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The Ultimate Guide to Candidate Sourcing Strategies

17 min read

strategies of candidate sourcing

Imagine that you are an HR professional.

Most probably, that’s the case already.

So, let’s take it one step further.

Imagine that you are spending 1/3rd of your work-week on just 1 task. 💫

Sounds unrealistic?

Well, the latest reports do prove the same. HR professionals are indeed spending 13 hours per week on just candidate sourcing!

And if a task demands for that much of your time, it definitely demands optimization.

Even Leaders agree.

Marc Benioff, the visionary founder and co-CEO of Salesforce also mentioned “Acquiring talent is key to growth; hiring is the most important aspect of our operations,” stated Marc Benioff, the visionary founder and co-CEO of Salesforce.

So, what are we waiting on? Let’s dive deeper into candidate sourcing, why its necessary and how it’s done.

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of finding job candidates for open roles in a company. It helps organizations assume authority over their candidate selections.

Candidate sourcing usually involves:

  1.  Attracting talent
  2.  Screening candidate
  3.  Scheduling interviews
  4.  Collect feedback
  5.  Making hiring decisions
  6.  Roll out offers
  7.  Onboard new hires and measuring

Adopting a proactive stance in seeking out potential candidates for vacant positions, rather than solely relying on incoming applications, significantly enhances the likelihood of securing the most proficient individuals for your organization’s needs. 

process of candidate sourcing

Benefits of Candidate Sourcing 

Here are some key advantages of candidate sourcing, making it an indispensable strategy for organizations in the recruitment process:

  • Candidate sourcing expands the talent pool beyond traditional job boards and applications.
  • It improves the quality of candidates by proactively targeting specific qualifications, experience, and cultural fit.
  • Organizations gain a competitive advantage by identifying and engaging with top talent before competitors.
  • Time and cost savings are achieved by focusing efforts on pre-qualified candidates.
  • Sourcing promotes diversity and inclusion by actively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds.
  • It enhances employer branding by showcasing values, culture, and career opportunities.

7 Proven Candidate Sourcing- Step-by-Step Process 

Step 1: Unlock precision in Candidate Sourcing with Boolean Search

Modern candidate sourcing strategies makes uncovering the most sought talent a piece of cake. Beyond other strategies, Boolean Search acts as the ultimate tool that harnesses computer science tools like logical operators, parentheses, and keywords to precisely locate the right fit for the organizations. 

This technique functions on the foundation of three key operators: “AND”, “OR”, and “NOT”. It works in the following way:

  1. Using “AND” keywords narrows down the results to show candidates possessing the specific skill set.
  2. Using “OR” broadens the search to show candidates with any of the relevant skill sets.
  3. Using “NOT” excludes irrelevant keywords to eliminate the unnecessary profiles.

candidate sourcing

Step 2: Explore Specialized Job Boards

Job Boards and virtual platforms added an additional dimension to effective candidate sourcing. With platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, recruiters can tap into the right talent – a wide range of relevant skills, experience, and expertise. For a wider visibility, craft compelling job descriptions with the right keyword to attract a diverse range of potential candidates.

With Keka’s ATS recruiters can gain access to a centralized platform where you gain access to all your sourced candidates, without the need to scroll between platforms, saving your time and efforts.

Step 3: Utilize Company Websites

Delve into company websites to gather valuable insights into the organization, employees, culture, and expertise. This information can help identify potential candidates who fit your requirements. Engage with them directly to express interest and discuss opportunities.

Step 4: Promote Internal Recruitment

Encourage internal mobility and provide growth opportunities for existing employees. This practice lets you tap into a pool of motivated individuals already familiar with your organization. Additionally, request employee referrals to expand your candidate pool.

Keka’s ATS allows the recruiters to identify the skills and competencies of potential employees and discover the internal talent capability of the organization..

Step 5: Harness Social Networks

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are the ‘treasure trove’ of talented and passionate candidates – most are not looking but are open for right opportunities. Engaging with the potential fit candidates through comments, sharing industrial insights, and building a meaningful and strong network. These all efforts along with authenticity and personalized engagement helps in creating a rich talent ecosystem; that can be tapped at any time.

Step 6: Maximize Event Sites

Attending industry-specific events and conferences often provides the opportunity to meet potential candidates face-to-face. These events offer insights into the candidate’s communication skills, industry knowledge, and industry passion in the real-time. It’s crucial to engage in meaningful conversations with them, exchange contact information, and follow up with them post the events.

Step 7: Optimize Referral Programs

Any organization’s employee referrals can be one of the most efficient techniques to tap into the right candidates. Optimizing referral programs with easy to apply sites and effective incentives motivates employees. Recruiters that overlook this, miss out the opportunity on high-quality candidates that fit in the company culture and are vouched by trusted employees.

Keka’s ATS is the perfect solution for recruiters that face difficulty in optimizing their employee referral strategy. As with this the recruiters can manage and track all the employee referrals and seamlessly integrate them into the job boards, so their skills and competencies are not overlooked.

Key candidate sourcing metrics 

When sourcing candidates for open positions, it is essential to analyze metrics that offer insights into the effectiveness and efficiency of your recruitment efforts. Consider the following key candidate sourcing metrics for valuable insights:

  • Determining Sourcing Channel Effectiveness:

To optimize your recruitment strategy, it is crucial to assess the effectiveness of different sourcing channels. By analyzing metrics such as the number of qualified candidates generated, cost per hire, and the quality of hires from each channel, you can make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively.

  • Monitoring Candidate Pipeline Speed:

To maintain a streamlined hiring process, it is essential to track the speed at which candidates progress through your recruitment pipeline. Evaluate HR metrics such as time-to-fill, time-to-hire, and the average duration at each stage of the pipeline. This analysis can help identify bottlenecks and streamline your efforts for a more efficient hiring process.

  • Evaluating Sourcing Productivity:

Assessing the productivity of your sourcing efforts allows you to evaluate the efficiency of your recruiters and sourcing tools. Analyze metrics such as the number of sourced candidates per recruiter, time spent on each candidate, and overall team productivity. This evaluation helps identify areas for improvement and enhances overall efficiency.

  • Measuring Response Rate:

Evaluating the response rate from candidates you reach out to is essential for assessing the effectiveness of your sourcing outreach. Track the percentage of candidates who respond to your communications to gauge job attractiveness, and messaging quality, and make necessary adjustments to improve candidate engagement.

  • Tracking Candidate Conversion Rate:

Tracking the conversion rate of candidates throughout the hiring process helps understand the success of your sourcing efforts in securing hires. Analyze the percentage of candidates who progress from one stage to the next (e.g., from initial screening to interview, from interview to offer) to identify areas for enhancement and refine selection criteria.

Innovations in candidate sourcing tools

In today’s exceedingly competitive job market, HR professionals are finding it increasingly imperative to employ innovative candidate-sourcing tools that possess an extraordinary level of perplexity and burstiness. These tools have become indispensable for swiftly identifying and engaging with top talent in the most efficient manner possible.

tools in candidate sourcing

Among the remarkable advancements in this realm, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have emerged as leading solutions in streamlining the recruitment process. These systems ensure seamless candidate management and tracking throughout the hiring journey. Sourcing tools, on the other hand, delve into vast candidate databases to uncover hidden gems and potential matches with unparalleled efficacy.

1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS):

  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have brought about a revolutionary change in candidate sourcing by simplifying the recruitment process and boosting overall efficiency.
  •  HR professionals can utilize ATS platforms to effortlessly handle job postings, track applicants, and collaborate with hiring teams, all within a centralized platform.
  •  These systems automate time-consuming administrative tasks like resume screening and application tracking, enabling HR personnel to allocate more time to strategic sourcing and engaging with candidates.
  • ATS tools offer valuable features such as resume parsing, keyword matching, and customized workflows, facilitating swift and effective candidate screening and selection.

2. Sourcing from Databases:

  • Candidate databases and talent pools offer valuable sourcing opportunities, particularly for passive candidates who aren’t actively job hunting.
  • Sourcing tools allow HR professionals to efficiently search, filter, and target specific candidate profiles based on various criteria like skills, experience, and location.
  • Advanced search algorithms and AI-powered matching capabilities quickly and accurately identify relevant candidates from extensive databases.
  • Some sourcing tools provide contact information or integrate with communication platforms, simplifying the outreach process.

3. AI and Machine Learning:

  • AI and machine learning technologies enhance candidate sourcing tools, boosting efficiency and match quality.
  • Automated candidate screening is possible through analyzing resumes, identifying keywords, and comparing qualifications to job requirements.
  • AI algorithms use past successful hires to identify patterns and predict candidate suitability, reducing bias and improving overall quality.
  • AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants engage with candidates, answer questions, and even conduct initial screening interviews, providing a seamless and personalized experience.

4. Social Media Sourcing:

  • Social media platforms provide many potential candidates for recruitment.
  • Sourcing tools integrate with social media, enabling recruiters to search and engage with candidates directly.
  • These tools extract candidate profiles and analyze their social media activities.
  •  Insights on candidates’ skills, interests, and cultural fit are provided by the tools.
  • Automation features help to increase the visibility and reach of job opportunities through scheduled posts and targeted ad campaigns on social media channels.

5. Data Analytics and Reporting:

  • Advanced analytics and reporting in candidate sourcing tools offer valuable insights for optimizing recruitment strategies.
  • HR professionals can track and measure metrics like sourcing channel effectiveness, time-to-fill, and cost-per-hire.
  • These tools enable data-driven decision-making through real-time dashboards and customizable reports.
  • Visualizations assist in identifying trends, bottlenecks, and opportunities for streamlining the sourcing process.


1. How do you source candidates?

Candidate sourcing methods include posting job ads, using social media and networking platforms, working with recruitment agencies, utilizing candidate databases, encouraging employee referrals, and participating in career fairs. These methods aim to attract potential candidates for recruitment purposes. 

2. What is the difference between Sourcing and Recruiting? 

Sourcing entails actively finding and enticing potential candidates, while recruiting involves assessing, choosing, and ultimately hiring candidates. The purpose of sourcing is to establish a pipeline of potential candidates, whereas recruiting concentrates on evaluating and making decisions for specific job openings.

3. What is social sourcing and what are some of the effective social sourcing tools? 

Social sourcing leverages platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to detect and engage with potential candidates. Notable tools for successful social sourcing include LinkedIn Recruiter, Facebook Jobs, Twitter Advanced Search, Instagram Job Ads, and TalentBin.

4. What is a passive candidate in Candidate Sourcing? 

A passive candidate refers to someone who is presently employed and not actively looking for new job prospects, but possesses the desired skills and experience. Sourcing passive candidates involves directly contacting them through networking platforms, personal referrals, and enticing them with appealing job opportunities.

5. How to use Naukri to source candidates? 

When sourcing candidates on Naukri, it’s important to create a comprehensive job posting, incorporate relevant keywords, make effective use of search filters to locate suitable candidates, respond promptly to inquiries, and consider utilizing premium services for enhanced visibility.

6. How do source candidates on Git Hub?

When sourcing candidates on GitHub, begin by searching for repositories or projects that are relevant to your hiring needs. Review the profiles and contributions of developers to assess their suitability. Reach out to them either through GitHub’s messaging system or by using the contact information they have provided. Additionally, consider actively engaging with the developer community to further enhance your sourcing efforts.

7. How to source candidates on Stackoverflow?

When sourcing candidates on Stack Overflow, initiate the process by searching for users who have asked or answered questions related to your hiring requirements. Evaluate the quality of their responses and consider their reputation score. Review their profiles for additional information. Engage with potential candidates through comments or direct messaging. Additionally, actively participate in relevant discussions to expand your network and sourcing opportunities.

8. How to source candidates on Twitter? 

When sourcing candidates on Twitter, leverage the advanced search function to find tweets containing keywords or hashtags related to your hiring needs. Engage with individuals who are discussing relevant topics, showing interest in their insights. Share job postings or relevant content to attract potential candidates. Utilize direct messaging to initiate conversations and explore potential opportunities further. Additionally, actively participate in Twitter chats or industry-specific hashtags to connect with a wider network of professionals.

Table of Contents

    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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