While there is no one-fit-all talent sourcing strategy, there are still some battle-tested approaches that make it work. Let’s talk about them and develop an actionable tech candidate sourcing tactic that will drive results in the long run.
What is a talent sourcing strategy?
According to the Oxford dictionary, a strategy is “the process of planning something or putting a plan into operation in a skilful way”. So, a talent sourcing strategy can be defined as a set of pre-planned actions intended to achieve a hiring goal, which, in turn, should be aligned with the current business necessities and tailored to the specific KPIs.
Despite an easy-to-get definition, creating actionable and ROI-driving talent sourcing strategies requires in-depth hiring expertise, labor market understanding, candidates’ expectations analysis and the skill to leverage technology for more effective talent sourcing.
Why a talent sourcing strategy might not be working
There are several possible reasons why a talent sourcing strategy may fail to work. Below are the most common ones.
- Not setting hiring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If it can’t be measured – it can’t be improved, so setting the right hiring KPIs is the first step to finding out how your talent sourcing strategy performs. We will dwell on the specific KPIs in one of the next sections, but for now, let’s keep in mind that the hiring metrics you use should fit into the SMART framework. The latter means that every metric should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
- Skipping the candidates who are under or overqualified. Ensuring a 101% candidate-job fit is impossible. So, instead of skipping promising candidates, consider adding them to your tech talent database and refer to them in future. What’s more, 66% of companies will train and hire candidates who may be lacking in skills but have potential.
- Having a poor brand reputation and bad reviews shared by ex-employees. Employee brand reputation matters for most modern tech workers since a fair salary isn’t the only thing they would like to get. So, get started with your employee brand development using social media, take part in tech events, and treat your people as your business’s most valuable asset.
- Having no employee referral program. A referral program is one of the talent sourcing best practices since in this case, your employees can help you with attracting top talent in exchange for rewards. Such a tactic is also great for raising brand awareness and spreading the word of mouth.
How to develop an effective candidate sourcing strategy
If you wonder how to build an engineering team following candidate sourcing best practices, here’s a step-by-step action plan.
Define the hiring goal
Before trying different talent sourcing methods, be sure to define a clear hiring goal. Below are some examples of possible hiring necessities:
- You face an increased workload. In such a case, you will likely have to hire several candidates with similar backgrounds. As an option, you can also consider IT staff augmentation to quickly scale your team with remote talent and successfully handle an increased workload.
- Your project lacks specific talent. If you need a candidate with difficult-to-find skills and competencies, global hiring can be the right tactic to follow. However, it also has its challenges – finding a suitable candidate in a global talent pool will be time-consuming. To facilitate the task, get in touch with a talent sourcing vendor. Our experts would be happy to help you find the necessary talent across three continents.
- You need to gather a tech team from scratch. In such a case, your talent sourcing process is likely to be pretty complex. If you have to gather a team from scratch, you also have to decide on the specific skill sets for each of the roles, define the locations to align the time zones and keep a balance between a cultural match and cultural diversity. We, at Bridge, can support you along this way as well. Consider our IT recruitment services to hire the best talent globally and quickly fill multiple positions.
Also, keep in mind the business goals for the long-term objectives. In other words, don’t skip promising candidates and gather a talent pool instead.
Work on employer brand development
80% of HR managers believe that employer branding is important for hiring the best candidates. What’s more, employer branding isn’t a one-time task – instead, it is an ongoing process. Below are the important points to keep in mind.
- Stay clear on your values and mission. Feeling like being a part of something great and live-changing is important for most modern tech workers. Having clear values and mission is even more crucial for startup projects in search of top talent – discover more startup hiring best practices in our dedicated article below.
- Always provide feedback to rejected candidates. In this case, they become 4 times more likely to consider your company again, for a future job opportunity.
- Develop social media profiles. Showcase the backstage in your social media profiles so that the potential candidates can quickly get an idea of an environment they may join.
Set hiring KPIs
Next, tailor your talent sourcing strategy to the essential metrics provided below.
- Time to hire. This metric shows a time gap between the start of the hiring campaign and hiring fitting candidates.
- Number of qualified candidates – shows how many qualified candidates have applied for a position in case of passive sourcing, or how many qualified candidates’ resumes you have gathered in case of sourcing them proactively.
- Submit to interview ratio. This metric shows how many submitted candidates were invited for an interview.
- Interview to offer ratio. Like the previous metric, this one explains how many successfully interviewed candidates got a job offer.
- Cost per hire. This is one of the most crucial metrics that cover all the hiring expenses per position, including but not limited to ads and software cost, HR manager’s salary and so on.
- Sourcing channel efficiency. To define a sourcing channel efficiency, you have to analyse all the metrics above in relation to each of the sourcing channels. Prioritize the best-performing ones, but don’t limit yourself to one channel – more on this in the next section.
Diversify the sourcing channels
Diversifying your talent sourcing channels (and still measuring the efficiency of each) can be an excellent approach to making your talent sourcing strategy work better. Below are the ones you are welcome to leverage.
- Brand’s website. Companies with a strong employer brand should use their website as a first touch point with prospective candidates. But keep in mind that the site should have an intuitive UI and an easy-to-fill application form. 59% of candidates reject filling in the application if the website has poor UX or bugs.
- Job boards like Glassdoor and Indeed, plus local job boards. Hunt for the candidates in the places they dwell. When hiring globally, always use local job boards – their CV database can be smaller compared to global platforms, but it would be easier to find a specific talent locally.
- Social media, especially LinkedIn. 40% of hiring decision-makers think social media are effective channels for sourcing great candidates.
- Referrals. Encourage your employees to share job opportunities within their network. In this case, the cost per hire is minimal – you just have to offer something in return to the team member who suggested the right candidate.
Partner with a reliable talent sourcing vendor
In addition to the steps above, partnering with a trusted vendor is a great choice to speed up talent sourcing and hire the best candidates. Below are the main benefits of getting competent hiring support from a talent sourcing partner like Bridge.
- Speed. Outsourcing your talent sourcing tasks to a trusted company always promises a better time to hire. With the goal of speeding the hiring process up, we, at Bridge, use an AI-powered and data-driven sourcing engine with multiple data points and filters, achieving 80% automation.
- Cost. Compared to hiring an HR manager in-house and paying them a fixed salary which isn’t tailored to the number of successfully closed vacancies, partnership with a talent sourcing vendor implies flexible engagement models. For example, you can pay for the work of the hired developers or choose a hiring service with a fixed monthly fee.
- Expertise. We at Bridge have competent talent sourcers under the roof who work as an extension of your in-house recruitment team, keeping your business goals in mind.
- Global or local reach. Bridge can help you hire the best tech talent across three continents, sourcing top programmers from Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, and the US.
Source tech talent better and faster with Bridge
If you still struggle to source engineering talent in the most effective way possible, try our sourcing-as-a-service to get a list of suitable candidates in less than a month. Thanks to our sourcing process being 80% automated we can reach out to prospective candidates 5 times faster and save up to 60% in operational costs.
You don’t need to have any recruitment tools or candidate data platforms to get the right candidates – our data-driven engine covers all the features necessary for effective hiring. The only thing you have to do is to interview the candidates that suit you best and proceed with hiring and onboarding them.
Unlock the power of tech-enabled candidate sourcing with Bridge’s help. Left us a note now to get started!