Proven Talent Sourcing Strategies To Wow Recruits and Crush Your Hiring Goals

“I can’t wait to find average people to do an average job!”… said no hiring representative ever.

But, with over 67% of recruiters and hiring managers claiming it’s more difficult than ever to find talent, this is likely how many of you are feeling.

Not to fret. You need fresh and proven talent-sourcing strategies that set you apart from competitors. 

This means doing something different than the 95% of people blasting messages away on LinkedIn. 

Instead, try these seven talent sourcing strategies to help you cut through the noise and find top talent, regardless of your industry.

Talent Sourcing – Keeping Your Pipeline Full End-to-End

Having a full pipeline of candidates is vital for any organization. However, relying only on job listings can leave you with a less-than-desirable list of applicants.

More to the point, you are missing out on the 37% of the US workforce that qualifies as passive job seekers.

passive and active candidates by industry

This represents over 62 million people who aren’t actively searching through job ads or contacting recruiters and likely won’t interact with your company if you don’t reach out.

Through ongoing outreach, you can keep an active list of individuals you know are the right fit for future openings.

Watch Out For These Three Talent Sourcing Bottlenecks

Before expending resources on active talent sourcing, you should know and account for these three bottlenecks that can sink your efforts.

Losing Track of Candidates Due to Lack of Appropriate Management Software

If you don’t have one already, get a talent management tool.

Talent platforms like Engagedly offer the perfect solution for businesses looking to streamline talent management efforts.

Engagedly talent management software

In the modern workplace, this can mean saving as much as 86% of time on activities like tracking applications, predicting future hiring needs, and working with all stakeholders.

More critical to talent sourcing, it means better managing your applicant pool so you can keep qualified candidates on file for future openings.

Having a Lack of Clarity Among Hiring Managers, HR, and Other Stakeholders

Everything needs to be clear about the job. You should speak with hiring managers and other stakeholders to understand:

This should be conveyed clearly to potential candidates. Nobody likes surprises.

Failure to understand and communicate these expectations can lead to sourcing the wrong candidates and exacerbate hiring issues when they jump ship.

Don’t Contact Potential Candidates Where They Work (Hey Competitor, We’re Stealing Your Talent)

One final but critical consideration is how you reach out to potential talent. Remember that many of the candidates you speak with currently hold jobs.

Do not, under any circumstances, contact these individuals using their work email or work phones. One sure way to turn away potential talent is by causing them issues with current employers.

Ensure you have an alternative phone number or email address and clarify the best times to speak with them. This may even mean contacting people on the weekends. 

Here are The Seven Talent Sourcing Strategies To Supercharge Your Hiring Pipeline

These seven talent-sourcing strategies can help supercharge your efforts to find and source the best and brightest in your industry.

1. Start Your Search With Previous Applicants Who Left an Impression

The first place for your talent sourcing journey to begin is your Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). Assuming your team has been keeping notes, this will be sourced in easy mode.

Go through all of the qualified people filling your ATS. These individuals likely made it to the final round of hiring and came up just shy of the goal.

Ideally, you should have been keeping up with these people. If you haven’t, though, get started. Work on re-engaging these individuals and getting them back into your pipeline.

2. Drill Down Deep With Your Postings (And Make Sure To Include Why People Should Care)

Take a few minutes to look through other job postings on sites like Linkedin, and you will notice something missing from almost all: the job’s why

Why should people, much less top talent in your industry, care about working for your company?

Take the below screenshot, for example. Is it any wonder it has zero applicants after a few days, yet a listing for a similar job and position right above it with greater detail has over a hundred?

proposal creation

According to a 2019 Glassdoor survey, almost 80% of applicants would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying.

Job seekers are looking for more than just competitive pay and benefits. Top candidates especially want to know if the company they work for has a mission that aligns with their values.

Every job posting or meeting is a chance to put your company’s best foot forward.

Take, for example, The Patel Firm, which utilizes its About page to highlight specific community outreach work attorneys and staff are involved with.

Let people know why they should care about working for your company, and they just might.

3. Don’t Just Spend All Day Searching Through LinkedIn (Diversity In Sourcing Channels Is Critical)

It should go without saying, but with 87% of recruiters and hiring managers using LinkedIn, it can pay to stray from the herd.

Potential candidates are on multiple platforms. For in-demand talent especially, their LinkedIn mailboxes are likely full, but the same may not be true for other platforms.

Let’s get this straight, though. Don’t go blasting tons of messages everywhere. That’s just spam, and nobody likes it.

Instead, look for ways to initiate a natural conversation guaranteed to get you a response. This could be anything from replying to shared posts or finding potential relevant interests or shared connections to work through.

Also, don’t just focus on the leading social platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Instead, go deeper using platforms like:

  • Reddit
  • Dribble
  • Behance
  • Instagram
  • Quora
  • WhatsApp
  • Stack Exchange

These are just a few, but there are dozens that you are likely to find top talent on. Use LinkedIn as a starting point to get a feel for the candidate, and then branch out to improve your odds.

4. Get Out There and Talk To People (Don’t Worry, They Won’t Bite)

When did you last attend a conference, trade show, or industry gathering? Have you spent time recently on university campuses?

If you aren’t getting out and shaking hands, you’re missing opportunities to meet top talent who may not be active online. 

In the US alone, over 11 million professionals attended trade shows in 2022, marking a noticeable recovery in attendance post-COVID.

The key to making the most out of these events is coming prepared. Remember that each person is there for a specific reason and may not have time to speak with you.

Come equipped with business cards and consider having QR codes set up leading to a landing page where the people you speak with can leave their information at a more convenient date. 

Remember that while sitting at the office can be more convenient, you’re missing valuable opportunities to source top talent by not leaving your desk.

5. Look For People Ready To Move Up To The Next Level

If you know you’ll be sourcing for mid-level positions, one of the best places to look is current entry-level workers ready to move up.

You can start within your organization as many talented individuals are ready to be promoted. Giving employee recognition to top performers through advancements is a solid way to avoid losing top talent.

That said, many talented entry-level workers at competing firms may be prime for advancement but feel stifled where they currently work.

You can more easily predict future hiring needs and skill shortage areas using the predictive hiring features of Engagedly. Use this information to target specific positions at competing firms to shore up your talent-sourcing pool.

Don’t Forget Freelancers In This Equation

One often overlooked talent pool with heaps of experience is freelancers.

When looking for people ready to move to mid-level positions, freelancers can be a deep and plentiful well to draw from, with an estimated 64 million freelancers in the US alone in 2023.

Ignore the freelance talent pool at your own risk. But don’t be surprised if competing firms snap up top talent you miss.

Goal settings and OKRs

6. Source International Talent Already Approved To Work (This One Is Super Secret!)

Here’s one you aren’t going to see talked about much, mainly because talent scouts and recruiters don’t know about it.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, foreign-born workers represent 18.1% of the US workforce.

US labor force

One of the key challenges when trying to source these individuals is how to reach them. Many talented foreign workers may use something other than traditional social media and communication platforms like LinkedIn. 

The workaround is to go to the platforms regularly used by foreign individuals. Hint: Google can be your best friend.

Some examples of popular platforms that foreign workers may regularly use include:

Not all of these will be good for recruitment. However, this should highlight a vast world outside the most popular social platforms. 

7. Go Outside Your Normal Hours To Improve Your Odds of Scoring Interviews (You Might Have to Work…Weekends)

This last strategy is short and straightforward but likely to produce some of the best results.

The working world may be M- F, 9 to 5, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. For top talent, you may need to work around their schedule. 

This might mean booking weekend interviews or phone calls after regular business hours.

Author Tim Ferris is a prime example of how effective this can be. In his novel Tools of Titans, he relates that when working in sales, he started making calls from 7 to 0830 and then again from 1800 to 1930. The results were striking.

The most sought-after individuals are likely busy during the regular work week. So, by going outside these hours, you automatically have a leg up over other recruiters unwilling to put in the extra time. 

For new businesses especially, utilizing every success strategy available will increase your odds of sourcing suitable candidates.

If You Want Better Results When Sourcing Talent, STOP Following The Herd

You’ll notice the main thread of the above seven proven talent sourcing strategies is to do things differently. We all know that old expression about insanity!

Doing things differently, going where other recruiters aren’t, and working when other talent sourcing reps won’t is the key to success.

None of these talent-sourcing tips negate the need for solid fundamentals. You still need to have a good foundation and ensure your messaging and clarity on position and compensation are correct.

However, with a solid foundation to work from, these above seven strategies should help you push past rival firms to secure top talent.

Talent Management


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