The best way to source a candidate in 2021 and beyond

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat” they say. And the same can be said for sourcing candidates.

I’d argue when you’re first starting out, job boards are your go-to.

You spend days looking through the pages therein hoping to unearth a gem. Your work’s often reactive, much like the candidates you’ll find located there.

You’ll land a job and, once you’ve thrown out a quick ad, peruse pages 1 to 14 mentally scanning for a skills match.

I’d imagine the amount you split your time between job boards and LinkedIn differs greatly depending on the market you’re in. For contract recruiters, active candidates are the lifeblood. And because of that, there’s the potential for wasting a lot of time on LinkedIn.

For permanent recruiters, you could argue the opposite.

But even then, there’ll be exceptions to the rule for varying locations and markets.

The best way to source a candidate is to know them already

One thing which won’t change, is that the best recruiters in the game have an internal database. The one they’ve been honing for years. Don’t believe me?

Go and ask the top biller in your business whether they could name the 5 best candidates in their city, for a specific skill.

The very best recruiters can do this regardless of how niche the skill is. And they’ll even know when they’re next available, and whether they’re likely to go for the rate, or salary, too.

If they’re really good, they can do it for multiple cities, in multiple countries and probably in markets which don’t ‘technically’ fall into their area.

Not that they wouldn’t do that deal anyway… they’d just wait until their respective counterpart was on holiday so it was legit.

But even those recruiters, the very best in the game, the ones who are consistently top billers will eventually have the odd candidate who slips through the net.

Regardless of how many resourcers they have in their team, or how successful their desk.

There’s a process to this though. The way candidates become a possibility in the mind of the recruiter, is to first become ‘known’.

That’s first done online.

Then, a phone call.

Then, maybe, a meeting.

They probably interview a few times. Maybe get their first job through the recruiter. And then it continues. Of course, this varies in each case. But it’s a linear process where the recruiter builds the relationship.

The most important part of this is the beginning. Without that initial discovery, none of it’s possible.

How to unearth a gem

One of the best pieces of feedback we’ve had at SourceBreaker was from a top biller like the one described above.

They said “I’ve been in this market, for the same company, for 12 years, and using this I’ve found people I didn’t know existed”.

That’s because the tech on offer through SourceBreaker is incredibly thorough. It’ll find people you’d never reach on your own.

For example, there are 934,000 “IT Manger’s” on LinkedIn.

That’s an intentional spelling error on my part. For the “Mangers” themselves, probably not.

There’s obviously a number of reasons someone might misspell their job title. One of them might be so they’re not hounded by recruiters, although that seems like self-sabotage to me.

Another might just be they were in a rush that day.

But whatever the reason, you won’t find them if your search string doesn’t include (in this case) variants of the word ‘Manager’. Which is what makes this particular tool so powerful.

But this isn’t a plug for SourceBreaker. It’s merely to say, think about the limitations on your ability to contact or find a candidate.

The more limitations you have, the higher the likelihood of your internal database being restricted.

What limitations?

OK, let’s name a few.

  • You haven’t got the right tools.
  • They aren’t on your database.
  • They aren’t on LinkedIn
  • They aren’t that particular job board.
  • They spelled their job title wrong.
  • Their phone number’s out of date.
  • They’re in a job.
  • They don’t use that website any more.
  • They’re picky about who they work with.
  • They won’t answer the phone to unknown numbers.
  • They don’t like recruiters.

Frankly, there’s no shortage of possible reasons sourcing a candidate might be difficult.

And so, to abate those difficulties, you need every tool at your disposal.

That’s why SourceBreaker makes sense for so many recruiters – OK, there’s a little plug. But it doesn’t matter which tech you name, if it’s useful, you need it. Frankly, it’s why having a LinkedIn profile in the first place makes sense.

The same goes all of the other ways to source candidates. You need all of them. All of the job boards. All of the tech. All of the tools. All of the marketing. All of the event tickets. And all of the advice.

That’s before we even get onto the subject of creating and cultivating your personal brand. Which, in my opinion is like a secret weapon… and to be clear, something you’re already doing on the phone, just not en masse.

Time has always been the biggest battle for a recruiter

“I haven’t got time to post on LinkedIn.”

This is without a doubt the most likely response when I talk to people about personal brands. But have you got the time not to? You just spend that time doing other things. OK, you’re on the phone.

You’re still building a personal brand. Just to one person at a time.

And the positive is, if you’re really that good, most of the people on LinkedIn will already know you. Just, not at scale.

Taking the ethos of ‘I already know the best five people for this job’ is essentially limiting yourself to the problems of tomorrow. The world’s not getting any smaller.

And frankly, you have no idea of the candidates you don’t know about.

How could you?

So arm yourself with the very best tools at your disposal to fight your number one enemy: Time.

Interested in discovering more about SourceBreaker? Request a demo today.