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Where Else Could We Find Talent From?

Last week I was sitting with a senior head of talent for a company here in the UK and we were talking recruitment strategies, talent sourcing and social media, and well as enjoying some nice South American coffee. What really surprised me was the narrow band of sources that the recruitment team were using for candidate sourcing, especially when you consider they were complaining about not being able to find the talent they needed.
The recruiters had given up with their old ATS database because the search function was so poor (allegedly), were posting (job description based ads) on three generic job boards, using two online CV databases, there was only basic LinkedIn searches being performed and no social media sourcing was being done at all. They then ended up filling many roles via recruitment agencies. Maybe this sounds similar to your company?

Anyway, we drank more fine coffee and continued the conversation. I talked about the many different options for finding talent, and that a wider resourcing strategy was needed, which included necessary work around their employer brand and career site (but that is for another day). But the reason for this post is that I thought you might be interested in my response to the question I was asked and answered via their whiteboard:  “where else could my team find talent from then?

I started by explaining the important first stage is to really understand what your target talent audience looks like (in detail), mapping out the personas they are looking to recruit. This is critical for ensuring you know what you are recruiting, and where they are are likely to be. Here are some of the core details you need (I expand on this more here):

  • Job title and the synonyms – all of them
  • Companies - where they could work – all of them
  • What they do in their roles – including keywords and industry phrases
  • What they use – the systems, tools, technology and methodologies
  • Education – specific courses and universities
  • Required skills – languages, country experience etc
  • Locations, mobility

Then it is time for some searching and sourcing!

These are just some of the many places that you should consider looking for talent for your company:

  1. Existing candidate data.
    There is always a way to search through your own data, even if the ATS makes it an unappealing task to do so. You have invested time and money over time to place adverts, which has generated many of the candidates in your system. While you may not think so, there will be some golden nuggets in there somewhere. Why not export it, clean it and add social data to it using a superb tool like https://www.datafreshup.com/
  2. Employee referrals
    Obviously one of the best sources of talent. The trick is ‘extracting them’ from your employees in a meaningful and effective way. Try some of these tips for your employee referral programs or consider using social referral products.
  3. Indeed and Google
    Only hard core sourcers are are used to looking for candidates here, but there are huge numbers of candidates to be found if you use the right searches to find them. Try using these tricks to search Indeed and Google for candidates.
  4. Niche Job Boards
    There are literally hundreds of different job boards out there. Don’t just go to the main ones, try out some of the niche and specialist boards and search their candidate databases (if they offer the service). Always remember to look for the recruiters tab on their websites and find the CV search - a good example Simply Sales Job Board if you were looking for sales people.
  5. Advanced LinkedIn Searches
    We all use LinkedIn every day in recruitment, but do you know how to REALLY source people on LinkedIn? This post takes a deeper look at that advanced search function.
  6. Social Media
    1. Facebook - there is a fantastic Facebook sourcing tool here that allows you to search for anyone on Facebook.
    2. Twitter - excellent infographic will all the search terms for search Twitter
    3. Google+, Github, StackOverflow (both engineers and developers), Behance and Dribbble (designers and creatives), LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others can be searched easily using the awesome free SourceHub tool from Social Talent.
  7. Groups and Communities
    These are some of my favourite places to search for talent, because there are groups of like minded people all in the same place at the same time! While there are many places to go and search for these, for me the best are Facebook Groups (using the superb Chrome extension tool), LinkedIn Groups (still!) and Google+ communities.
  8. Conferences and events
    These are fantastic for finding specific skills, industry types, specialists and whole groups of sector specific people. These great tips from Amybeth Quinn will show you how.

There are of course many other places where you can find talent, including offline sites like Meetup. The crux of finding the right talent is really  understanding what you are looking for in the first place. That is a skill in itself!

Anyway to finish my short story….

After more coffee and more discussion around the many different sourcing channels, methods and tools, we ended up concluding that the skills that the existing recruitment team had did not lend themselves to these levels of sourcing. I suggested adding sourcing skills to their team in the guise of a skilled sourcer, and letting the recruiters focus on their strengths. It was an easy ROI to prove when you consider how ££much they were spending on recruitment agencies! The role is currently going through sign-off right now , I believe 🙂


If you are having problems finding the talent you need in your business, then maybe it is time for you to share some of your nice coffee with me. Just send me an email and let’s have a chat about how I could help you.

And finally if you haven’t got your copy yet, don’t forget to buy a copy of my new book where there is a full and details chapter on candidate sourcing in many different areas.