A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Types of Talent Sourcing Techniques

A Comprehensive Guide to the Different Types of Talent Sourcing Techniques

Published on February 4th, 2023


With the competitive job market, it's important for organizations to have a solid sourcing strategy in place to stand out and attract top talent. Talent sourcing is an essential aspect of the recruitment process, which can help organizations identify and attract the best candidates for open job positions.

In this blog, we will explore the various methods of talent sourcing, including passive sourcing, active sourcing, and direct sourcing, and provide insights on how to effectively find and attract the right candidates for your organization.

But before we dive into understanding the types of sourcing in recruitment, let us have a glimpse of the differences between the two.

What Are The Different Types of Sourcing and How Do They Work?

Here are three ways you can source your employees from within your company and bring new life into your team:

1 Passive Sourcing

Passive sourcing is the process of recruiting potential candidates through job postings, job boards, and other online resources. This type of sourcing is typically used when a company is looking to fill a position quickly and does not have the resources to actively search for candidates.


Low cost:

No active efforts are required to attract candidates, making passive sourcing cost-effective.

Wider pool of candidates:

 By relying on job boards, social media, and internal databases, organizations can tap into a wider pool of potential candidates.


Less control: 

Since the process is passive, organizations have less control over the types of candidates they attract and the timing of when they appear.

Lower quality of candidates: 

Candidates who passively apply for a job may not be as motivated or as well-suited for the position compared to those who actively seek it out.

2 Active Sourcing

Active sourcing is the process of actively searching for potential candidates through networking, referrals, and other methods. This type of sourcing is typically used when a company is looking to fill a position with a specific skill set or experience level and has the resources to actively search for candidates.


Better control:

 By proactively seeking out and engaging with potential candidates, organizations can control the types of candidates they attract and the timing of when they appear.

Higher quality of candidates:

 By reaching out to passive job seekers and convincing them to apply, organizations can attract higher-quality candidates who may not have otherwise considered the position.


More effort required:

Active sourcing requires a significant effort to find, engage, and attract potential candidates.


Active sourcing may be more expensive than passive sourcing, especially if it involves recruiting or advertising.

3 Direct Sourcing

Direct sourcing is the process of recruiting potential candidates directly from a specific source, such as a college or university. This type of sourcing is typically used when a company is looking to fill a position with a specific skill set or experience level and has the resources to actively search for candidates from a specific source.


Reduced time-to-hire: 

By sourcing candidates directly, organizations can bypass the traditional recruitment process and reduce the time-to-hire.

Cost savings:

 By avoiding the use of external recruitment agencies, organizations can save on fees and commissions.

Improved control: By sourcing candidates directly, organizations can have greater control over the recruitment process and ensure they attract the right candidates.


Limited candidate pool: By only sourcing candidates directly, organizations may miss out on candidates who would otherwise have applied through job boards or other means.

Requires specialized skills: Direct sourcing requires a specialized set of skills, such as networking and marketing, which may not be available in-house.

How to create your own sourcing plan?

A sourcing plan is a roadmap for attracting and recruiting top talent for an organization. Here are the steps to create a sourcing plan:

Define your hiring needs:

 Start by clearly defining the roles you need to fill, the desired skills and qualifications, and the timeline for hiring.

Assess your current sourcing strategies:

Evaluate your current sourcing methods and determine which ones are most effective and which ones can be improved.

Identify target sources:

 Determine the best sources for attracting top talent for each role you are hiring for. This may include job boards, employee referrals, professional networks, and social media.

Create a budget:

 Allocate a budget for each sourcing method and make sure to consider both direct costs (such as advertising or recruiter fees) and indirect costs (such as employee time spent on sourcing).

Develop an outreach plan:

Outline how you will reach out to potential candidates, including the channels you will use, the messages you will send, and the frequency of outreach.

Define metrics and KPIs:

 Determine how you will measure the success of your sourcing plan, including metrics such as the number of candidates sourced, the time-to-hire, and the cost-per-hire.

Implement the plan:

 Put the plan into action and regularly evaluate its effectiveness. Make adjustments as needed based on your results and feedback from hiring managers.

Continuously refine the plan:

 Regularly review your sourcing plan and make changes based on changing hiring needs and the results of your metrics and KPIs.

Top Strategies for Sourcing

Finding and hiring the right people is no easy task — that’s why you should consider adding employee sourcing to your hiring arsenal sooner rather than later. Here are some strategies to get you started:

Identify Your Skills Gap

First, you’ll want to identify the skills you lack in order to strengthen your team. Once you know your shortfalls, you can see which employers are struggling to fill these gaps and then connect with them to initiate a partnership. When you identify your skills gap, you’ll be able to pinpoint the specific roles that employers are struggling to fill. Armed with this information, you’ll be one step closer to attracting top talent.

Leverage Your Network

As the saying goes, if you don’t have anyone in your network with experience in a certain role, you’re probably not going to find anyone in your network who can help you fill that gap. That’s why you must leverage your network — both formally and informally — to identify potential candidates. Let’s say you struggle to fill roles that require strong communication skills.

That’s a skills gap you can leverage. How do you find potential candidates? With a networking approach. Reach out to individuals in your network and invite them to join your networking group. Before the networking event, have each person write down the names of three people they’d like to invite. At the networking event, provide each person a whiteboard and a marker. Now, have each person write down the names of three people they’d like to invite. This will help you get a better understanding of the people in your network. From there, you can start leveraging your network to find candidates who meet your needs.

Create a Referral Program

When you want to hire employees, you often face a competitive market and limited talent. To overcome these challenges, you can create a referral program.

Your referral program should have three pillars: a sign-up sheet, a reward system, and a communication channel. A sign-up sheet is where employees can sign up for your referral program.

Include an enrollment form, a privacy policy, and a link to the program’s website. The reward system should be based on a points-system. 

You can create a points-system based on an employee’s ability to make referrals. A communication channel is where you and your employees can communicate about the program. You can use a variety of channels, including email, Slack, or a third-party communications software.

Utilize Social Media

Social media can play an important role in the hiring process. Employers often find success by posting job openings on popular social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. However, social media doesn’t have to be the sole hiring channel. Instead, you can use it as a supplement to your other hiring channels.

You can also create social media campaigns, including ads that target relevant demographics, to attract top talent. When you’re thinking about how to utilize social media, keep the following tips in mind. - Tailor your social media channels to your audience. If you run a corporate career website, you’ll want to focus on LinkedIn.

On Facebook, you can target job seekers in the engineering, IT, and development fields. - Create social media ads with clear messaging. You want to convey the message “hire us” without sounding desperate. You should also include a call-to-action, such as “complete our online assessment,” to drive visitors to your site.

Make Use of Online Job Platforms

Online job platforms can be an excellent resource, especially when you’re looking to fill a skills gap in a short amount of time. These platforms connect employers with top talent, allowing you to post your openings and quickly receive applications. You can sort and filter applicants by skills, location, and more.

Once you’ve shortlisted a few candidates, it can be helpful to reach out and schedule interviews. Online job platforms can also be helpful when you’re sourcing candidates through unconventional channels, such as friends, family, and professional connections. You can use these channels to post ads and identify potential candidates.

Look to Unconventional Sources

When employers are looking for talent, they often turn to traditional channels, such as job boards, career centers, and social media. However, these channels can be saturated with spam and irrelevant posts.

As a result, employers may miss out on top talent. Instead of relying on these traditional channels, consider exploring unconventional hiring channels, such as community organizations, non-profits, and universities.

These hiring sources often offer job openings and provide a way for you to connect with top talent. For example, you can volunteer for an organization that hires volunteers. From there, you can identify the person in charge of hiring volunteers. You can then introduce yourself, explaining that you’re hiring volunteers and can help with the organization’s hiring process.

Rely on Professional Recruiters

During the hiring process, it’s important to work with reputable professional recruiters. These recruiters should understand your organization’s needs and conduct thorough hiring assessments. In addition, these recruiters should have experience working with employers in your industry. 

When you’re working with a professional recruiter like HireQuotient, we can assist you to identify top hiring challenges and define your ideal candidate. This will help you narrow down the search and identify a candidate who best meets your needs. Our sourcing solutions can help you automate your talent sourcing process and build your ideal team Check out our AI-assisted sourcing solutions.

Breaking Down the Process

It can be overwhelming to turn your sourcing efforts towards finding top talent. To make the process less daunting, take the following steps. - Identify your skills gap. - Leverage your network. - Create a referral program. - Utilize social media. - Make use of online job platforms. - Look to unconventional sources. - Rely on professional recruiters. Finding and hiring the right people is no easy task — that’s why you should consider adding a sourcing strategy to your hiring arsenal sooner rather than later.



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