How to Source Top Talent For Your Business

People are the most important part of a business – it’s a cliche for a reason.

Having the right people working for you is key to growth, necessary for long-term success and can lead to greater productivity.

Likewise, making a bad hire can actively harm your company culture, decrease team morale and waste resources.

The process of hiring the ‘right’ people is sometimes referred to as building a talent pipeline – a full recruitment strategy that takes into account how you promote roles, how you screen talent and how you position yourself as a company.

If you’re looking to source top talent for your business, here’s some steps you can take to build a talent pipeline.

What is talent sourcing?

The concept of ‘talent sourcing’ is simply the process of searching for candidates qualified for the role you’re looking to fill. Your talent pipeline, then, is the strategy of finding, pooling and processing a range of potential candidates that may be able to fill either existing or future vacancies.

Experts suggest that at any one time, only 36% of people are actively looking for new work. Surprisingly, however, around 90% of people are willing to talk about potential opportunities. This is known as the ‘passive candidate’ market and often where great talent is located.

With this in mind, it’s vital that your talent pipeline works to source candidates from both markets. 

In most cases, sourced candidates hired in the passive market are much more effective than hired applicants – mainly because businesses and candidates can properly align, rather than relying on what comes to them.

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7 talent sourcing strategies

If you’re a business looking to source candidates in the market, the following strategies will help you source top talent:

1. Focus on building a culture and hiring around it

Company culture is increasingly important for businesses to consider. Having a positive culture directly impacts employee relationships, productivity and morale.

There’s no hard or fast rules about the company culture you build – it’s completely up to you as a business – but it’s fundamental that employees buy into the culture or it can lead to trouble.

The culture you’ve built should be a major consideration during the hiring process. Hiring someone that doesn’t fit the culture can make them feel isolated or unhappy at work, which can have a knock-on effect on others.

Similarly, hiring someone that has a great skill set and also fits the culture can have the opposite effect, energising the team and driving productivity with new ideas and approaches.

2. Work with a recruitment agency

As we mentioned earlier, the passive candidate market is a great place for sourcing exceptional talent. Unfortunately, for businesses that are hiring in-house, it can be difficult to gain access to this market without relying on heavy marketing support.

Recruitment agencies, however, generally have full access to the passive candidate market thanks to the nature of their position. Any recruitment agency worth their salt will have a range of candidates on the books that have specific skill sets or qualifications, many of which may fit your specific needs.

Similarly, working with the right recruitment agency enables you to build a relationship with experts that both understand the local market and your business.

Since bad hires can cost your business in more ways than one, it’s worth paying extra for the expertise to ensure a great hire.

3. Diversify your channels for talent sourcing

Generally, most hiring managers will have two go-to channels for talent sourcing – a professional job board and a social media channel such as LinkedIn.

While these are both fine choices, it’s always a good idea to add some less common alternatives to the mix. This not only increases your chances of success but also spreads the net wider, allowing you to reach more people.

Some candidates may frequent specialised external websites or forums, for example. This is particularly true for candidates with specific skill sets or qualifications. 

Likewise, networking events are a great place to source passive candidates, provided you understand your target correctly and attend the right places.

Outside of that, think about how you can market the role more effectively – either online or offline. If you have a strong brand, you may be able to market the role via ‘out-of-home’ marketing such as leaflets, adverts, banners or conferences.

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4. Build a strong brand reputation

Speaking of a strong brand, if you have a great reputation within your industry, you’re more likely to source great talent. 

Everything you do that is customer-facing impacts your brand – from the way you conduct yourself in external meetings to the quality of your website, social channels and marketing.

If you build good relationships with external parties, provide a good experience for employees (especially those that have left) and have relative success in your industry, you can expect potential candidates to be much more receptive. 

Reviews are a great way of improving your business brand – whether that’s in terms of Google Reviews, Trustpilot or platforms such as Glassdoor that focus on employee experience.

5. Get support from your employees

When you begin the hiring process, your employees are a great resource you can leverage. 

Firstly, they may have peers that work in similar professions or operate in similar circles. This opens you up to a much wider audience and allows you to build a more effective talent pipeline. 

Secondly, your employees can act as advocates for the business, providing potential candidates with a fantastic first impression.

Consider setting up candidate sourcing ‘sessions’ with current employees first, as this provides an opportunity to find new talent while also giving you further insight into what exactly you need from the role and how to market it.

6. Consider sourcing candidates from roles that aren’t open yet

In most cases, people hire candidates for open positions as they appear.

In reality, you can consider building links with potential candidates based on future possibilities. While you obviously wouldn’t go through the full application process, there’s no problem with tapping up potential talent and telling them you may have something in the future.

The best way to go about this is to ensure you have a business plan in place, which you can then use to inform a workforce hiring strategy. Once you have all of this in place, you can work with the relevant stakeholders to decide what hires you need and when.

7. Optimise your outreach strategy

There’s no point in trying to source top talent for your company if you can’t outreach effectively. 

Your outreach should always be as personalised as possible – whether that’s through email, face-to-face meetings or phone calls. A few rules in particular for emails should be: 

Craft a really engaging subject line that is also concise and transparent. Avoid vague subjects that might go straight in the junk. 

Describe how you think the employee may be able to contribute to the business and the potential benefits that they could experience. 

Always personalise the email with information specifically about the candidate and their experience.

If you’re looking to improve your response numbers to any outreach, just make sure you’re focusing on what matters to the candidate. The goal is strike a balance between providing enough information to pique interest without overwhelming them. 

A great way to optimise as you go is to speak with your recent hires, especially those that responded positively to your outreach in the first place.

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We're ready to help you find your dream role. Contact us today.