How to Source Candidates: 10 Candidate Sourcing Strategies for HR Professionals

Finding the right person for your organization’s open position is no easy feat. Many times, HR professionals must sift through huge pools of applicants or worse yet – struggle to find applicants at all! All too often, time-consuming and costly job postings don’t yield promising talent. But by applying savvy sourcing techniques and staying up-to-date on innovative recruitment processes, you can unearth talented candidates that fit the bill.

As a hiring manager, you know how important it is to source the right candidates for your organization. To source and identify qualified candidates quickly, consider utilizing a variety of sourcing strategies.

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Source candidates is a term used to describe the process of identifying potential job seekers who have the right skillsets, qualifications, and experience for a position. This includes locating passive and active job seekers through channels such as job boards, social media sites, career fairs, and employee referrals. It also includes engaging past applicants, reviewing resumes from previous candidates, and utilizing talent-sourcing tools.

The sourcing method is an effective way to search and identify candidates for work. Recruiting for jobs is an initial step in any job-seeking process. Recruiting candidates can often be an important task. The general process involves sourcing candidates in a proactive fashion – passive candidates that have no interest at all in new opportunities. Bring interest from these applicants by introducing a variety of jobs in their area. List some of the important aspects that a recruiter should take into account when selecting the candidate.

Tell me the difference between sourcing between recruiting.

Sourcing and recruiting are two distinct activities that provide different opportunities for employers in their search for top talent. Sourcing involves actively seeking out potential candidates based on the needs of a company; the goal is to source candidates who have experience relevant to an open position or initiative.

On the other hand, recruiting is more centered on the applications and resumes that employers receive from job seekers. Although it often has its source-candidates element through referrals marketing, recruiting is a reactive process that evaluates existing applications against job descriptions and interviews potential candidates. It also involves performing background checks to determine if a candidate would be the right fit for a particular role or organization.

In summary, sourcing looks for suitable candidates before jobs exist while recruiting evaluates available suits after jobs are posted.

Why is sourcing important in recruitment?

Sourcing is an essential part of the recruitment process for a few reasons. It allows employers to source potential candidates more quickly, as well as identify qualified applicants who otherwise may have been overlooked.

Decreases time to hire

Sourcing allows recruiters to quickly locate the best candidates for open positions, reducing the amount of time it takes to fill a job opening. By proactively searching for qualified job seekers, recruiters can identify potential candidates and make contact before other companies have even posted their job openings. This helps ensure that organizations can find the best people faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Uncovers hidden talent

Not all talented professionals are actively looking for a job, but sourcing technology helps uncover a hidden talent that is not found through traditional recruiting methods such as job boards or newspaper ads. By using advanced search tools, recruiters can be more proactive in their candidate search and locate passive job seekers who may not be actively seeking employment.

Increases quality of hires

Sourcing makes it easier to pre-screen prospective hires before they enter the interview process and eliminates the need to waste time on unqualified candidates who would otherwise be dead-end leads. This allows recruiters to focus their efforts on attracting only high-quality individuals who are closely matched with specific job requirements, leading to better overall hiring decisions and employee retention rates over time.

Creates brand awareness

When done correctly, sourcing can help create brand awareness among potential job seekers by targeting them with targeted messages about your company’s culture and values. This helps create a positive image of your organization in the eyes of qualified applicants and encourages them to apply for jobs at your company instead of those offered by your competitors.

Provides insight into desired skillsets

Sourcing can provide valuable insight into what skillsets employers are looking for in ideal job candidates so that recruiters can tailor their recruitment strategies accordingly when searching for top talent. With this information at hand, recruiters can target specific individuals with highly sought after knowledge or experience related to the position they wish to fill – without spending extra time or money conducting market research surveys or other associated activities that would otherwise be required in order acquire such insights manually.

Makes cost savings possible

Sourcing also helps make cost savings possible since it requires less manpower than traditional recruitment methods such as posting jobs on major online networks or attending career fairs which often require substantial investment in terms of both time and money commitments from an employer’s perspective.

How do you source job candidates?

Here are 5 steps to keep in mind when sourcing candidates.

Step 1: Learn the qualifications

Before you can source candidates, it’s important to understand the qualifications needed for a particular role or organization. Review job descriptions and speak with hiring managers to get an accurate picture of the type of candidate they are looking for.

Step 2: Find out where to source candidates

Once you have a clear understanding of what type of talent is needed, you can start researching job boards, social media platforms, and other websites to source potential candidates who match the desired criteria. Additionally, consider attending career fairs and other industry events to reach a wider pool of job seekers.

Step 3: Use sourcing channels

Consider using a combination of candidate sourcing channels to boost your chances of finding the right people. For example, you can source passive candidates by contacting previous applicants or tapping into employee referral networks, source active job seekers through posting on job boards and social media platforms, or use a specialized candidate-sourcing tool to track potential leads.

Step 4: personalize your messaging

When you source candidates, be sure to personalize your messaging and tailor it to the needs of each individual. Remember to engage with job seekers in a professional manner and use language that reflects your employer’s brand.

Step 5: follow up and stay in touch

Don’t forget to follow up with any potential candidates you source and maintain an ongoing relationship. This will help ensure that top talent is aware of your organization’s job openings and will be more likely to apply when the right opportunity arises.

Where do recruiters source candidates?

Recruiters source candidates from a variety of sources, such as job boards, resume databases, talent pools, applicant tracking systems (ATS), social media platforms, career fairs, and more. By leveraging the right tools and methods, recruiters can source potential candidates quickly and easily while also engaging passive applicants who may not be actively seeking job opportunities.

Here are 10 effective candidate-sourcing strategies you can use to fill job openings:

1. Utilize job boards

Job boards are a great way to source candidates who may not be actively looking for a new job. Hiring managers can find potential candidates by searching their resumes and profiles on the web, or you can post job openings on popular job boards to source passive candidates. Make your job description as detailed and accurate as possible to attract the right kind of candidates.

2. Applicant tracking systems

Another great way in the candidate sourcing process is to filter all your resume applicants via the applicant tracking system. This program will look at each submitted resume for relevant job openings and save it to resume databases. Then you can save your data in your database for future use. If you post an open job for software developers, a keyword search is prompted if the resume you posted matches the resume you posted. The company then pulls all the most suitable resumes and ranks them. You could then contact the candidates and ask if there’s a need for them.

3. Tap into your talent pool

Your existing talent pool is a great source of potential candidates for your organization. Reach out to past candidates who’ve previously applied or interviewed with your organization and see if they’re interested in a new job. You can also source past employees who have demonstrated their commitment to your company.

4. Attract new candidates

Leverage social media platforms and talent communities to find candidates. You can use these channels to source passive candidates, identify qualified applicants quicker, or even re-engage declined candidates.

5. Source from referrals

Recruiting is like having a corporate networking system but the candidate will contact your company directly. Referrals are generally the strongest candidate because someone has faith to be trusted. Some employers will even encourage employees if they recommend someone to the group they are working with.

These referrals can save recruiters time in their search for candidates. You can even reduce costs by posting or advertising job openings. A company employee may already have found a suitable candidate.

6. Social media platforms

Social networking and job searches are becoming more prevalent. Several people started searching for new jobs on platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Social media sites can be used to source passive candidates who are not currently on the job market but could be interested in changing positions. You can easily source potential candidates by searching keywords related to their skill sets and interests.

7. Source using job order forms

Another effective strategy is to source candidates using job order forms, which are detailed forms outlining the specific requirements for a position. This will help you source more qualified candidates faster by allowing you to narrow down a larger candidate pool.

8. Leverage sourcing tools

The advanced recruitment software is an excellent solution for candidates. Using the software you can help hiring managers identify qualified candidates quicker. Once you’ve selected the most qualified candidate, their contact information is sent to a corresponding e-mail. This program can also email the recruiters via automated means to start recruiting the candidate.

9. Create a strong employer brand

Creating a strong employer brand is key to sourcing the best candidates for your organization. Investing in an effective branding strategy can help you source exceptional candidates who are passionate about your company and mission.

10. Engage candidates

Once you source potential candidates, it’s important to engage them quickly. Keep track of each candidate’s progress and promptly respond to any questions or inquiries they may have about the hiring process. This will help you create a positive experience for future job seekers and source the best candidates for your organization.

Key candidate sourcing metrics

To secure top-notch talent, it is essential to evaluate your sourcing strategy across various periods of time to improve resource allocations among different recruiting sources.

  • Time to hire: The length of time it takes to source, screen, and interview candidates for a particular job opening.
  • Cost per hire by source: The cost of source candidates from each source, including job boards, referral programs, career fairs, and other sources.
  • Source conversion rate: The percentage of candidates that become qualified applicants by source.
  • Several passive candidates sourced: The number of passive candidates contacted for a particular position.


As an HR professional, you know that one of the most important aspects of your job is sourcing candidates. The process can be time-consuming and arduous, but it’s worth it to find the best possible person for the job. To help you in your quest, we’ve compiled a list of 10 candidate-sourcing strategies that will make your life easier. Try out a few and see which ones work best for you. With a little effort, you’ll be on your way to filling those vacancies in no time.