Sourcing: Four Ways to Set the Tone for a Positive Candidate Experience

How many of you were told at some point in your life, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”? It’s something you probably remember when you’re shaking someone’s hand or being warm and engaging when meeting strangers. And when you haven’t set that relationship off on the right foot, it takes a while for it to correct itself.

For job candidates though — especially very good ones — the first impression they are likely to get is through your organization’s sourcing function. As sourcing has evolved from a tactical and technical recruiting support to full-blown strategic recruitment marketing and candidate generation engines, it’s time to focus on what sourcing can do to move the needle on candidate experience:

1. Create an engaging employment brand

We put the easy one up first, right? There is something to be said for having a long term vision and strategy for your organization’s employment brand, though. While you may have a crack sourcing team, there’s only so much they can do to build interest in a company that isn’t on people’s minds or has a poor reputation. Building brand takes time and is slow going but it can help candidates become more comfortable talking to your team.

2. Invest in your sourcing team

The days of treating your sourcing team as some sort of junior recruiter position are long over. As the initial contact point for most of your top passive candidates, you’ll want sourcers who are professionals in every respect. That includes world-class training and mentoring as well as pay that recognizes the importance of this high-touch, high-service position in your organization.

3. Nail the process and handoff

If you’re successful in attracting interest from top candidates, nothing can turn them off more quickly than having a broken process. Communicating regularly initially, and then dropping off the radar, is far too common still. When it comes for the sourcer to hand it over to a recruiter, wires can get crossed as well. Make sure that you know your recruiting process inside and out, so your candidate can receive the smoothest experience.

4. Measure and improve pain points

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Great results are important but do you know how much you improved and what you can do to continue marching in the right direction? Early in your efforts to improve the candidate experience, you should survey candidates (both those who obtained positions and those who didn’t) and set an appropriate baseline. After six months, check again to see if your efforts have paid off and what else you can do to improve.

Getting these right isn’t easy — there are only a handful who get all four very well — but doing this is the very best way to ensure that your sourcing function has the maximum impact it can on a top-notch candidate experience.

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