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Sep 28, 2018

Think back to a time, where you started sourcing, and recruiting processes, only to have to shift gears, change direction and maneuver in a new way. A while back I wrote an article about “Mastering the Intake Meeting as a Sourcer.” In that article, I discussed the foundation of sourcing and recruiting as that initial call/meeting to gain partnership, understanding, and dialogue with your hiring manager.

In this article, I’ll take it a step further. Once you have gathered the pertinent details and asked relevant questions of the hiring manager, you come to a critical junction. This is the time where strategy meets search, and where you must plan your attack to tackle the requisition in front of you and give yourself the fastest way of filling that role.

What follows are five tips to build your sourcing plan of attack and with it, a record of how you will approach your search thus organizing the steps you wish to take. Why would this be important? Think carefully how a linear approach can help you organize robust challenges of being able to efficiently and effectively fill your positions. By taking a systematic approach, your search and sourcing efforts will be magnified, and hence your ability to close out the position faster and more efficiently.

5 Tips for Your Sourcing Plan

Tip #1: Organize on a spreadsheet your top sources of hire, and look at these carefully to determine which sources you should go after in filling your roles.  This may seem simple, but it’s important to categorize and decide your approach. In most companies, referral sources are top sources of hir, and low hanging fruit.  o, start a referral campaign amongst your staff. That could be merely pulling together those who are in the team and department where the opening is to be filled and with the hiring manager’s blessing do a presentation on the skills needed for the opportunity, so the team knows exactly what to look search. Next, look at areas like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, your ATS, your CRM, Indeed, job boards, Facebook posts, niche professional association searches, and start to document results under headings on a spreadsheet. This helps you track your findings and see how things are progressing. As you look at various sources and how those sources of candidates are performing, you can adjust your search to engage those tools producing the best results. Further, I find recording the strings that are yielding best results in the same spreadsheet can be extremely valuable and helpful.

Tip #2: After the first wave of initial search has progressed recalibrate with your hiring team and hiring manager.  After initial feedback comes in, start to assess how your search is improving, and then repeat step one, walking through the fit of the first batch of candidates. This approach enables you to proceed and get your plan of attack continued in the right direction. If things are working, keep going.

Tip #3: Have weekly touch bases with the hiring manager as the search progresses.  At each phase or batch of interviews, the hiring manager will naturally start thinking about the search and how things are improving. As each interview finalizes or within a reasonable time after multiple interviews (if batch openings), keep a steady pulse and allow for change to the search parameters. If you are dealing with a hard search, the hiring manager can explain what isn’t working or what they might like. Then adjust the strategy as needed.

Tip #4. Have your script, talk track, or closing and persuasive cheat sheets available.  Part of sourcing is outreach and effectively finding patterns of what engages specific categories of candidates you will begin to observe a way of approaching and attracting talent to you. You might have to get creative depending on the labor market competitiveness factors, but it is critical to stay focused and focus on what will be of most value to the candidates. I think getting your talk track down ahead of time for candidates, and being able to describe the “hot attributes” of the job, the upsides, and the perks and selling points can be truly value added.

Tip #5.  Finally, observe “Hot List” candidates for future roles.  As you conduct searches on various roles, think long-term – “When might I engage this search again?” And plan accordingly. Keep a “hot list” of strong candidates handy who are available and ready to go. For instance, many times you might engage a search only to have so many profiles of further candidates who could fit elsewhere, strive to see when you can engage these future candidates by having them join your talent community or CRM list. Think long haul and you will find future ways to attract talent down the line.

In Conclusion: A sourcing plan is not only a short term investment for the requisition in front of  you, but also can be used to observe common patterns over time. This enables you to find talent faster, adjust on the fly, and push forward with new ways of approaching your sourcing craft. Your sourcing plan not only is a strategy but a picture of the funnel which can also be used in recalibration sessions to show the hiring team the progress of your search. A sourcing plan has often been the very thing that enables me to add the most value and consult that much better with my clients and partners. It also serves to keep anxious hiring managers aware of challenges, wins, and outcomes as you consult, find and secure top talent that creates a win/win in your company and projects. That’s the outcome I want in my sourcing funnel.

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