SOURCE CHANNELS: How to tap into multiple source channels

Image Description

Aug 22, 2019

In my two decades of recruiting talent (agency and in-house), there is one simple question that has stood the test of time: 

“How can I find more great candidates?” 

Sound familiar? 

In our highly connected world, it’s not surprising that applicant volume is on the rise, yet quality at the top of the funnel is still hard to come by. 

So how do you create an effective sourcing strategy that works for your business?

Start with a retro (less vintage and more reflective!). Do you know which source channels work best for you? What’s been most effective for your ‘always recruiting’ roles vs your ‘hard-to-fill-find-me-a-purple-unicorn’ roles? 

If you take a close look at your data, you’ll probably find that what works for your high volume roles looks quite different for your highly technical or leadership roles.

Understand which source channels to tap into

There are 7 key source channels when it comes to finding talent. 

1. Talent Pools
You may not realise it but you are probably already Talent Pooling. Remember those silver medalists that were awesome candidates but missed out on that last opportunity? They are the start of your Talent Pool. You’ve probably been introduced to people along the way that you knew would be a great fit for your organisation but you just didn’t have the right role for them at the time. Or maybe you’ve been proactively sourcing passive talent as a way of boosting your Talent Pool. Talent Pools are a great way to get a head start on your future roles. 

What’s your Talent Pooling strategy and how do you engage and nurture your Talent Pools today?

2. Internal Talent
Stay connected to your Hiring Managers and your HR Business Partners to understand who’s ready for their next move (now or in the near future: ‘ready now’ vs ‘internal talent pipeline’). 

Do you have an internal mobility strategy?

3. Referrals
A robust referrals program is essential for any progressive organisation as top talent often knows top talent. Referred candidates typically move through the recruiting process much faster, are highly engaged and tend to stay in their jobs longer than traditional hires.

How are you tapping into the network of your own employees?

4. Careers Site
Candidate behaviour is shifting to mirror that of traditional consumers – they like to do their research and get to know you, before deciding whether to apply for a role with your organisation. On average, candidates will have 3-10 touch points with your organisation before applying for a role. Your careers site is often one of those touchpoints. This is a great way to showcase your employer brand. You might like to have ‘Expressions of Interest’ for roles that you’re looking to Talent Pool, as well as listing any current job vacancies that you’re looking to fill. 

Does your Careers Site provide a forum for prospective candidates to get to know you and likewise, for you to get to know them? 

5. Adverts
This is a more traditional way of finding talent and there are many job boards for you to choose from. We looked at our own data for the past year and found that across our client portfolio, candidates that entered the process via an advert were three times more likely to withdraw than candidates that had been talent pooled or referred. 

Do you know which job boards are most effective across your suite of roles (‘always recruiting’ vs ‘hard-to-fill’)?

6. Agencies
There are times when you might need to engage an agency to fill a role. Not surprisingly, this is often when you know a role will be hard to fill or you simply don’t have the bandwidth in your own team. While this can be an effective channel, it can also be costly. Recent research from Gartner that shows us that organisations are spending 67% of their recruitment budget on advertising and agencies, yet it yields less than 25% of all hires¹. 

Do you know what your return on investment is when it comes to agency spend?

7. Proactive Sourcing
We all know that there are some exceptional people out there who are very happy where they are, but if approached might be open to exploring ‘the right opportunity’. These people are known as passive talent – they can often be harder to convert and your time-to-hire usually takes longer with these types of candidates. There’s also a higher candidate withdrawal rate from this group. That said, this can still be a great way of bringing in quality talent into your funnel and social media has made it much easier to find these types of candidates. 

Do you proactively source for candidates as part of your holistic sourcing strategy?

You may like to simplify these buckets, even more, to simply think about: internals; referrals; externals; Talent Pools. How you categorise your source channels are up to you but ultimately this will define how you track and measure the effectiveness of those channels. 

So how do you measure source channel effectiveness? 

1. Speed – time-to-hire
How quickly did you fill the role?

2. Cost – cost-to-hire
At what cost did you fill the role?

3. Quality – conversion metrics
How many candidates did you need at the top of your funnel in order to convert to a hire?

So the next time you’re faced with the question of ‘how can I get more quality candidates into the top of my funnel?’, you can refer back to your source channels to see where you can adjust your sourcing strategy and cast your net wider. 

Reach out to our friendly team at LiveHire if you want to find out more about how to open up source channels. You can do so here.

¹ Gartner: 2018 Gartner “State of the Recruiting Function”


Launched in 2012, LiveHire helps leading organisations build extraordinary workforces, fast. LiveHire is a productivity and collaboration enterprise software for recruitment teams, delivering an end to end, fully integrated, talent sourcing, pipelining, communication, and hiring platform. LiveHire helps organisations of all sizes see their future potential workforce in advance, and attract and hire more diverse, quality talent into their business on-demand, through an unrivalled candidate centred experience.