Sourcing has unfortunately become synonymous with targeting passive candidates. But let’s face it: actively looking for a job doesn’t diminish your skills in any way. When sourcing in a recession, sourcers should be spending their time with those that are currently unemployed, too. You can follow the news about layoffs and make sure you’re reaching those candidates who need a job first. If you don’t know it yet, check out Layoff.FYI to see which companies are cutting down their workforce.
But that isn’t everything you can do, as a sourcer, to help improve the situation.
Have a look at your job ads
We’ve been hearing for years that job ads no longer work, but let’s be a bit more precise: bad job ads don’t work. This is your time to review whether yours really address the needs of your candidates or not. Remember, this will take time, but improving job ads is always worth it – they are how you communicate with all of the active and passive candidates in the market.
Check your job ads for a couple of things:
Do they contain any fluff? Get your red pen out, whether literal or metaphorical and highlight any text that doesn’t add valuable information to the document. “Innovative company”? “Positive atmosphere”? These are empty phrases that may mean something to you, since you know the broader context of the job ad, but let me assure you they mean absolutely nothing to your candidates. So make sure you either remove them or replace them with more meaningful information.
Innovative company >> We’re the first company to attempt…
Positive atmosphere >> We value psychological safety and diversity and inclusion. You can read more about how we practice them here (link to a blog post).
Are they concise? We understand you are excited about people joining your company and you may feel the need to share as much information with them as you can. But realistically, the needs of your candidates differ here. Give people as much as they need at this step, so they can make an informed decision about joining the process. Prioritise information about the role and the team, and skip the company blurb.
Are they easy to find for someone who may have suddenly found themselves without a job? You should make sure all of your roles are visible on your company careers page. Make sure you consider the job titles you use. Are they internal titles that other people might not recognise? If so, it’s worth using something more common in job ads, in the end, they’re addressed to people who are not yet part of your company.
Spend more time speaking to candidates
The first step of the selection process is typically the CV screen. You examine the CV to make sure the candidate has all the skills you’re looking for. This is of course quite difficult to do objectively well since there is no one acceptable format for writing a CV. People may include skills they don’t really have, or worse, omit the ones they do have for fear they’re not at a good enough level.
So make sure you give candidates a fair shot at the selection process and don’t just disqualify them based on CV. They may seem to be missing something on paper, but since that paper isn’t 100% reliable it just makes sense to give some of your candidates a chance to speak to you over the phone.
If you don’t have the time to do that, then consider another approach. Write down the reasons why you reject people based on CV most often. Instead of rejecting everyone with the same generic email mentioning there were “more suitable candidates in the process”, tell them exactly what was missing in their CV. This way, they have a chance to come back to you and advocate for themselves and explain they do, in fact, have the necessary skill and why it didn’t make it onto their resume.
Review your LinkedIn profile
Now is the time to check your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s candidate friendly. Most, in my experience, are written as if recruiters were looking for jobs themselves, rather than looking for candidates. So do consider your situation and who your main target audience is – employers or employees.
You can turn on the creator mode in order to promote the link to our career page right at the top of your LinkedIn profile. But please make sure you consider the pros and the cons, since LinkedIn creator mode may make it harder for people to connect with you. You can share a link to your calendar in your about me section to avoid missing out on people who don’t know how to connect.
Make it extra clear what roles you’re hiring for and what skills you’re looking for by highlighting these on your profile. You can use the featured section to link up the most important roles, or present a list of them in your experience section.
As you review your experience section, make sure it’s written with your candidates in mind. Instead of providing a list of bullet points describing your responsibilities, explain how your role impacts the candidate. Make sure they know what to expect once they get in touch.
screening candidates >> You will meet me during an initial phone conversation when I will share more details about the role and ask about your experience
working closely with Hiring Managers >> I will be presenting your profile to the Hiring Manager
I hope I convinced you to give at least one of these a try. Remember that we all have an impact on the market. By giving a chance to more active candidates to join your company, you’re having a positive influence on someone’s life, as well as on the economy.