Over the past few years, Millennials and Generation Z have quickly become the cornerstone of the working population. Their fluid and transient approach to employment, far removed from the “job for life” attitude of baby boomers, often results in a fairly high turnover rate. As a result, companies must now be proactive, and use sourcing to overcome the major challenges facing the talent market.
Indeed, recruitment has become a kind of battlefield, where we constantly fight to find and acquire the best talents.
To be able to get out of it, you need to have a solid strategy. For good reason, the basics of effective recruitment begin with knowing where to find the best candidates.
Sourcing: the secret of successful recruitment
First of all, “sourcing” refers to an activity that is part of talent acquisition. Broadly speaking, this process involves proactively identifying, contacting and engaging qualified candidates rather than waiting for them to decide to apply on their own. Recruiters, whether third-party or corporate, may see this as one of their responsibilities. However, many organizations today prefer to employ teams of specialized professionals who focus exclusively on this task.
Many believe that the primary purpose of this approach is to bring candidates who have very unique or niche experience into the recruiting funnel. To achieve this goal, the use of different channels (such as phone calls, emails and social networks) is essential. However, sourcing is increasingly becoming a digital activity.
And for good reason, talent acquisition professionals use Boolean search techniques on search engines or comb through profiles on LinkedIn to identify potential applicants.
Some recruiters perform the sourcing function until hiring, i.e.:
- Collect valuable candidate information (such as CVs and portfolio of work samples);
- Shortlist candidates whose skills match the proposed roles;
- Make contact with candidates and inform them of vacancies;
- Build long-term relationships with potential hires.
Others, meanwhile, specialize in a single aspect of the cycle (in particular the search for suitable profiles). In this case, sourcers focus only on identifying potential applicants. They then “transfer” the names to another department of the recruiting team which will handle the selection, interviews and placement.
How Does Sourcing Affect Recruitment?
Most of the time, sourcing is used to refer to highly specialized talent searches. For example, a company may be looking for someone with a background in mechanical engineering who understands OOP (object-oriented programming). Sourcing professionals know very well where and how to find this particular profile. The latter actually have in-depth knowledge of the various sourcing tactics available on the web.
They exploit the lists of candidates on the Internet and can also extend their investigation to competing companies.
To determine the best keywords and context to search for, it is essential to understand the job requirements. Therefore, effective sourcing requires a perfect understanding and mastery of both the sector and the business. In addition, sourcing specialists know the best acquisition channels to find the right profiles with the type of experience required.
However, sourcing is not just limited to this analytical work. Indeed, it also refers to the strategy surrounding much of the recruiting effort. For example, it may be necessary to scout for the next generation of product management talent through a comprehensive employment program among students taking this course at university.
Similarly, a company may need a technique to acquire machine operators in a specific location. Thus, sourcing is not only devoted to research. The term can also encompass organizational matters for any source of need for a given business.
International sourcing: a real development challenge
With the phenomenon of globalization, sourcing strategy is at the forefront of talent acquisition issues. Promoting hiring in various countries and in different languages is a challenge for any human resources team. Even if they are professionals, finding talent on a foreign market remains difficult.
In many cases, the sourcing team could thus be local. She could then send a list of qualified candidates to a centralized company recruiting team. In reality, modern sourcing efforts are an incredibly complex aspect of the global talent supply chain.
As a result, the most effective methods are not limited to exploiting employer brands. They also take into account local economic, educational and labor market specialization factors.
In the recruitment industry, sourcing therefore refers to the practice of finding specialized candidates.
As a strategy, it can translate into:
- hiring initiatives.
- particular approaches to the labor market.
With increasing complexity in recruitment, the specialization of the HR profession continues unabated. Therefore, sourcing will most likely develop further, and its necessity will only become more important.