As a recruiter, finding and sourcing new candidates isn’t always easy. It can be frustrating for the recruiters to try the same methods again and again and feel like you’re not seeing any good results. But don’t get upset, because the right candidates are out there. According to a recent LinkedIn Talent Blog, while only 36% of the workforce may be actively looking for a job at any given time, up to 90% of the workforce is open to learning more about a position and discussing all possibilities. So how can you get the attention of this wide pool of passive candidates? You should think outside of the box. Use some of these creative sourcing strategies to find the best candidates for your clients.
1. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn can be a recruiter’s best source for finding candidates if you use it correctly and creatively. For many, LinkedIn can feel like a phone book with no telephone numbers: you can see a passive candidate’s resume and experience, but contacting them feels like reaching across the void. If you’re going to send a potential candidate LinkedIn mail, use the following best practices to ensure they actually read your message:
- Keep your LinkedIn message to 500 characters or less; short and sweet is the goal.
- Avoid cliché dialogue about “exciting new opportunities” and instead pick up on specific details about your candidate through their profile. What does their statement say about their favorite aspects of their careers? What career move might they be looking for next? What can this potential role offer them?
- Don’t ask them to call you. A passive candidate isn’t likely to carve out time in their day to pick up the phone and call you to hear more about an opportunity. Put the onus on you; ask them if they’d like to hear more and then you can email them or call them at their convenience.
2. Try Different Sourcing Platforms
When most people think of sourcing, they at first think about Linkedin and sometimes Facebook. But trying platforms like Google, X-Ray Searches, Twitter, Medium, Pinterest can be beneficial as well. On Twitter you can search by some specific keywords, phrases, and locations, making it ideal for honing in on particular candidates in your region. Use Twitter’s advanced search option to target people based on multiple criteria at a time, so you can locate the passive candidates that best match your specific needs. You can also create your own sourcing lists using Twitter’s list function. You can add potential candidates for different jobs to different lists so that when you click on a specific list, you’ll only see those specific candidates. By adding someone to your list, they also get notified, so be sure you name it something obvious like “marketing professionals” for example. After you’ve added them to your list, you can also choose to follow them and send them a direct message if they choose to follow you back.
Both Medium and Pinterest can be great tools for finding a more niche set of candidates; Medium is a platform full of writers of all kinds, and many designers and artists showcase their work on Pinterest. You can also look at GitHub for developers and IT professionals. Try and identify which social platforms your candidates may be used to showcase their work, code, and creations, and meet them there. Just because someone isn’t very active on LinkedIn doesn’t mean they aren’t active on other channels.
3. Ask Your Current Candidate Base For Referrals
The candidates with whom you’re currently in contact can be some of your best resources for finding more potential candidates, but many recruiters forget this idea. You can reach out to a candidate again and again with different job opportunities, but it can also pay to simply ask a candidate if they know anyone in their own network who would be right for a job role. If you feel you don’t have enough candidates with a certain skill, why not ask candidates with parallel skills who have likely worked with people you’re looking for. If they know anyone who might be in need of work. For example, reaching out to a freelance writer to ask them about graphic designers can be beneficial because they’ve likely worked closely with different graphic designers throughout their careers.
4. Contact Candidates Who Have Started A New Job Recently
Any candidate who has started a new job a few months ago may strike you like the most passive candidate there is, but you could be wrong. The time of contacting someone who has recently started a new job can sometimes work in your favor. They still have the momentum of their job search fresh in their minds and are also in an adjustment period at their new workplace. There’s a chance their new job might not have panned out exactly how they’d hoped. The company wasn’t what it presented itself as on paper. So just because you see a potential candidate who has recently accepted a new position, that doesn’t mean you can’t start a dialogue with them and feel them out.
5. Get Social
Meeting someone face to face will always make a better impression and be more effective than sending message after message or cold calling. So how do you get in front of your ideal candidates? Network like they do. Many passive candidates who would be open to a job change attend networking events to stay connected to people in their industry. Make it a point to get social and attend events that your target candidates would be interested in, whether it’s directly related to their business or perhaps hobbies or side projects that those candidates typically align themselves with. Introducing yourself and making connections with potential candidates helps you build a relationship with them before presenting them with potential jobs. People are much more likely to respond to someone they’ve met in person or established some sort of relationship with.