HR Outsourcing: Successful HR Sourcing Strategies

Do these advertisements sound familiar to you?

“We will work with you to build a cost-effective sourcing strategy that will produce high-quality talent for your organization”…

“Our sourcing solutions can help you position your company as an employer of choice”…

“We provide expert consulting in candidate sourcing to help employers locate top performers”…

Wow this sounds wonderful, sign me up! But wait… What is a sourcing strategy and why do I need to hire someone to develop it? Let’s take a step back from the flashy advertisements for a moment and talk about what sourcing is and what it is not.

Sourcing is identifying and locating talent through proactive recruitment techniques. Sourcing is not posting an advertisement on a large job board and waiting to see who applies.

There are a myriad of methods that can be used to attract both active and passive job seekers:

  • networking
  • Boolean searches
  • cyber-sleuthing
  • RSS feeds
  • social networks
  • resume databases
  • niche job boards
  • professional recruitment firms
  • keyword searches
  • direct sourcing
  • business connection sites
  • word of mouth

and so on. There is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. The key is to determine and isolate those methods that will likely yield the best results based on the individualized position and available budget. Sourcing is an investigative process that, if done correctly, will produce high-quality, targeted, results. The following outlines some of the questions you should ask as you create your initial sourcing strategy:

  • Who is the ideal candidate for the position?
  • What are the must-have, should-have, and could-have knowledge, skills, and abilities?
  • Where might you find these candidates? What sources are they likely to reference when looking for job opportunities?

Search the resume database and post the position to a few select job boards, then investigate and learn from the results. Be curious and ask questions about the potential candidates you were able to locate. Look at the resumes and find common linkages such as:

  • What organizations do the top candidates belong to?
  • What companies have they worked for?
  • Where did they go to school and what degrees were obtained?
  • Do they reference Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social networking accounts?

Launch networking and direct HR sourcing efforts and continue to study the results and refine search criteria and methods. Although in-house HR or recruitment staff are often very capable of sourcing in this manner, it can be a very time consuming process and in some instances it may make more economic sense to outsource these efforts.

It has long been said that employees are the cornerstone of a great workplace and the key to positioning a company for success. Organizations that develop thoughtful and targeted sourcing strategies will intrinsically have a competitive advantage over those who simply leave their candidate pools to chance.

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As a recruiter, I’m exposed to new opportunities and information on a daily basis. I thrive on learning about new industries, new technology, new positions—and then using what I’ve learned to help make a great candidate-company match.