Top 10 Candidate Sourcing Best Practices via @GlenCathey

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2011. Due to the timeless nature of the content, we wanted to share it with you again today.

I firmly believe that candidate identification is the most critical step in the talent acquisition/recruiting life cycle – you can’t build a relationship with, receive a referral from, network with, or hire someone you haven’t found in the first place.

From the very beginning of my recruiting career, I’ve leveraged technology for talent identification. I’ve learned that searching databases, the Internet, and social media offers intrinsic advantages over other methods of candidate sourcing, and I’ve compiled a list of what I believe are the top 10 best practices for searching for candidates.

So whether you’re searching LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Monster, your ATS/CRM, or you’re Googling for candidate leads on the Internet – following and integrating these search best practices into your candidate sourcing routine can dramatically increase your ability to more quickly find more of the right people.

In no particular order:

#1: Think Before You Search

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

Article Continues Below

That’s become one of my favorite quotes to use when stressing the importance of thinking before throwing some keywords together and hitting “search.”

Too many sourcers and recruiters are unknowingly picking up dull axes and begin taking swings. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried chopping down a tree with a dull axe, but it’s neither efficient nor effective, and it requires considerably more effort than necessary. If you just take the time to think, develop some semblance of a search strategy, and experiment with various searches (sharpen your axe!) – you can get to more relevant results more quickly.

Glen Cathey

With more than 20 years of experience in recruiting, Glen Cathey is a globally recognized sourcing and recruiting leader, blogger (booleanblackbelt.com) and corporate/keynote speaker (9X LinkedIn, 9X SourceCon, 3X Talent42, 2X SOSUEU, Booking.com, PwC, Deloitte, Intel, Booz Allen, Enterprise Holdings, AstraZeneca…).

Glen currently serves as a Global Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation for Randstad, reporting into the Netherlands, focusing on data-driven recruitment, AI and automation.  Over the course of his career, Glen has been responsible for talent acquisition training, process, technology, analytics and innovation strategies for I.T. staffing and RPO firms with over 100,000 hires annually, and he's hired, trained, developed and led large local, national, global and centralized sourcing and recruiting teams, including National Recruiting Centers with over 300 associates.

He has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park and is passionate about people, process (Lean) data and analytics, AI and automation, strategy and innovation, leadership and performance.