How to build a strategic sourcing strategy

Recruiter looking through resumes in office

3 mins, 24 secs read time

Finding and hiring the right people has never been more important than in today’s competitive talent market. To stay ahead, recruiting teams need to be proactive when it comes to sourcing candidates as part of their recruiting strategy. Having a strategic sourcing strategy enables you to expand your search, discover quality candidates and create a strong talent pipeline. In this post, we’ll explore three key sourcing strategies to help you build and optimize your candidate sourcing approach.

Before we dive into how to build your strategic sourcing strategy, it’s important to understand what a sourcing strategy is.

What is a sourcing strategy?

A sourcing strategy involves finding and connecting with prospects to turn them into job applicants and new hires. A fundamental part of it includes identifying qualified prospects whose experience and skills align with the role or roles you’re hiring for and who would also be a great addition to your company.

It’s essential to include sourcing in your overall recruiting strategy so you can save time, money and resources while making great hires.

How to strategically source candidates

Now that we’ve covered what a sourcing strategy is, here are three strategies you can use to start sourcing candidates.

1. Create an ideal candidate persona
It's always a good idea to create an ideal candidate persona before you start sourcing candidates for a role. It gives everyone a better understanding of the applicants you’re looking for. Creating an ideal candidate persona can help guide you through finding the best channels, strategies and messaging for sourcing the right people.

A candidate persona is a fictional character with the real qualities and skills you would want to see in a potential hire.

Since this is a collaborative process, it’s important to review the role and job requirements with the hiring manager to create the ideal candidate persona. You can work with them to outline the qualities and skills of the ideal hire to refer to as you’re sourcing potential candidates.

2. Search through past candidates
An effective way to source candidates is by reviewing past candidates such as silver medalists – those who did well in the interview process but didn’t end up getting hired. While they might not have been hired for a role in the past, it’s possible that they might be a better fit for other roles in the future.

Most recruiting teams and companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) such as Greenhouse Recruiting to keep track of all the candidates who applied to jobs and candidates they sourced themselves, so checking this database is a good first step. Using an ATS can help you quickly find the right candidates by allowing you to use keyword searches that align with the job requirements, the ideal persona you created and the hiring manager’s expectations.

3. Expand your candidate sourcing channels
Most recruiters have their preferred channels for sourcing candidates – usually their professional network and LinkedIn. While these are common and effective avenues for finding potential candidates, it’s worth considering other channels and methods to expand your search.

For example, you can use Underdog to source candidates for technical roles or check out CreativeGuild to find talent for creative roles. You can also ask the hiring manager or relevant team members questions such as:

  • What’s the best place to start a search for someone who has worked in or is familiar with this field?
  • Are there alternative job titles for people in this position? If so, what are they?
  • Which websites or online communities do people with this job title usually visit or participate in?

Expanding your sourcing channels beyond the mainstream and your network can help you discover great candidates, so don’t limit yourself to a handful of resources.

If you’re not already sourcing candidates, you can implement these effective techniques to start building your strategic sourcing strategy. As it develops, you can experiment with different sourcing methods to find what works best for you and your team.

Learn more about Greenhouse Recruiting and Sourcing Automation by connecting with a member of our team today.

Jennifer Vu

Jennifer Vu

is Content Marketing Manager – Sourcing, at Greenhouse. Prior to joining Greenhouse, Jenn worked on content creation and product development focused on sourcing during her time at Interseller. When she’s not whipping up a new blog post, she enjoys reading and refining her culinary skills. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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