Want to get a head start on finding the best candidates despite the seemingly universal talent shortage? Sourcing is where recruiting the best candidates begins.

But what is sourcing? But challenges and advantages do this strategy pose? Do you know how to set it up?

In this article we outline all the aspects of sourcing to help you find your best candidates.


What is sourcing?


The definition of sourcing:

According to HRZone, sourcing is a proactive talent acquisition strategy to recruit the best candidates for a given position.

Sourcing is not limited to simply posting a job offer and passively waiting for candidates to apply, but rather choosing the right tools for successfully seeking out candidates whose profiles meet your recruitment needs.

The objective is to reach candidates who, for various reasons, have not come into contact with your company on their own.

Be careful not to confuse recruitment and sourcing. Sourcing takes place at the beginning of the recruitment process. Recruitment, on the other hand, corresponds to the complete process: from searching for candidates, through interviews to onboarding the candidate into your company.


Candidate sourcing: what are the advantages?

Candidate sourcing offers many advantages. Here are a few key ones:

  • You build a database of candidates.
  • It reduces recruitment costs, thanks to more relevant targeting of candidates, and thus reducing the risk of recruitment errors.
  • Save time: recruitment campaigns progress faster and faster with sourcing. In particular thanks to the use of AI in sourcing tools, whose algorithms allow for a quick sorting of profiles, in order to focus on the right people.


Candidate sourcing: how do you establish a strategy?

To effectively source candidates, you first need to define a specific sourcing strategy. When establishing this strategy, you need to factor in 2 steps:


Define your needs

When deciding to source candidates, you have to think about the needs and objectives of each specific recruitment project, as well as the criteria sought in a candidate. This will make it easier to identify the profiles that correspond best to the position offered.

Defining your recruitment needs and objectives is also important in determining which sourcing tool will best fit your project.


Establish a budget and time frame

This step is necessary because the budget will influence both the choice of the sourcing tool as well as all the means put in place for the recruitment campaign.

However, it is not mandatory to devote a large budget to sourcing. There are even free tools available which are effective.

The recruiter must also define the duration of the sourcing campaign. This duration may vary depending on the budget allocated, the people mobilised for recruitment as well as the needs, the number of candidates sought and the urgency of the recruitment.


Choosing a sourcing tool

Different types of sourcing tools for finding the best candidates

The following categories of sourcing tools are available for recruiters to choose from:

  • Internal database: an affordable tool that allows you to manage registered candidates in order to quickly identify information deeper than simple what CVs offer. We can thus find interesting profiles in accordance with the position to be filled.


  • Job boards (Pôle Emploi, Monster, Jobteaser, Indeed, etc.): allow you to search and view complete candidate profiles and to contact candidates directly. For this sourcing tool, it is advisable to favor a site specialised in the sector you are searching for.


  • Social networks: for identifying new candidate profiles, LinkedIn and Facebook are, generally speaking, the most commonly used. These two tools notably offer more advanced and specific filters (positions, region, sector, experience, skills, etc.). However, more and more recruiters are turning to Instagram and TikTok to source candidates.


  • CV libraries offer agencies, companies, and recruitment firms a database of candidate CVs. This sourcing tool is an external database that lists useful information for recruiters to identify candidates who align with their expectations.


Check sourcing options: better candidate filtering

It is necessary to compare the options offered by tools such as multi-criteria searches (positions, experience, regions, skills, etc.), questionnaires and reports on potential, even soft skills assessments.

When choosing a candidate sourcing tool, and more specifically with options included, prices can range greatly from free to quite costly. Depending on the budget allocated for the campaign, as a recruiter, you can either decide to opt for these, or choose free sourcing tools. In addition to the budget, recruitment needs will also influence the choice of candidate sourcing tools.