Talent Sourcing: Everything You Need to Know

Laura Moss

Manager of Content Marketing

13 minute read


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While 90% of people are open to learning about new job opportunities, only 36% of them are actually active job seekers.

That’s why 80% of companies engage in talent sourcing and proactively search for the individuals they want on the payroll.

If you want to hire the best people at your organization, you need to understand the importance of talent sourcing and implement strategies to find and recruit candidates who aren’t even looking for their next job.


What is Talent Sourcing?

Talent sourcing begins long before recruitment and hiring.

It’s the act of identifying qualified people who possess the necessary skills to fill open positions who are also a good cultural fit for the company. In addition to finding top talent, it also involves researching them, networking with them, and converting them into applicants.


What’s the Difference Between Recruitment and Talent Sourcing?

Recruitment and talent sourcing have a symbiotic relationship, but they’re not the same thing.

Talent sourcing is more active — hiring managers actually seek out potential candidates.

Recruitment, on the other hand, is more passive. It involves reaching candidates through job postings, ads, and referrals to inform them of open positions in hopes they’ll apply.

In other words, talent sourcing begins long before recruitment and helps establish a pipeline of potential candidates.



What Are the Benefits of Talent Sourcing?

Eighty percent of organizations rely on talent sourcing because of the advantages it provides them. Just take a look.


It improves the quality of hires.

When you actively seek out the ideal candidates, you gain a better understanding of what the position and the company require, which contributes to higher-quality hires.

Passive candidates have numerous other benefits as well:

  • They give you a competitive edge. “In my opinion, the best folks are never looking,” says Camille Conrotto, a recruiter for Niantic.
  • They’re 17% less likely to require skill development since they’re currently employed and more likely to be up to date on industry developments.
  • They’ll have a positive effect on your business. Research shows that talent sourcing identifies candidates who are 120% more likely to want to make an impact and 33% more likely to seek out challenging work.
  • They’ll choose your company for the right reasons — and stay. Because they’re already employed, passive candidates are more likely to join your organization because they believe in its mission and values vs. making a more fear-based choice because they’re unemployed or unhappy in their current position. This means that passive talent is also less likely to result in turnover.
  • They’re unlikely to be interviewing elsewhere since you reached out to them, so there’s less competition.

It increases diversity.

Considering only active candidates and employee referrals often contributes to a homogenous pipeline.

Studies show that current employees tend to refer people who are demographically similar to themselves, benefitting white men more than women or people of color.

In fact, white women are 12% less likely to be referred, men of color are 26% less likely to be referred, and women of color are 35% less likely to be referred, according to PayScale.

Engaging in talent sourcing helps organizations develop a more diverse pool of candidates because companies don’t rush to fill open roles with the first most qualified applicant. Instead, they already have a pipeline of qualified people, giving them time and more options to fill roles with more diverse talent.


It reduces the time and cost of hiring.

It takes an average of three to four weeks to fill an open position in the United States, and the average cost per hire is $4,425.

Plus, hiring managers spend 15% of expenses just on recruitment and two-thirds of their hiring time on the interview process alone.

That’s a lot of time and money.

Talent sourcing reduces these costs because you’ll already have a pipeline of qualified talent at the ready to fill positions as they become available.

That’s why sourced candidates are more than 2x as efficient to hire.


It improves your employer brand.

A company’s employer brand is its reputation as a place to work, and talent sourcing plays an important role in developing this brand.

When your organization expresses interest in candidates and keeps them informed of open positions, initiatives, product updates, and employee stories, the company becomes more familiar and trustworthy to these passive candidates.

Candidates may share their positive perceptions with friends, colleagues, and social networks, strengthening and spreading your employer brand in the most effective way: through word of mouth.


5 Talent Sourcing Strategies to Implement

Now that you understand what talent sourcing is and why it’s so important to your company’s success, let’s dive into specific strategies you can implement to ensure your talent sourcing is effective.


1. Develop talent profiles.

Define exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate. This includes not only skills required for specific positions, but also the qualities that make an individual a good fit for company culture.

You can even take these a step further and list sourcing channels where your ideal candidate may have a presence.

Use these talent profiles to guide your search and actively seek candidates who match these personas.


2. Expand your talent-sourcing channels.

You may rely on popular networking and job-search sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, but there are numerous other places to find top talent.

When sourcing for a specific role or department, consider where your ideal candidate is likely to spend their time or upload their resume or portfolio.

For example, if you’re sourcing graphic designers, you may visit Dribbble or Behance. If you’re looking for engineers, on the other hand, you may spend time on Github or Triplebyte.

And don’t rely on online sources alone — offline recruitment is still valuable today. Host meetups or attend industry-specific conferences and events as part of your talent-sourcing efforts.


3. Source candidates for future roles.

Don’t engage in talent sourcing solely for open positions. Instead, keep an eye on the company’s future and maintain an ongoing list of positions you’d like to hire over the next year.

For example, maybe you don’t need a product marketer right now, but ideally, you’d like to hire one within the next six to twelve months as the team expands.

Keep your organization’s growth plans in mind and develop a corresponding hiring strategy so that you can source the right people when the time comes to make those future hires.


4. Re-engage previous candidates and nurture those relationships.

When you’re actively involved in talent sourcing, you’ll no doubt come across more qualified candidates than you need. You may even interview them for open positions but ultimately hire someone else.

But just because they weren’t the perfect fit for one role doesn’t mean they won’t be the ideal candidate for another.

So don’t let your past talent sourcing efforts go to waste — stay in touch with these people, keep them informed of company news and product updates, and reach out to them about relevant positions.


5. Build your employer brand.

To effectively use talent sourcing to find the best candidates, your company needs to be the kind of place that people actually want to work.

That’s where your employer brand comes into play.

It’s essential to hiring success, and today, every member of your team — not just HR — needs to be involved in building it.

The best place to start? An employee advocacy program.

The people that potential candidates want to hear from are the employees already employed at your organization who can speak to what it’s truly like to work there.

So make it easy for everyone at your company, whether they’re a frontline worker or the CEO, to create and share company-related content with their personal networks by investing in a pure play employee advocacy solution.



Best Talent Sourcing Tools

There are a variety of talent sourcing tools on the market. Here are the ones to consider adding to your tech stack to improve your company’s talent sourcing efforts.

  • Avature has a variety of features that help find candidates and manage relationships, as well as track, hire, and manage them.
  • Crystal is a unique tool that creates a personality profile from a candidates’ social media channels and provides customized tips on how to most effectively communicate with them.
  • SeekOut is an AI-powered platform that helps you quickly find qualified, diverse talent.
  • Gem’s all-in-one recruiting platform boasts numerous integrations that make it easy to identify and nurture candidates.
  • TopFunnel‘s sourcing tool provides a constant flow of candidates and has a feature to make diverse hiring even easier.


EveryoneSocial Makes Talent Sourcing Easier Than Ever

When your company already has a solid reputation and employees readily share online what it’s like to be part of your team, it makes talent sourcing a breeze.

Why? Because people will already be familiar with your employer brand and immediately recognize your company as a great place to work.

Try EveryoneSocial for free and see how it can transform your talent sourcing efforts.

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