3 Reasons Candidate Sourcing Matters

Skilled Candidates Are Hard to Find

In our 2018 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report, sixty-four percent of recruitment pros listed it as one of their top three challenges. Candidates are every firm’s greatest and most elusive asset, it only makes sense that finding and engaging them should be a top priority for your firm.

Business is Booming

Candidates aren’t just in demand because of the talent shortage. Staffing firms are also seeing an increased demand for their services. Seventy percent of staffing pros expect hiring needs to increase. With hiring needs on the rise and an increasingly competitive market for staffing firms, expect the effects of the talent shortage to be magnified.

Everyone Else Is Doing It

If there is a limited pool of candidates, and staffing firms are uniformly increasing efforts to identify top talent, the firms that don’t step up risk falling behind. In fact, staffing pros cited candidate acquisition as a top three priority, and more than 40 percent of respondents to our trends survey predicted an increase in operating budget and in tech investments, respectively.

Key Tips for Candidate Sourcing

1. A/B Test Your Messages

Are you personalizing general templates you send out to candidates? Try varying the messages you send. You can then review the response rates to discover if a certain tone or approach is more effective than others.


3. Don’t Get Hung Up on Salary

Don’t focus solely on the monetary gap between a candidate’s current job and the new job opportunity. To increase a candidate’s interest, tell them that the definition of a career move is a minimum 30 percent non-monetary increase.

5. Stay In Touch

For your specific candidates, it’s important to have a quarterly outreach. Stay in contact with placed candidates and keep track of how they’re doing at their companies. If they seem unhappy and looking elsewhere, you’ll be among the first to know.


2. Join Diversity-Oriented Groups

LinkedIn is home to thousands of groups that champion many different kinds of diversity. But don’t simply use these groups as a list—join them. Candidates on LinkedIn are 31% more likely to recruiters who share a LinkedIn group in common.

4. Always be Engaging

Never miss an opportunity to have a meaningful interaction with a candidate. This could mean wishing them good luck on a new role, or simply saying happy birthday. Staffing firms that consistently engage with candidates are 13 percent more likely to report their existing database as their top source of placements.

6. Be Social

Don’t shy away from growing your network. Connect and build relationships with candidates. Attend professional meet-up groups that would be interesting to your target candidates. People are far more likely to respond to you if you’ve built a relationship with them.

Spotlight on Social Sourcing: How to Source on Social Media

Save Your Searches

Did you create a killer search string? Make sure to save it on LinkedIn Recruiter. Saved searches will continue to run in the background, so you’ll be notified of new qualified candidates each day.

Keep an Eye on Prospects

Spot a candidate who sounds great but hasn’t developed far along enough in their career quite yet? Use LinkedIn Recruiter’s Update Me Feature to keep track of specific member profiles. When their careers advance, you’ll be aware of it.

Carefully Consider Your Subject Line

LinkedIn InMails have three times the open rate of an email, but twenty percent of messages still go unread. Your subject line goes directly to a candidate’s email, so choose the information you include here carefully. It may be the only thing they see.

Sell Yourself First

Don’t lead with a job description. LinkedIn’s own data reveals that the single greatest factor in determining candidate responses are commonalities included in the outreach message. Sharing an employer, a group, or a connection all increase your likelihood of a response.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

Many recent graduates use Flickr and Pinterest to share pictures of recent certifications they’ve achieved. If you’re looking for candidates with a niche certification, try doing a search for it on photo-sharing sites.

Browse Blogs

It’s not just artists who create online portfolios and blogs. Specialists in all trades are increasingly sharing or writing about their work. These pages often showcase candidates in a way social profiles can’t.

How to Use Each Social Network For Sourcing


The modern-day equivalent of the traditional resume LinkedIn is, of course, the ideal place to begin researching and building a picture of potential candidates’ career experience and education. Pay particular attention to endorsements, recommendations, and non-work-related elements.



Putting the ‘social’ firmly into social media, Facebook can be used to dig deeper into a candidate’s personal interests. Recruiters can develop a more well-rounded view of who the person in question is outside of their 9-5 by looking out for hobbies and extracurricular activities.


It’s surprising how much you can learn in a mere 140 characters, as online networking site Twitter confirms. With its real-time, trend-focused approach, tweets can reveal a whole lot about a candidate’s areas of interest – for example, whether their tweets fall more into the ‘celeb gossip’ basket or the ‘political commentary’ box.


Popular image-sharing app Instagram is a great platform with which to further develop the profile of your potential candidate. Personal and highly social, Instagram can often showcase the more creative leanings and cultural interests of job seekers, with a series of image-based posts creating a visual blog or ‘life diary’.

Top Free Sourcing Tools

1. Move beyond basic keywords to the ones that get you results
2. Try natural language search
  • In order to find the candidates you want, you have to be able to understand the way they talk on the Internet when they describe themselves
  • Using phrasing that contains pronouns and action words (“I configured X,” “I delivered presentations to clinical,” etc.) will point you in the direction of relevant resumes and profiles.
3. Use both explicit and implicit search
  • By treating LinkedIn like a resume database, you can find profiles that most recruiters will miss
  • By selectively eliminating key words, you will come across candidates that fit your search but may have neglected to include those key words in their self-descriptions
  • This can also work when searching by company name, because some candidates will use abbreviations of company names instead of the company’s full name
4. Optimize your diversity search
  • While not every candidate promotes his or her diversity online, searches for “natural language” phrases relating to ethnicities and languages can be useful for your recruiters
  • You can also search for diverse fraternities or sororities, universities, and professional associations
  • When searching for female candidates, remember that you can use words like “her” and “she,” or even input popular female names into the “first name” field

How can Bullhorn Help?

Fill Your Database with Qualified Candidates

Job Board Data Capture

Forget copy and paste.

Easily capture candidate information from job boards and immediately add it into Bullhorn. Using Bullhorn Sidebar’s Google Chrome extension, you’ll have the option to update or add candidates without leaving the job board.

Resume Parsing

Save Time & Reduce Errors.

Increase your efficiency and reduce clicks by leveraging Bullhorn’s parsing engine to extract information – no matter where you find it –to pre-populate fields on Bullhorn candidate, contact, and job records.

Career Portal Applications

Increase Web Responses.

Post jobs to your website and make it easy for job seekers to find and apply to your open positions.

Surface the Best Candidates for Each Job

Advanced Search

With Bullhorn’s “fast find” search bar, Boolean logic, advanced keyword search, and prioritization of results based on relevance and recency, you can build a qualified shortlist of candidates in no time at all.

LinkedIn Recruiter Integration

This integration streamlines a recruiter’s workflow, reduces clicks, and provides continuously up-to-date information on all of your candidates.

Bullhorn is our lifeline to initially sourcing candidates. If you can’t rapidly pick up a list of candidates, you need a different software solution. We couldn’t run our business effectively without Bullhorn.
Josh Albucker SVP of Healthcare Recruitment, Pride Healthcare

Interested in learning how Bullhorn can help you source more qualified candidates?

Complete the form below to speak with our sales team.