How Proactive Candidate Sourcing Can Help Your Business Growth Strategies

Waiting for the strongest candidates to come across your job posting can often be wishful thinking. While there are many job seekers actively looking for new opportunities through a variety of online channels, there are even more passive candidates who may be interested in working for your company… but just don’t know it yet.

To get the top talent before your competition does, you must utilize both inbound and outbound sourcing methods. The best way to find passive candidates is by utilizing your network and by proactively searching for potential candidates on social networking sites.

So how can you proactively search for candidates?

While providing recruiting support to our expansion stage companies, I often conduct candidate searches on LinkedIn, which we have found to be the most effective social network for finding passive candidates.

When using LinkedIn, create searches using the criteria that you think will help you find candidates with the experience you’re looking for, such as previous companies they may have worked for, job titles they may have had, or general keywords which may be found within their profile. Once you find someone who you think may be a fit, you can either send them a message (if you are both members of the same Group) or an InMail to see if they or someone they know may be interested.

In order to increase your chances of being able to send a message to a fellow Group member, and to see more profiles of potential candidates, join as many Groups as possible (you can join up to 50) which are relevant to your company’s industry or to the professional skill set for which you are recruiting.

InMail is a great way to connect with candidates who do not share a Group with you.  Packages range from $25 to $100 per month, depending on what features you want or need.

What are some other methods for proactive candidate sourcing?

The Alder Group has a list of 10 tips for finding the best passive candidates.  Here are a couple pointers:

  • Leverage Employee Referrals: Even quicker than InMail (more on that later), use your current staff to help discover hidden talent. Use bonuses as an incentive for finding a suitable hire.  Not only will an employee referral program boost company morale, trusting an employee’s vouch removes a lot of guess- and legwork from the hiring process.
  • Network like Crazy: Use your candidate’s LinkedIn network to build your own. If they have a suitable background for your company, chances are they might know someone else who may as well. Also make connections with LinkedIn Open Networkers (also known as LIONS) to increase your network so that you are able to view more profiles.

How else can social media be utilized for candidate sourcing?

Social media isn’t just for marketing — it’s a booming resource for finding and attracting top talent. Inc. has a guide on creating a social media marketing strategy you might want to check out.

Work with your social media manager, or whoever is responsible for your company’s online presence, to help communicate your culture through social media vehicles and your company’s Careers page.  Make sure that your online presence speaks to your company’s culture, mission, vision and values—candidates want to know they’ll be working somewhere fun, challenging and rewarding.

For more general information on hiring at startups, check out our list of 8 helpful tips.

Diana Martz
Diana Martz
VP, Human Capital

Diana Martz is Vice President, Human Capital atTA Associates. She was previously the Director of Talent at OpenView.
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