Successful talent sourcing is one of the more prevalent challenges modern recruiters face. This may come as a surprise considering we live in a digital-first world, which has brought new opportunities for job advertising and expanding your reach.
However, there’s also more noise. Top talent has access to more work options than ever, and it’s crucial for you to stand out and capture their interest.
Fortunately, a holistic approach to talent sourcing can help you increase your applications and attract better talent, by improving employer branding, nurturing your talent network, leveraging educational initiatives, and employing the best practices.
Why good talent is hard to source
Your talent sourcing efforts could be suffering for a number of reasons, including:
- Poor reach. If your job posts aren’t reaching the right eyes, they won’t gain attention.
- High competition. If applicants can choose between your organization and more established megacorps, they may prefer the latter for better salaries and benefits.
- Weak employer branding. Candidates may not feel confident about applying to work at your company.
And more. This is why I stressed the need for a holistic approach to talent sourcing. To improve your sourcing efforts, you’ll need to create an ecosystem that attracts the best talent and encourages them to enter your recruitment funnel.
Overcoming the talent sourcing challenge
Like many other organizational challenges, talent sourcing problems can be overcome through proactive initiatives. You need to get ahead of the problem and resolve it at its core; otherwise, it will spread and adversely affect your organization as a whole.
Here are some actionable steps you can take to drastically improve your talent sourcing strategy.
Work on your employer branding
Your employer branding is a projection of your company’s work culture. And while there is no ‘right’ way to tailor your employer branding, there is one crucial tenet; be authentic.
Otherwise, projecting an inaccurate impression of your organization can drastically hurt your hiring efforts. For example, if your company has a fast-paced environment, it’s essential to be upfront about it. This way, candidates looking for a slower-paced culture may shy away from applying, and you’ll have a greater chance of attracting candidates with the right cultural fit.
Moreover, it’s important to highlight your company’s positive traits in your employer branding. If your company offers learning and development opportunities, upskilling and reskilling, special benefits, or maybe unlimited PTO, let potential talent know through your employer branding.
Much like in marketing, you’ll want to attract your ideal prospect – or talent. And you can keep hiring costs and times low by discouraging unfit applicants from applying.
Leverage internship and mentorship programs
Internship and mentorship programs speak to a broader initiative – nurturing talent pools and creating a talent pipeline. These efforts can collectively improve the quality of your candidate sourcing, in addition to fuelling faster hiring times.
A talent pipeline is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a funnel that fuels your recruiting efforts by graduating the best talent through the pipeline. Through internship programs, you can identify talent that fits well with your work culture, performs to your expectations, and has the potential to add value to your organization.
Moreover, talent acquired through internship programs also demonstrates higher retention rates, which is great news for recruiters. Employee churn is costly and unproductive, so reducing it is key to achieving organizational efficiency.
Events and job fairs
Recruitment events are an excellent way to meet several talent sourcing goals – you can scout suitable talent, showcase your work culture, and nurture your talent pool. Open house recruiting events became less practical during the pandemic era, but virtual equivalents are a great alternative.
Done right, virtual job fairs can help you increase engagement with prospective talent and benefit both your organizations and potential applicants. Your talent pool will have a chance to interact with your company and learn more about your employees and culture, while your team can simultaneously identify the best talent for your company.
If you plan to pursue open house events or job fairs, having a clear strategy in place is vital. A ‘recruitment’ event without direction and clear objectives is simply a cost drain.
Embrace social media
It might come as no surprise to you that social media is used by 96% of job seekers during their job search, or that many professionals keep an eye on LinkedIn for new opportunities. But did you know that 81% of job seekers want organizations to use Facebook for recruiting, too?
The recruiting landscape has changed significantly over the years, especially concerning talent sourcing. Candidates are actively searching for jobs online, particularly on social media, so it’s our job to meet them halfway.
In addition to increasing the number of applicants, social recruiting also helps employers vet candidates and learn more about them. You can gain insights into their qualifications and experience through LinkedIn, or better understand their interests through Twitter.
As with any recruiting medium, social media should be leveraged strategically and with clear direction. It’s important to meet candidates where they’re searching for you, project your employer branding, and provide value to your talent pool.
Employee referral programs
Employee referral programs remain one of the most effective initiatives for improving your hiring efforts overall. I’d give you the hard sell, but these statistics present a convincing argument quite nicely:
“45% of referrals stay with the company four years or more, and they fill the positions faster (in 35 to 40 days instead of 60).” (source)
The takeaway? Employee referral programs work – and they work well. By introducing a referral program, you can drastically reduce your time and cost to hire, while improving employee retention.
Referral programs also offer less quantitive benefits – they can strengthen your employer branding and help you hire more culturally-fit applicants. When you implement a referral program, employees spread the word about your job openings, helping you gain brand awareness and grow your talent pool.
Final word - source with confidence
Many growing startups struggle with talent sourcing, especially because it’s difficult to compete with the salaries and benefits that megacorps are offering.
But talent sourcing is about finding your people, and it’s important to play to your strengths. Advertise your positive work culture, your learning opportunities, and your commitment to helping team members develop professionally.
Fast-growing startups have a wealth of opportunities to offer job seekers and top talent. So refine your pitch, strengthen your branding, present your case, and source with confidence.