Are You Tapping into the Best Sources?


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Are Your Top Candidate Sources Easily Accessible?

Source Seeking

As a Recruiter, you must understand your top candidate sources. Great sources are GOLD. This blog post will discuss one of my favourite topics and something I have named: the Systematic Sourcing Principle.

As a Recruiting Leader, are you setting up your recruiters for success to ensure your business structure, systems and training allows them to maximize these 3 valuable source types? Read below to find out why these are importance sources and what questions to ask to create change.

The Systematic Sourcing Principle

The fundamental of this principle is to understand your candidate sources and rank them based on “chance to lead to quality hire” and “low time-to-fill.” Evaluating and prioritizing these sources allows you to plan your recruitment strategy and target sources to fill positions efficiently with top quality candidates.

This concept is no big secret BUT when I discuss this with recruiters, I see heads nodding but slightly irritated looks. I’m sure they’re thinking, “What’s so innovative about this concept?” My answer: Nothing really!

Of course recruiters understand prioritizing candidate sources. However, during my 20+ years in Talent Acquisition, I have seldom seen recruiters truly leveraging the power of the systematic sourcing principle. This is not their fault! The key reason recruiters are unable to leverage their best sources, is unfortunately system driven – the best sources are just not easily accessible!

Let me review 3 candidate groups that I call my “Go-To Sources” – they have always generated solid staffing results.

When faced with an opening, review these 3 sources and the likelihood they are to quickly lead to a quality hire. This will help you determine which of the 3 sources to focus on first.

My Go-To Sources:

1. Current Employees

The number one reason for internal mobility and succession planning is it increases employee engagement. When employees have been in a role for 2+ years and are not feeling stretched they may look for role elsewhere if they don’t see an alternative role internally. Internal mobility does not always mean a promotion – it can mean a horizontal move. Example: there is great advantage to an employee moving from a recruiting role into campus employment branding or into an HR generalist role.

There is ample documentation regarding the business case for internal mobility – BUT how easy is it for recruiters to access this candidate source quickly? Ultimately it is about ensuring the business is structured to support discussions about internal moves. Talent Acquisition must work in close partnership with HR & Talent Management leaders to identify potential openings and discuss employee’s fit, interest, and abilities to create the right match.

Food for Thought:

  • Is there a searchable database, a regular meeting, or a vehicle that allows a recruiter to pro-actively identify viable internally candidates quickly that are ready or interested in new roles?
  • Does your HR or Talent Management team assess promotion potential or interest in new skills during performance discussions? Where is this data stored?
  • Are managers supported to have discussions with their employees about internal moves (after a minimum time into their role – i.e. 1-2 years)?
  • Is there an internal job-posting platform?
  • Is there an internal job application process (i.e.: a candidate interested must discuss their interest with their manager and have their permission to apply)?
  • Is there a defined process to support recruiters with an objective approach to consider an internal candidate?
  • Remember:

    The more challenging this process, the more it will turn a recruiter off from actively pursuing this candidate source. However, I truly believe that asking these questions and creating a business strategy that keeps employees and grows their skills cross functionally creates exciting opportunities and an engaged workforce.

    Ensuring you have a plan to back fill the employee’s roles is the critical second step to applying this sourcing tactic.

    2. Former Employees

    Time, money, and productivity are only a few of the gains achieved by former employees returning to your organization. Never mind the morale booster!

    In order to really leverage this source of candidates, a recruiter should have access to past candidate profiles, quality exit interview comments, and performance information to truly assess candidate’s for new positions.

    Additionally, do you have an engagement strategy for your recruiters to keep in contact with past employees?

    The secret to this source former employees is great relationships! Encourage your recruiters to keep a list of former employees they worked with; a little “door knocking” to let a past employee know about a great opportunity will carry more weight if they trust the recruiter.

    3. Referrals

    I believe in the concept that “Great people know great people.” Thus, your current employees and network are a great source for potential candidates.

    Are your recruiters able to access referral information and “slice and dice” it to find potential candidates that fit an opening’s need? Can they access information by name only? Ensure that referral information captures skills, education, experience, and personality traits. Work with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Super-User/Administrator to build a process that maximizes information collection and search-ability.

    The second tip for successfully utilizing referrals is to ensure your pool is constantly flowing. You must build an education program to communicate to employees why they should make referrals, and make the process easy! Making referrals a reward process (increasing $$ based on level) can also help successfully entice employees to recommend their network to your company.

    Referrals are yours to leverage but if your recruiter is not able to sift through the weeds quickly, chances are that you are not maximizing a great tool!

    Evaluating Accessibility of these 3 Source Types:

    Successful staffing is a product of the right timing of an opening and the right candidates being available and interested. Ultimately, if your systems, tools, and information are not able to deliver quickly, recruiters at your organization are not set up for success.

    As a Recruiter, see what’s getting in your way and talk with your leader!

    As a Talent Acquisition leader, focus on increasing candidate quality, managing time-to-fill, and containing recruiting costs. By reviewing how your business is structured to utilize these 3 sources, you can tap into a ton of candidates. Evaluate how accessible these top 3 sources are based on your business structure, recruiter training, and system.

    If your team is not set up for success in any of these 3 factors, evaluate what’s getting in the way and make changes!

    Helen has more than 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition working in Canada and Europe in a variety of industries including manufacturing, sales & marketing, and currently in Oil & Gas. No matter how challenging a recruitment project seems, Helen’s ability to break daunting goals into actionable steps have been proven time and time again. Watch for Helen's posts on recruiting tips and tricks. Trust Helen as an expert who has staffed projects targeting Olympic athletes, remote merchandizers, and hired over 1,200 students and new grads annually.

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