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Effective Talent SourcingIn spite of economic uncertainty, CEOs in almost every industry confirm that the ability to source optimal talent remains a key strategic priority.

Small and medium sized enterprises in particular continue to fuel job growth in North America where business expansion and employee attrition are the main contributors of hiring activity.

Why Is Talent Sourcing So Important?

In the competitive war for talent, employees with the most desired skills have choices. They will leverage their personal network and the Internet to discover your brand and culture even before they decide to apply for a job.

The ability to source a ready supply of qualified people is a huge competitive advantage. It not only ensures the organization can sustain a high performing culture; it comes down to making certain you have available talent for the right role at the right time. Your talent acquisition strategy is, in effect, entirely dependent upon an effective sourcing game plan.

Best in Class Talent Sourcing

Achieving this goal starts with a strong talent-focused culture that prevails across the entire organization. It’s a culture where leaders and employees embrace the importance of acquiring top talent.

To create an effective sourcing process, keep in mind these 5 simple steps:        

1.      Be Innovative!

Progressive organizations have moved away from the “post and pray” approach that yields an avalanche of mostly unqualified candidates.

They now leverage a multi-channel strategy combining a powerful Applicant Tracking System (ATS), proactive networking, and advanced Boolean search techniques with a compelling attraction message to identify the untapped passive candidate market.

The traditional “staffing” team is now being replaced by strategic acquisition and sourcing experts that focus on the emergence of millennial talent and build employment brand communities amplified through social media.

Shifting your organization’s cultural mindset from gatherers to hunters of Talent affords significant control over candidate qualifications and quality.

2.      Write a Compelling Job Description

Contemporary organizations targeting specific generational talent have removed the typical laundry list of required generic skills (i.e. educational and previous work experiences) to specific actions and results, while articulating why their organization is a great place to work.

By focusing on stating the top performance objectives expected in the first 6-12 months, the goal is to define what critical deliverables are desired of a top performer. Articulating this information from the hiring manager’s perspective will also assist the recruiter to gain more understanding of the role they are sourcing.

3.      Employee Referrals Make Great Hires!

It’s no secret employee referrals make excellent hires. They also reduce your cost of hire while encouraging your employees to actively participate in the sourcing process.

A recent study confirmed referral hires perform better than non-referred ones, and have a lower likelihood of voluntary turnover. Leveraging how this predicts performance in your organization can yield a powerful ROI.

4.      Leverage Technology

Automating your sourcing strategy through an ATS with diagnostics enables your people to focus their strategic efforts (and time) on networking for Talent. It can improve the candidate experience by simplifying the application process, complement your brand, and proactively build a database of qualified leads for your current or next hiring cycle.

Application Program Interfaces (API) can integrate with social media sites or aggregators and target the flow of candidates. A centralized process redefines your employment metrics in real time and enhances recruiter efficiency to ensure consistent hiring practices.

5.      Deploy Talent Analytics

Talent analytics enable businesses to make informed talent decisions and predict employee performance while minimizing personal bias.

A client was sourcing a key sales role and leveraged analytics acquired over several years to create a multi-level screening engine by gathering experience, demographic, and location information that statistically predicted performance. A short list of pre-qualified candidates then completed a customized assessment bench-marked to their top sales performers; within 9 months the new recruit exceeded the sales target by 220%.

The company bolstered their confidence in sourcing a qualified pipeline of high performing sales candidates while improving efficiency and complementing other key decision points in their selection process.

An active and integrated sourcing strategy is a key enabler of talent identification. Leveraging the right process and analytics will allow you to take decisive action to proactively source the right talent, creating a compelling competitive advantage.


If you are interested in learning more about prevailing best practices in Talent Sourcing or information on our talent management products or services, please contact us today!

Download our FREE eBook: An Introduction to Selecting Sales Professionals.

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Warren Collier, CHRL

About Warren Collier, CHRL

Warren has over 20 years of human resources and operations experience, serving in a variety of senior leadership roles in the financial services, telecom, and business process outsourcing sectors. He is responsible for building and delivering our talent management and HR consulting services to our Fortune 500 clients across Canada and the United States, along with our portfolio in the healthcare and public sectors. Warren graduated in business administration and has completed executive development programs at Queen’s and York Universities, and holds the Canadian Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation. He has also served on several boards, including MacKenzie Health and the Ontario Hospital Association. He currently serves as Board Secretary at Orchestra Toronto.

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