When It Comes to Recruiting, Sourcing Key Players Is a Team Sport

In recent years, sourcing top-notch candidates has become increasingly challenging. Market demands and a global shortage of qualified workers have increased competition for top talent across industries.

The old way of relying entirely on headhunters or recruiting agencies to source candidates is no longer enough. In order to meet the challenges of today's talent market, sourcing key players must be approached as a team sport. Here are a few ways to do just that:

1. Include All Players on Your Team

The "team" can include every employee in the company, because each person can potentially source candidates from their personal network, which includes both their offline communities and everyone they're connected to on social media.

In fact, asking your existing employees can be one of the best ways to source talent. These employees already know the culture and how things work. They know which personalities and character traits would add value to the team and adapt well to the company ecosystem.

2. Identify the Best Channels to Connect With the Best Candidates

In addition to no longer relying on just a few people to source candidates, a modern sourcing strategy also means no longer relying on just a few channels to connect with potential hires.

A common mistake employers make is assuming that most job searches begin and end on major sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and CareerBuilder. Depending on the industry niche and skill level of the candidates you're trying to source, those traditional sites may not be useful at all. Highly skilled talent in the most competitive industries often get too much attention on these major sites, so they tend to shy away.

While it's true that LinkedIn has a wide range of professional profiles, it can still be easier and more effective to target certain kinds of candidates over other social networking sites. For example, computer engineers hang out on Github and Stack Overflow, marketers on Twitter, and designers on Dribbble.

You have to know where to go to find the people you want to hire. This is yet another reason why you want to leverage your team. If you want to hire more designers, talk to your designers to find out where they hang out online. Find out where they went to school or what sites they're using to share their work. Ask for their recommendations and invite them to participate in the process. Your designers will likely feel valued for being asked their opinion, and they may already know just the person you need.

3. Leverage All Methods of Communication

An important component of making sourcing a team sport is using both informal and formal communication. Too often, informal chitchats and side conversations are undervalued by sourcers. Formal channels (through job postings and online submissions), while valuable, are just one way of connecting with candidates. In-person conversations can be just as valuable, if not more so.

The challenge of implementing a team-based sourcing strategy is making sure that information has a place to live and is accessible to the entire team. Software-as-a-service solutions with versatile capabilities that allow for communications to be centralized, profiles to be organized with tags, and that integrate with social media are enormously helpful.

4. Remember: Team-Based Sourcing Is About Humans Connecting With Humans

If modern sourcing were just a matter of matching criteria and checking off boxes, recruiters would be in danger of losing their jobs to AI. However, all the data in the world can't replace real conversations and listening to what people care about.

Sourcing top talent requires matching their desires and ambitions with the right opportunities for them to thrive. Truly talented people want more than just a place to check in and check out every day. They don't just want a paycheck. They want to feel fulfilled, challenged, and like they're making a difference. They want to be part of something greater.

Sourcing Like a Championship Team

Implementing team-based sourcing strategies allows you to find candidates you wouldn't have found before.

People often develop "knowledge loops," where they experience something, reflect upon it, conceptualize it, and then build plans around it. The downside of this approach is that it can blind you to opportunities outside the loop. Sourcing talent as a team expands your vision, allowing you to see more candidates and more ways to connect with top talent.

By leveraging our human connections and social networks, we can create richer, more innovative teams that will help our companies succeed.

Alexandre Pachulski is chief product officer and cofounder of Talentsoft.