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How to Create a Sourcing Strategy: Your Step-by-Step Guide

David Law

Mon, 10 Jun, 2024


  • Reading Time:
    ~ 10 minutes

Since the global pandemic, the talent acquisition marketplace has experienced major cultural shifts and economic upheaval in the way prospective employees wish to work. As a result, the success of your business depends on your ability to adapt to these changes in the new world of recruitment to source top candidates. If you are currently working as a recruiter, you know the dedication and time that goes into finding the best talent. In this highly competitive global market, it’s crucial to maximise your business processes to remain a successful and profitable business in the future. Optimising your hiring procedure influences your competitive edge, workplace, and operational effectiveness. Therefore, having a reliable recruitment process is essential.

At Fulcrum, we believe that the first and most significant step in building an ideal recruiting system is creating a comprehensive and simple-to-follow sourcing plan. Although it may be tempting to open up LinkedIn Recruiter and begin sending InMails, it is essential to have a well-thought-out strategy when you are seeking to invite top-notch talent into your pipeline.

The success of any business depends on its ability to source the right talent and build a team of highly-skilled, motivated individuals. But how do you go about creating a sourcing strategy that will help your business succeed? This guide will provide an in-depth look at the steps involved in building a successful sourcing strategy, from curating a recruitment team to setting targets and re-evaluating progress. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective sourcing strategy that will help you find the perfect candidates for your organisation.

Curate your recruitment team

Creating a successful recruitment team is essential to any sourcing strategy. The recruitment team should be comprised of individuals with all the necessary skills and experience to source, screen, and select top talent for your organisation. To assemble an effective recruitment team, you must first decide if you need to bring on external recruiters or if you can handle the task in-house.

If you choose to bring on external recruiters, consider their experience and expertise in sourcing candidates and ensure they come armed with a solid sourcing and talent attraction strategy tailored for your business. They should have a working knowledge of the qualities and qualifications that make up an ideal candidate for the role you are seeking to fill. You should also ensure they have access to reliable sources of potential applicants and can provide thorough background checks on candidates before hiring them.

For those choosing an in-house approach, it’s important that each member of the team has a clear understanding of what is expected of them when sourcing potential candidates. It’s also important that they have knowledge of trends in recruiting methods and practices so they can take advantage of any opportunities available within the industry.

Once you’ve decided who will be part of your recruitment team, create a pipeline that will help track applicants through each stage of the selection process. This will ensure all candidates get equal consideration and feedback on their applications while allowing your team to easily identify those who may have slipped through the cracks during previous stages. Additionally, this pipeline will help measure how successful your efforts were by providing data such as time spent on each application or how many times an applicant was rejected/hired from different stages throughout the process.

It’s also essential to set clear goals and objectives for your recruitment effort so that everyone involved understands what success looks like for this particular search effort as well as measures progress along the way. These goals should include target numbers for total applications received or numbers hired from each stage in addition to other metrics which may be more specific to your organisation (such as diversity hires or average response time). By setting these expectations up front, everyone involved has a better understanding of what needs to be accomplished throughout the duration of this project, which can lead to more efficient use of resources and better results when all is said and done!

Finally, develop a sourcing strategy that outlines where and how you will be searching for candidates – both internally (e.g., referrals) or externally (job boards). Consider leveraging a variety of channels, such as online job postings, social media platforms, college/university career centres, alumni networks, etc., depending upon where your target audience lives online (or offline!). Your strategy should also include detailed plans about how often job postings will be refreshed/updated as well as tactics around promoting open positions across digital channels to maximise visibility among potential applicants!

Do a thorough needs analysis

To craft a successful sourcing strategy, it is critical to undertake an extensive needs analysis. This involves taking a step back and analysing the existing hiring process for areas of improvement. Evaluating the skill set of current team members and determining what skills are missing is paramount. Additionally, there should be a thorough review of job descriptions with the aim of defining specific roles that need filling. It also requires establishing when positions need to be filled as well as candidate search criteria based on desired qualifications and experience.

Throughout this process, it is essential to keep an overview of progress and make any necessary adjustments along the way. For example, if tasks or processes take longer than expected, then timeline adjustments may be in order or more resources could be allocated so that goals remain achievable. Furthermore, changes in candidate qualifications or search criteria due to industry trends must also be taken into account during this evaluation phase.

Finally, feedback from stakeholders such as hiring managers should be included in your needs analysis for optimal results. By taking their insights into consideration, you can ensure that you have a comprehensive awareness of what is required for success when creating your sourcing strategy.

Do your research

Doing your research is an important part of creating a successful sourcing strategy. Research allows you to identify and target the right areas for recruiting and also helps in making informed decisions when it comes to hiring. Here are some tips for conducting research that will help you build a comprehensive sourcing strategy:

  1. Check historical data: Looking into the past can clarify how certain trends have impacted hiring decisions. By analysing previous successes and failures, you can gain valuable insights into what changes need to be made going forward.
  2. Conduct market research: It’s important to understand the current state of the job market and what factors influence a person’s decision to take or leave a job offer. This includes researching average salaries, job availability, competition levels, and other similar topics in order to properly assess the potential positions available in your industry.
  3. Conduct salary benchmarking: It’s essential to know which salaries are competitive for different roles within your organisation and industry so that you can make informed offers that attract top talent while still staying within budget constraints.
  4. Create personas for your target candidates: This involves creating profiles of the ideal candidates who would join your team based on their skillset, qualifications, experience, interests, etc., as well as their preferred working environment, such as remote work or office-based work environments — all to give yourself an advantage when searching for new talent by targeting those who fit this candidate persona best.

By following these tips, you should be able to create a comprehensive sourcing strategy that is tailored specifically to your organisation’s needs and goals while still attracting top talent from across various channels, including online job postings, social media outlets, college/university career centres, etc. With this research done beforehand, you’ll be better equipped to make more informed decisions regarding recruiting new team members, which will ultimately result in more successful hires!

Get your resources ready

Effective sourcing requires thorough preparation. Begin by identifying the qualifications and skills needed for the position. Additionally, research external sources such as universities or alumni networks.

Once you have gathered all the necessary resources, set a timeline with milestones in place and draw up a budget for any recruitment costs. Furthermore, develop a comprehensive interview plan that outlines who will be interviewing each candidate and which questions will be asked during the session. This ensures that every prospective hire has an equal opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities.

Having the correct resources available and understanding how they fit into your overall recruitment plan is key to success when sourcing potential hires. With this information in hand, you can now move forward confidently with your hiring process. To gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the materials Fulcrum believes recruiters should possess before beginning the task of searching for any position, read our Recruitment Infrastructure blog.

Set your targets

Setting realistic targets is vital to getting the right candidate for your team. By defining the type of individual you are looking for and identifying target companies and job postings that meet your criteria, you can streamline your search process.

For instance, if you aim to bring 6 candidates into the second interview, work backwards from that goal. Assuming a 50% conversion rate, plan for 24 screenings and 12 first interviews. This way, you can ensure that you have enough candidates to progress to the second round.

Additionally, establishing benchmarks to evaluate potential hires can help determine if they are suitable for the role. Creating timelines and budgets for recruitment costs will ensure resources are used effectively and progress is tracked throughout the process. With these measures in place, all stakeholders involved in the search will know exactly what to expect when making a decision about who should join the team.

Plan your search

Planning your search is an essential step when creating a sourcing strategy. To maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of your search, you should consider creating a workflow structure for each step. This will help keep track of progress and ensure that all steps are completed in a timely manner.

Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) can be beneficial when planning your search. Before you start, consider the kind of position you are hiring for, your timeline for filling the job, the size of your team, the possibility of a remote worker, any language requirements, and the resources you have access to. Do you want to have a large or small pool of candidates? This can play a role in your decision-making.

At Fulcrum, the typical search process begins with a thorough job analysis. We use talent analytics to make better decisions when we discuss roles with our partners. We then agree on what the talent branding will look like and our outreach strategy will be as we recognise that each role is different. From there, we create a project for each part on LinkedIn Recruiter and attract.ai, which enables us to maintain all the applicants organised and centralised. Also, there is a project set up in our ATS, and a job ad is created which is distributed to the channels that were agreed upon earlier. After these initial steps, the actual sourcing process begins. Depending on the type of role to be filled, sourcing can start from several different areas.

An ATS is designed to streamline the recruitment process by automating certain tasks such as uploading resumes, scheduling interviews, tracking applicants, and managing job postings. It can also help you find more qualified candidates by analysing data to determine which keywords and phrases correlate with high-performing employees.

Leveraging previous LinkedIn projects is another great way to plan your search. If you’ve already conducted searches within the current project before, you can use this information to refine and improve future searches. You can also conduct custom searches within your current project to identify specific skills or qualifications for a particular role that may not have been captured in the original project parameters.

Custom search within the current LinkedIn project. If you don’t have a previous pool of candidates that ticks the boxes for the role you’re currently sourcing for, you can begin with a custom search within your LinkedIn Recruiter project. At Fulcrum, our recruiters all have their own unique methods of using the search function on LinkedIn Recruiter. Some recruiters like to start their search by making it as narrow as possible to start finding the most ideal candidates first. Others prefer to start with a broader search to ascertain what the talent pool looks like in general. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, but by looking at metrics like ideal time-to-hire and quality versus quantity sourcing, you will be able to understand what method would work best for each role specifically. We recommend checking out an article on the LinkedIn Recruiter tips and tricks from our amazing Fulcrum talent team.

Exploring job boards is another avenue for finding potential candidates for your sourcing strategy. There are a variety of job boards available online that cater to different industries and job types – make sure to research which ones are best suited for what you’re looking for before posting any openings on them. Additionally, using the internet and X-ray searches can help uncover hidden talent outside of traditional sources such as LinkedIn or job boards. Platforms like GitHub and AmazingHiring can also be leveraged. For example, GitHub allows you to search for developers based on their contributions to open-source projects, and AmazingHiring can help find technical candidates across various platforms. These methods involve searching through specific websites via Boolean search strings to find potential candidates who may not necessarily be actively looking for new roles but could still be suitable fits for open positions within your organisation.

Finally, it’s important to keep track of the entire process until completion so that any necessary adjustments can be made as needed. This includes regularly reviewing performance metrics such as response rates, time-to-hire metrics, number of hires per recruiter/interviewer/source, cost per hire statistics, etc., to evaluate how successful the sourcing strategy has been thus far and make any necessary changes moving forward if needed.

Search and re-evaluate

It is critical to ensure that a sourcing strategy is delivering the desired outcomes. To do this, metrics should be tracked and analysed regularly to evaluate progress. Data such as candidate source, job title applied for, duration of the search process, cost per hire, and acceptance rate are all important indicators which can help refine the strategy. Furthermore, industry trends or new technologies can sometimes make certain aspects of the strategy outdated; thus, it is necessary to stay up-to-date on market changes.

Engaging with stakeholders throughout the process helps gain their feedback and input on recruitment efforts so far. Their insight can provide valuable information when making decisions about modifications needed to improve overall effectiveness. By implementing a tracking system and consulting with stakeholders, evaluating success becomes easier and performance remains optimal.

It is essential to review progress over time to maintain an effective sourcing strategy. This ensures that resources are used appropriately while adhering to goals set at the beginning of the project. With regular assessments based on data analysis and stakeholder input, there will be no doubt that your recruitment initiatives are successful!

Keep a detailed overview of how it went

Maintaining a detailed overview of your sourcing strategy is essential for understanding any successes and failures, making necessary improvements, and ensuring that everyone involved is kept up to date on progress. It’s important to take notes throughout the process and document any changes that are made. Here are some tips for keeping an effective overview:

  1. Compare Results to Initial Goals: Take a look at how close you were to achieving the initial goals set out in your sourcing strategy. Did you manage to find qualified candidates within the allocated budget? How did the actual results compare to your expectations? Analysing this data can help inform future decisions.
  2. Document Changes Made: As you progress through your sourcing strategy, it’s important to document all changes made along the way. This could include updating job descriptions or changing up interview questions if they don’t seem to be yielding useful information. Keeping track of these changes will help ensure that any adjustments or improvements can be made in a timely manner.
  3. Prioritise Future Steps: Make sure you prioritise future steps based on what has been successful so far and what needs further improvement. If something hasn’t worked well, try different approaches before deciding whether it should be dropped completely from the plan.
  4. Share Findings With Others: Once you have gathered data from your sourcing process, make sure it is shared with others in the organisation who can benefit from it – such as recruiters, hiring managers, marketing teams, etc. Doing this will ensure everyone involved is kept up-to-date on progress and allows decisions to be made based on accurate information rather than guesswork.

By following these steps and taking regular notes during every stage of the process, you can maintain an effective overview of your sourcing strategy and make adjustments where needed for optimal results.

Work with us to transform how you attract and engage talent through embedded talent acquisition. Our experts match your company with the right talent on a flexible basis. You get an aligned, diverse, engaged team to drive your company to sustainable growth. Write to us today!

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