Collective Sourcing: Three Ways to Get Your Colleagues Involved

Anyone who has struggled to find a job has heard the old adage plenty of times: “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” At the same time, as you work to source qualified talent for your organization, you’ve likely experienced something very similar. At a time when people are connected like never before, recruiting success is often dependent upon who you know and who those people know, and acting on those connections.

The goal of any sourcing program is to find the right people at all levels who can help the organization achieve its objectives. Therefore, the act of sourcing shouldn’t be limited to just one person or department. In order to find the best candidates, you should enlist the help of all employees in a truly collaborative process. With such an approach, you will be able to benefit from the connections of the entire company, making it easier to identify people with the right skills and experience.

Many companies practice collective sourcing to some extent, typically with a mass email announcing current openings. However, to be most successful, you will need to develop and implement an expanded strategy that leverages the networks of all of your colleagues to find right-fit talent. Consider the following tips and strategies for spurring collective sourcing at your organization:

1. Link to Talent through LinkedIn 

While LinkedIn provides a platform to connect with talent, a successful program is much more than just posting positions on the company’s LinkedIn page and hoping the right people find it. By encouraging colleagues to share job ads on their social media profiles, you can expand recruiting efforts to all employees’ networks and gain access to an exponentially larger candidate pool. Targeting individuals who already have a connection to people in your company, whether they are your co-workers’ classmates, former colleagues or fellow members of professional organizations, is helpful in engaging individuals you might not otherwise be able to target.

To fully benefit from collective sourcing and to ensure everyone supports recruiting efforts, you can encourage all colleagues to maintain active LinkedIn profiles. In addition, providing best practices on using LinkedIn as part of the onboarding process, such as encouraging new hires to connect with their new co-workers, can foster a culture of networking and improve your ability to find talent. Moreover, working with the marketing department to post jobs on the company’s LinkedIn page, and asking employees to simply repost the company’s updates, can increase sharing with minimal effort.

2. Encourage Sourcing with Incentives

According to the Talent Board’s “Candidate Experience 2012,” 53 percent of candidates surveyed indicated they had an existing relationship with the company they applied to, either as a customer, advocate or, most importantly, a relative or friend of an employee. The report also revealed that referred candidates are more than four times likely to receive an offer than those candidates who aren’t referred, highlighting the success of sourcing candidates though employees’ personal and professional networks. Developing a robust employee referral program will enable you to further establish a culture of collective sourcing, where colleagues are eager to share their referrals.

While offering employees a monetary bonus for referring a candidate is nothing new, most of these programs often end once the candidate is hired. But what happens if the new hire proves to not be the right fit? To keep colleagues engaged with the program, and ensure they recommend the right people, it is better to split up the referral bonus, giving the referring employee half of the bonus up front and the rest after the new hire’s first year anniversary. Explaining to management how such a strategy ensures the company rewards employees that refer quality candidates and aren’t just in it for the up-front bonus will help to gain their buy-in.

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3. Get Multiple Opinions

The idea of collaborative sourcing also extends to the interviewing stage, and digital interviewing technology helps you facilitate that process. Rather than conducting the interview process and deciding who to advance on your own, digital interviewing solutions make it is easy to include other key stakeholders in the selection process. For instance, video-based technology enables candidates to record themselves answering questions provided by recruiters. You can then share the videos with the leadership team and the candidate’s potential future colleagues to ensure that the people with whom or for the candidate will be working can weigh in on the hiring process.

This can also be combined with the company’s social strategy to ensure you promote open positions to targeted individuals. By creating a universal link that can be shared over social media and distributed to employees’ personal and professional networks, it will be easier to connect with individuals you would like to interview. When recipients receive the link, they can be invited to complete a digital interview whenever it is most convenient for them.

With today’s more open and transparent business environment, there are more options available to ensure you access the largest talent pool possible. Fostering an all hands on deck approach, where each employee serves as a channel to deliver talent, will make it easier to find quality candidates. By relying on colleagues to help out, you can benefit from bringing in individuals who already know about the company, share common values and will be ready to contribute to its success on day one.

Partnership image from Bigstock.com

Chip Luman is the Chief Operating Officer at HireVue where he leverages more than 20 years of human resources, general management and operations experience to ensure the success of HireVue's digital interviewing customers. Chip has held executive HR roles in the F500, led video game software development and is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Penn State. His off hours are spent with family, playing video games, looking for new gadgets and technology and expanding his music collection. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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