What is a Talent Sourcer?

A modern approach to sourcing and recruiting

June 20, 2022

The role of a talent sourcer is to research, identify and network with talented applicants in order to convert them to potential candidates for jobs. For companies it may seem like a magic act as they see their applicant pools go upward exponentially from zero. However, it’s all in a day’s work for the Talent Sourcer (maybe we should call them Talent Sourcer Sorcerers 🧙). But what exactly goes into the talent sourcing process, how is sourcing talent different from recruiting and what are some sourcing strategies in recruitment?

Talent sourcing

Let’s say you work at a company and you’re currently hiring. Your open positions are getting few applicants and the applicants you are getting aren’t relevant. What are your options? You could try your hand at candidate sourcing sites on your own. However, sourcing is known to be time consuming, expensive and it can be a hard time figuring out how to hire candidates accurately. Further, you’ll likely end up with a low applicant rate and the potential for applicants that aren’t relevant to the open position.

By bringing on a talent sourcer, they can provide their expertise to find industry specific talent. Whereas sourcing talent via in house would require staff members who are knowledgeable on how to source and recruit candidates for every job position. For this reason, sourcing internally can be a difficult prospect versus hiring an outside sourcing solution. Further the applicant pool created by a talent sourcer will contain more relevant candidates. Sourcing can help you reach out to passive talents so you can fill your recruitment needs when just posting a job ad isn’t enough. Say there are 100 applicants applying to your site and 2 are relevant. Using a talent sourcer will provide hand picked applicants that are more likely to be relevant and more likely to get hired.

Sourcing vs recruiting

Now you may be thinking to yourself, sourcing, recruiting, it’s all the same thing. However, sourcing and recruiting are different areas of the talent recruitment process. So what does sourcing mean in terms of the recruitment process?

Traditionally, sourcing has been done by the same team performing the recruiting. Job descriptions were posted and as candidates came across them, they would apply. In this way, the sourcing process was completed passively. The candidate pipelines produced a trickle of people and a high percentage of irrelevant candidates.

Modernized sourcing and recruiting practices take a more proactive approach. In this manner, having sourcing as a separate team, sourcing team members can then search for more industry-specific talent. Since this is a more proactive approach, the candidate pipelines grow at a faster rate than in passive approaches and due to the talent being targeted by the talent sourcer, the quality of the applicant leads is higher.

How to source candidates

By now you’re likely wondering, what is the best way to source candidates and what are the best candidate sourcing tools to generate leads? Here’s where it can get a bit complicated as it can vary from case to case. Specific locations can have country specific tools such as Germany using Xing recruiter and specific industries like IT can use Stack Overflow. However, today we will focus on sourcing via LinkedIn and their LinkedIn Recruiter tool.

Find talent on LinkedIn with LinkedIn Recruiter

One of the best tools for sourcing candidates is LinkedIn Recruiter. With LinkedIn Recruiter as part of your recruitment sourcing strategy, you gain access to a global pool of talent. Utilizing LinkedIn Recruiter as your candidate source can help you narrow down this field based on a number of filters. The most important filters include:

  • Job Titles: Gives you the ability to search for specific roles to suit your sourcing needs based on current and previously held positions.
  • Keywords: Narrows down candidates based on specific keywords that are important to the position you are searching for..
  • Location: You can specify the location where the candidate resides if the company requires them to be local or remote.
  • Companies: Can determine candidates based on experience working with companies in similar industries to the one you're sourcing for.
  • Years of experience: This helps to determine if the candidates meet the experience level of the role your sourcing for.

One you have your filters in place, utilizing the spotlights of your search results will help you to source more efficiently. With the spotlights, you’ll have a better understanding of which candidates are most likely to respond to your outreach. Spotlights are broken down into a several categories that include:

  • Likely to respond: These candidates are the ones that LinkedIn has classified as having interacted with your company whether it be visiting your page or looking at job postings.
  • Open to new opportunities: These are candidates who have both met your search criteria and have indicated to LinkedIn that they are actively seeking new roles and are open to hearing from recruiters.
  • Company connections: These are candidates you are connected to people within your company on LinkedIn.
  • Engaged contacts: These candidates have engaged with content your company has posted on LinkedIn, follow your company or have been shown sponsored ads in the past posted by your company.
  • Past applicants: Candidates who have applied for roles in the past at your company via LinkedIn. 

Creating an engagement strategy

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidate pipeline into a clearly defined segment, it’s time to consider your engagement strategy. This can vary depending on a variety of factors including position, location and experience level however here are some key considerations when creating a strategy for outreach messaging.

The most important consideration for your candidate engagement strategy is personalization. Anytime a random person reaches out to you online, it’s normal to be suspicious of their intentions. Making sure to personalize your messaging can help provide some much needed comfort for your prospective candidates. Personalization in your messaging can include using the mentioning specific points from their profile or going as far as to research your candidate further online and mentioning something you’ve seen on their social media posts or blog articles they’ve published. Further connecting or following your candidate before reaching out can help. Applying some of these personal touches has shown to increase candidate response rates by 20%. Though no matter how many personal touches are made, it is still important to recognize that these contacts are passive talent and it’s necessary to reach out to as many relevant candidates as possible.

Additionally it is important to be direct with your candidate and provide them with all the details of the position you are sourcing for. This includes the company name, the job title, the location, the job description and salary information. Being up front with all the details and next steps will help your candidate decide if the role is worth responding to. Further, try to be as efficient as possible in your messaging keeping it between 200-400 characters. Anything over 400 characters is likely to get skipped over.

Talent sourcing is an art

Candidate sourcing can seem very straightforward but it truly is an art form that takes time to master. Each role you are hiring for is unique and takes a different approach. To source candidates in IT is much different than sourcing candidates in Marketing and takes a different approach and messaging to accomplish.

If you are finding yourself lost in the world of sourcing or find that tools such as LinkedIn recruiter cost too much for your company budget, bringing in a recruitment solution such as Cerecaptio can help your company attract top talent. We have experienced sourcing and recruiting professionals who are industry specific and can help you find candidates. Recruited talent is more likely to fit with your team and to stay around longer just like with our client Buutti. If your company is seeking a recruitment or sourcing solution, get in touch today.


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