In this episode, Josh and co-host Annelle Barnett, talks about candidate sourcing.


Episode 58 | Candidate Sourcing

[00:01] Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals, and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

Josh: [00:17] Hello, and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. Before I get started, I would like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcast space. This is season two of our podcast, which is all about hiring. And again, we’re joined by Annelle Barnett, my co-host today, to talk about candidate sourcing.

[00:37] When it comes to sourcing candidates, you just post jobs on Craigslist, right? Is that how it works?

Annelle: [00:42] Yes, absolutely. That’s a perfect place to find people.

Josh: [00:46] Awesome.

Annelle: [00:46] It’s a great place to find dog walkers.

Josh: [00:49] Oh, I might need a dog walker. I have two children. I’m just going to let them walk the dog.

Annelle: [00:52] Okay.

Josh: [00:53] So, tell us a little bit about your thoughts on sourcing candidates.

Intentionally Finding People

Annelle: [00:57] So sourcing candidates is a much more intentional way of finding the people that you’re looking for for the roles that you have available. It’s a more effective way than just going off the people who apply for a position. When people are applying for a position, then it’s more of a reactive mode. So you’re accepting the people that are coming to you rather than going out and being proactive and finding the people that really fit the position.

Josh: [01:30] So in candidate sourcing, one of the things we’ve talked about offline is the opposite version of taking your resume and tailoring it towards the job when it gets submitted in, right? So what that means to the audience is, I go find this job opening and it says I need these three skill sets so I’m going to add those three skill sets to my resume, which some people do and some people tell you to do—I’m not a big fan of—and then I apply and it looks like I’m a really good skills match. But in candidate sourcing, when you’re going after candidates, they don’t really have the opportunity to manipulate the system like that, right?

Annelle: [02:04] Correct. Yes, because all of their information is already posted online. So you can go out and find people who match those skills rather than them tailoring their skills to match the position. It’s a very good way of actually identifying what they’ve done without them telling you what they’ve done.

Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Josh: [02:26] Got It. And what are some of the tips and tricks and techniques? So I know there’s LinkedIn. What are the ways you used LinkedIn and other platforms to really go pick exactly who you want to source or go after?

Annelle: [02:40] Yeah. LinkedIn is definitely the primary source because most people’s entire background is included on their profiles on LinkedIn. And if they aren’t, then they probably haven’t taken the time to update their profile and put the effort into branding themselves so you probably don’t want to hire that individual anyway. We actually use an extension of LinkedIn, which is called LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is actually a tool that is primarily for sales professionals but we find that it’s very effective for finding candidates as well.

There’s also things like (unclear 03:22) searches where you can type in very specific keywords and things in a pattern into Google so that you can find individuals and their resumes online without actually using a platform. It’ll pull up a keywords in their resume and job titles and things like that.

Gary V Approach

Josh: [03:47] So I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and watching some of his videos and a lot of what we’re doing at Epic Culture from a media perspective is modeled after some of those recommendations that he does in his video. And so I want to crank out massive amounts of content, so I need to go find somebody that can do that locally. I don’t even know what that job title is, right? We talked about it earlier on the last podcast. I got to come up with some candidate personas. What does that look like? What do they look like?

My title in my head says “massive amount of content production producer” or something along those lines. With that, if I want somebody that’s going to go out and take that kind of initiative, has experienced really producing that amount of content, how would I go source them?

Annelle: [04:34] Yeah. It depends also on what type of content you want. Is it written content? Is it video content, or is it all of the above? But there’s certainly content marketers out there. There are content marketers that are full-time roles. There’s also content marketers that can be hired on a freelance or outsource basis. But ideally you would be looking for a content marketer in that case.

If you want specific things for that individual: like video and writing blogs, et cetera, then when you’re looking at their profiles- you’re searching for those specific keywords to see which individual has those. When you do the search, you can add an AND in all caps. “AND” between those keywords and find all of the skills that individual has.

Looking for Excellence

Josh: [05:34] Gotcha. In candidate sourcing, we’re really looking for people who are already excelling in a position. Maybe or maybe not happy in their role. Hopefully they’re happy in their role and we’re just trying to go recruit them away. Is that the case?

Annelle: [05:49] That is absolutely the case. You we’re trying to recruit passive candidates, the individuals who are happy in their current position but they could be happier elsewhere and you recruit them with a more attractive position, potentially better perks, better salary, et cetera, so that you’re hiring somebody that actually fits who you’re looking for rather than waiting for them to come to you.

Josh: [06:18] Gotcha. And I know that was an interviewing skill I learned very early on in life through some coaching that I got from friends where it was like you’re sitting in an interview and they say, “Well, why do you want to leave the current position?” “Oh, I don’t want to leave the current position. I’m extremely happy where I am.”

Annelle: [06:33] Right.

Josh: [06:34] Right? Love it.

Some may not be Looking

Annelle: [06:35] Yeah. I think everyone, well not everyone, but I think a lot of people are open to other opportunities. They aren’t actively on job boards looking for positions. For whatever reason, they may be too busy in their current role, or it’s just not the right time for them. If an opportunity comes along and presents itself, then they are a lot more likely to make that move.

[07:03] Another thing to discuss about sourcing candidates is that you have less competition with those individuals than you do if they’re applying for multiple positions. With passive candidates, you’re probably the only one that’s reached out to them. You may be the only place that they’re interviewing. Therefore, when it comes down to the end and they’re considering your offer, it’s probably only your offer that they’re considering whereas someone that’s applying to multiple positions. They’re probably considering multiple offers. You can also take your time with the search. They aren’t actively interviewing other places. So you don’t have to rush through as fast trying to beat somebody else to hiring this individual.

Element of Timing

Josh: [07:58] Yeah. That was the first thing that came to mind when you said it was the element of timing because when we’re working with clients, a lot of times we get questions around, “Oh, well, if we make a more robust process that takes more time and that person has accepted another role before we even talked to them or got them through certain steps.” We have tactics that work around that and help them with it. But if I’m going after a passive candidate, I don’t really have any timing issues or, theoretically, don’t have any.

Annelle: [08:25] No. I mean sometimes there are cases where because you reach out to the individual, it kind of tips them off to think about looking for another position. So in those cases, sometimes competition will come along. But for the most part, it’s really you’re the only option that they’re considering and it makes it a much easier hire, it makes it much more relaxed and you can go at your own pace and actually identify and do your due diligence on that individual of whether they’re a good hire or not.

Josh: [08:59] Awesome. Is there anything else we should talk about when it comes to candidate sourcing?

Annelle: [09:05] I think that covers it.

Josh: [09:07] That covers it. All right. Well, thank you for joining us on this episode; it’s season two, all about hiring and candidate sourcing and we look forward to you listening to the next episode.

[09:19] Thank you for tuning into today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoy this content, please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit epicculture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, tweet us @epicculture1 or email at podcast@epicculture.co.