Top Candidate Sourcing Strategies to Attract Top Talent

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Candidate sourcing is about sourcing qualified candidates for your company. Although, there is a big talent pool out there, not all of them are looking for new jobs. Some are open to good opportunities but not actively looking; also called as passive candidates.

So, how do you reach out to active and passive candidates? What are the best candidate sourcing strategies to attract or to hire top talent? How do you build a great talent pipeline? If so, let’s get down to some of the best candidate sourcing strategies for attracting the right candidates.

1. Use Social Media for Candidate Sourcing

Remember the old days when Times – the newspaper used to have a 16-page supplement on job opportunities! Do you see it now? Maybe a page somewhere.

The reason is simple; it is because the audience has shifted to a different medium. And it is social media. As per, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day.

Use social media to your advantage. Post jobs on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can also focus on specialized job boards like Stack Overflow, MediaBistro,, etc. Using a specialized social media platforms is a key talent sourcing strategy.

Let the word out. And don’t restrict posting jobs on social media to yourself. Let everyone in your team and employees of your organization help you with spreading the word. Using social media is proving to be one of the best candidate sourcing strategies.

2. Write Effective Job Descriptions to Attract Top Talent

If talent sourcing is a marketing job, then job description is your sales pitch. Therefore, you must get it right! Take job descriptions seriously. Know how to write a good job description.

Your job description should be neat and clear. Avoid jargons. No cliche.

What sounds more interesting –

Work with the best in the industry. 


Work with MIT, Harvard, Google, Apple alumni. 

Describe the role well enough to attract the right candidates. Good candidates always pay attention to their career growth. Make sure, your job description helps them understand their career path in the organization.

3. Discover Talent In Your Existing Recruitment Database

Be it a recruitment agency or a company, over the period of time they build a sizable recruitment database of candidates that they may have sourced, interviewed in the past. Whenever you work on a new job position, you may want to check your own candidate database than starting fresh right away. You can search within the existing database for relevant candidates and then engage them over email, SMS or call. If you were maintaining history about candidates like their interview feedback and their job preferences, it would quickly help you to narrow down on the most relevant candidates.

However, this could be a challenging task if you are planning to do it manually. If you are using an applicant tracking system (ATS) you could probably do a better job. Today, a modern applicant tracking system can provide both search and relevance match.  This does a more effective job in finding the most relevant candidates in your recruitment database. With advance ATS, candidate re-discovery is becoming a trend now.

4. Personalized Communication to Engage Top Candidates

Recruiting emails are almost dead. When was the last time you got a reply to a cold job opportunity email? Unless you are Apple, Google, it is very unlikely you are going to get quick responses from good candidates.

Make sure when you come across a good resume, you take more effort to send personalized communication. Take more effort to know about such candidates by learning more about their social presence, work contributions. Your email should build a relationship with the candidate.

Which email stands a better chance?

    “We have this great opportunity for you. If you are interested please apply here.”


“We have come across your profile. It seems your contribution in the area of hedge funds is impressive. Your views on Convertible Arbitrage were compelling. We believe you could be a great fit for our organization. How about we discuss the opportunity?”

Yes. It takes effort! However, there are many modern recruiting software that can automate such tasks for you.

5. Employee Referral to Reach to Probable Candidates

There are some things that never go wrong or out of fashion. Employee Referral has been always recruiters’ and organization’s favorite. It has seen as the most productive and most cost-effective candidate sourcing strategies to hire top talent. Therefore, every organization must have an employee referral program.

Your employees already have the right network of friends and colleagues. Let’s say you want to expand your existing team of Hadoop Engineers. Who do you think will have the best and quick connect to your probable future Hadoop engineers than your existing employees?

Candidates hired as part of employee referrals tend to stay longer with the firm.

Organizations encourage employee referral programs, but they don’t focus on employee referral engagements. Companies should introduce a gamification approach in order to improve their referral programs. Gamification in the employee referral programs can encourage employees to refer to more and better candidates. Your employees should be brand ambassadors of your company.

6. Use Google X-Ray Search To Find Hidden Candidates

An X-ray search engine search using google or bing allows you to form a specific query using boolean expressions. For example, if you want to search about HR Tech on twitter feeds, you can try writing a query like shown in the image below.

Using Google boolean search operators for candidate sourcing

Boolean search helps you narrow your searches for specific sites. For example, if you want to find Ruby on Rails developers on Github, you can mention site as and “Ruby on Rails” as keywords. Similarly, you can find candidates on meetup, Quora, etc. There are plenty of options with boolean operators. You may find hidden candidates that may not be available on job boards. You can read more about Google search boolean operators here.

7. Career page – Branding Page

Make no mistake. The career page on your website is your branding page. Hence, make sure you give special attention to your career page.

Add video testimonials of your employees. Emphasize the company’s recent achievements. Describe your work culture.

Most importantly, a rather unknown fact, that, many leading job boards could be crawling jobs on your career page. It means all your current jobs are also displayed on such job boards. This also improves your web presence and draws more crowd to your career page. Therefore, your career page must be updated regularly (read automatically).

Research by CareerBuilder suggests that 75% of the candidates decide on applying for the job by look and feel of the job post. Hence, the company career page must be compelling enough to convert such leads into qualified leads. It should convert the visitor into an applicant. Career page building and career page branding must be one of the key talent sourcing strategies.

Google for jobs – For Candidate Sourcing

Google has introduced Google for jobs a couple of years ago. It is now mostly available across the world. “Google For Job Search” has made it very easy for candidates to search for jobs. Now, instead of searching jobs on multiple job boards or career pages of different companies, candidates can simply search for jobs on google.

Use Google For Jobs As Part Of Candidate Sourcing Strategies

just like any other google search. How cool is that? Google achieves this by using NLP, machine learning and various integrations with job boards. We see, in the future, most of the candidates would be looking for job opportunities using google search.

This simply means that when candidates google for job opportunities, job positions from your companies must appear in the search. So, What you need to do for that?

You just need to have all active jobs on your career page in certain formats. You can read more about this here. If job openings from your companies appear in the search, active candidates that are looking for a change in the job can view and apply for job openings in your company. Practically, you can source many candidates without spending any penny!

Final Thoughts on Candidate Sourcing Strategies

Candidate sourcing is a combo job of marketing and sales. If you do it right you are going to draw the attention of the right talent.

If you have observed, all the above candidate sourcing strategies don’t cost you any extra money. You just need to tweak your existing recruiting strategies for candidate sourcing. Use recruitment technology such as AI resume screening, smart ATS to deal with a high volume of candidates applications. You may also think about getting these candidate sourcing activities automated to save you time!AI for resume screening

Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande

Amit Gawande is a Co-Founder of CVViZ, an AI recruiting software. He has more than 15 years of experience in software development and leading large teams. He has built products using NLP and machine learning. He has recruited engineers, programmers, marketing and sales people for his organizations. He believes in using technology for solving real-life problems.

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