Sourcing: definition and strategy of recruitment sourcing


The sourcing is a recruitment method used to contact, engage and find potential candidates for a specific position. The search for candidates is an essential part of the recruitment process, and sourcing is an effective way of optimising it by going directly to potential candidates.

However, in order to make the best use of sourcing in HR, it is essential to have a clear understanding of this method: what is sourcing, what are its advantages, how should it be used, what strategy should it follow?

Are you interested in recruitment sourcing? Intuition Software explains all you need to know about this process and how to implement it effectively in your company:

Sourcing has a simple definition and helps save time when recruiting

To sum up

  • Sourcing is a method used to anticipate recruitment needs;
  • Sourcing allows identifying the ideal profile, storing the data and sorting it appropriately ;
  • Recruitment sourcing involves defining your needs, setting up a suitable recruitment process and using the right strategies;

What is sourcing?

Sourcing is a method used in human resources by the recruiter to search for potential candidates for specific positions. It is no longer the candidate who comes to the company, but vice versa. It enables the employer to “cast a wider net” by targeting people who may not yet be actively looking for a job.

Sourcing takes place upstream of the recruitment phase, enabling human resources to anticipate their human needs and find the ideal candidate matching their criteria (soft skills, mad skills, hard skills).

Until now, this process has been the job of a headhunter. Today, however, it is possible to do it yourself, whether for reasons of budget, scale or the specific characteristics of your company.

Recruitment sourcing is your toolbox for identifying profiles that are a perfect match for the vacancy, optimising your recruitment process and achieving better results.

 Jobaffinity's interface helps you with your recruitment sourcing

Why do sourcing?

The primary aim of sourcing is to save recruiters time and money It makes it easier to find qualified people from diverse backgrounds and helps to ensure fairness in the hiring process. Human resources departments can go straight to work looking for candidates who match their needs, without having to wait for a large number of CVs that are not always suitable.

The aim of HR sourcing is also to build up what is known as a “candidate pool ” where you can determine which profiles are likely to best match the requirements of the vacancy or vacancies soon to be created.

This recruitment process takes place before a new position is created, so that the needs of human resources can be considered and their expectations met as effectively as possible. There are two types of sourcing:

  • Short-term HR sourcing: this is the method most often used when you want to fill a position quickly. You will be sourcing more recruitment via job boards, for example, involving more applications (more or less qualified) to sort through. What’s more, the candidates we find are actively looking and can therefore be recruited by someone else at any time.
  • Long-term sourcing: this enables you to build up a good pool of candidates for key positions before you even start the recruitment process. You’ll keep fewer profiles, but they’ll be more suited to your needs.

You need to be ready to act quickly once you have identified your ideal profile. The world of work is changing fast and any good candidate can receive several offers at the same time: companies whose HR teams know how to mobilise become more attractive than those who are slow to react. To improve your recruitment, think about setting up a scorecard.

5 advantages of recruitment sourcing

HR sourcing has many advantages for employers. Here are the top 5 to remember:

  • Targeting the right candidate profile : sourcing in recruitment allows you to target the best possible candidates for the position to be filled and quickly access a larger pool than if you relied solely on responses to your job offers or unsolicited applications.
  • Finding passive candidate profiles: candidate sourcing helps to identify “passive” candidates who may be interested in new opportunities without actively seeking employment. This includes people who already have a job, those who are completing an interesting course or who are currently on a gap year for one reason or another.
  • Going where your company doesn’t yet have a presence: sourcing is also useful for identifying talent in a specific geographical area, from certain sectors or backgrounds that would otherwise be overlooked by traditional recruitment methods.
  • Improve brand awareness: Recruitment sourcing enables employers to increase brand awareness as they build relationships and connections with potential recruits. By positioning yourself and approaching the most interesting profiles, you’ll get people talking about you and show that you’re open to the outside world.
  • Save time on the recruitment process: HR sourcing may seem “time-consuming” but, in reality, your recruitment process will be greatly accelerated and you will achieve a much lower drop-out rate. By identifying potential ideal candidates in advance, you can avoid sorting through dozens of unsuitable CVs.
HR sourcing turns the tables when it comes to finding the ideal candidate

How do you go about sourcing?

To do recruitment sourcing, you need to follow a number of steps:

  • Defining your recruitment needs: the first step is to define the vacancies to be filled within the company in order to then target the profiles that might match each need.
  • Establish the needs of the position in question: for good sourcing, you need to target the skills (soft and hard skills) required, the experience needed, the geographical proximity, etc. You can determine criteria internally that you would not mention in an advert.
  • Determine the ideal candidate profile: this is your candidate persona. Just as a marketing department would draw up personas of potential customers to obtain all the keys you need to find out where these candidates generally are, what communication channels they use, what language to use and what points will attract them most.
  • Use the right sourcing strategies : rather than settling for just one of the methods listed below, mix them up depending on the profiles you’re looking for. Digital technology is now essential to recruitment. They are changing and so must the recruiter.
  • Selecting potential candidates : you then need to find and contact potential candidates who meet your requirements.
  • Sourcing management : thanks to all the data you will have retrieved following candidate sourcing, you need to establish a database that will save you time in your next recruitments.

Recruitment sourcing is a process that requires analysis and planning, so you need to keep in mind that you’re looking for quality and diversity. Don’t just hire people who “fit the mould” or tick the boxes, look for profiles that can bring fresh ideas, specific skills and a new dynamic to your team.

Want another original idea for finding candidates more easily? QR code recruitment !

It's essential to find the right sourcing strategy for your business

What are the different sourcing strategies?

There are 6 different sourcing strategies, which correspond to unique approaches to finding potential recruits. You need to choose the one that best suits your business and your needs.

Direct search or “active sourcing”

This involves searching for candidates in real time on different platforms (social networks, jobboards…) to encourage them to apply directly. Google searches, LinkedIn Premium Recruiter accounts (or the free version) and Indeed Resume are all essential tools for this type of recruitment sourcing.

Passive or “Niche Sourcing”

Niche Sourcing consists of creating a profile of the ideal candidate and then searching databases for them using specific filters such as degree, experience, proximity or skills. This way, you can target passive or recently active profiles that are a perfect match for the position you want to fill.

Recommendation, sponsorship and cooptation programmes

These recruitment sourcing programmes involve asking current employees to recommend potential candidates in their network by offering them a benefit in the form of a bonus, for example, if the person recommended is eventually hired.

Searching for candidates using data sourcing algorithms

This type of sourcing involves using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and is therefore generally more suitable for very large companies. By storing the profiles of potential employees, AI algorithms can suggest candidates who have the skills, knowledge and experience required to fill open positions.

The use of social networks

LinkedIn is the most popular platform with recruiters and, with a good social networking strategy and a strong employer brand, it is the most popular with employers. You can, for example, find the ideal candidate among the profiles of people who follow your company page. You can also use these social networks to collect profiles, by publishing a recruitment questionnaire for interested parties.

The use of job boards

This is the most traditional sourcing strategy for human resources, as there are many job boards on the Internet (Indeed, Jobi-joba, pole-emploi). By publishing job offers on these platforms, employers can obtain a large number of potential candidates.

Sourcing is a simple method, but you need to be methodical and choose the right tools. Our recruitment software Jobaffinity can make your life a lot easier by helping you find the best talent faster. Simply request a demonstration from our team and you’ll never look at recruitment sourcing the same way again.

Good recruitment!

See articles in the same category