3 Sourcing Strategies to Prove LinkedIn Isn’t the Only Source for Candidates

By Chris Murdock

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Compared to 1 in every 152 non-sourced candidates, 1 in every 72 sourced candidates is hired, making sourcing more than 2 times as efficient as organic recruiting. By “organic recruiting” we mean simply posting an ad for a job opening and screening, engaging and interviewing people that apply. The efficiency of great candidate sourcing results in finding fewer candidates in number, but more candidates of quality by over 50% every time. The result to the bottom line: exponential savings of time and money!

But your candidates are more than just resumes. To calibrate these people into your recruiting and sourcing process, you need to engage them and connect through means outside of phone calls and interviews in your strategy.

Connect and nurture relationships with your candidates

You need to create personalized messages to nurture rapport with candidates. All due respect to AI and automation, but you can’t automate empathy. The human touch is a vital part of sourcing because candidates don’t want to talk to chat-bots or auto-responders — they want a real, human connection. AI and automation may make things faster and more simplified, but it will never fully replace the need for human contact and relationship-building. Fill in the gaps with personalized messaging for what your autoresponders and chatbots can’t convey to your candidates.

Hold Open Houses to meet candidates and introduce them to your team. Sometimes the feeling of professional barriers can influence candidates, causing them to hide pieces of their personality. Make them feel welcome so their inner passion and skill sets can shine. On the other side of the coin, not everyone is going to fit into your company culture — no matter how talented they may be. We’ve had people come to our open house events, see our open office concept and know right away that the culture is not for them. Open houses give the candidate and hiring managers a chance to gauge culture fit in the office environment.

Schedule Eat N’ Meets to get candidates in a more comfortable, less professionally intimidating environment. I love food so maybe I’m biased, but nothing is better than getting to know someone over a delicious meal. It’s a fun and quick way to research the candidates’ interests in a more relaxed setting.

Create Social Media Touchpoints

Depending on the demographics of the candidates you’re looking to research, social media can be a sourcing gold mine. Remember how TV took over the radio? And nowadays, how streaming services are taking over TV? That’s kinda how social media is evolving ahead of email — it’s becoming the new direct inbox for communicating with candidates.

Recruiters love to talk about how many great candidates come from LinkedIn, but the truth is it’s not the only social media platform with opportunities to engage candidates. While 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, only 36% of job seekers are. While passive candidates are everywhere, an important step in building the candidate relationship is to avoid over-indexing your options from LinkedIn. To this end, here are some creative ways to incorporate other social media platforms into your sourcing strategies:

Twitter — 326 million monthly users

Twitter is great for communicating with candidates, formally and informally. I’ve tweeted at candidate targets after they’ve not responded to an email or other forms of communication. Most respond with a DM. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to “@” them directly, its main functions as a social platform are to provide news updates, customer service exchanges and the occasional funny meme. If you’re looking for evangelist or marketing candidates, this is a great place to mine. It’s also great for giving and collecting feedback, community relations, etc. 80% of Twitter’s users are millennials. That’s a pretty huge margin for millennial engagement considering they are going to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.

Create a Twitter list to organize your candidates and engagement. These lists enable you to organize the accounts and tweets you see in your feed. It’s basically like grouping the candidates you want to focus your attention.

Facebook — 2.23 billion monthly users

Even though Facebook has received a lot of negative press lately, it still remains the largest social media platform. With over 2 billion active users, it’s hard to deny that the platform has audience reach. Chances are your candidates are on here, and Facebook can be a good way to establish or strengthen a connection with them.

To source candidates on Facebook, type in a search query in the search bar at the top of your Facebook page. Here are a few example queries to simplify your Facebook search:

  • [Title] who live near [Location]
  • People who work at [Competitor] and like [Job function]
  • People who like [programming language] and live near [Location]
  • [Title] who live near [Location] and speak [Language]

Facebook Groups are usually the best place to engage with communities and talent pools. These collectives of like-minded individuals span everything from marketing to finance, engineering to manufacturing and so on. Joining these types of “social public” spaces is a great way to network and mine for candidates by region, interest or other topics.

Twitter and Instagram followers come and go, but nothing really sticks quite like sending and accepting a friend request. More than just searching for candidates though, Facebook is a great way to connect and build a relationship with the candidate. Making waves to connect with candidates on Facebook shows you’re serious about getting to know them.

Instagram — 1 billion monthly users

Instagram is all about pictures, so use it to show candidates your company culture! From events to activities, employee groups to benefits, Instagram is a window into what work life is like at your company. Here’s how to source and engage candidates on Instagram:

  • Use the right hashtags. Hashtags broadcast your job posts to relevant users across multiple platforms. Make your hashtags as skill-specific as possible. Maximize your hashtags by choosing the most popular and relevant ones.
  • Post every day. Waiting to post photos for photogenic moments like company parties or recruiting events creates a lot of missed opportunities. Get into the habit of sharing a piece of your company culture every day!

The trick to posting on Instagram is to make sure you don’t “boil the ocean” — try to avoid oversharing. One post a day should suffice in telling the story of your company culture.

Encourage Referrals

The perfect candidate isn’t going to walk through your door ready to be hired. While we might wish more candidates could be active (and sourcing passive candidates might be more of a challenge), it’s a part of the recruiting and sourcing norm in today’s candidate-facing market. 78% of recruiters and sourcers say they find their best candidates through referrals as part of their sourcing strategy.

One way to find great candidates is to source from your internal networks — to source candidates from your current employees and personal circles. Current employees are often your best source of new talent. Here are a few crucial employee referral metrics from LinkedIn’s Ultimate List of Hiring Stats:

  • Companies can expand their talent pool by 10x by recruiting through their employees’ networks.
  • 35% of employees refer to help their friends. 32% do it to help their company. 26% do it to be seen as a valuable colleague. Only 6% do it for money and recognition.
  • Candidates are 46% more likely to accept InMails when they’re connected to your employees.

Your employees and coworkers all have their own networks and personal connections. These networks often contain a number of high-quality candidates who might be a good fit for your sourcing pipeline. Passive candidates are much more likely to consider an opportunity brought to them by a personal connection.

People want to feel valued and they want to be heard. This rings true throughout social media profiles as well — people want to feel connected, but also need to build trust before letting just anyone in. That’s where sourcing and engagement collide: you have to build the relationship with candidates as you move them through your talent pipeline and sourcing strategy.

This article was originally published on the IQTalent Partners Blog.

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