Home » Elevate the Candidate Experience by Bolstering Your Recruitment Team
Crafting the candidate experience is seemingly important to most corporate recruitment teams. If we understand that the candidate experience reflects our company’s culture and forms a candidate’s first impressions of our organization, of course we want to put our best foot forward and prioritize a positive candidate experience.
Despite good intentions, the desire to deliver an excellent candidate experience can easily become overshadowed by more pressing factors, like a high number of vacant positions to fill yesterday or an overwhelming number of applicants but not necessarily the right applicants.
This scenario typically leads to hiring teams making first-fit over best-fit hires.
It’s a trend we see all too often. Your internal recruitment team can’t keep up with the demands, and hiring full-time resources isn’t feasible. Whether your hiring volumes seemed to increase overnight or you gradually found your team in this position, you’re here.
So, your recruiters continue pushing resumes, hiring managers want to see more candidates (in less time), and you’re left wondering how you can effectively elevate the level of service from your team given competing priorities.
Believe it or not, your recruitment team can hire high-quality candidates in less time while still administering a positive candidate experience, and it starts with an effective candidate sourcing strategy.
The need for a candidate sourcing strategy
Talent acquisition leaders know that the scales between job openings and unemployed people remain unbalanced. In September 2023, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported that there were 9.8 million job openings but only 5.9 unemployed workers in the U.S. Additionally, it reported that 1.9 million fewer Americans are working today, in September 2023, compared to February 2020.
This reality can send unprepared recruitment teams into a frenzy, where they may employ tactics like “posting and praying,” which will never work in today’s recruiting world. In these scenarios, recruiters are typically trying to add the role of “sourcer” to their job descriptions while still carrying out their primary responsibility — to manage the hiring process.
It’s not that your recruiters aren’t knowledgeable and capable; it’s that sourcing requires time and a different skill set. Keeping them focused on the area where they thrive and allocating separate resources toward sourcing ultimately promotes a healthy, stable recruiting function — and in turn, supports an improved candidate experience.
Think about this for a second: You know those toy train sets? Each piece of track operates as an important segment in the overall railroad line, designating a clear path for the toy train’s ride.
In a complete train set, we’d find tracks for hiring managers, recruiters, and sourcers. When assembled, these pieces form a united line, forging a smooth path for the train. But what if our set is missing sourcers? The assumed solution, as we already reviewed above, is to fill in the tracks with recruiters!
The problem, then, is that to move the train along the tracks, we have to remove recruiting track pieces from their intended positions to fill in for the missing sourcing pieces. This causes delays and bumps in the train’s journey. Instead of traveling efficiently (and enjoyably!), the train loses momentum as it must stop while the set builder replaces the track.
In the same way your recruiting function can operate without sourcers, it could operate more completely with dedicated sourcers. The addition of sourcers isn’t only felt internally (by relieving maxed-out recruiters and busy hiring managers) but also by your company’s candidates.
5 ways sourcing elevates the candidate experience
Your candidates become riders on your recruiting train track. Those delays and bumps your recruiting team experiences come out in the candidate experience too. When recruiters can work as recruiters and sourcers can work as sourcers, your recruiting team operates like a well-oiled machine (pun intended).
Consider these five ways sourcing can cultivate a positive candidate experience:
Sourcers attract passive job seekers. Sourcers who have a deep knowledge of your organization can honestly and effectively communicate with potential job candidates about company culture and benefits. When a sourcer recognizes a good fit and encourages a person (who already has a job) to apply for a specific position, it not only makes the potential candidate feel seen and heard, but it also instills confidence about his or her ability to take on that new role.
Sourcers honor candidates’ time. Because sourcers focus on building a qualified, interested talent pipeline, they’re not throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. They are only encouraging qualified, interested prospects to apply for positions that fit their skills or interests.
Sourcers support candidates’ career paths. By sourcing candidates for specific positions, they encourage professionals to tap into their full potential and realize career directions that may be a better fit than their current roles.
Sourcers speed up the hiring process. By qualifying candidates, sourcers can move someone more quickly through to your organization’s hiring process. This is great for candidates who are excited to join your team as quickly as possible!
Sourcers keep candidates in the loop. Sourcers know how to take care of the talent pipeline they’ve created. They build rapport and stay in touch with potential candidates, keeping them in the know on any new and relevant roles or during the recruiting process.
Here’s one narrative that transpired from one of our clients who leans on Beacon Lane for its sourcing.
Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.
Beacon Lane sourced a candidate, “Jennifer,” last December for our client’s senior communications role. After concluding that Jennifer was interested and qualified for the role, our sourcer invited her to apply. This resulted in several rounds of interviews, and although Jennifer didn’t receive an offer at the time, she was one of three finalists.
Often, this is where the process ends.
This is the precise moment where having a dedicated sourcing team and strategy makes all the difference.
Our sourcer stayed in touch with Jennifer, and continued to send her roles that aligned with her skill set and interests, knowing that she was what we refer to in recruiting as a strong “silver medalist.” A month after her rejection for the original position, Jennifer applied to another senior communications role. Over the next three months, our sourcer liaised with all stakeholders by soliciting feedback, discussing salary expectations and nurturing the relationship.
Jennifer received an offer in June (six months after the first date of contact by Beacon Lane) and started her new position in July. Here is what she had to say:
“Letting you know I sent [Recruiter] a response this morning and accepted the communications officer role! I’m so excited! I’ll wait to hear on next steps and start date. Thank you! I’m so thrilled! Thank you for your advocacy and support through the entire process.”
This is just one example that demonstrates the value of sourcing with Beacon Lane. Unlike a search firm, sourcers are assigned up to 20 requisitions at any given time, providing this same level of excellence and care to each and every candidate.