What is candidate sourcing

Candidate sourcing is a recent concept.

The concept originated with the availability of internet and more precisely with the existence of social media websites.

Technology is a great tool for recruiters and hiring managers. Initially, recruiters believed that the popularity of social media websites will turn the process of recruitment into a cakewalk. However, it is not that easy. You definitely need a strategy to make things work out positively.

Defining Candidate Sourcing

The proactive search of talented and potential hires to fill up all the vacant job openings. Recruiters do following tasks for the purpose of sourcing:

  • They collect all the valuable candidate information related to resumes and work samples.
  • They can pre-screen the skills they are looking in the candidates.
  • They inform candidates about job openings and build a relation with them.
  • They build long term relation with potential recruits and recruiters.

All these tasks are what we do as recruiters in Vested.

Difference between sourcing and recruiting

Sourcing and recruiting are two different but interconnected processes. One kicks in after other. Sourcing is associated with searching, identifying and contacting recruits that have potential to fill in your positions.

It is the first process. Sourcing is followed by recruiting. Recruiting includes HR processes like screening, interviewing and evaluating the candidates.

In MNCs, recruiters handle the first steps and the second process is handled by professional sourcers. However, both sourcing and recruiting fall under the same roof that is HR.

How does sourcing affect recruiting?

Sourcing is a vital part of recruiting strategy of any company. Recruiters specialize in:

  • They basically reduce the fill-in time of candidates because the process of initial screening of candidates has been already done by them.
  • They keep a database of clients engaged in your vacancies so that they can use these pipelines to cover the present and future recruitment.
  • They position themselves in such a way that they can meet the long-term goals of sourcing.

Who are sourcing specialists?

Sourcing specialists, popularly known as sourcers are those HR professionals who excel in identifying and engaging potential candidates for current and future potential needs of the company.

Jobs they perform:

  • They identify the future hiring needs of the company.
  • They participate in establishing the effective sourcing techniques for the company.
  • They reach out to potential candidates through different channels and media.
  • They develop talent pipelines for every position in the company.
  • They keep researching and experimenting on new sourcing technologies and tools.
  • They analyse all the sourcing tools they have used.

Social sourcing:

The process includes using the social media platforms to search for the right talent. The social networks (like Facebook, twitter and Linked In) can be a great help in identifying, attracting and contacting potential candidates.

Sourcers use social media for following purposes: 

  • They use the platform to collect the contact details, resumes and work samples of the applicants.
  • To create their own talent pipelines to fulfill the hiring needs of the company in the future.
  • To reach out to potential qualified candidates and giving them information regarding your job openings.
  • They establish the employer as a brand and advertise the openings.

A few most effective sourcing tools:

Sourcing specialists and recruiters use social media tools to narrow down their search. Tools help recruiters to find candidates quickly. These few tools will help you streamline the process:

  • LinkedIn: This is a social media platform for recruiters. Professionals share their career history and accomplishments on the platform and take it as an opportunity to interact with professional recruiters. Sourcers need a LinkedIn recruiters license to search through profiles and send personal messages to candidates.
  • Indeed: Indeed is the world’s largest job board that hosts more than 90 million resumes. The advanced search options of the board allow recruiters to search on the basis of job location and title.
  • Facebook: It is the world’s most popular social networking website and an ocean of potential candidates. The paid job ads feature of Facebook helps you find recruits with ease.
  • Twitter: The different tools of twitter like chat, search and lists to ease the process of recruit sourcing. Engaging on twitter conversations advertising conferences and following hash tags can help sourcers build a talent pipeline through twitter.

(Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels)

How recruiters use social media to source candidates

Resumes and cover letters are passé. Sourcing for candidates has become challenging like never before. It is not all about your degrees and education at today’s time but about your skills, wit and talent along with your qualification.

Recruiters have moved their focus from physical recruiting methods to social media platforms like Twitter, Linked In or Facebook. Or they use in demand recruiters like our Vested platform.

It has become one of the major norms of recruiting nowadays.

A recruiter is in a constant search of most qualified and talented pool of applicants. At present, three of above mentioned social media websites have over 1.2 million of combined users. That sounds like a potential.

As more and more people are joining social media websites, recruiters do need to maintain leverage upon their social media accounts for recruiting purposes. This is an imperative formula to attract talent.

What are the benefits of social recruiting? How to get started?

  • Build your employment brand: Social media is a showcase that showcases the culture of your company to the recruits. Brand your social media platforms by posting content, photos and videos. Try to engage job seekers in conversations and motivate to participate them in discussions. Give them space to prompt some questions and answers. This is a wonderful way to know about your recruit and giving him a chance to understand your company culture.
  • Reach passive candidates: Almost everyone is using social media platform, either they are looking for a job or not. They are passive candidates who might not be interested in changing their jobs but building a relationship with them can give you the opportunity to hire them. This is how social media helps you to enhance your talent pool.
  • Employee referral program: It is considered one of the top most and high;y-effective recruiting tool. It allows you to involve your current employers in the hiring process. You can post recruitment requisitions on their social media platform and it increases your approach base.
  • Learn about the background of the employee: Evaluating the Linked In or Facebook profile of a person helps you access major information about them. A linked In profile includes their resume and, past and present jobs. It includes their recommendations, peers, managers and colleagues. It can help you determine some second or third degree connections allowing you a personal referral. Similarly, facebook and twitter contain information about their interests, hobbies and other personal information.
  • Lower recruitment costs: All this set up is free and that is how you save a lot upon the cost of recruitment.

How to use?

There are different social media platforms and there are different techniques to use them. The first step includes deciding your target audience and tailoring your strategy accordingly. Start from being familiar to one platform and then move to other.


Twitter is a popular micro blogging social networking website. There is a limit of 140 characters to messages or tweets. The platform has more than 300 million users yielding more than 300 million tweets per day along with 1.6 million search queries.

The most significant thing about twitter is that it connects business and customer in real time. Businesses use twitter to promote their brand, products, services, share information, gathering feedback from market and connecting to influential people.

Twitter updates what is happening in the current moment. In includes various broadcasts about the vacant positions that need to be filled.


It is the leading professional networking site. It has more than 155 million users around 200 countries and territories. This site is quite popular among professional recruiters.

The professional recruiters foster networking through LinkedIn and can have access to ready-made resumes.


Facebook is the largest pool of talent. Millions of people log in and log out on daily basis and share pictures, videos and posts to become popular among their friends. Although it started as a social utility but, it expanded as a popular network to make connections.

Facebook ads are a great option to target the exact audience. For example, if you are based in California and relocation is not a part of your budget then you can target the audience of the city only.

The overall result will be:

  • The traffic to your career site will be increased.
  • There will be increased Facebook fans engagement.
  • Your twitter follower count will be increased.
  • The traffic to job postings will increase.

How to source for candidates for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a gold mine of candidates if you know the right method of recruiting. The platform allows you to connect with more than 330 million professional, all of them prominently exhibiting their professional skills, job experience, education, recommendations, expertise and talent.

The most interesting fact about Linked In is that is does not connect you with unemployed professionals or recent force of graduates only but also with the active professionals that are in a constant search of new opportunities.

A recent survey in 2011 concluded that 68% of current employers are open for new listings and job offers. Growth is a continuous and desirable process and 83% of working force will be at their ears if you have something interesting to tell them.

Sounds great! Now, when you know that 83% of currently working force can pursue your offer, how can you reach them? How can you find these candidates? And, what suitable methods you will use to narrow down your search and approach the right candidate?

It is not a strenuous process; you just need a right strategy to approach the right person. This example will help you understand my words easily.

Let’s suppose, you are running a surgical business and you need a marketing person who can do his job perfectly. Your requirements are:

  • A person with an experience of minimum 3-4 years.
  • He should have been working in same field in the past years.
  • He should be aware of the local dialect and areas.
  • Substantial knowledge of your products, the material and their usage.
  • He should be an excellent communicator who can address the people, acknowledge the presence of your brand in the market and can resolve all kind of issues.

You can start with the advanced search options of Linked In with all these required qualifications. We tell you how: There is a tool bar or menu on the right side of the page where you can set to search people. There is a picture of magnifying glass and Advance search option along with it. Modify following parameters to initiate your search.

  • In the title field, enter the designation under which you want to do the recruitment.
  • Change the industry to “surgical”.
  • Change the seniority. You should have access to the premium facilities of Linked In if you want to do an efficient search. Upgrade your account.
  • Leave all other options to their default settings.

The preliminary search will come up with hundreds of results. Obviously, all of these people are not looking for a job but many of them may be interested. You can further narrow down your search for better results and making your work easier. You can add the experience required or the location preference. It will definitely help you.

The next step involves looking at these profiles and check how many of them are actively looking for work. After short listing a few names, you can contact them through different ways. Take a look:

  • Send them an email to introduce yourself: Never start a conversation asking if a person is interested in your job opening, even if his profile shows his desperation of finding a job. It will scare them away. Simply tell them their profile caught your attention. Mention something unique about them like any achievement, award or certification. Congratulate them for same, establish a relation and check if they will be apt for your job opening. Tell them about the opening once you are sure.
  • Find groups they belong to, join that group and try to strike a conversation: This way you can state that both of you belong to same group and you thought if they may like working with you. Looking at your name regularly will help in further correspondence. This particular method is quite effective to recruit new employees.
  • If this is a second-degree connection, try to look for a mutual first-degree connection: The mutual first-degree connection will help you form an opinion about the employee and check if they fit your criteria or not.
  • Send them a local message using an In Mail if they are part of a Linked In Open Link network: These tools of Linked In will help you gain more visibility.

Linked In is the best platform to look for professional connections and recruitments.

(Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels)

How to use technology to source for candidates

Sourcing for recruits without technology is like going for hunting without a weapon. Tough recruiters use all their creative approach to make their way to hidden treasure.

All thanks to technology, there are many sourcing tools that can make your recruiting easier.

We have enlisted the topmost recruiting tools to solve your daily quests:

Resume databases

There are tools that can help you find talented people through different career pages. These are few tools:

  1. Talentbin: Monster’s talent bin is a large pool of database including millions of profiles. The Boolean search feature gives you access to millions of passive candidates. They extract information from all the social media accounts and help you reach out to them.
  2. Career builder Resume Data: The working of this tool is similar to that of Monster’s talent bin. The database has profiles and resumes of abundant of clients. The career builder’s semantic technology supports effective Boolean searches.
  3. Zillion resumes: The aggregated platform is a hub to thousands of profiles and resumes. The aggregator database gathers resumes from different sources. You can find much ‘hard-to-find’ talent with the help of this tool matching your criteria.
  4. Hired: The platform brings recruiters and recruits on a single platform giving them opportunity to interact. Recruiter can create their profile and browse through the required talent. It is believed that recruits respond to 95% of queries.
  5. Hiring Solved: The platform allows you to search for candidates from across all over the world. Even language is no barrier. It lets you search for the candidates similar to your choice.
  6. Sourcing .io: This is a large database of engineers. You can browse through them using available filters. Team referrals and social networking are two features can be seen through the online connection of your team. It will help you in finding right candidate.


The work samples of a candidate are the best example of their talent. Impressive portfolios catch immediate attention. These few tools will help you in finding designers and developers.

  1. Carbonmade: It is fun to browse through carbonmade as it is a hub of collection of portfolios and projects that showcase creative art. You will enjoy looking at the work of designers, copywriters, photographers and architects.
  2. Github: The most popular platform for developers, Github is a great place to look through coding. Github has lot to offer for IT recruiters.
  3. Behance: Behance is the best app to look for creative professionals. The huge network of Behance is a good option. It allows you to search for the right candidate all around the world and you will be able to run targeted search like (Auto CAD). It allows you to post job posts too.

Networking Platform

Firstly, it is difficult to differentiate between active and passive candidates and secondly, communicating with them is another level of complication.

These few websites will help you in the process of networking. These sites can get you started in connecting and emailing candidates today:

  1. Angel List: The platform was set up for startups. However, it is not focused towards passive candidates but it is definitely for quality recruits. Recruiters can directly browse through startups and directly communicate.
  2. Event brite: The website gives you a chance to host, promote or browse an event that will help you find candidates. This way, you will come across employees will be interested in knowing about the latest trends.
  3. Meetup: This is another popular website for hosting events. It allows you to check the list of people who will be attending the event. Even if you are not interesting in attending the event, you have the names of attendees.
  4. Twitter: The hashtag conversations of Twitter are a great ally of sourcing. Try to participate in every relevant hashtag. The advanced search of twitter can be a great help.
  5. Vested: Check out how we get you connected to the very best talent.


It is the most trustworthy way of recruitment. The best employees bring in other employees. Making referrals a part of your routine will be a great help.

LinkedIn and Facebook are great sources for getting referrals.

How to use email to attract candidates

If you are a recruiter or a hiring manager sourcing candidates, you must know the importance of communication. This greatest tool helps you reach the candidates and decide whether you will succeed or not. There are endless communication platforms in today’s time but each one has its own pros and cons.

Among all these, email marketing is still considered as the topmost method that can be used to reach passive candidates without creating much fuss about it.

No one bothers about cold recruitment mails or calls and the candidate you are targeting are already tired of being bombarded by hundreds of emails from other companies and organizations.

So, there must be something unique in your email that it can stand out in the crowd. Easier said than done, we know! That is why; we have enlisted these 10 influential tips that will help you to create an outstanding email. I hope you will keep all these tips in mind while writing for your next campaign.

Your email should stand out

Most of the emails we receive are generated automatically. Content has been simply copied and pasted from a template or reference, only the name has been changed. All these emails get deleted right away.

First of all, make sure that your email does not stand out for any wrong reason. Put some efforts in a cold email before sending them. Include some evidence that showcase a personal touch and makes the personal realize that he is an important part of your database.

Don’t explain what your company do

Time is precious and one likes to waste in on the useless information. Don’t waste your and candidate’s time explaining the basics. If he is interested in your project, he must be aware of your company’s profile. Don’t even explain about your project. Give him a detailed history about the project is merely a waste.

Keep it as short as you can. Brief your company’s details, indicate your industry and job opening and you are done. This much information is completely enough.

Focus on your main goal: scheduling a meeting or call

Verbal communication is always much better than correspondence. It is same while hiring a candidate as well. If you think that the candidate will sign your offer letter simply after reading your email, then you must be joking. Your goal should be to arrange a meeting or call to make things more bearable.

Catchy subject lines

Whether your email is opened or not, the candidate will take a look at your subject even if he is going to delete it right away. The factors like length of the subject, clarity, personalization, shared connections and non-spammy will decide the quality of the subject.

Do your research

Many people believe in automation but if you want to run a potential hire search, you need to focus on targeted emails. Try to go beyond the information you already have and look for details online.

Send personalize messages

Carrying out research will not only help you to address the candidate properly but you will also be able to send a more impactful personalize message. Never drop any information that is irrelevant to the candidate. It will make you sound like a stalker only.

Be brief

Keeping your email up to the mark will help you get extra attention. Start off the game with the company details and quickly move to job opening. Mention all the requirements just below the job opening and drop a link to further details. It will help you get quick attention.

Remember the CTA

Always end up your email with something that can make reader generate a curiosity in your reader. A good call-to-action will increase your chances to be answered. For example:

  • Would you like to ask a few more questions?
  • Would to like to connect?


Taking follow -ups to your already generated emails increases your chances to be answered. Like a second email with a simple question, “Was the previous mail useful for you?” It will force the candidate to look for the previous mail and check.

Analyse your email campaign data time to time

Reaching out to the potential hires is no less than a sales and needs regular analysis. It will help you conclude in the right direction.


When to hire a recruiting agency?

Putting workers in a chair is not an easy task. You can count upon recruiting agencies to save your company’s time and efforts.

They can help you to shortlist candidates for your job openings.

Why you should hire a recruiting agency?

One can yield many benefits by hiring a recruiting agency specially when:

  • You have short term hiring needs: Recruiting companies are quiet quicker when it comes to hiring employees. They have a widespread network of candidates. Staffing firms usually have good relationship with these candidates. They hire these candidates on role and assign them to clients who are looking for short-term employees.
  • You want to enhance your pipeline with qualified employees: Recruiting agencies fills your pipeline with good leads. It allows managers to make decisions easily.
  • You want an employee for a specialized role: Internal recruiters usually have less experience when it comes to hiring for a specialized or executive role. This kind of recruitment needs special skills and learning. Recruiting agencies have this kind of knowledge along with special sourcing methods. Their niche job boards also play an important role. To get your account prioritized you could pay them an upfront fee.

Basically, when you are hiring at initial phase, recruiting agencies take over the process and work on it efficiently. The initial steps of hiring include resume screening; phone screening and first interviews are taken care of by the hiring company.

Recruiting agencies are more like a substitute to internal recruiters of the company. Usually, small companies do not have any recruiting departments, and they outsource their hiring process through recruitment companies.

This way they save a part of money and spend that money on channelizing other departments. On the other hand, there are companies which do not hold regular recruitments. Such companies hire recruitment agencies and downsize their size of team to reduce employment cost.

Although, this approach seems extremely practical and reliable yet it has lots of drawbacks.

What happens when recruitment agencies replace the internal recruiters of the company?

Recruiting agencies can be a great support for any company, but they cannot hold the fort all alone. They will face a few limitations. Take a look:

  • They are not acquainted with the internal culture of the company.
  • It’s not necessary for the managers of recruiting agency to be available at the right moment.
  • Parameters for open roles keep changing and recruiting agencies are usually slow to adapt to it.
  • They do not have exact idea of what exact skills clients are looking for.

It is due to all these reasons, recruiting agencies alone fail to perform effectively on the part of the company.

Maintain the balance

To combine the positive and negative effects of the agencies, it is most important to strike off a balance between an agency and a recruiting firm. Combining an agency with efficient internal talent hunting team can do wonders. Both of them complement each other perfectly.

In house teams have several benefits:

A good knowledge of company culture: In house recruiting team has a good knowledge of internal culture and first-hand experience of the work place. It helps them to sell better candidates. They recommend hires that fit best to the company. Also, they know which hire can fill the skill gap most effectively.

Relationship with hiring managers: In-house recruiters maintain a healthy relationship with hiring managers and keep explaining them about the criteria and stages of hiring.

They learn from their mistakes: A bad hire or a good hire, they keep learning from their experiences and thus acquire expertise. They exactly know what their company needs.

Internal recruiters do care about candidate experience, and they carry a responsibility of building a reputation of their company

It is quite simple to understand. A start up of five people definitely does not need any internal recruiter immediately but as it grows, enter new market, launches new products and face a different kind of competition, it would become a necessity for them to invest in human resources.

Initially, recruiting agencies can shoulder your hiring burden but soon the company would have to augment with the internal recruiters. The companies who invest in a better talent acquisition team/platform in times is always better equipped to face future challenges.

(Photo from pexels.com)

How to source passive candidates?

Sourcing a passive candidate is not an easy task, which is why our clients rely on our on demand recruiting model to find the right talent.

What’s more difficult is to screen them and engage in a conversation.

How to find passive candidates?

Meet them online

  • Use Twitter and Facebook: The number of users of Twitter and Facebook counts in billions. You can use advanced hash tag search on these platforms to look for passive candidates. You can find a content manager with a hash tag #contentmanager or #SEO. Follow them on twitter and reach through it. Prefer those who have an insight about topics and answer questions. Also, you can follow the companies that are doing better and connect with their employees. Facebook can also help to find matching profiles. Target people who are into a job for some time and open new opportunities for them.
  • Try more targeted social media: Involving more upon social media stumble your chances of getting success. Websites like Snapchat, reddit and instagram are not popular for passive hire hunting unlike LinkedIn or Xing. But that also means a low competition on these websites. Though, users on this website do not like aggressive recruiting but you can initiate the process carefully.
  • Check out portfolio/ work sample sites: Online sourcing allows you to see candidate’s work on portfolio websites. Github is a good choice if you are looking for a developer and Behance, Dribble and carbonmade are ideal sites if you are looking for designers. You can host a coding challenge on this website and check out the talent.
  • Try sourcing tool: Sourcing talent from online communities allows you to see the environment and prospect of candidates in which they are living and working. It allows a personalized communication and brings more information.
  • Meeting passive candidates in person: Meeting someone face to face is equally significant even in the era of social media. It builds trust and rapport. You can attend conferences and events that allow you to meet many passive candidates. There are many websites that provide you a list of people who are attending the event. Having an idea about who is attending the event lets you prepare for it and conversations flow easily. You can yourself arrange such kind of events. Meeting people in person increases the chances of finding an efficient candidate.
  • Meet passive candidates through connections: It is often said that best employees can be found through reference only. These people rarely quit and work responsibly. You can ask your current employees for referrals. Send specific emails regarding the role you are asking for. Your network is the first place you should look for.
  • Meet through past hiring processes: You can use your database and call for previously rejected candidates. Such people can be the best employees in the future. Your ATS provides you with the data of a good number of employees instantly. There are many candidates who get rejected at the last stage of the hiring process.
  • Meet through tools and services: Manual searches are not enough if you want the best results. Do check websites that offer a good database with millions of resumes at your fingertips.

How to Screen Passive candidates?

You can screen passive candidates in a similar way you screen active candidates.

  • Have a clear understanding of your objectives: Stick to your must-have qualifications list and keep a list of your required general qualities in your mind.
  • Check out passive candidate’s social media account: A look on their accounts will help you to understand those candidates in a better way.
  • Keep an open mind about their online presence: Hire for attitude and not for their skills as skills can be easily taught.

How to recruit passive candidates?

Passive candidates are those who are not looking for a job but a good opportunity might attract them.

  • Approach them carefully: When you approach these candidates through social media be careful about the message you draft, and they may not like it.
  • Send personalized sourcing emails: You can write them a personalized email with a great content. Talk about their wishes and interests and give them enough details to make them curious.
  • Communicate what passive candidates want to know: Approach passive candidates with the information that is useful to them. Only a clear picture of what you are going to offer can help them prepare their mind.