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Candidate Sourcing Software: The Time Management Issue

Somen Mondal

November 6, 2017

The HR tech market, including candidate sourcing software, is estimated to be $14 billion globally – and rising.

candidate sourcing software

The rise of artificial intelligence, while not fully at scale, seems to be the next major turning point in the HR tech marketplace.

While there are now hundreds of different vendors offering slightly different solutions, what really needs to be addressed are some core pain points on the talent acquisition side.

The core pain point of recruiters

Sourcing qualified candidates” comes in as the #1 stressor for recruiters in almost every survey.

This is only logical: good sourcing takes a lot of time, especially manual searches using Boolean strings and LinkedIn, and good sourcing never stops.

A recruiter can never max out on databases, social networks, or search strings. Sourcing is constant.

One unfortunate reality of many companies is that they don’t bake HR functions into the core business – although some companies, such as Netflix, are improving in this regard – and hiring managers may feel as if they do “the real work” and can be dismissive of recruiters in the process.

This can lead to tensions and the best candidates don’t make it through.

The other source of stress is that many old-school HR tech platforms aren’t good at identifying former applicants who might be a fit for new roles and they’re usually poor at identifying passive candidates.

A third source of stress around candidate sourcing is that many job searches are time-sensitive to the hiring manager or P&L owner.

As a result, recruiters sometimes go more aggressively after certain candidates, which cuts off some of the best possible talent because of a sense of urgency that might not need to exist.

It all adds up to a lot of stress for those in the sourcing aspect of recruiting. And, of course, it’s massively time-consuming too.

How can candidate sourcing software help?

By realizing that sourcing is a time management issue more than anything else, if we reduce the amount of time recruiters are spending on sourcing and also find more platforms, channels, and databases to search for candidates, we’ll be better off.

This is what next-generation candidate sourcing software is doing.

One of the bigger developments has been the rise of AI in candidate sourcing, which has several benefits:

  1. Instead of limited and error-prone keyword and Boolean searches, AI can find patterns in resumes and other sources of data to find candidates that are better matches for a job’s requirements.
  2. AI technology has the potential to reduce bias at the sourcing stage by ignoring candidate demographics (e.g., race, gender, age) in its decision making.

Also consider that the average candidate sourcing process has six steps:

  • Step 1: Learn the qualifications needed for the role
  • Step 2: Use a variety of sourcing channels
  • Step 3: Take time to personalize your messaging
  • Step 4: Follow a cadence with your outreach
  • Step 5: Nurture sourced candidates for future positions
  • Step 6: Audit your process by assessing costs and conversion rates

Step 1 is about human interaction with the hiring manager, but steps 2-6 can all be improved with technology.

In the process, more time is freed up for the recruiter to have better discussions and begin the sourcing process with more context.

The bottom line

When you’re trying to find candidate sourcing software, the #1 thing you should be considering is:

“Will this help my recruiters work more effectively and find more time to get things done?”

If the answer seems “No” or the candidate sourcing software seems too complex to roll out (leading to low rates of adoption), back away.

But if time management will improve, you’re on the right track.

That’s largely what successful sourcing comes down: having the time and leveraging the technology where you can.