Many human resources professionals approach the hiring process with a traditional mindset; essentially, the search starts anew for every new position. Talent sourcing, on the other hand, enables you to build and maintain a pool of suitable candidates from which to draw. When done correctly, sourcing can help reduce the redundancies of the hiring process and build a better talent pool.
Talent sourcing requires a different approach than standard hiring practices. Instead of opening a new search for each job, sourcing requires that you dedicate a portion of your time each week to finding and screening potential candidates. Using sources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, job search websites and Internet searches, you identify people who might be a good fit for your company. The next step involves contacting them to let them know of your interest in potential recruitment for future positions. The Web-based company Zappos has switched its entire hiring process into a sourcing model by doing away with job postings and nurturing an online community of potential applicants.
Because talent sourcing enables you to prescreen candidates before a job opens, it automatically increases the quality of your talent pool. With sourcing, you do not need to depend on the most qualified people to find you on an employment website — you have the opportunity to find them first. Using the information that is readily available online, you can limit your pool to people with the best possible experience and education.
For many human resources professionals, finding qualified candidates is only half the battle. The next challenge involves narrowing that pool down to people who are available and interested in working for your company. Talent sourcing helps you combat that problem in advance. By making contact before a job posting is published, you can evaluate interest and eliminate people who are not enthusiastic about the company — long before you schedule time-consuming interviews.
Perhaps one of the most important advantages of talent sourcing is the opportunity to nurture candidates and help them improve. Past applicants, particularly those who made it to the interview round, are valuable additions to your talent community. A sourcing model enables you to provide feedback and maintain communication as they develop skills and competencies. Improved candidates make for a higher-quality pool.
Sourcing can be done internally or hired out to a recruiting professional, which may come as a relief for overworked HR professionals. Outsourcing your sourcing can help you get out of a hiring rut and provide access to a new group of potential employees. A sourcing professional gathers information about each person and performs prescreening tasks, which saves your department time.
Whether you handle your own talent sourcing or hire it out, the results can transform your hiring process. By nurturing a carefully selected pool of applicants, you can take the pain out of each hiring round and match each job with the best possible candidate.
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