Building an Active sourcing strategy – Your how to guide!

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I recently shared a number of tips on The Undercover Recruiter and wanted to share some of the key messages from that post plus a few additional ideas with you here!

As Greg Savage pointed out in his blog post “There’s no such thing as a passive candidate”, there are no passive or active candidates…there are just candidates.  The majority of people, if offered the right job opportunity would be open to listening to what you have to say.

With this in mind, does your business have a passive or an active sourcing strategy?  meaning, are you only speaking with candidates that approach you or are you out there chasing the best candidates in the market down?

Don Charlton, the CEO and Founder of The Resumator, outlined some great tips and tricks in a recent webinar about building active sourcing strategies.

Here are some key activities that may mean you have a passive sourcing strategy:

  • You post jobs as standard on job boards or LinkedIn and wait for candidates to apply
  • Your recruiters spending days sifting through hundreds of CV’s with no time to actively source candidates and/or build talent pipelines and communities
  • You may tweet a job once and then if there’s no response do nothing else
  • You allow the candidates in your recruitment database just sit there whilst more and more are added, but have no plan to search you database or build a CRM strategy to develop your employer brand with them

If this sounds familiar, then yes you may very well have a passive sourcing strategy!

Being a passive organisation when it comes to sourcing great talent, is never going to provide you with the best outcome or hit the mark at hiring the best candidates in the market.  You’ll always be hiring the best candidates out the talent that saw your ad but not the best talent in the market.

In order to drive change in your sourcing and recruiting function, here are 6 activities that can help you develop an active sourcing strategy:

1) Develop your Employer Brand and market it to your audience

Think of your company a little bit like a product.  You have something great that you want to ‘sell’ (the job opportunity) and communicate with the right people who will be your buyers.  The candidates they you seek are your buyers and you need to show them why your company is the right place for them to be!   A company that is proactive understands that it’s about promoting the organisation.  Give people a reason to be engaged in what you’re doing.

They can see why you do what you do (thanks Simon Sineak), they think that it’s the right environment for them through whichever multimedia you’ve shared and now they want to find a way to get into your company! I call these candidates ‘the identifiers’ – they identify with your goals, environment, culture and vision and now they want a piece of the action.

2) People don’t work for jobs they work for companies

People want to be proud, passionate and positive about their employer.  They want a brand that they feel is aligned with their values and that will provide them with the type of work and workplace that is right for them.

Promote what’s great about the company, the manager, the opportunity in a way that will appeal to your audience.   This may mean that if you are looking for engineers then the types of messaging you put out there needs to appeal to them.  If you’re looking for sales and marketing people then you may have a different approach.   I’ve been really impressed with some of the creative job ads I’ve seen around today.  You can check out some on theSocialrecruiter Pinterest page.

When I was a recruiter, one of the first things I learnt was ‘tell them what’s in it for them in the first line’.  It’s very rare to click into any job board or website ad today (trust me I just looked!) and see any unique candidate benefits outlined. It’s still full of bullet pointed must have skills and that’s about it.

intresting job ads

3) Make your employees fanatical referrers of your jobs within their networks.

I’ve written before about empowering your employees to be brand ambassadors or advocates for you here and here. Find out about what they think of your business; ~ would they refer or recommend it to a friend? If it’s not, then why not, and if it is, then how can you sell those opportunities more internally in order to tap into those great networks and communities? Always remember…top talent, know other top talent, it’s an oldie but a goodie.

4) Get social!

Entertain and educate your talent pools and communities. Give them a reason to come back to your website, blog, and social platforms so that you can not only communicate on topics of interest, but you can tell them about your business and the roles that you have available.   If you’re not interesting then how will you attract the best people?  I’ve debated this with colleagues in the past – do you spend time communicating with your Talent pools?  To me it’s a no brainer – out of sight, out of mind!

If I applied to you a year ago and you haven’t contact me about a role and you’ve communicated with me since then, how am I supposed know what’s going on in your business.  Some people might say, well if the candidate was really interested then they would keep up with what we are doing…..but that goes back to the old school thinking that you’re more important than the candidate.

Share, share, share…..and then share a little more!

5) Be creative

Companies that are using infographicsjobgrams, social sites, photography, video, gamification, etc, they’re the ones being proactive with their sourcing strategies and making an effort to stand out from the crowd. Give something new a try. I loved the line in a recent article about Starbucks that stated:

“If you wait for innovation to be perfect you’ll never try”

Have fun with it as well.  Even the biggest companies in the world have a sense of humour.   I personally love this video from Vend!

6) Socialize

Social networking is nothing without socializing. You can be on every platform available, but if you’re not engaging, meeting, talking to, questioning and answering people then your sourcing strategy will have little impact in meeting your hiring needs.

A community manager once told me: “everything you post online should have a link”.  My immediate thought was, if everything I post online has a link (i.e. I’m sharing something) then when do I just talk to people, respond to their questions or be part of their conversation? Remember that it’s not all about you!

And those are my 6 tips on how to build an active, creative and attractive sourcing strategy.  Don’t just be complacent in communicating with those who are external to your business.  Build a sourcing strategy with energy, creativity, passion and purpose and who knows, you may attract people with similar qualities!

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