Success in the business world has a lot to do with having the right group of people working towards a common goal.

However,  52% of job seekers who apply for a position are underqualified, and 47% of companies have reported that there are few or almost no qualified applicants for their vacancies. 

This may be a time when job seekers are almost always in high volume. However, the challenge for companies is to get the cream of the crop from this pool of candidates.

In today’s competitive job market, the top talents are not going to appear on your company’s front door magically.

Add the fact that top talents are usually already working for a company, so they are not actively looking for jobs.

Remember, the best ones are usually not actively looking. This is a known fact. They have to be engaged, approached, or if you will – poached.

If you keep waiting for the top talents to come to you, you can be waiting forever. That is why many companies are turning to executive recruiters, staffing firms, and other headhunting services. 

They know great talents don’t just come knocking.

Asking for help is one thing, but there’s one crucial piece we must address first: How do you go about the whole headhunting thing?

In other words, what is the strategy?

According to Euro Media, staffing firms who complain that they cannot seem to find the right people may have a deeply rooted misalignment between their strategic goals and the efforts they put in their talent sourcing capabilities.

In this article, we are going to discuss a step by step guide on how to design and an effective sourcing strategy.

What do we mean by “sourcing strategy”?

It’s pretty simple as it only answers the question:

“How you are going to create and retain the constant influx of targeted talent and how you are going to win over your competitors who are also in search for top talents?” 

You do not necessarily have to come up with a sourcing strategy for every available position that you have. However, it is highly recommended that you have multiple sourcing strategies for the varying types of talents that you seek.

For example, you can prepare a sourcing strategy for executive positions or white-colored positions.

Since it is a long-term plan, your concern is more about changes in trends and in the industry than in the status quo.

Crafting a Kickass Sourcing Strategy

The more time and thoughts you put into polishing your sourcing strategy, the better your hiring pipeline is going to be.

Ultimately, your goal is to be able to produce a sustainable strategic sourcing strategy instead of just filling up vacancies.

So, here’s are a few pointers to help you build a sustainable sourcing strategy:

Step 1—Identify what your goals are.

The sourcing strategy you are going to adapt has to be derived from your entire business plan and continuing business goals. Knowing what your company aims to achieve, and what your clients want, can help ensure that you are looking for the right talents.

For example, you can plan on making the IT, or medical sector your niche. From there, you can build your brand by focusing on clients who are searching for top talents in the IT or medical industries. 

The more aligned your strategy to the demands of your clients, the more effective your sourcing strategy is going to be.

Step 2— Pinpoint sourcing needs and challenges.

In creating your sourcing strategy, it’s vital that you carefully pinpoint and define the exact inputs that you need to get the design done. You also have to prepare for the expected challenges you are going to face and whatever hiccups that come along the way. 

Is there going to be problems with the volume of candidates your clients demand from you? Do you set a limit to the number of job positions you are going to fill? How are you going to ensure you gain a recruitment velocity advantage for your VMS transactions? Are you going to partner with an offshore RPO firm to remedy this?

These are just some of the questions you need to address. There are plenty of others, and it’s entirely up to you to find the questions you need to ask!

Step 3—Define the targeted candidate.

What type of candidates do you want to attract? What qualifications must they possess? These are just some of the questions when proceeding with this step.

There can be many ways to define and identify the talents you are going to look for. Depending on the demands of your clients, the candidates can be based on specific skills, academic backgrounds, work background, personality traits, and many other criteria. 

Step 4- Know where to find talents.

Understanding where the top talents can be found is going to be one of your competitive advantages, and it can keep your strategy a sustainable one. You have to know where they are to be able to find them. 

What are the networks you are going to take advantage of? How do you approach them? 

One place to source top talents is through your very own recruitment database. RPO firms worth their salt knows that they have to keep and maintain a growing database. 

Alternatively, you can also extend the pool of talents you have by enlisting the help of an offshore RPO firm. Referrals can also be an excellent way to source candidates. It may be old school, but it still remains to be effective.

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, have also become the go-to place for recruitment. Many recruiters are now checking these websites almost daily to spot high-quality talents who are both actively and passively looking for jobs. These recruiters would then encourage them to join their company or their client’s company.

Online job postings such as Glassdoor and are also your best bet in finding active job seekers. Glassdoor is reported to have 23 million job seekers every month. You can expect less bad quality resumes from this site, and the average applicant to hire ratio is 50:1. has 100 million resumes in its database, 72 million ratings and reviews, and 9.8 added jobs per second globally. It has a job listing from more than 50 countries and 28 languages

When deciding where to source talents, it is better to think of the future as well. Thinking and making decisions based only on the present can be problematic in the next five years. Analyze the economic, industrial, and social environment and take both present and futuristic approach by reading predictions, talking to experts, and researching comparable situations from other countries.

Step 5—Find out what your competition is doing.

Various recruitment firms have already emerged in the market. According to The Online Recruitment Source, there are almost 900 new agencies registered in January 2017. For a staffing firm, finding the best talents for your clients is going to be a challenge in this competitive labor market.

Whether you’re a newcomer to this industry or an old player, it’s always best to get to know what your competition is doing. It can help you adapt and improve the effective strategies that they are practicing and avoid the mistakes they are committing.

What’s so different about your competitors that have gained them their top talents? Explore these angles, and whatever information you gain by this research, you can use it as a template for your next innovative strategy for your staffing firm. 

For staffing firms, developing talent acquisition capabilities is always going to be on top of your priorities. Hence, in previous years, as part of their strategy to strengthen their recruitment services, some staffing firms have chosen to offshore.

By studying your competitors, you can find out their offshore RPO activities and adapt it to your sourcing strategy. You can get accounts which offshore locations are lucrative and which are not. In general, ideal offshore locations are in developing countries that have more affordable labor costs. Offshore firms located in the Philippines and India are included in the top choices by staffing firms. 

You can also study your competitors who have had difficulties in their offshore RPO transactions. Determine the risks they had to overcome and how they were able to overcome these risks. 

Try and find out which offshore services your competitors are availing and whether it’s effective for them or not. That way, when you do decide to offshore, you can make confident decisions on which offshore recruitment services you are going to acquire. Thanks to your competitors who already tested the waters for you, you don’t have to venture into offshore RPO business alone.

Step 6— Create checkpoints, and conduct analysis.

Find out if your strategy is genuinely effective by taking the time to review, rate, and improve your practices.

Plan checkpoints based on specific events or achievements, then review your performance. You also have to make parameters for your evaluation to be able to fully determine the effectiveness of your strategy and execution.

Always try to improve and innovate to keep your strategy fresh and effective. Practice makes everything perfect!

Final Thoughts

Designing a sourcing strategy may take a considerable amount of time and resources from your company. However, by having a concise and effective plan, you save yourself a lot of trouble in the future and can source top talents in a faster manner with minimal wasted efforts.

With everything told, this is what truly matters.

Do you have other neat sourcing tricks to share? Comment down below!


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