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7 Proven Recruitment Sourcing Strategies to Attract Top Candidates

June 9, 2024
7 Proven Recruitment Sourcing Strategies to Attract Top Candidates

According to Aptitude Research, 75% of companies are not satisfied with their candidate sourcing approach and believe they can do better.

Adopting the right recruitment sourcing strategies is vital because the quality of hires will depend on the candidates you source.

You should use all channels at your disposal but also know which ones to prioritize to reduce the time to hire and recruit top talent. The right channels for your organization depend on your requirements. 

The recruitment sourcing strategies we’ve listed in this post will help you streamline your sourcing process. But before we get to that, let’s understand what candidate sourcing actually means. 

What is Candidate Sourcing?

It’s the process of finding and attracting candidates to fill open positions within a company. It precedes the recruitment screening and selection processes and is the first step in the overall hiring process.

Recruitment sourcing involves using multiple channels to find candidates for an open position. These could be internal, such as employee referrals and internal job postings, or external channels, such as job boards.

The quality and relevance of candidates sourced often determine how quick and successful the hiring process will be. So, it’s important to use all the recruitment sourcing strategies available to attract the best talent.

Let’s discuss these in the next section.

7 Creative Candidate Sourcing Strategies You Should Try

According to the previously cited Aptitude Research survey, here are the candidate sourcing approaches recruiters use.

Pie Chart of candidate sourcing approaches that recruiters use

Most companies have in-house teams for candidate sourcing, and only a few outsource the process.

Still, you should experiment with various candidate sourcing strategies and figure out what works best for your company.

Here are our top seven picks you should choose from.

1. Source Candidates Internally

💡 Did you know that 50% of companies post a job listing internally before posting externally?

The quickest and easiest way to fill a job vacancy is to fill it from within your organization.

Upskill your employees to take on senior roles instead of hiring externally, as they are already trained on how things work within your company. This is especially useful for client-facing roles where previous knowledge of a client is useful for managers and team leaders.

You can also post internal job listings to find candidates from other teams who may be interested in specific roles. Lateral movement within an organization is cheaper and faster than going through an external recruitment process.

2. Leverage Employee Referrals

Another way to hire internally without external job postings is to leverage employee referrals. It’s one of the best recruitment sourcing strategies as it results in a high quality of hires.

💡 84% of companies find employee referrals to be the most cost-effective sourcing strategy for recruitment.

The same report also found that recruiters find employee referrals to be 2x more effective than other strategies in finding high-quality talent.

Encourage your current employees to refer candidates for open positions by offering incentives, such as a bonus for every successful referral.

This recruitment sourcing strategy helps you benefit from your employees’ network and saves time and effort, thus streamlining the recruitment process.

3. Use Job Boards and Professional Networks

Posting job listings on job boards and professional networks like LinkedIn is one of the most common candidate-sourcing strategies.

You can use large job sites that cater to multiple industries or niche ones to source candidates for specialized roles within your industry.

The key to successful candidate sourcing is to post clear and detailed job descriptions that attract top talent

Of course, you should mention the job description, basic qualifications, and roles and responsibilities. But great job descriptions go beyond that.

Zappos, for example, focuses on its company culture, values, and employee perks to attract the best candidates. Check out this job description posted by the company on LinkedIn showcasing these.

job description posted by the company on LinkedIn showcasing company culture, vales and employee perks

If you regularly use LinkedIn for candidate sourcing, you can consider investing in LinkedIn Recruiter. It will help you find the perfect candidates and improve your recruitment process.

4. Tap into Your Talent Pipeline

First things first—if you don’t currently have a talent pipeline for your company, build one.

It involves building a pool of talented candidates for current and future job openings within your organization. Even if you don’t have open positions, you should still keep building your talent pool and maintain a database of potential candidates for various positions.

You can build this from applications received for past job openings, employee referrals, records of past employees, and more. This should be your go-to database anytime a new position opens.

Sourcing and hiring candidates from your existing talent pool saves the time and effort you’d have spent on sourcing candidates from job sites.

5. Consider Offline Recruitment Sourcing

Don’t just rely on online sources for recruitment sourcing; consider offline channels as well to attract the best talent for your organization.

Here are three of the most popular offline channels for candidate sourcing for recruitment.

1. Tie-Ups with Educational Institutions

Build partnerships with the top educational institutions within your country to source candidates for various open positions within your company.

This tactic is most useful for companies that like to hire in bulk and have a regular need for graduates fresh out of college. Many companies hire in bulk for entry-level positions using this method.

Here’s what it entails:

  • Create a recruiting team, including HRs and team leaders, to go to premium educational institutions you have a tie-up with.
  • Set guidelines on how many people they need to recruit and the salary ranges they can offer.
  • Have them run a placement drive at the college and recruit college students to join the company once they graduate.

2. Job Fairs

You can also visit job fairs to source potential candidates for current or future openings within your organization. These are perfect for finding talent and building your talent pipeline.

Since you can’t ensure that job fairs coincide with periods of active hiring within your company, they are not the best option for filling current positions.

3. Networking Events

Professional networking events are great for finding top talent within an industry. You can connect with people whom you can headhunt for senior management positions.

Or you can simply leverage the opportunity to fill your talent pipeline with potential candidates for various roles.

6. Hire a Recruitment Agency

The recruitment sourcing process can be long and tedious. So, it makes sense to outsource it to professionals instead of dealing with the hassle yourself.

There are many recruitment agencies that can help you manage your entire recruitment process end-to-end, not just candidate sourcing. They will match you with relevant candidates and help you fill open job positions quickly.

It will, however, cost more than having your in-house team source candidates. So, use this option if you have the budget for it and prioritize convenience and quick results over cost.

7. Use an Applicant Tracking System

Did you know that using the right technology can help reduce candidate sourcing time by 20%?

That’s why you should invest in a good applicant tracking system (ATS) to help with your recruitment sourcing needs.

These AI-powered recruitment tools use advanced filters to find the top talent for any role and use candidate-matching algorithms to make accurate recommendations.

The best part is that ATS can help you source candidates from multiple channels while you can see the options from one integrated dashboard. 

Here’s what the PeopleStrong’s dashboard looks like:

PeopleStrong Recruitment Dashboard

You can easily search the platform to find all open positions and candidates for each role sourced from various platforms. Its integration with 350+ job boards and sourcing platforms makes multichannel candidate sourcing a breeze.

You can see all candidates for a role from a single dashboard, irrespective of the channel they were sourced from.


Sourcing the right candidates is the first step in an effective recruitment process and this guide will help you with that.

Try multiple candidate sourcing channels and identify the ones that work best for your company.

Leverage technology to streamline the sourcing and recruiting process and find top talent.

If you’re looking for the best ATS with powerful AI technology and best-in-class features, then PeopleStrong is the perfect choice for you. Try it today!


How can I attract top candidates for recruitment?

Here are some tips to attract top candidates for recruitment:

  • Create a positive and strong employer brand to encourage top talent to apply for jobs within your company.
  • Post detailed job descriptions that give candidates strong reasons to prefer your company over others.
  • Use a mix of multiple platforms for sourcing candidates for recruitment to reach a wide talent pool.

What is the difference between sourcing and recruiting?

Candidate sourcing involves finding job applicants for open positions within a company from various channels. Recruiting, on the other hand, is the broader process that involves everything from sourcing to selection.

Candidate sourcing is typically the initial step of the recruitment process and is just one small part of it.

What is social sourcing?

Social sourcing is a recent practice where companies source candidates for jobs from social media platforms. Human resource professionals within companies connect with potential candidates on social media and use those connections when the need arises.

This is not a mainstream candidate sourcing practice, but it can complement your other sourcing efforts.

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