What is Sourcing?

By | January 29, 2024

In recruitment you can simply choose from two recruitment tactics: you actively approach candidates or opt for passive recruitment. With passive recruitment, you place an advertisement and leave the initiative to the candidate. With active recruitment – ​​sourcing in recruiter jargon – you approach the labor market proactively. You look for suitable candidates and warm them up for your vacancy. But how do you do that well? And what is the difference between searching and sourcing? See eZhoushan to learn more about what does procurement stand for.

You mainly use sourcing to reach latent job seekers; people who are not really looking for a new challenge, but are keeping an eye on the labor market. They would like to make a switch, but they don’t know that you have their dream job. You could easily find the golden candidate for your vacancy in this target group, but you have to reach and convince him. These ‘candidates’ are often extra critical, because in principle they are perfectly in the right place. So work on the (recruitment) shop!

When are you going to source?

When recruiters talk about sourcing, they mean that they approach people via LinkedIn or Github, for example. They look for suitable candidates for whom they do not yet know or want to apply. If you want to tackle this thoroughly – and you do – this is a time-consuming job. You also approach people who do not want a new job or do not want to work for you. You only discover this after you have approached someone and he or she responds to your ‘. With sourcing you make your pool of candidates much larger because you also get an overview of the latent candidates. For example, you use Sourcing if you expect that you will not be able to find the right candidate with a vacancy on a job board or your own site. So you use sourcing when recruiting software developers, but not for recruiting an administrative employee.

What does a good sourcing strategy look like?

Sourcing is therefore much more than just addressing a group of people on LinkedIn and hoping that a few candidates are interested in your vacancy. You want to tackle this thoroughly because approaching the wrong people takes a lot of time and yields little. And more importantly: it is bad for your image as an employer. We all know the stories of IT professionals who are approached for completely the wrong role. A good sourcing strategy therefore looks like this:

  1. Analyze:analyze the vacancy and organization and investigate the real advantages that you can score with
  2. Scan:scan the labor market, the competitors, research within the target group where you have the highest chance of success and test your proposition
  3. Plan: make a plan for how you will approach this target group, what your recruitment process will look like and who will take on which task
  4. Source: identify, approach and engage in conversation with potential candidates
  5. Assess: evaluate which candidates who show interest could fit your vacancy (this step is very similar to the CV screening)
  6. Recruit: you include promising candidates who are interested in the recruitment process (often this also includes the transfer to the recruiter)

Sourcing is more than looking for candidates

Finding a profile of someone for your vacancy is part of sourcing. A term you often encounter when sourcing is the boolean search (we will explain what that is later). For a good sourcer, finding candidates is not that difficult, it is mainly about engaging the right candidates : making them enthusiastic about your story, vacancy and organization. Remember that these candidates are not looking often need some extra encouragement. Therefore, think carefully about how and with what offer you want to entice the candidate. And what you do if you don’t get a response. A large proportion do not respond at all and it often takes two or three contacts ( touchpoints ) before someone actually responds or applies. These are all things you think about as a sourcer.

What is a boolean search?

We all use a boolean search as soon as we search on Google – so you already know this. In recruitment, this is about the combination words that a CV or profile must meet to match your vacancy, for example: recruiter AND junior OR trainee.

This is one of the instruments that a sourcer uses. There are recruiters within the field who make sourcing their expertise. They know all the instruments and know how to find the most difficult profiles. They know exactly how to seduce someone and get good conversions on their messages. Sourcing therefore involves much more than just entering a job title on LinkedIn and sending a message to a handful of people. Some recruiters do this extremely well, others experience it as a chore. So not every recruiter is a sourcer. In this post we take a closer look at the differences and similarities between a sourcer and a recruiter.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sourcing?

Sourcing has a few major advantages and disadvantages. We list the most important ones:

Your vacancy is simply overlooked. There are more candidates latently available than are actively looking. Sourcing makes your candidate pool approximately 3x larger. The chance that you are a good candidate increases enormously.
With sourcing you approach potential candidates via LinkedIn (that is also what the very user-friendly LinkedIn is intended for). People are used to being approached for great jobs via this channel. Just go for it!
With sourcing you only approach people who fit your vacancy. This initial screening prevents you from having to interview uninteresting candidates.
Many people you meet are not looking for a new job. There’s a good chance they’ll say no to your great vacancy. Keep in mind that on average you have to approach 40 (or more) people for a vacancy.
Shooting guns at candidates is bad for your reputation. Therefore, approach everyone individually, even if it takes quite some time. A trained sourcer approaches 20 – 30 people per day. A labor-intensive job.

A few tips to help you source better

Finally, a few practical tips to help you improve your sourcing:

  • Know what you are looking for and how to find the ideal qualified candidate. Talk to colleagues about the tools, systems, certificates, abbreviations, etc. that they use as experts. It is also useful to work with ‘peer profiles’, colleagues who the vacancy holder would prefer to clone. This way you can better respond to the motivations of the target group.
  • It is important to have sufficient knowledge about the role you are recruiting for. This prevents painful reactions from candidates who indicate that you have no idea what you are looking for. Approach candidates selectively.
  • Make sure your first message is a bull’s-eye. Sourcing requires some of your writing talent. The exact design of your reach outdepends on who you approach. Always bring 2 or 3 starting points from your offer that suit the person in question and show that you have done the preselection correctly. If in doubt, always have your message read by a colleague who has a similar role.
  • There is no point in approaching 50 candidates at the same time with a standard email. Also make sure that you do not approach multiple people from 1 team at the same time with the same message. Colleagues talk to each other, so the special feeling you want to convey disappears like snow in the sun.
  • Make your message personal and remember that your message is read by a person and not by a profile (so “you caught my eye” is better than “your profile caught my eye”). Avoid doubtful words such as ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’, ‘try’ and do not immediately send a vacancy with your first message. Don’t make your message too short or too long. Messages with 300 – 500 characters score best and have the highest chance of a positive response.

Now that you know a little more about sourcing, you may see that sourcing candidates requires time, know-how, effort and discipline. In the labor market, this recruitment tactic is often indispensable to find the right talent. Do you find that difficult or do you not have enough time? We offer various options in sourcing as a service with which we support you in your search for the right talent.

What is Sourcing