. Organizations can expand their talent pool 10 times by recruiting through their employees’ networks. 
  • Perfect Your Outreach Messages. Keep the message open and focused on the candidate – something like “Tell me about what you're looking for in order to make a move.”
  • Build a Strong Employer Brand. Organizations that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire. 84% of candidates say they would consider leaving their current jobs if a company with an excellent corporate reputation offered them another role. 
  • Follow-up with Non-responsive Candidates. Even if these check-ins don’t yield immediate results, you want to stay top of mind with your best candidates, so you’re the first to know when they’re ready to make a move. 
  • Optimize the Application Experience. Test how long it takes a candidate to apply to any given open position and how many clicks it takes a candidate to fill out an application. 
  • Use Social Sourcing. Recruiters should invite employees to share company news and job openings across their personal social accounts. 
  • Be Aware of Traditional Sources. Traditional job boards, like Indeed and Monster, can create more challenges for hiring managers due to unqualified active candidates. Keep this challenge in mind when looking at your recruitment and sourcing spend. 
  • Discover Candidates Through Employee Referrals. Current employees have the potential to be the best hiring tool. Referral hires, in fact, exhibit higher job satisfaction and demonstrate longer tenures at companies. Impressively, 46% of them stay for over a year, 45% for over two years, and 47% for over three years.
  • Do NOT Overanalyze Resumes. If you can’t absolutely disqualify/rule out a candidate based on reviewing their resume in 10 seconds, pick up the phone and call them - you might be surprised.
  • See Each Resume as More Than Just a Potential Match. While it’s easy to lose sight of that fact in today’s digital landscape, if you find yourself scanning a search result that appears to be under or over-qualified, remember not to make assumptions about candidates based on their resume/profile. 
  • Run Multiple Searches Across Multiple Sources. It’s impossible for one Boolean search to find all qualified candidates. It is also critical to leverage every resource you have available to you. 
  • Embrace Diverse Sourcing.  Suppose you think job board resume databases are only filled with "active" or "desperate" candidates. In that case, you'll be amazed to learn that approximately 75-80% of all resumes in the major job board resume databases are actually more than 30 days old.
  • Update Your Online Presence for an Effective Sourcing Strategy. Have you Googled your own brand to see what pops up? Optimizing your online presence is one of the essential ways of sourcing candidates.
  • Learn About the Role From Employees. These insights will provide an opportunity to enhance the job description when talking to candidates, helping each person visualize themselves in the role.

Benefits of a Proactive Candidate Sourcing Talent Pipeline

We doubt you’ve gotten this far into a Candidate Sourcing Guide with an unsupportive company behind you, but while proactive sourcing reaps tremendous benefits, many sourcers and researchers struggle with getting such cornerstone activities to resonate with ROI-focused executives.

If you are trying to get internal buy-in from your leadership to invest in sourcing training or a sourcing process, here are just some of the benefits you can gain from having a proactive sourcing talent pipeline.

Reduce Time To Hire/Fill

Misconception: All of the candidates in your pipeline should be unemployed.

Real Talk: Absolutely not. Many professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities, regardless of current employment status.

Benefit: A vast candidate pool puts you a step ahead of your competition in the hiring process while also saving time in actively sourcing and narrowing down the ideal candidate profile to match what you’re looking for. 

Increased Workload for Recruiters and Hiring Managers

Misconception: It will tax hiring managers even when we’re not in a hiring crunch. 

Real Talk: Strategically filling your pipeline allows the recruiter to have a greater influence on hiring decisions. 

Benefit: Using a standard model on which you base hiring decisions can eliminate bias and ensure the recruiter and hiring manager are on the same page.

Poor Use of Time/Resources

Misconception: Sourcers will not be working on current requirements when I need them to. 

Real Talk: Using standard sourcing (reactive) practices, many recruiters feel their process is rushed. As a result, they overlook some of the best candidates.

Benefit: Shifting the focus to the pipeline model gives hiring managers greater confidence in their hiring decisions; they’re able to use their time to build relationships with each candidate instead of aimlessly cycling through a stale bag of candidates.

Strategically Measure Candidate Fit

Misconception: Every company wants the most qualified talent to work for them. That means skills matter most!

Real Talk: Focusing on hard skills alone won’t get you there. Even the most impressive talent won’t be successful long-term if they don’t fit in with your culture and values. 

Benefit: By getting to know your prospective candidates early on (beyond their resumes), you’re able to gain more in-depth insight into their personalities and whether or not they would vibe with the rest of your team. By proactively building your pipeline, you’ll end up with a large number of high-quality prospects — hitting both quality and quantity right on the head! 

Increased Offer Acceptance

Misconception: If we’re always building our talent pipeline, candidates will get frustrated when we don’t have immediate openings. 

Real Talk: Those in your pipeline have been exposed to your company beyond your LinkedIn profile or website and have a detailed understanding of why working at your company is better than working elsewhere.

Benefit: Great candidates know their worth. For them to take your offer seriously, you need to offer them beyond what they expect. This will dramatically increase your offer acceptance rates.

Higher Retention Rates

Misconception: If we don’t get to the candidate first, our competition will hire them. 

Real Talk: A rushed acceptance can result in employees regretting their decisions and ultimately becoming dissatisfied and beginning to look elsewhere. 

Benefit: Instead of quickly filling open positions, employers and candidates can make calculated decisions prior to accepting an offer. Between your communication and offer letter, your new hire shouldn’t have any surprises after they start. Transparency between your organization and the candidate will result in a much higher retention rate versus the retention of hires found fresh from an online job board.

Candidate Sourcing Buckets to Balance Talent Pipelines

Building your talent pipeline will look different based on your specific variables: industry, location, growth trajectory, employer brand, job families, and functions, the list goes on.

However, by starting with a fundamental framework for your talent pipeline, you can ensure that you create a healthy sourcing function for you and your team.

The Four Buckets Of Candidates That Compose A Balanced Pipeline:

The Four Buckets Of Candidates That Compose A Balanced Pipeline: Referrals, Applicants, Passive Candidates, Internal Mobility

Note: Not only should you source talent to have a balanced pipeline made up of the four buckets listed above — now you must make sure that the candidates from each bucket are diverse. 


Pros: Referrals are, by far, the most accessible and efficient bucket of candidates. Typically, the number of referrals you receive may be lower, but the chances of successfully hiring someone from this group are significantly higher. Additionally, the utilization of bonuses can effectively boost the quantity of referrals. As a result, the cost-per-hire for a referral can be remarkably affordable.

Cons: If you’re not careful, your referrals could come from the same set of experiences and companies. Without careful consideration, you may find yourself surrounded by like-minded individuals, resulting in an organization, division, or group that lacks diversity in appearance and thinking.


Pros: Given the current economic climate, this can be a HUGE source of candidates with a broad spectrum of backgrounds. Traditional applicants can also have low cost-per-hire.

Cons: You could end up with many applicants who aren’t qualified and end up only getting a few candidates that fit the amount of effort needed to review the resumes.

Passive Candidates

Pros: You can hone in on candidates who have the experience you need using a myriad of tools (SeekOut, ZoomInfo, LinkedIn, etc.). The people you want to recruit will not always know you’re hiring, so passive candidate outreach is a great way to pull people into the process. You can ensure a diverse slate of candidates by leveraging diversity and inclusion sourcing and recruiting strategies.

Cons: Recruiting passive candidates is typically the most time-consuming and costly option among the four sourcing methods. Engaging these candidates can be done through internal recruiters or third-party firms. However, if you over-index or use too many keywords, you can often miss out on candidates who could be a fit but don’t share enough information on the front end. The first call is often for selling the opportunity more versus screening, as you would with an active applicant.

Internal Mobility

Pros: Opportunity for career progression. Quick ramp-up time as current employees do not require the same level of onboarding.

Cons: You will need to backfill the person who moves to the other role or geography. The ideal internal candidates will not always be aware of the other opportunities within your company.

AI Candidate Sourcing and Traditional Candidate Sourcing Methods Combined

AI took the world of Talent Acquisition by storm. Due to confusion about just what AI could and could not do, and the conflation of automation with true AI, there was a great deal of talk about replacing recruiters and sourcers. However, the more we’ve seen AI applications within the world of work, we’ve quickly realized that nothing can replace a great sourcer or recruiter.

In fact, many smart TA professionals have decided to use these new technologies and tools to provide even more value to the talent pipeline and candidate sourcing activities. Supplement your sourcing strategies with these unique ideas:

Invest in Automation. While AI and Automation are not synonymous, automation is often powered by a small subset of AI. Leveraging AI to find and attract passive candidates is getting easier and more cost-effective every day.

AI technology crawls the web and collects and analyzes a massive amount of candidate data. This technology searches through anything from resumes to social media activity. Doing this manually just isn’t feasible. AI tech then predicts which passive candidates will be open to new career opportunities and which likely won’t, making it easier for recruiters to prioritize those candidates.

Pick Up The Phone. AI technology can do many time-consuming and less personal aspects of sourcing, but some candidates crave connecting with an actual human. Calling candidates can be a way to stand out. Be warned that this isn’t a great approach for every candidate. Some candidates, especially younger ones, may find phone calls inconvenient and dislike the impromptu nature of phone conversations. Try scheduling phone calls via text using a chatbot.

Use LinkedIn To Connect With Candidates. LinkedIn paid messages use AI and automation to help you send messages to candidates and audiences you might not be connected with but still share the same desired recruiting parameters you're looking for. The site discourages automated messages it deems as SPAM, so automate messages without coming across as being too spammy by personalizing your outreach. While AI and automation are great tools for sourcing, they're not end-to-end tools, and they're most effective when used hand-in-hand with human interaction via tools like personalized messaging or social communications apps.

Ask Recent Hires For Feedback On Your InMail Messages. Auto-responses might be a convenient tool, but AI and automation can only do so much. For example, you can automate a thank-you response for application submissions on a job posting and set up a chatbot to engage and screen candidates further, but follow-up with a personable message should be all you. Candidate engagement is the missing link to the AI and automation sourcing mix. Get honest feedback on your inMail messages by asking recent hires if your messages resonate with them.

Engagement in Candidate Sourcing

The sourcing process is much more than just compiling data from qualified candidates. Get to know your candidates on a personal level and build relationships with them while you research (and sometimes the relationship-building process is the research.) This is what we call engagement, and contrary to popular belief, it should happen way before the employee stage.

Since sourcers are often the first people to connect with the candidates (thus potentially the first touch-point in your employer brand), training your sourcing team on engagement in candidate sourcing is crucial. 

Attract Candidates Where They Are

The worlds of recruiting and sourcing are far beyond what they used to be, and tech-savvy skills and marketing backgrounds are now becoming synonymous with recruiting and sourcing strategies, but we prefer to call them “engagement” because, when you boil it down, you’re building a relationship with these people. That means looking beyond the usual suspects and finding where they are online today.

Candidates aren’t out in the world like Lionel Richie saying, "Hello...Is it me you're looking for?" It’s our job as recruiters and sourcers to make sure we avoid assuming things about them and uncover the real characteristics and traits that qualify them for a position. 

Kindle Candidate Interest by Learning Who They Are

In the Diamond Recruiting Process, “Diamond Candidates” meet 90-95% of the search criteria or more. As you can imagine, finding these candidates takes time, but that doesn’t mean candidates are just declared diamonds from the start. Any candidate can become a diamond candidate with enough time, engagement, and relationship nurturing in your talent pipeline. How?

Candidate personas 

These enable recruiters and sourcers to learn what candidates and clients like, their concerns, and how you can help them.

Build Candidate Trust by Asking What They Want

One of your main objectives is to find out how the candidate fits into the company culture. So, ask questions that fit their experience to uncover their mindset and interests. These questions and scenarios are key to gauging culture fit. Now, many of these questions will be based on your client criteria and your candidate personas, so don’t skip that step. The goal is to see how they fit in and where. But couching that in asking about their interests and career goals is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. 

Read More: Why You Should Be Sourcing Candidates With Engagement Strategies

Once you’ve engaged with a candidate, you must discover what motivates them. A candidate’s motivation can have a large impact on whether or not they become a successful employee and align with your company’s values. Staying on the same page as your candidates will play a large role in the success of your engagement and recruiting efforts overall.

Candidate Sourcing Outside of LinkedIn

Recruiters love to talk about how many great candidates come from LinkedIn, but the truth is it’s not the only social media platform with opportunities to engage candidates. Approximately 72% of recruiters utilize LinkedIn as a valuable resource for sourcing new talent. Surprisingly, only 57% of job seekers actively leverage this platform for their job search endeavors.

DYK? 1 in every 72 sourced candidates is hired, compared to 1 in every 152 non-sourced candidates, making sourcing more than 2 times as efficient as organic recruiting.

LinkedIn cannot possibly give a well-rounded view of all the candidates out there. Here are some ways to incorporate NON-LinkedIn sourcing strategies into your sourcing toolbox.

Facebook: With over 2 billion active users, it’s hard to deny that the platform has audience reach. Chances are your candidates are on here, and Facebook can be a good way to establish a connection with them.

Facebook To-Do: To source candidates on Facebook, type in a search query in the search bar at the top of your Facebook page. Here are a few example queries to simplify your Facebook search:

[Title] who live near [Location]
People who work at [Competitor] and like [Job function]
People who like [programming language] and live near [Location]
[Title] who live near [Location] and speak [Language]

Instagram: Instagram (1 billion users) is all about pictures, so use it to show candidates your company culture! Its best use is for engagement. Offer a window into what work life is like at your company.

Instagram To-Do: Post every day. Waiting to post photos for photogenic moments like company parties or recruiting events creates a lot of missed opportunities. BUT avoid oversharing!

Employee Referrals: Your employees and coworkers all have their own networks and personal connections. These networks often contain a number of high-quality candidates who might be a good fit for your sourcing pipeline. Passive candidates are much more likely to consider an opportunity brought to them by a personal connection.

Employee Referral To-Do: Host a (virtual) meetup and ask each employee to bring the name of someone they’d love to work with! Reward each attendee with a coffee or treat for their help.

LinkedIn is a fantastic resource used by the vast majority of recruiters, which means they’re all there looking for passive talent, too. Next time you’re tempted to over-index the B2B network, try one of the above tactics and expand your talent pipeline.

Efficiency in Candidate Sourcing and Recruiting

Candidate research, sourcing, and recruiting are all part of a healthy talent acquisition function. Each has its strengths, and each builds on the successes of the others. Creating a healthy and efficient talent acquisition process is not easy, but it is simple. No TA team or process is perfect, but by following the steps below, you are well on your way to becoming a fantastic candidate-sourcing machine.

Build A Reputation Of Excellence

So many people think of sourcers as just sitting in an office with no contact with the outside world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many sourcers are also recruiters (and vice versa.) As discussed earlier, sourcers and recruiters are some of the first touchpoints for future employees.

One of the best assets any business has at its disposal for talent acquisition is its brand. When people view you and the work you do as excellent, you tend to see an increase in respect from pools of talent. As such, building a reputation of excellence is first on the list. 

Build A Referral Program

Referrals are incredibly important to building a balanced talent pipeline, and as mentioned earlier, they offer additional benefits like retention increases and employer brand boosts. Here are some basic tips for building a successful referral program:


  • Determine your offer – Be crystal clear about what’s being offered. Create formal documents to help with this.
  • Comb internal pools FIRST – Ask current employees who they want to work with and which people they worked with in the past they may want to work with again. 
  • Send regular status updates – Once referrals start applying, keep them updated on everything from the status of their application to the offer/rejection. Both candidates and referrers want to hear back from you, so let them know what’s going on.

Set A Communication Schedule

Communication is just as important as it ever was, and if you want to build a referral program and a reputation for excellence, you need to ensure yours is airtight. Here are some basic tips for creating a simplified communication schedule:



  • Take advantage of free technology – Platforms like Google have a vast number of functions to assist with maintaining constant communication with candidates, free!
  • Set reminders – Follow up on communication with candidates ALWAYS. Sync alerts on your mobile device to address any questions or problems your candidates are experiencing ASAP. 
  • Network through follow-ups – The candidate experience isn’t over after the search has been closed. Focus on the follow-through to keep top talent in your pipeline for future positions.

Create A Strong Talent Framework

Talent frameworks are the scaffolding that ensures your process is consistent, supported, and understood by those interacting with your talent team. Here are some basic tips for creating a strong talent pipeline:


  • Create a database – Whether it’s in an ATS or a basic Google spreadsheet, create a central hub for your pipeline.
  • Stay in touch – Good communication doesn’t have to mean emailing candidates every day. Get to know your candidates so they know you’re invested in them.
  • Have them meet the team – In addition to getting to know candidates, introduce them to your team. Maybe let them shadow an employee for a day to show them what life is like in the office. 

Build-Out Your Onboarding Plan

With remote, hybrid, or planned team arrangements, having a solid onboarding plan is crucial. You put in the effort to research, source, attract, nurture, and hire these individuals, so make sure you don't lose them within the first 90 days. Remarkable onboarding is key, as 69% of employees claim it increases their chances of staying with a company for three years. Here are some basic tips for creating an effective onboarding plan:


  • Plan ahead – The future can be hard to predict, so having a flexible program in place that can adapt to changes is key. Having a network of referred candidates to interview if a new hire unexplainably quits and disappears after their first month on the job, having offer letters and new hire packages ready to send out at a moment’s notice, and creating videos to get new hires acclimated quickly are all great ideas to add to your onboarding plan. 
  • Outsource (if you need to) – Many factors go into a successful onboarding program. One such factor is using cost-effective planning strategies. When it comes to recruiting and sourcing, every penny counts. If it’s cheaper to outsource your onboarding and training, it never hurts to take advantage to save some much-needed capital.

Effective candidate sourcing is vital for hiring top-level executives and attracting highly skilled talent. With rapidly changing hiring needs, having recruitment strategies in place is essential for recruiting at scale. Utilizing on-demand recruiting and modernized approaches can help keep recruiters on top of their hiring needs and continue to attract top talent.

Looking to level up your candidate sourcing strategy? Reach out to IQTalent for expert insights and solutions. Let's supercharge your recruitment process and elevate your talent acquisition game now and well into the future. 

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