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What Is Sourcing in Recruitment?

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What Is Sourcing in Recruitment? Recruiting 101 Series on Recruiterly

When you decide to fill an empty position, you’re going to need candidates. Plenty of them. And the more qualified they are, the better will your chances of finding the right person be. We discuss ‘what is sourcing in recruitment?’.

The part of recruitment where you aim to identify qualified candidates is called sourcing.

Here’s everything you need to know about it:

Sourcing and Why It Matters

Here’s how most of companies and HR departments think about sourcing and recruitment:

“If I post a job ad, they will come.”

However, that can’t be further from truth.


  1. A lot of highly qualified individuals are already employed. They’re not actively looking at job postings. Instead, they’re passive job seekers.
  2. Applicants want to know what the reputation of the company is like. If it’s bad, over 90% of them won’t even consider working there.
  3. Talent doesn’t wait around, refreshing all the job sites where you might post your ad.

So yes, if you are comfortable waiting around for the perfect applicant to mysteriously find your job posting, that’s fine.

Just know that you could be waiting for a long, long time.

And at the same time, you’re reducing your chances of hiring someone who’ll be good for the company in the long term. Whenever an employee leaves and you have to hire a new one, the turnover could cost you as much as $213,000.

It’s much better to reach out to the right candidates than wait for them to find you. And that’s what sourcing is all about.

How to Source Candidates

Your first option is to start early.

When you have to source candidates at the point where you should’ve hired them yesterday, you won’t have enough time to consider who the best candidate is.

Chances are, you’ll hire someone just to hire someone.

But if you start by building an employer brand and promoting it digitally and locally, you could be getting passive applicants to build your candidate pool in no time.

The most effective way of building a positive employer brand is through employee advocacy. After all, your employees are three times more credible than the CEO when it comes to the truth about the working environment.

Additionally, you can also motivate your employees to refer their friends to the company, and even reward them for successful hires. Employee referrals usually have extremely high ROIs: in some cases, even as much as 82%!

Finally, you should also consider the direct outreach option that recruitment agencies and headhunters frequently use.

You can try generating candidate leads just like you generate sales leads by using advanced search functions of networks like LinkedIn or GitHub (for programming).

Finally, don’t forget about your past applicants. It pays to invest into an applicant tracking system for that very purpose. You may have found the perfect person who just didn’t fit the previous position.

But who is to say that they won’t be successful at the one you’re hiring for now?

After all, the best candidates come from unexpected places.

Would you like to learn more about recruitment? Check out our full Recruiting 101 Series.

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