Active Sourcing: A Proactive Approach to Attracting Top Talent

Recruiter hands holding wooden block on office desk, symbolising active sourcing

In this guide, we'll dive into the realm of active sourcing, exploring its definition, rationale, and benefits.

What is active sourcing?

Active sourcing is a proactive recruitment method that targets and engages the most promising candidates, even if they are not currently in the job market. Recruiters who use active sourcing establish connections with suitable candidates before having available positions within a company. This approach aims to build or expand a talent pool for current or future needs that can be tapped momentarily.

A new approach to recruiting

The traditional approach of waiting for applications to pour in is no longer practical. Recruiters must behave more like marketing professionals and find ways to reach out to potential candidates.

Useful Read: Mastering HR Marketing: Building Your Employer Brand and Attracting Top Talent

Active sourcing involves creating a candidate persona and identifying the industry knowledge, experience, and hard and soft skills required for each open position within a company. Recruiters must tailor the job offer to the outlined candidate profile and meet applicants' expectations to make the company attractive to top talent.

Useful Read: What is Talent Management in HR? An in Depth Look

Promoting the company's brand to attract passive candidates is crucial. Recruiters must convey a positive corporate image and turn current employees into brand ambassadors.

Since top talents share the same networks, current employees often know talented potential workers who are in the same industry and are unsatisfied with their current positions, which are passive candidates.

Offering monetary rewards or non-monetary incentives to current employees for referring qualified candidates can help to win over the competition in finding the remote and best-skilled workforce.

Related: Building Engagement with Remote Employees: Tips and Strategies

The reasons behind active sourcing

The job market has changed significantly, and recruiters must adapt to stay ahead of the competition. Many factors, such as the retirement of a sizable portion of the workforce and the tendency of millennials to postpone career decisions, have contributed to a shortage of qualified labor. Talent scarcity is especially concerning in information technology, where skills gaps are growing wider daily.

Useful Read: Millennial Work Ethic explained: Strategies for Loyalty and Engagement

A LinkedIn study states that 70% percent of desirable candidates are passive candidates, not actively job searching. That means job posting reaches only 30% of the workforce at best. Moreover, 52% of candidates who see and apply for jobs are under qualified. Therefore, active sourcing strategies push talent sourcing in a different direction.

Overcoming the challenges of active sourcing

The greatest challenge of proactive sourcing is finding passive candidates and making the initial overture. Recruiters can use word-of-mouth within a network, recruitment fairs, university events, and networking seminars and workshops to pre-select highly skilled candidates.

Social networks like LinkedIn active sourcing can also be leveraged to identify and target candidates.

Implementing an employee referral program streamlines active sourcing. It saves time for TAs in looking for candidates since employees take on the search part of the recruiting process.

Furthermore, if an employee referral program is engaging, employees will make many referrals and thus contribute to expanding the talent pool by ten times.

And finally, since current employees share the company's values and vision, they will refer candidates who make the best cultural fit.

The benefits of active sourcing

1) Access to a Larger Talent Pool:

When you actively source candidates, you are not limited to the pool of candidates actively seeking jobs. Instead, you can reach out to qualified candidates who may not have applied for your job opening otherwise.

You can use different sourcing methods, such as LinkedIn, job boards, and professional associations, to find potential candidates with the right skills and experience. Expanding your search to passive candidates increases your chances of finding the best talent for your organization.

2) Higher Quality Candidates:

Active sourcing also helps you target highly qualified candidates who may not be actively looking for a job but are open to new opportunities. These candidates may be currently employed and not actively searching for a job, but they might be interested in your organization if you present them with the right opportunity.

By proactively reaching out to these candidates, you can ensure that you get the best talent for your business.

3) Faster Time-to-Hire:

Using active sourcing can help you hire a new employee much faster. Instead of waiting for applications, you can proactively contact potential candidates and start recruitment. You can schedule interviews with the candidates, conduct background checks, and make a job offer faster than traditional recruitment methods.

This can be particularly important for businesses that need to fill positions quickly due to expansion or turnover.

Useful Read: What is Time to Hire? A Complete HR Guide

4) Improved Employer Branding:

Active sourcing can also help improve your employer branding. You can create a positive impression of your company by reaching out to potential candidates and engaging with them. You can communicate your company culture, values, and mission to the candidates and provide them insight into what it's like to work at your organization.

By creating a positive candidate experience, you can attract top talent and establish yourself as an employer of choice in your industry.

Useful Read: The Great Place To Work Certification: The Employers Guide

5) Cost-Effective Recruitment:

Recruiting new employees through active sourcing can save costs. Traditional recruitment methods such as job postings, newspaper ads, and recruitment agencies can be expensive.

However, active sourcing methods such as social media, employee referrals, and networking events can be much cheaper. Using these methods, you can reach out to potential candidates without spending much on advertising and other recruitment costs.

6) Increased Retention Rates:

Active sourcing can help you find the right candidate who fits your company culture well. This increases the chances of employee retention since candidates well-suited to your organization and who have an excellent cultural fit will be more likely to stay and become long-term employees. This helps reduce turnover rates, saving time and money spent on training new employees.

7) Better Insights into the Market:

By proactively reaching out to potential candidates, you can gain valuable insights into your industry and the skills in demand. You can learn more about the current market trends, salary expectations, and qualifications needed for various job roles.

This information can help you make better recruitment decisions, ensuring you hire employees with the skills and experience suited to your organization.

How to implement active sourcing in your busine

Two  colleages discussing ideas using a tablet and computer-1

To implement active sourcing in your business, you need to develop a proactive recruitment strategy that includes the following:

1. Identifying the Key Skills and Qualifications You Need

The first step in active sourcing is identifying the essential skills and qualifications you need in a candidate. This will help you target your recruitment efforts and find the best candidates for your business.

2. Building a Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline involves identifying and engaging with potential candidates over time. This can involve social media, attending networking events, and building relationships with employees and industry contacts.

3. Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

Creating a positive candidate experience is essential in active sourcing. This involves providing candidates with a positive impression of your company and ensuring they feel valued and respected throughout the recruitment process.

4. Measuring and Refining Your Strategy

Measuring and refining your active sourcing strategy is critical to its success. By tracking your recruitment efforts and analyzing your results, you can identify areas for improvement and refine your approach over time.

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Active sourcing is a proactive new way of attracting talent that takes effort upfront but yields impressive results. It helps recruiters build a talent pool of pre-selected candidates, reducing the time and cost of the hiring process, and targets and engages the most promising candidates in the labor market.

Integrating active sourcing with an employee referral program enables companies to reach out directly to passive candidates and recruit the most skilled and best cultural-fit workers for open positions, including those hard-to-fill roles. By promoting the company brand and sharing job offers on their networks, current employees become a valuable asset in expanding the talent pool.

Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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