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7 Trends Shaping Candidate Sourcing Strategies

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A solid recruitment process is crucial for companies that want to operate at full capacity. With an increasing number of job openings and staffing shortages across the country, companies are competing to attract and retain top talent.

A record 74% of companies in the U.S. are struggling to find the top talent they need — up from 14% in 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports nearly 11 million job openings, with the rate of monthly new hires not much higher than separations (6.4 million to 5.9 million). We are in the midst of the biggest workforce reallocation and metamorphosis since WWII.

To help improve hiring initiatives, companies are focusing less on resumes and more on the human element. These seven trends shaping candidate sourcing are examples of hiring best practices your company should adopt.

Building a Hiring Ecosystem

You should start by building an environment that attracts and supports top talent throughout the entire hiring process. A hiring ecosystem requires clear communication and a path forward. While your ecosystem may include some automated features (like thanking your applicant), most of the connections and guidance should have a personal touch.

If your hiring process takes too long, you might lose top talent to other offers. Less than 4% of employers give applicants feedback within a day and the average response time after an interview is 24 days. Offering faster feedback can foster positive feelings with candidates and help you gain the edge on competing employers.

If your process is too demanding, you might not attract potential hires who are too busy filling out multiple applications and fielding other job offers. Half of all candidates who feel disrespected during the recruiting process will walk away. Poor communication about expectations or company culture might leave you with a new hire who won't last long in the position.

Proactive Candidate Sourcing Strategies

Don't wait until it's time to hire to look for candidates. Rushing to fill a job without any candidates in mind leaves you with whoever is available — not whoever fits best.

Instead, spend time backfilling your talent pipeline so that you have potential candidates ready to contact as the need arises. Create partnerships that naturally keep talent within reach at any time.

DE&I Considerations

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) can forever change your organization's culture for the better. If you want to attract a diverse workforce, you first need to understand the pain points and needs of minority groups, so your company is welcoming and supportive.

It's natural to choose candidates that feel relatable or familiar — candidates that look, act, or talk like you. But this unconscious bias leads to a homogenous workforce. Rather than try to deny it or feel bad about it, your next step should be to understand your personal tendency toward bias and work to minimize its impact on your hiring decisions.

For example, how did you feel about the last employee who disagreed strongly with a leadership decision or wanted to use a different process? 76% of recruiters reject candidates who seem arrogant. Does your approach encourage diversity in your team's personalities, work styles, and perspectives?

And third, reach beyond your typical pools to target talent in underrepresented groups. The goal isn't to hire people because of workplace diversity, but to target underserved groups and ensure your own bias isn't counting people out if they act, look, or work differently than you. Providing workforce equity means ensuring potential hires are considered in the best light and given a fair shake at getting in the door.

Tapping into New Talent Pools

If your incoming talent leads aren't diverse, it may signify a problem in your targeting. If you are going to pursue people who big-box staffing agencies typically miss, you need to expand your parameters and explore new talent pools.

For example, you may consider an employee trying to make a lateral move from a completely different field — like teaching or warehouse management. Or you might give an employee a shot at re-entering the workforce after years of time off to raise children or pursue a passion. It may require some time and effort upfront to get the new hire trained and up-to-speed, but you could discover valuable talent that no one else was even giving a second glance.

Assessing Your Hiring Process

Only 26% of employees are asked for feedback on the recruitment process. This is vital data that companies should use to inform their future hiring process. But listening to a candidate's experience also makes 91% of new hires feel more positively about their employers

Start out with a culture that is ready and willing to listen. Candidates who were asked for feedback before onboarding were 79% more likely to refer others to the company.

Relying on the Human Element

The fad of using AI to sort through resumes has started to show some serious shortcomings. Leading companies are now leaning toward keeping the human element in the screening process to avoid missing out on talent because of lacking keywords on a resume. Screening software will only help those who know how to game the system.

Tools can be valuable in the recruitment process, but only when supporting the human expert behind the decision. Use your experienced and knowledgeable team to help choose top candidates from diverse pools — even if their resumes don't include all the buzzwords or proficiencies listed in your job description.

Finding Networking Partners

Bringing partners into your hiring network is another way to expand your talent pool. Community groups often have ties to people hunting for jobs and may help you diversify your leads.

It usually takes time to form these connections and find the right partners. So, build up your network to create your ongoing hiring ecosystem.

Working with an equitable recruiting company can also help build your partner network and diversify your sourcing efforts. A staffing agency focused on a holistic hiring approach is going to partner with nonprofits and community groups to find underrepresented candidates. Rather than focusing on resumes alone, an equitable recruiting agency helps evaluate work ethic, characteristics, motivations, past experiences, and skills to give you a clearer picture of the person as a whole. 

If you want to expand your talent pool with underrepresented candidates from a network partner with a human touch, we can help. Create your CareerCircle account for free today to get started!