• News
  • Knowledge and Opinion

22 March 2017

Active Sourcing: Directly contacting candidates – Tips for correct recruitment

Active Sourcing should be understood to mean approaching candidates directly: face to face, over business networks or by email. In particular, online recruitment is being widely used in this respect, although this goes amiss in many cases. What to consider when Active Sourcing.

Carerix is also active in the German market and works closely with commercial journalists to highlight trends within the market. This article is a translation of:
Active Sourcing: Direktansprache von Kandidaten – Tipps für die richtige Ansprache (German)

Searching for the right candidate is now comparable to finding a needle in a haystack: Skill shortages and demographic change have practically drained the labour market. As a result, many people are now actively hunting for suitable candidates and approaching them directly. Key words: Active Sourcing.

Recruitment Marketing: Best channels for direct contact

Sourcing Tools already make it possible to lighten the initial work of the sorely afflicted recruiters. Smart algorithms such as cxSearch, TalentWunder or TalentBin search multiple (lifecycle) databases, social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Co. or business networks like Xing or LinkedIn. Even rather unknown specialist communities such as github or stackoverflow are not left out. The collected information about each individual candidate is sorted by pass accuracy into a ranking. Similar to a well-structured CV, the name, work experience and contact details of each candidate are displayed. The actual recruiting work is initiated once the right talented people are found. After sourcing, the work of active sourcing begins — direct contact with candidates via email or direct messaging. There are certainly numerous pitfalls involved in this. Candidates are now being approached with increasing frequency. Employers must therefore immediately succeed in standing out from the crowd.

Active Sourcing: Defined as directly approaching candidates

This is the result of “Recruiting Trends 2017”, a study recently published by the University of Bamberg in cooperation with the Monster career portal. According to this study, Active Sourcing is certainly welcome from the point of view of candidates: more than half of talented recruits prefer to be approached by a company than have to apply themselves. A quarter of them are even willing to pay for better visibility on career networks or CV databases so that companies can better identify them. However: Two from every ten of the Top 1000 companies only ever slightly adapt their email conversation with potential candidates in response to the profile of a talented individual. The number is even lower in cases involving middle management (18.8 percent). Almost every third candidate is annoyed about this impersonal approach.

Active Sourcing: Why Sourcers should individualise contact

The following: To finely filter talented people. Recruiters must therefore have actual understanding. Nothing like what they might have ultimately done a few years ago. Promising applications then landed on the Accept Pile, while others on the Discard Pile. Now, job market conditions have changed, and Sourcers need to heed what they themselves have preached to applicants: score points through individuality. It may be true that recruiters involved in Active Sourcing simply lack the time. But even here, there are tools to help you send efficient professional emails to candidates. Users can select from various templates and adapt them individually to their corporate design. When contacting candidates, recruiters often overlook the fact that the text blocks contained in the templates are primarily intended as aids to be consulted when making the initial approach. By no means is it effective to simply add the name of the candidate, adorn the text with a few lines of job description and then send the largely unedited message on its way. The response of the candidate will be predictable: CTRL + DELETE!

Active Sourcing: Tips for the correct approach

Behaviour will be different if the email shows that the recruiter is specifically writing to the talented individual receiving the email. This can even be indicated in the subject line. Anyone who offers a potentially new employee a “tempting professional challenge” will hardly generate more than a tired smile. However, making a personal reference to the CV of your talented target will greatly improve your chances. For example: “Extensive opportunity to further develop the project experience you obtained at XYZ in our company.” An impersonal “To whom is may concern” will not fill candidates with enthusiasm. The impression that emerges is devastating: “The sourcer does not even have time to write my name? How serious is this offer really? ”

Write to: Name, job description

In the course of their writing, recruiters should also elaborate exactly why a candidate matches perfectly with the position to be filled. It is important to have as many concrete and appropriate details as possible linking the content of the position to the candidate’s existing CV. Of course, a job description must also be included. The emphasis here is, however, on the words “short and concise”. Recruiters should not lose themselves in details and describe mini-to-do’s and subprojects. Instead, recruit hunters should keep an eye on the big picture and precisely address the tasks that the talented candidate can perform in accordance with his or her profile.

Benefits offered by employer

It is also important to detail what makes the vacancy attractive to the employee. How does the company differ from the previous employer? The following factors may be important:

  • Career opportunities
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Work-life balance provisions
  • Transition
  • Income
  • Technical equipment

Anyone who takes these points into consideration ensures the best possible start to a good candidate experience: the overall impression that an applicant amasses during a company’s application process. The ways in which this initial good candidate experience can be further developed is, however, another story, which we will save for next time.