Candidate Sourcing Guide: How to attract candidates online

Candidate Sourcing Guide: How to attract candidates online

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and sourcing the right candidates online can be a challenge. This candidate sourcing guide gives you everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  


As a Hiring Manager or Recruiter, you know how difficult it can be to attract and source the right candidates online. The job market is getting more competitive, and a good candidate sourcing strategy is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must.  


A good strategy means you can identify the right channels to use and avoid common but costly mistakes. From job boards and social media, to optimising job ads and creating an inclusive workplace – let’s dive in.  

Table of Contents

What is Candidate Attraction? 

Candidate attraction means attracting and engaging with job seekers so that they’re interested enough to apply. If they’re interested enough, they may apply even when you don’t have vacancies.  


Usually, recruiters attract candidates through a few different channels. They might do it through social media, job boards, career pages, and more.  


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How to Source Candidates 

With so many options out there to put yourself in front of potential candidates, it can be challenging to decide where to turn. Here we cover some of the sure-fire channels to attract and covert applicants online 


Job boards & PPC 

Job boards and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) are one of the most common ways to source candidates. In fact, the online recruitment industry is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 7.1%. 


One great benefit of job boards and PPC is that you can use them to find passive candidates who aren’t actively searching for jobs, but are open to new roles. They may just be signed up to receive e-mails, or stumble across your role whilst browsing online.  


Job boards and PPC are also useful for attracting active candidates too. For jobs that need specific skills or experience, you can target those actively searching for new roles by including keywords in your adverts that are likely to be on their resumes or LinkedIn profiles.  


Depending on your hiring requirements, if you’re hiring frequently on a recurring basis, using a recruitment software that posts on job boards for you is invaluable for saving your recruiters’ time and money. Software providers can buy job board credits in bulk for a discount, and even make sure you’re posting on the right job boards for your specific role.  

sourcing candidates via a job board

Social Media 

Social media is another great way of finding potential candidates. Not just because of its reach but also because it allows you some insight into what kind of person the candidate is. 


Recruiters often check a candidate’s social media, to get a sense of the individual and make sure they don’t hold any personal views that may conflict with or damage a company.  


Social media is especially useful because you can use it strategically. For example, if you’re hiring a specialised position, like a Finance Director, you’d be better off searching and targeting those keywords on LinkedIn.  


But if you’re recruiting in a recurring/volume industry, like Care or Logistics, you may be better off using Facebook.  


One study actually found that 76% of truck drivers use Facebook. It was in fact so successful, the company made Facebook recruitment an essential part of their hiring strategy. 


Career Page 

A good career page on your website can attract potential candidates and make them feel welcome. Career pages are also important for helping your employer brand, which as we know, has an impact on whether candidates decide to work for you.  


With a careers page, you can expand into more detail about a job role, expectations, and you have more control. You’re not competing on a job board with other jobs where your ad will leave the first page of results as new jobs come in.  


Careers pages also have the added benefit of SEO. A career page advertising a job for Social Care Workers for example would attract organic web traffic for someone searching ‘Social Care Jobs’.  


Optimise your job adverts! 

A well-written job ad can increase responses by 23%. Simple things, like using the correct job title, formatting it correctly, stating a salary and location, using keywords and even using video; are all things you can do to increase views and applications.  


Make sure you’re writing the most appealing job adverts possible with our Job Advert Writing Checklist 

Candidate Sourcing Mistakes 

You’ve done the hard work of creating an attractive job advert and posting it online, but you’re not getting as many applicants as you’d like. Below are a few of the most common mistakes that can be easily avoided. 


Lengthy recruitment process 

Competition for candidates is high in today’s job market, and a lengthy recruitment process could be losing you the best ones. In fact, 72% of candidates say a lengthy hiring process was the main reason they dropped off from an application.  


Common mistakes here include forcing candidates to fill in long application forms in the initial stages, back and forth communications to set up interview dates, sifting through CVs for high volume roles and so on.  


So how can you shorten your recruitment process? By using automation tools.  


Not using a Recruitment Automation System 

A good recruitment automation system can help speed up the hiring process and avoid missing out on candidates. By automating repetitive tasks, your recruiters can focus on more strategic activities like candidate engagement. 


Using occy’s hiring platform for example, you can automate parts of the candidate sourcing process like posting across a variety of advertising channels with the click of a button.  


You can then speed up the hiring process in general with smart candidate filtering tools that put the most relevant applicants to the top of your pipeline.  


Or automated communications to be sent to candidates at vital points, like emails acknowledging applications, self-select interview dates and SMS reminders to complete screening tasks.  


Lack of communication 

If there’s one thing, we’ve learned from our years working with recruiters and HR teams, it’s that good communication skills are essential.  


One UK survey found 87.5% of candidates cited lack of communication as the main reason they dropped out of an application, likely losing interest and browsing other opportunities. 


It’s important to remember candidates apply for 10-15 jobs on average a week, so good communication is key to maintaining their interest.  


This is where automated communication tools like those offered by occy are invaluable, where you can set up auto-responders at vital stages in the hiring process.  


You can even personalise them, and make sure they fit your brand Tone of Voice – so you don’t have to worry about sending generic, robotic sounding e-mails.  


Not identifying your best channels 

Not identifying the right channels to source candidates can result in a lack of relevant candidates.  


If you’re hiring in Logistics for example, there are entire Facebook groups for HGV Drivers. Using a platform like Facebook will be much more likely to get you quality applicants compared to using LinkedIn – which might be better if you were looking to hire a Data Scientist.  


There are now useful reporting tools out there that identify which channels are giving you the most candidates, saving you time, effort and money.  


Not being mobile-friendly 

In today’s world, not being mobile-friendly is a significant disadvantage, especially if you’re looking to hire younger candidates.  


With 61% of applications completed on a mobile in 2021, not optimising your applications for mobile would be costing you the majority of potential candidates.  


What’s more, is that number will only start to get higher as more and more of the younger generation start to get into the workforce. In 2021, the number was 61%. But just last year in 2022, that number had climbed up to 70%.   

How to Source Diverse Candidates 

A diverse and inclusive work environment is essential for attracting and retaining talent – here are some simple ways you can source more diverse candidates.  


Create an inclusive workplace 

If your company commits to creating an inclusive environment, it’s important that you have policies in place that support this goal. But what policies?  


You could start by using inclusive language in the workplace and be open to employee feedback. You can even begin offering days off to celebrate for other religions and social causes.  


Your goal is to create an environment where employees feel safe and heard.  Eventually, through word of mouth and improved employer branding, you’ll be on your way to achieving an inclusive workplace. An achievement that will also benefit your candidate sourcing.  


Advertise positions in diverse spaces 

If you’re looking to try to increase diversity within your applications, you need to think about the places you’re advertising.  


For example, if you’re looking to attract more regional diversity, you may want to post some of your vacancies on job boards in the North of England. But, if it’s gender representation, you could try using social media to find female-only groups that you could post to.  


In the US, some companies have teamed up with historically African American universities, to create programmes to recruit more African Americans and diversify their workforce.  


Use a blind CV filtering tool 

Blind CVs allow applicants’ names and other identifying details (such as gender) to be removed from their CVs before reviewing. The idea is to remove any unconscious bias that might exist in a recruiter’s mind.  


But when paired with a human supervisor, the blind CV filtering tool is a great option to have in your hiring arsenal.  


To summarise  

You need a well-planned strategy to attract and source the right candidates online. It’s easier to attract the right candidates if you use the right channels, avoid common mistakes, and create an inclusive workplace.  


Automation is a fantastic tool to help you achieve this. Not only can it get repetitive tasks done efficiently, but it gives your recruiters back time to focus on other important parts of hiring, like building a great company culture, and relationships with candidates.  


Writing a great job advert is one of the first steps to reliably sourcing candidates online. Make sure you’re writing the most effective adverts with our free Job Advert Writing Checklist! 


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