6 Steps for a Speedy, Successful Sourcing Session

May 21, 2015 at 12:20 PM Kathleen de Lara

communication between recruiters and hiring managers

You’ve done it all to get ready for the upcoming hiring season, and despite all the prep work, no to-do list in the world could’ve braced you for all the other tasks and projects that somehow squeezed their way onto your plate. Now you’re stuck with a zillion open roles and a less than impressive pipeline, and somehow, you still have just one pair of hands.

Sound familiar? Your team – sourcers, hiring managers, or not – is just the backup arsenal you need in this battle for the best, the war of talent, as most folks call it. No worries if they’ve never sourced before. Wearing extra hats and stepping outside comfort zones hardly hurt anyone, and a quick sourcing session can help the team get a sense of what to look for in hireable, skilled colleagues.

We recommend trying this six-step formula for the short notice, ad hoc sourcing session that could very well be a recurring (fun) event.

Create a list of search strings and keywords for finding ideal candidates.

Instead of figuring out which keywords and Boolean/natural language search string combinations work while you’re sourcing, test them out ahead of time, before your session. Check out how many candidates come back in your results and how relevant they are to the role. How do results differ when you use and don’t use operators like quotation marks? Are there specific filters (diversity, companies, positions to exclude) you’d like to add to your search? Iron out the specs on the candidates you want to find and the search strings to run with the team.

Create a template email for each role that can easily be personalized for each candidate.

Lead by example, recruiting role models. Before kicking off the sourcing session, take your team through the standardized process of sourcing and tracking candidates, and show them what works. Weeks ahead of the session, test out a few templates on coworkers and candidates, if you’re feeling lucky, and see what gives you the highest open and response rates. For example, what retrieves the highest response rate for each role – referring to work projects, personal projects, or previous roles? Share the template with your team and show them where you recommend adding a line or two to customize the message.

Have a shared spreadsheet or doc ready to add candidate profiles on the fly.

Whether or not you’re using a sourcing tool, it’s important to have a shared channel for tracking candidates. Have it ready to go in time for the session – multiple tabs for different positions within the same department, columns for each candidate and each employee who’s sourcing, the date each candidate was sourced, when they were messaged, information on candidates to reach out to now or later, and extra notes. Set an extra column for employee feedback to find out what other information should be tracked on candidates for a smoother workflow, and make these adjustments for the next sourcing session.

Set sourcing goals for the team.

No brainer. How many qualified candidates should each person have by the end of the session? How many emails should be sent to candidates by the end of the day? Don’t forget to set reminders for those follow-up messages, too.

Keep track of sourcing data to adjust the team’s recruiting techniques.

Which templates get the highest response rates per role? What time are these emails going out to candidates, and to which address, personal or professional? What’s the average time between a candidate being sourced, contacted, interviewed, and hired? How does the length of time between the initial contact and scheduling the first interview speed up the hiring process? Do you recognize a change in response rates when more junior or senior colleagues reach out to candidates? A year’s worth of hiring data will surprise you and no doubt transform the way the team hires.

Take note of any product bugs.

The creators of your recruiting and ATS tools are going to love you for doing this, trust us. Nothing says “I am a fan of your product and want to continue being your customer” more than a list of constructive grievances. Going through the sourcing processes and using your tools is the best way to understand what user behaviors come naturally and how the product meets your needs. Are there extra features you think would make your job easier? What bugs and disruptions did you find while using the tool long-term and in depth? Track it, gather the info, and report it in an email or during your next call with the product’s CS team.

The easiest way to get your team acclimated with sourcing candidates is to host these sessions frequently and regularly. Try once every two weeks to start. Reserve a conference room in the office, buy the team lunch, dinner, or treat them to a post-session happy hour, turn on some music to crank the wheels, and get to sourcing! Your secondary sourcing team is on its way to stardom.

Want to step up your team's game even further? Subscribe to the Entelo Blog, then watch this: Techniques for Improving Communication Between Recruiters and Hiring Managers, our webinar with Jobvite's Ty Goodrich. The live event was a hit, and we recorded it just for you. 

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