Candidate Sourcing Definition

The recruitment process shouldn’t always depend on the candidate looking for open positions in your organisation, applying for the role, and entering the recruitment process. Sometimes, it is better if recruiters are proactive in their search for new candidates for their organisation. Candidate sourcing is a process that recruiters employ to find candidates for their roles.


Candidate sourcing is when recruiters reach out to candidates (both active and passive) for a present or future role that they have not applied for.

For your job adverts to reach the target audience and receive applications, a considerable amount of time is required. When recruiters reach out to candidates proactively, it makes it easier for them to screen the candidates and send them into the recruitment funnel.

Steps Involved in Candidate Sourcing

Candidate sourcing requires various steps to be performed in sequence to effectively find the right candidates and keep them engaged enough to consider your job role. The following are the steps involved in the candidate sourcing process:

  1. Understand the Requirements of the Role: This is a no-brainer. Understanding the job role and everything it entails is the first step to sourcing good candidates for a specific position. It is crucial to learn everything you can about the job role, including the experience required, the educational qualifications, and any other skills the candidates might need to succeed. As a recruiter, talking to the hiring manager can help you understand all necessary information about the role so you can visualise your ideal candidate.
  2. Use Your Sourcing Channel: Once you understand the role requirements, it is now time to search for the ideal candidate who can potentially fill the role. Various channels, such as online job boards, referrals, social media, and resume databases can help you fast-track your sourcing process.
  3. Contact Potential Candidates: As the next step of the candidate sourcing process, shortlist candidates who best fit the open role or any other open roles that might come up in the future. Note that the candidates might be passive and may not be actively looking for a new job. At this point, it is better to contact your potential candidates without any regard for that. Be sure that your messages and emails are personalised so that the candidate feels appreciated and it piques their interest.
  4. Screen and Shortlist Candidates: Start the screening process after preparing your candidate list. This can help you to filter your list of candidates even more. Make use of the resumes of the candidates and the information about their current work to make an informed decision. Be sure that the shortlisted candidates will be the right fit for your organisation. Not every candidate will show an active interest in taking the role.
  5. Build a Relationship with Your Candidates: The candidates you source right now may not join your organisation, but that does not mean all the efforts made in candidate sourcing have gone to waste. Candidates still hold the necessary qualifications required for the job roles of your organisation. Building a solid relationship with them and keeping them engaged can ensure that in the future, when the need arises, you can count on your talent pool to help you in your hiring needs. This applies even to passive candidates.

Candidate Sourcing vs. Recruitment

  • Candidate sourcing is searching for candidates, while the recruitment process comes only after choosing your candidates. The candidates you choose are then sent into the recruitment process for screening, interviewing, and assessment.
  • Candidate sourcing requires a working knowledge of the necessary skills and responsibilities of the open role. Extensive research and the ability to learn every role you promote are necessary for that. On the other hand, the recruitment process heavily relies on evaluating resumes you receive from candidates.
  • Communication with the candidate is kept to a minimum on the candidate sourcing side with contact being maintained so that they are engaged enough to consider the job role. 48% of candidates respond positively to receiving interview information ahead of time. On the recruitment side, the candidates are handled with care, since it affects the organisation’s candidate experience.
  • The candidate sourcing process can take place on any platform. Communicating with them on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook is now a routine process because most candidates stay active on such channels. Candidates are also in communication with the organisation during the recruitment process.
  • Candidate sourcing requires the organisation to look into the chosen candidates by doing extensive research before performing any initial screenings. In the recruitment process, the organisation evaluates candidates during the interviews.
  • Gathering data about the candidate and ensuring that they are properly screened before sending them on to the recruitment process is the primary role of the candidate sourcing process. In the recruitment process, the candidate is completely analysed, and even background checks are done before providing them with an offer letter for the organisation.

Advantages of Candidate Sourcing

Finding new talent for your organisation has always been a challenge for recruiters. The recruitment process is different from candidate sourcing, so it is essential to think of the benefits of candidate sourcing. The following are the advantages of candidate sourcing:

  • One of the most important recruitment KPIs is the quality of hires. The sourcing channel metric helps us identify the quality of the candidates who eventually end up becoming an employee of the organisation. This sourcing channel metric indicates the organisation’s strength after considering various factors pertaining to the employee. Since candidate sourcing considers everything, candidates undergo an initial screening, which can help to guarantee that the candidate is the right fit for the organisation.
  • Other recruitment KPIs necessary to track your recruitment efforts are the time to hire and cost to hire. They give us an idea of the time it took for the candidate to join the organisation and how much it cost the company to hire them. With candidate sourcing, it is easier for the organisation to find candidates ahead of the requirement. This can save the organisation considerable time and money.
  • An organisation that does not indulge in diverse hiring can become the victim of stagnant company culture. Employees joining your company may not contribute anything new to the organisation if they are not diverse enough from the employees already present in the organisation. At the same time, diversity hiring can be difficult to uphold with quick hires. It is more accessible to find candidates outside of your typical candidate profile through candidate sourcing.
  • Employer branding is an essential aspect of every organisation. In candidate sourcing, an essential requirement is to stay in touch with the potential candidate through regular emails and conversations. This allows you, as the employer, to showcase your company values and stats that might otherwise go unnoticed. Through candidate sourcing, the candidate can better understand the advantages of joining your organisation. This can easily improve your reputation and employer branding.
  • Passive candidates are already working in an organisation and are not looking for a new job. These candidates are often good at their job, and it takes a lot of negotiation from the recruiter to convince the candidate to come to the new organisation. Even after negotiation, the candidate may serve a notice period from the previous organisation. Candidate sourcing can help you scout for passive candidates and establish communication with them early.

Wrapping Up

The candidate sourcing process is rapid, and you, as the recruiter, have to play the long game if you want to build your talent pool. Ensuring that the strategies work with your candidate sourcing style is essential. Experiment with various types of strategies that might work well for your organisation. Understanding candidate sourcing can help you make it easier to implement steps to make your organisation work towards candidate sourcing.


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