The components of an effective sourcing strategy: what they are, why they matter, and how you can put them to work for you.
All major structures depend on a strong foundation. You can put all your efforts into crafting beautiful windows, stunning archways, and extravagant rooms, but, without a solid foundation, your structure will crumble.
The same goes for your sourcing strategy. Your foundation doesn’t need to be fancy. There’s no secret sauce or proprietary process—just a solid basis from which to build. Our sourcing strategy consists of just 6 basic components. These key foundational questions will help to identify what you’re doing well and what you need to improve. While it doesn’t hurt to set your sights high, you should start building your sourcing strategy from the ground up.
1. HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
First of all, how will you know that your initiative has been successful? What kind of yardstick will you use to make sure your strategy is measuring up? That’s where your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in. Set KPIs that adhere to the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) system. While your individual KPIs will depend on your organization, sticking to SMART goals will help you to establish and organize realistic expectations. When setting these KPIs, pay special attention to measurability. Your indicators could depend heavily on the sourcing platforms you end up utilizing and how easy it is to measure your KPIs on those sites.
Regardless of your individual metrics for success, finding the answer to this question is your first step in laying the foundation for a strong sourcing strategy. After all, how can you improve your strategy if you don’t know it’s broken?
2. DO YOU HAVE AN ACCURATE EMPLOYER BRAND?
This question is much more complicated than it sounds. Your employer brand tells potential applicants what it’s like to work for your company. For example, if you ask a group of people what it’s like to work for Apple, they’d probably all say the same thing. It’s techy, innovative, and fast-paced. You’ll get that same answer regardless of whether or not those people have ever set foot in an Apple office.
Now, imagine what happens when that expectation doesn’t match reality. New hires quickly figure out that the work culture isn’t what they thought it would be, and they feel disappointed and deceived. They start making plans to find another job. This not only hurts your reputation; it also hurts your bottom line. With higher rates of employee turnover, you’ll need to shell out more money to repeat the hiring and onboarding process all over again.
If your employer brand is off-base (and it often is), your strategy will be too.
3. HOW STRONG IS YOUR DIGITAL EMPLOYMENT MARKETING PRESENCE?
Speaking of branding, when candidates research your company, what will they find? Do you keep your social media pages current by regularly updating it with consistent, relevant postings? How is your Indeed rating? Glassdoor? If your ratings are poor, what are you doing to correct that? This is where the most work happens.
Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed allow employers with a verified company account to respond to reviews and encourage employers to ask for reviews from current employees. Most people only think to leave a review when they’re unhappy, which can bring down your overall rating. Encouraging all current employees to write reviews, however, will help to create a more accurate view of what it’s like to work at your company.
As those responses start rolling in, start developing a strategy and a template for replying to both positive and negative reviews. While you don’t need to reply to each and every review, showing that you’re open to valid criticism and working to make the company a better place to work goes a long way in reversing some of the damage done by negative reviews.
4. HOW WELL IS YOUR EMPLOYEE REFERRAL PROGRAM DOING?
An employee referral program is a must when it comes to sourcing, so we’ll go ahead and assume you already have a program put together. The question we’re asking now is whether that program is performing as well as it should be. Many of your best hires will come from personal recommendations from current employees. These individuals assimilate into the culture more quickly, often reducing turnover.
So, when you’re looking at the results of your referral program, what are you seeing? Are you reaching that magical 30% hire rate, or are you falling short? If you’re not getting the numbers you want, it’s time to rethink your approach.
5. HAVE YOU CONDUCTED A MEDIA HABIT SURVEY?
In other words, do you know where and how your key hires are looking for a job? What sites are they using? What trade associations do they belong to? Knowing where your candidates are going to look for a job is half the battle. Once you know where to find them, you should ensure that you have a strong presence on those platforms. Provide your candidates with value in the job description by sharing links to a website or splash page where interested applicants can get more information about the role.
In short, be where your key hires are. Simple as that.
6. ARE YOU CHECKING YOUR APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEM?
And last—but certainly not least—we would be remiss to leave out the untapped talent pools you already have sitting in your database. For every person who’s hired to fill a position, chances are, you had a handful of other awesome applicants who didn’t quite fit the bill. What do you do with that data on rejected applicants? You should be building it into your sourcing strategy!
You have a wealth of candidates who have already shown interest in your company and who you may have already had an opportunity to get to know a little better. Include previous applicants in monthly email communications to keep your organization on the top of their minds.
No matter where you are in constructing your sourcing strategy, getting the answers to these foundational questions will provide insight into the pain points of your overall talent marketing process so you can properly address them. Having an expert guide you through each of these questions (and the thousands that come up in-between) is paramount in elevating your strategy. Give our experts a call, we’d love to show you what we can do!