February 13, 2023

Top 8 Strategies to Adopt for Candidate Sourcing

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of identifying, searching, and finding top talent to fill current and future job positions. After the search, the potential candidates that match the required criteria are contacted, to know their interest in the job opening and for further screening and recruiting process. It involves searching for both active and passive candidates and motivates them to apply for the open role within the organization.

Candidate Sourcing

Importance of Candidate Sourcing

The most essential task of candidate sourcing is to find qualified candidates that match the required skills, experience, education, and personality for the open position. It seeks both active job seekers, in order to fill current positions and passive job seekers, to build a talent pipeline. The recruiters or hiring managers reach and engage with the potential candidates and inform them about the job role, benefits of working with your company, work culture, its aims, and values.

Read down the top tips to source candidates efficiently, and improve your quality of hires, build a strong talent pool, leading to optimized hiring cost and time.

8 Candidate Sourcing Strategies to Boost Your Hiring Process

Following are top candidate sourcing techniques to game up your hiring process:

1. Use a variety of social media channels

Mostly best candidates are sourced through online social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other different tools. These platforms connect job seekers with industry professionals and vice versa.

For Hiring manager:

Hiring managers or recruiters seek both active and passive candidates on social media, as these platforms are used by billions of job seekers. They can do the following in order to source and attract top talent:

  1. Post job openings, articles, blogs, videos, and pictures, also don't forget to provide a link to your contact information or career page, under the job posts.
  2. Update your company career page, and showcase your company culture, aims, and values. Post job openings and mention all the necessary details and clear information for the audience.
  3. Recruiters can review and find out more information about candidates, other than their resumes, from their social profiles or social media account, such as their interests, hobbies, and much more.

For Job seekers:

Social media are a great source of helping job seekers in certain ways, such as:

  1. Job listings help job seekers access a wide range of job opportunities as recruiters post them directly on social media, allowing applicants to explore and apply in their relevant fields.
  2. Many industry specialists are active on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Candidates can connect with professionals in their relevant fields, get insights about the job roles, and answer their queries, before even applying.
  3. Companies usually keep their career sites updated with their company culture, aim, and values, this helps job seekers get aware of company requirements and they can match their goals according to that, before even applying.
  4. Using filters and boolean searches, applicants can search for more suitable jobs that fit their skill set.

In short social media sites serve as an important medium to connect job seekers with recruiters, HR, and other industry professionals. These channels enable applicants to find a job and an organization that best suits them, connect directly with industry specialists, and on the other hand, increase the chances of recruiters identifying and targeting potential candidates within a short time and with minimum effort.

2. Build a strong employer brand

The stronger the employer brand, the more strong the talent pool. Improve your employer brand, so that you attract quality candidates, as candidates consider job offers from companies that have an excellent employer brand.

92% of candidates say they would consider leaving their current jobs if a company with an excellent corporate reputation offered them another role.

How to improve your employer brand?

The most efficient way to source and attract quality candidates is to optimize your employer brand. Following are some tips to do so:

1. Update your career page, and post videos, and pictures spotlighting your company culture, group activities, and employee reviews.

2. Offer bonuses, packages, significant perks, and several advantages to your employees.

3. Attend industry events, seminars, and campaigns and connect with industry specialists, to boost your company's identity in the market.

3. Use the power of employee referral programs

The top-quality candidates are usually those who are sourced and hired through an employee referral program.

The employee referral program is a strategy that involves employees of a company referring or recommending talented applicants within their network, that they think fit for the open positions in the company. It is a program that includes finding qualified candidates within the employee's professional network.

In ERP, as employees are aware of the company culture, its aims, values, and requirements of the job role, they are encouraged to identify and refer candidates, that match exactly with the job and company requirements, and as a result, they are offered employee referral bonuses.

Employee referral bonuses are a mixture of monetary and non-monetary benefits given to employees if their recommended candidate gets hired successfully for the open job role. These bonuses can include cash prizes, vacations, gifts, prizes, recognitions, and much more. These bonuses are a great way to motivate and encourage employees for referring potential candidates.

4. Attend career fairs or other industry events

Career fairs or job fairs organized by universities are a great way to source candidates as you get to connect with a large pool of talented candidates, on a single platform, saving your hiring time and effort. Participate in career fairs, showcase your brand, interview multiple candidates, and shortlist the ones you find fit for the role and your organization. These job fairs help recruiters meet the candidates face-to-face, helping them to identify candidates with good communication skills and personality traits.

Recruiters and hiring teams can also conduct on-campus seminars or sessions, to highlight their company and open job positions, to attract students.

5. Managing Job boards

Job boards are one of the most essential ways to source candidates as they allow recruiters to post job openings and attract a large pool of candidates actively looking for employment. They act as an organized center, where applicants can search for job openings and apply for various positions.

The different features of job boards such as filters, searching and etc, allow recruiters or hiring managers to find and target relevant industries, locations, and job categories. Recruiters can post the job description, required skills, experience, and education on different job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, and many other job boards to source the right candidates efficiently.

6. Calculate and analyze your candidate sourcing process cost

The most important step to keep in mind after sourcing candidates is to analyze all the data and the cost of the overall candidate sourcing process, as it will help you identify any weaknesses in the process, minimize the cost of the candidate sourcing process in the future and ultimately optimize your hiring process cost.

Start with the basic sourcing costs, which can include costs spent on job boards, employer branding, such as creating branding material and etc. Calculate the fixed cost consumed at the job fairs or career fairs, and how many of your hired candidates were sourced from campus recruitment. Estimate the fees, tickets cost for different seminars or events organized by the company at colleges or universities. Evaluate the cost spent on any technology or tools used during sourcing, such as social media platforms, Applicant tracking system (ATS) and etc. At the end include miscellaneous costs, such as cost spent on the employee referral program, etc.

Analyze and compare your cost data, every time after the sourcing process, to identify any risks, or flaws in the process, that need to be resolved, to yield better results at lower cost and minimum time.

7. Track and learn why candidates aren't getting hired

If the sourcing process is incorrect, it will affect the overall hiring process, as sourcing candidates is the initial step of the recruitment process. Evaluate your sourcing weakness and find out the flaws in the process. A successful recruitment process is one that hires a top-quality candidate for the open position, within the organization, efficiently. If you cant successfully hire a potential candidate, there might be some weak points or flaws that you need to look out for. Identify what are the main reasons, that they didn't make it to the end. Were they not a good fit for the role? Did they have the potential? Was the sourcing process long and tiresome? Were they underqualified? Find out answers to all these questions and you might identify the problem.

You can ask for reviews or feedback from candidates, such as what needs to be improved or where they felt a gap in the process, to help you track and analyze the problem and optimize accordingly.

8. Calculate your sourcing needs and turnover rates

Before calculating your sourcing needs, you need to determine or analyze what your sourcing needs are so that you also understand your hiring requirements and turnover patterns.

In order to calculate your sourcing needs and their cost, first determine how many positions you need to fill, every month or year within your organization. Review your historical data, to find out the number of applicants you typically need to source in order to make one successful hire. Then find out the number of employees who have left the organization (voluntary or involuntary) within a specific time period, i.e the turnover rate by the following method:

Divide the number of employee separations by the average number of employees during the same time and multiply the result by 100 to get it in percentages.

After getting the figures, identify if is there any turnover pattern, by analyzing different patterns, and sourcing strategies, where there is a high turnover percentage. Use reviews and feedback from applicants, HRs and other hiring team members to get more insights, regarding what needs to be improved.

Now you have all the figures and results, the last step is to adjust and strategize. Evaluate the efficiency of your sourcing channels, allocate proper resources, look at what needs to be optimized, such as minimizing the use of platforms with high turnover rates, and refine accordingly.

8 candidate sourcing strategies

Candidate Sourcing metrics

Following are a few candidate sourcing metrics, to measure your sourcing process, over a period of time:

Time to hire

time to hire

This metric is the time required to hire an applicant from the time he was first sourced. The time of hire of the sourced candidates needs to be measured separately from direct applicants, as these sourced candidates often demand time to develop.

Source-to-interview conversion rate


The source-to-interview conversion rate is generally the rate of applicants who progress from the sourcing stage to the interview stage.

The candidates that are sourced, should possess a higher source-to-interview conversion rates as they are already briefly screened or evaluated before final evaluation. Mostly the sourced candidates are the ones who aren't actively looking for jobs and need more persuading to move onto the interview stage of the hiring process, i.e. the passive candidates.

Source-to-hire conversion rate


It is the rate that determines the number of candidates that are successfully hired and onboarded out of the total number of candidates sourced. If you have a high source-to-hire conversion rate, it indicates that you have a strong talent pipeline of sourced candidates.

Offer declined reasons

Offer declined

Candidates reject an offer, due to various reasons. Ask for feedback and understand their reasons for turning down an offer and modify your processes accordingly as this can help you make necessary changes to increase the offer acceptance rate.

Rejected candidates

Rejected candidates

This metric helps you identify rejected candidates and match them with their sourcing channels, to help you observe which sourcing platform or medium has the highest candidate rejection percentage, and then drop or adjust that channel. There can be various reasons for candidate rejection, such as poor cultural fit, inexperience, lack of skills and etc.

By tracking and analyzing these metrics, companies can identify the flaws or areas of improvement, strategize their sourcing processing, make better decisions, and ultimately improve the whole recruitment process.

The top 6 social media sourcing tools

The candidate sourcing tools are applications that include several features such as searching through resumes, profiles, and other data of applicants, to help the hiring managers or recruiters find quality candidates, that best suits their needs. These tools increase the efficiency of the overall sourcing phase of the recruitment process.

Following is a list of top social media tools for sourcing candidates:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Facebook
  3. Snapchat
  4. Instagram
  5. Youtube
  6. Twitter

Talent Sourcing with the help of an ATS

An Applicant tracking system streamlines the whole hiring process. From sourcing, tracking, and screening, to onboarding candidates, it has a variety of features and functions that can optimize your hiring process to a great extent. Read down below to find out how an ATS can help you optimize the candidate sourcing process:

Sourcing with an Applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system helps to attract the right applicants at the right time. Following are some features of an ATS that can minimize your sourcing efforts:

  1. Create an attractive career page with the help of an ATS to highlight your company culture, post job openings, list down all the details about your company, and much more.
  2. Draft customized job application forms to screen candidates according to your job requirements, by asking relevant questions and getting relevant information.
  3. Create email and job templates to minimize repetition, saving your sourcing time and effort.
  4. ATS also has an employee referral portal, to source candidates through recommendations, saving the effort and time of manually reaching out the talented candidates in employee networks.



Are there any other social media sourcing tools available other than those mentioned above?

Yes, there are plenty of other sourcing tools available online such as Jobvite, Hunter.io, Improver.io, and much more which are effective and help to optimize the hiring process up to a great extent. These sourcing tools save a lot of sourcing efforts and time and ultimately the overall recruiting cost.

Which sourcing tool is best to find quality candidates?

The choice of the sourcing tool entirely depends upon the requirements of the job role and the needs of the organization. You choose sourcing tools, source candidates, and then analyze which tool is effective in your case and then choose accordingly. Key questions to keep in mind, before selecting your sourcing tool in the future are:

Q1. What is the number of successful hires sourced through the chosen sourcing tool?

Q2. Is there any other sourcing tool that is more cost-effective and requires minimum effort than the one you have chosen?

What is the difference between sourcing and recruiting?

Sourcing is the process of identifying, attracting, and contacting prospective candidates', which involves searching the qualified candidates through various platforms, while recruiting is the process that includes filtering, selecting, and eventually hiring the right candidates for the open job role within the company.

How AI can assist in sourcing candidates?

Sourcing with AI can help you optimize your sourcing cost and efforts to a great extent. Following are a few ways, how an AI can help in sourcing candidates:

  1. AI chatbots can answer multiple candidate queries, provide them with information about job openings, and can keep them engaged.
  2. AI can help recruiters with information or insights related to optimizing their sourcing process, assisting them to make more informed decisions.
  3. AI tools can easily analyze candidates' reviews or responses and provide recommendations to increase the efficiency of candidate engagement.
  4. Some AI tools assist in reducing biases while sourcing candidates by focusing on the skills, experience, and education of the candidate, irrespective of their color, caste, religion, or other personal information.

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Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier