12 Step Guide To Build A Candidate Sourcing Strategy

12 Step Guide to Build a Candidate Sourcing Strategy


Finding the right candidate is tough. However, using a proper Candidate Sourcing strategy can help you find the right candidate.

It won’t be an exaggeration to consider hiring as one of the most critical components in the growth of a business that is often not given its due importance. Most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen understand its value. 

That’s why Elon Musk used to personally interview each of the sourced candidates before being hired during his early days. But even the most successful businesses today struggle in sourcing candidates for hiring.

Fortunately, having a good Candidate Sourcing strategy in recruitment can help improve the hiring. But before that, let’s see what exactly candidate sourcing is.

Candidate Sourcing

Candidate Sourcing involves finding the potential candidate for your business. It involves shortlisting candidates that match the needed criteria.

Often companies have specific needs in terms of education, experience, and salary range. Candidate sourcing involves sourcing all talent that matches these parameters. 

So what is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate Sourcing is the process of finding relevant candidate and trying to recruit them. To do Candidate Sourcing, you would first need to build a candidate profile, which describes the company’s requirements for each candidate. We will discuss creating a candidate profile later. For now, let’s focus on the Candidate Sourcing process and understand how to create a Candidate Sourcing strategy.

Is Candidate Sourcing and Conventional Recruitment the same?

Nope. Candidate Sourcing and recruitment are 2 very different things. In recruitment, you want candidates to apply for the jobs and then you conduct interviews to hire them.

Build a Candidate Sourcing Strategy

So, now let’s talk about the main steps to build a Candidate Sourcing strategy to hire employees.

Step 1: Understand the Recruitment Process

After the initial candidate sourcing, the recruitment process becomes the same for all. Interviews, tests, and checks to ensure the candidate is actually as good as it sounds.

Here are the steps involved in hirings based on candidate sourcing:

  1. Search candidates using various tools

  2. Highly talented and relevant candidates are shortlisted for the next rounds.

  3. Arrange for interviews with bosses, HR, and more.

  4. Ensure satisfactory talk before making any decisions

  5. If the candidate is good enough, release an offer letter

Step 2: Define Your Candidate Profile

Once the vacancy is known, the requirements and duties of the employee must be laid down in a candidate profile. After talking with the seniors, compile the list of must-haves and nice-to-have qualities in the candidate.

This ensures that the needs of the company, as well as the boss, are kept in mind. Your candidate profile simply put is a list of qualifications, experience, and various other parameters for an ideal candidate.

Building a good enough candidate profile is easier said than done. The candidate profile can include many unique requirements as well.

For example, for a sales job, the candidate profile might include the need for a candidate to be local to the region. This will mean that the employee would already be well aware of the region and be better at knowing the hotspots for sales.

Other times, certain age requirements could come into play. For example, if a company is hiring a “Health/Fitness Expert”, they want him to be young and fit enough before he can help others get fit.

Step 3: Understand the Qualities of Ideal Candidate For the Job

Your candidate profile should not be just about skills and qualifications. It should be talking about qualities. We have already talked about location and age. Many other qualities that aren’t easy to judge should still be mentioned in the candidate profile. These qualities can be evaluated in the interview process.

One such quality is teamwork. If the position is for a team project, you’d want the candidate should be very good at collaborating and coordinating work. You might even want him to have leadership skills.

The ability to teamwork isn’t directly visible from a resume or past experience (if it’s not a leadership role). These must be evaluated in the interview itself.

Eventually, your candidate profiles would become like a checklist for hiring any given candidate.

Now, before you set your expectations too high, here’s a fair warning. A candidate that fits all the requirements is rare to find. Even if you find one, the chances of him being willing to change a job are less than 100%.

It’s obviously important to build the right candidate profile for the purpose of hiring. But it’s equally important to know that you would have to make compromises to actually be able to land on a candidate.

That’s why, rather than looking for precisely the ideal candidate, try having a much broader search and then slowly narrow down to the closest perfect candidate.

Here are some suggestions of what to include in a candidate profile. Depending upon your needs may choose to add or remove to this list:

  • Qualifications

  • Experience

  • Current/Expected Salary

  • Age

  • Location

  • Gender

  • Leadership abilities

  • Medical history

Step 4: Understand the Process of Candidate Sourcing

Next up, you need to start sourcing candidates. Their are active and passive ways to get the right candidate for your company. 

Candidate Sourcing involves finding the potential candidate for your business. It involves shortlisting candidates that match the needed criteria.

Often companies have specific needs in terms of education, experience, and salary range. Candidate sourcing involves sourcing all candidates that matches these parameters. 

Different Candidate Sourcing processes have different benefits. These processes are:

  • Job Boards
  • Job Advertisements
  • Direct Candidate Sourcing

Let’s Explore Them All

Next we will see Candidate Sourcing through job postings, and job advertising and why you should avoid both

Step 5: Recruitement Through Job Postings

Job Postings are publicly visible, and anyone can apply for them. It’s great for businesses who want to spend the least amount of time in hiring. Also, it can be great for businesses that don’t have many requirements in their candidate profile for being hired.

The problem with Job postings is that you rarely get the quality. Job postings are a lazy approach for recruitement, A significant portion of the applications will come from totally unfit candidates who are just lured by the salary.

At the other times, the best of the best candidates would likely not be looking for jobs, as a result they may not see your job posting or choose not to apply for it.

Step 6: Recruitement Through Job Advertisements

Okay, so job posting isn’t ideal for businesses looking for quality candidates, but what about job advertising then?

Job advertising is not much different. Now, obviously, with advertising, you get a lot more reach, plus you can target your campaigns to more suitable candidates. This results in far fewer irrelevant applications.

However, ads are likely to be clicked by active and casual job seekers only. People today are more cautious of social media ads with the increasing concern over digital privacy among netizens. As a result, the probability of potential candidates clicking your ads also decreases.

Furthermore, in the already ad-filled landscape of the internet, it’s hard to have ads that genuinely get noticed.

Step 7: Implement Candidate Sourcing

This brings us to the most crucial part of Candidate Sourcing Strategy, which is to actually do Candidate Sourcing.

Candidate Searching involves actively searching for candidates. In your candidate search, you stop hoping for candidates to approach you, instead you yourself find great candidates and approach them from front.

Candidate searching involves using social media, referrals, candidate searching tools, and many other resources to discover candidates. Thereafter, these candidates are approached with emails.

The major problem with this approach is that it requires effort and is relatively time-consuming. It can more often than not, yield more quality results, but it will require a lot more effort.

You get to approach even the most uninterested candidates, which can’t be approached by job postings and advertising. This approach gives you tighter control, meaning that only the most relevant candidates would be on the list.

Step 8: Candidate Sourcing Using A Candidate Sourcing Tool

Candidate Sourcing Tools, also known as Recruitment Management Systems, are tools built to easily help sourcing recruiters find potential candidates and candidates find potential jobs.

In other words, these Candidate Sourcing Tools are like Google search, with the only difference being you can search anything random on Google, whereas these tools specialize in just candidate searching.

Undoubtedly they are very effective in their work as well. With advancements in Artificial Intelligence, technology, and overall data processing, today many tools can easily predict our needs and give accurate suggestions.

But the benefits of Candidate Sourcing Tools since the candidates provide their bio-data to these companies, and the data is generally very accurate and up to date.

The cherry on the top is the fact that HireBeat does a lot, yet costs significantly less than the costs of hiring a professional recruiter. These all features make it perfect for startups.

Often times most of the startups run on fairly low margins and tight budgets. Having a tool like this can be a huge massive cost saver, and can help you make much better hiring decisions.

In the past, recruiters would have to build their own database. The problem was that they would never know if the candidate changed their jobs and is now having a different profile.

With the sourcing tools, it’s likely that the candidate will only keep the most accurate data about himself. This would mean you always have access to the latest data.

Candidate Sourcing Tools don’t just stop there. These tools can save a lot of time, by streamlining the workflow, making all things accessible in one place, and automating the boring/repetitive tasks with ease.

Step 9: Best Recruitement Strategy: Source Talent Through Employee Networks

Employee networks can potentially be a very powerful recruitment tool. Sometimes there exists talent that is valuable yet hard to find from the conventional methods. Your recruitement strategy should involve the proper utilization of employee networks.

In such times, the employee networks could be very crucial part of the recruitment strategy. Leveraging the employee network involves utilizing your existing employees’ acquaintances that could be potential candidates for the company.

Your employees could have known a lot of talent from their past employers. This data can be very useful for you.

Thereafter, you can also look to social media to find the relevant candidates through your existing employees. Facebook friends, Instagram Followers and LinkedIn Connections can all be sources for your potential employees. 

Step 10: How To Recruit Through LinkedIn?

You must actively post on LinkedIn, build connections and promote job opportunities so that you can be approached by relevant candidates on through Linkedin.

Pro Tip: If you find a candidate through an existing employee, then ask your employee to initiate the talk and give a warm introduction to the candidate. This will be far more effective compared to the conventional cold emails that you would be sending.

Furthermore, the candidates sourced through the employee networks are more likely to join your company since your existing employee (who referred the potential candidate) is likely to make them consider it as a better place for work.

This is why you must always try to leverage employee networks in your candidate search.

While we are talking about the employee networks, it’s important to also look into your existing employees who could be worthy of a promotion.

It’s important to ensure that in search of new candidates, companies don’t lose their existing candidates. Taking feedback from employees can bring up some excellent leaders and talented individuals that could be a perfect fit for the new role yet remained unnoticed.

Step 11: Understand How Recruiting has Changed Over The Years

In the past, recruiters would receive resumes from email, would have job postings on different job boards, communications would happen on calls, and database management would happen with some other tools. There were way too many things to be used in the process.

But with modern Candidate Sourcing Tools, the resumes are available directly in the interface, and job postings happen from the tool’s interface. If there’s a need for any communication, the communication could also be sent from that interface. 

Not to mention the fact that it maintains and organizes data in ways that were unimaginable – let alone possible a few years back.

These tools can help in the automation as well. Depending upon the tools, you can schedule the interview, inform the interviewer, and block time on the calendar. Later the feedback and follow-up communications can also be done right from there.

Candidate Sourcing Tools open a world of opportunities for candidates as well as recruiters. 

Step 12: Refine Your Messaging For Sourced Candidates

In the recruitment process, the communications and messaging must remain quite good between the shortlisted candidates and the company. 

Oftentimes, if the interviews are unnecessarily delayed, the communications are unclear or there are many miscommunications, the candidates may lose interest. Your communications should be such that candidates feel informed, connected, and included in the recruitment activities.

Businesses, especially start-ups must ensure that the candidates have an enjoyable experience. Your communications should be simple, clear, and refined. Along with that, confusion and unnecessary changes must be avoided.

This would result in more likelihood of candidates appearing for interviews, as well as a much better user experience.

While you ensure proper messaging with source candidates, you must also ensure that you communicate reasons for rejection and other relevant information with the rejected candidates.


By now you’d have realised how many small and big changes can help you level up your recruiting sourcing strategies and improve your recruitment process. Let’s summarize it all for you.

All Candidate Sourcing activities should begin with building an ideal candidate profile. This ensures that you know who exactly you want to hire even before you begin the candidate hunt.

Next up, start hunting your clients by using job posting, advertising, and most importantly the talent hunting tools. This all gives you a small yet accurate list of relevant potential candidates,

After that, you will begin contacting and starting interacting with your potential candidates. This will involve inviting them for interviewing, interacting with them, giving them proper job descriptions, and more as needed.

Arrange for interviews, and evaluate whether they are good enough or not. If they are good, give them an offer letter. Else, provide useful feedback to the rejected candidates. 

During the process maintain a good database for rejected candidates who could be relevant to your company in the future pipeline #recruitment chances.

That’s all you have to do to implement proper Candidate Sourcing strategies.

Akarshit Mahajan




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