By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Internet sourcing is arguably one of the most dynamic tools that recruiters have available to them today. By using recruiting technologies and algorithms that monitor changes and updates to the social profiles of candidates and connections, you can engage and develop relationships with the candidates that would best fit your company. Recruiters can utilize these tools, along with their own techniques, to find hidden gems who would be nearly impossible to find without internet sourcing. This kind of system allows recruiters to be targeted and focused in their approach and aggressive in finding the best of the best. It’s no doubt one of the fastest growing and most successful strategies that recruiting teams are using and is ideal for hiring for hard-to-fill positions and ones with an immediate need.
However, sourcing can be incredibly time consuming and requires a great deal of knowledge and skill in order to locate and engage specific candidates who suit your needs. There are a number of things to consider when evaluating your sourcing strategy, form how much time you’ll dedicate to it to where candidate info will live once it’s sourced. Here are four key questions to answer in order for internet sourcing to become the answer to your recruiting needs.
How will you manage sourcing?
Sourcing involves research and is often hard to scale unless you are able to plan for it. You’ll most likely want to leverage a recruiting technology that allows you to quickly search and engage a pre-qualified community. This keeps you from wading through profiles and pages of candidates who may or may not be qualified. This is just one way internet sourcing allows you to be more targeted in your approach.
What channels will you source from?
There are so many places online that you can source candidates, from the most popular social networks to obscure, industry-specific message boards. One of the first things you’ll need to establish is what makes sense for your company and what will lead you to the types of candidates you’re looking for.
What kind of follow up will you use?
Even after using a tool that allows you to pre-qualify candidates, you’re still tasked with the responsibility of actually doing the sourcing. This is where you have the opportunity to shine as a company. I recommend developing a loose message template to streamline the process and free you up to identify ways to personally connect with the candidate. Always, always, always personalize your message and give them a reason to reply.
What happens after the sourcing?
After you’ve connected with a candidate, you’ll want to have a plan in place that takes the guess work out of what comes next. I’m a proponent of building and fostering your own community that you can guide candidates to after an initial conversation, or in some cases, even in your first message. No matter what your strategy looks like, the key to great internet sourcing is using a tools and technology designed to help you manage, engage, establish and maintain relationships with candidates beyond your mining tools, ATS or social recruiting.

 Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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