Candidate sourcing and candidate recruiting are terms that are often used interchangeably, but sourcing and recruiting are different steps in making a hire.
For instance, while you can refer to making a hire as “sourcing” or “recruiting” that person, each of these terms refers to different part of the process that led to this person ending up in their new job.
Sourcing and Recruiting
Sourcing and recruiting are processes that depend on one another, so it helps to have some solid definitions before we continue.
Sourcing: The process of identifying a viable candidate for a job opening by any means.
Recruiting: The process of nurturing candidate interest in a job opportunity and facilitating this candidate’s interest to the point of hiring them.
Sourcing and recruiting take place in different stages of the hiring process, but sourcing and recruiting are highly dependent on each other.
When a candidate is identified as a good fit, whether through a professional network or through their application to your company, this is the point at which the sourcing of a candidate transitions to the recruitment of that candidate.
While the candidate you identify may be familiar with your brand and interested in your job, candidate interest needs to be developed throughout the hiring process to hire finalist candidates. Without nurturing their interest, you leave your top choice for the job open to offers from competitors and counter-offers from their current employer.
To secure the talent your company needs, your sourcing and recruiting strategies must work in harmony and be geared to build candidate interest from their first contact with your company and job opportunity.
How to Source Great Candidates
Finding suitable candidates to recruit is half of the battle, and these sourcing techniques will help you to identify great candidates for your next job opening.
Evaluate the Demands of the Job
The demands of the job you are trying to fill are unique to your company and may have changed since the last time you filled this job.
Always re-evaluate the demands of the job before creating your job advertisement to hone in on essential candidate qualities for the role you want to fill.
Choose Candidate Sources Based on the Job
The candidate sources that work best for reaching your ideal candidate, will always be chosen based on the demands of the job you’re trying to fill. For instance, you will typically experience a great deal of difficulty sourcing executive candidates through general job boards.
Always choose candidate sources strategically based on the demands of the job, such as investing in subscriptions to tech-specific job boards when sourcing candidates for a software engineer role.
Create Captivating Job Ads
The more captivating you can make your job ads, the more candidate interest you can generate and the more qualified candidates you can source for your open job. Creating captivating job ads also helps you build candidate interest from the beginning, making it easier to recruit top candidates later.
Build Your Employer Brand
The strength of your employer brand is based on the public perception of how enjoyable and rewarding it is to work for your company. Whenever a candidate sees your job opportunity, they will seek out employer brand information to find out if your job and company will be a good fit.
Make sure there is plenty of engaging employer brand information online for candidates to explore, like: interviews with your employees, pictures of company outings and/or interesting content that your company has created or sponsored.
How to Recruit Great Candidates
Once top candidates have been sourced, the next step is to nurture their levels of engagement in your job opportunity and recruit them into taking the job at your company.
Nurture Interest in Top Candidates
Top candidates are sure to have other options and counteroffers from their current employer, so nurturing the interest of highly skilled pros is essential.
Never let top candidates feel lost in the hiring process and keep them engaged with interesting information on your company and the job opportunity.
Retain Candidate Interest
Just because a top candidate has said they’re interested, doesn’t mean they haven’t said this to other companies they’re interviewing with.
Keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process by asking questions about their employment desires and career goals.
Negotiate with Candidates
The more skilled your top candidate is, the more likely it is that you will have to negotiate with them to hire them.
When it does come time to negotiate, you should never risk losing a top finalist candidate for the sake of saving on their salary. Apart from the time wasted by failing to negotiate, there’s no guarantee that your next finalist won’t be negotiating for the same salary as the candidate you pass on. Increased stock options, more time off and more flexibility in working are all great ways to improve a job offer without going over the budget allotted for the new hire.
Present your Offer
You should present your job offer to the finalist candidate as soon as all required parties have agreed and “signed off” on the new hire. Delaying or being delayed by indecision can easily result on your top choice taking another offer.
Your offer should include all changes that were discussed during offer negotiations or during the hiring process.
Ensure a Smooth Transition and Onboarding Experience
The final step in recruitment is ensuring a smooth transition for your new hire and ensuring that they are prepared for your company’s onboarding program.
Always be accommodating to the schedules and obligations of new hires, when possible, as a smooth beginning to the job will promote the new hire’s long-term engagement and retention.