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Why Sourcing Should Be the Most Important Part of Your Recruitment Process

To find the best candidates, focus your efforts early on in the sourcing process.

It’s no longer enough to find good candidates, you now have to find the best candidates. But what makes someone the best candidate, and how can you tell them apart from the rest of your talent pool? It’s not easy, right?

There is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to defining what qualifies someone as the ‘best’. With no one size fits all approach, what can you do? The best thing you can do is focus your efforts early on in the sourcing process and narrow down your talent pool to only a highly targeted group of candidates. Here’s how:

Do Your Homework. Define Job Requirements.

Imagine you’re buying a car. It’s a big purchase, one you’re potentially committing yourself to for years. What do you do? Do you go to the dealership without any idea of what you want and spend hours test driving every car? Of course not! You make a list of all the features you need and want to have, and then you go and research.

Identifying the best talent follows the same process. Before you start sourcing through your recruitment CRM, LinkedIn or post a job description, sit down with the hiring manager, ask questions, make observations, and take notes. Translate everything you have learned into requirements that only the best candidates will have.

Boolean Search and Data Mining Your Recruiting CRM

The reality is there is too much data out there for you to manually sort through resumes. Between the hundreds of candidates who will apply to your job post and the thousands of others sitting in your recruitment CRM, Boolean is the easiest and most effective way to narrow your candidate pool. Use the job requirements you defined in the first step to identify the keywords that will comprise your Boolean string. If you’re not sure how to write Boolean, reference our previous blog post, 5 Boolean Operators You Need to Know.

Refine Your Search. Add Candidates to Your Job Pipeline. Then, Do It Again.

After conducting your first Boolean search, chances are your narrowed list of candidates will still include a fair number of unqualified individuals. There may even be few outliers who are absolutely wrong for the role but their resume contains your targeted keywords.

The trick is to constantly refine your search over time, using different tactics. Do some boolean searches, try filtering your database just by Tags, and then try searching by title, zip-code, and a few key skill-codes, etc. It’s highly unlikely that your first search will contain the holy grail of perfect candidates, but don’t worry they are there. I promise. They are still hiding among a pool, albeit a smaller pool, of unqualified talent. Keep refining your search, identifying issues, and optimizing it until you have more manageable, targeted list of candidates. Don’t get discouraged if it takes multiple searches and approaches. Even the most knowledgeable Boolean experts conduct several queries and exhaust their internal ATS/CRM before going out into external sources.

Analyze, Compare & Contrast, Curate, Learn & Continually Make Adjustments.

There is no denying technology has changed recruiting for the better, but there is a reason it won’t replace recruiters any time soon. While your recruitment tools can help you narrow your field of possible candidates, it still rests with you to make the final judgement, add a personalized touch to the process, and utilize your sales skills to engage and progress the best candidates through the recruiting cycle.

So, don’t hit send on your bulk email just yet. Take the time to really go through your talent pool. You don’t need to spend too much time on this part of the process, but make sure your final list of possible candidates only contains individuals who meet the requirements for the role and are in a position to make a career change.

If you want to take your recruiting performance up to the elite level of the top Executive Recruiters in the world, use a Kanban board to track your progress, rank your very best candidates, and track them through the rest of the recruitment process. Always refine and adjust as you learn more about the role and the ideal candidate profile.

Word of caution. Don’t skip steps 3 & 4, jumping right to email.

I know there are some of you out there who may be asking yourself if steps 3 and 4 are necessary. If I’m being completely honest with you, they’re not. After step two, you could email the same message to your list, adding personalization tags for name and current company. You can absolutely do that if you’re alright with making an appearance under #recruiterspam or falling into the lazy recruiter trap where it’s just “ a numbers game”. Recruiters today are suffering backlash from job seekers. Sending bulk emails and hoping something sticks without qualifying first is only reinforcing the negative lazy stereotype.

Give yourself an opportunity to strengthen your recruiting brand, gain more referrals, and substantially increase your billings overtime. So, do your research and set yourself up for success. The extra time you spend narrowing your list will save you hours and stress from watching your inbox get bombarded with replies from unqualified candidates. Make your placements by focusing your time on the right person for the right job at the right time.

If you’re still struggling to build the perfect candidate pipeline, consider trying Loxo AI™. It’s the world’s first intelligent candidate sourcing tool and will unearth top talent across hundreds of data sources and recommend the best possible matches while you sleep.

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To find the best candidates, focus your efforts early on in the sourcing process.

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