Sourcing & Outreach

Unleashing Talent: Mastering the Art of Recruiting Sourcing Strategies for Top-notch Hires

Brandice Payne | Author

Brandice Payne

Senior Manager, Content & Customer Marketing

Posted on

January 24, 2024

Companies have to overcome significant challenges in sourcing top talent because of widening experience gaps, new technologies, and evolving expectations of candidates. The drop in workforce numbers caused by Baby Boomers and Gen-X retirements magnify these obstacles.

The Baby Boomer generation comprises an estimated 75 million workers, but as they leave the workforce, organizations will face challenges replacing them with current Millennial and Gen-Z employees who lack the necessary work experience. With such a gap, an effective candidate sourcing strategy is more vital to business success than at any point in history.

In addition to the overall drop in qualified candidates, specific industries—like tech and healthcare—continue to face competitive disadvantages because many roles require specialized knowledge and years of experience.

So, how do we face these challenges and overcome the inherent shortcomings of the current workforce? The answer comes from implementing a comprehensive hiring strategy, which allows recruiters to locate qualified candidates using new tools, techniques, and sourcing channels. 

The Foundation of Successful Sourcing

Successful sourcing starts with understanding the difference between your talent pool and the talent pipeline. Your talent pipeline includes candidates who have the qualifications and experience needed to fill open roles in your organization. 

On the other hand, the talent pool comprises all possible candidates for whom you have contact information, including those who applied and those who have not. This distinction will help you develop the strategies that are most effective for your organization. 

Clarifying what makes a candidate qualified and what benchmarks you use to gauge these potential employees will help move candidates to the hiring pipeline to fill open and future positions. This strategic approach to sourcing filters out low-quality candidates without sacrificing your company's reputation.

Traditional vs. Modern Sourcing Approaches

Traditional approaches to sourcing candidates relied on recruiters combing through resumes received through job postings in their applicant tracking system (ATS). Recruiters also engaged in outreach efforts, but without adequate candidate personas or details, personalization was difficult and time-consuming—if not impossible. 

The shifting landscape of hiring great candidates means modern methods for sourcing are a must-have if businesses want to remain competitive. These modern strategies include leveraging advanced ATS platforms with AI assistance, utilizing new sourcing channels, like online platforms, and diving into advanced search methods, such as Boolean strings. 

Modern strategies also help businesses become more diverse, inclusive, and equitable with their hiring processes by reducing unconscious bias, enabling blind resumes, and expanding geographic recruiting areas. Companies can meet the demands of a fluid generation of employees where employer and brand loyalty is fragile. 

Leveraging Online Platforms for Candidate Discovery

Maintaining an online presence is a cornerstone of modern business, especially when sourcing potential candidates. Not all social media platforms are ideal for sourcing, but professional networks like LinkedIn can open the door to new candidates. 

Job seekers hang out online. The internet is an integral part of our daily lives, so expanding sourcing efforts to digital spaces is the next logical step. Modern companies are also expanding into digital platforms, such as social media, company websites, and webinars to engage with candidates.  

A well-curated careers page does more than display job openings. It’s an opportunity to deliver excellent candidate experiences and position your employer brand as a leader in your industry. Re-visit job descriptions, webpage copy, and even the content of your career page with the intent of attracting the right candidates for your organization. 

The same is true for your social media presence. Curate profiles to match the tone of your organization, build excitement around your brand through regular posting and audience engagement, and monitor your efforts through key metrics. 

Advanced Sourcing Techniques

In addition to creating an active social media and web presence, you can also tap into the power of advanced sourcing techniques, including: 

  • Boolean search strings – These are mathematical operations that help recruiters find ideal candidates based on specific criteria for the given role. Boolean search strings are potent tools for discovering passive candidates and sourcing for complex positions. 

  • X-ray Searching – This approach uses Boolean commands in search engines, like Google, Indeed, or Bing, to source top talent. It’s a combination of keywords, search terms, and mathematical operations to assist recruiting efforts. 

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence – Deploying automation, such as follow-up emails, scheduling interviews, and funneling candidates into the pipeline, frees up time for engagement initiatives. Machine learning can identify trends in candidate skill sets, recruitment channels, and job market fluctuations to help you find the right candidates. 

  • Source from your own database – You could have a treasure trove of silver medal candidates hiding in your ATS or CRM. Gem’s CRM is the perfect solution for personalizing re-engagement initiatives with candidates who have a history of interaction with your company.  

Popular companies like Wayfair, Dropbox, and Unity use Gem’s software to source top talent in half as much time-to-hire as using traditional methods alone. Plus, Gem brings additional advanced technology, such as AI, to eliminate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing teams to work on more impactful assignments. 

Building a Sustainable Talent Pipeline

When you spend less time focusing on mundane, time-consuming tasks, your team has more time to spend on other vital tasks. One of the most crucial tasks is building a sustainable talent pipeline that is efficient, filled with enough candidates to meet your hiring needs, and adaptable to changing conditions. 

However, technology can only go so far, and if the candidate pool is too shallow to sustain a healthy pipeline, you might need alternative strategies. One of the most effective alternative strategies that often brings in the best candidates is leveraging employee referral programs. 

Sourcing talent from the professional networks of your current staff should be a critical component of your recruitment process. You can further attract these skilled candidates through incentives and a healthy, inclusive company culture. 

Finally, invest in personalized outreach. Gem’s benchmark report found personalized subject lines in email communications can boost open rates by 5%, which translates to a higher possibility of finding the right candidate. 

Supercharge Your Sourcing with Gem’s Talent Acquisition Software

Effective recruitment sourcing strategies in our modern workforce take a unique blend of traditional one-on-one communications and advanced search methods that involve AI and Boolean searching. 

The best recruiters, hiring managers, and HR teams constantly refine and evolve their sourcing approaches to meet the demands of their organizations. They stay ahead of the curve by implementing innovative solutions, like Gem’s talent acquisition software. 

Gem’s software is transforming the sourcing process through advanced features, such as activating more than 20 acquisition channels, AI that automates repetitive tasks, and trackable personalized outreach. These tools allow you to source top talent in a more streamlined, effective manner. 

A central software solution like Gem ensures that everyone in your organization has access to the same information and there are no duplicated efforts. Connect with us today to learn how Gem’s talent acquisition software can supercharge your hiring efforts! 


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