Picking a candidate

Candidate sourcing: Plan a successful hiring campaign to find the right candidates

Published: 22 February 2023
Author: Recruiter On Demand

Finding top candidates that match a role profile can be a mammoth task. Many recruiters work on a huge number of recruiting assignments simultaneously, often with the business expecting unrealistic results. So what tactics can businesses adopt to plan a successful hiring campaign to source the best candidates? 

What kind of candidates are you looking for? 

It might sound obvious, but the first step to a successful hiring campaign is nailing down exactly who you’re looking for. If you don’t do that, you won’t know when you’ve found them and will waste valuable time in the process. 

Asking the following questions will help to fine-tune what you need from a candidate, and what they can expect from you:

  • What experience and skills are necessary for the role?
  • What will make a candidate a good cultural fit?
  • What kind of working arrangements are you able to offer? 
  • What does the salary and benefits package look like?

Write a laser-focused advert 

Then, and only then, can you move on to advertising. Make your advert concise and targeted, showcasing both the role and you as an employer. Research shows that shorter job posts generate significantly higher-than-average apply rates per view. In fact, job postings with about one to 300 words get 8.4% more applications per view than longer posts

A focused advert will also help candidates to self-select. On average, a corporate job advert can attract 250 candidates. That’s a hell of a lot of applications to filter through, especially when you consider that most interview processes involve only four to six candidates. Succinct and targeted advertising will help you to attract only the most suitable candidates that match the role requirements. 

Know your numbers

To run a great recruitment process, you need to know your numbers – particularly the time and cost it requires to search for and onboard a new candidate. 

Knowing your cost-per-hire means you can better manage your recruitment budget. According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends about £3,000 to hire a new worker – and that process can take 27.5 days. 

While these are ballpark figures, it shows that hiring can be costly. Recruiters need accurate and comprehensive information on the roles required – right at the start of the process – to be able to make a great hire and avoid costly re-runs. 

Be realistic about how long it will take to find the right candidates 

There are two main sourcing approaches that dominate the market. At one end of the scale is the ‘light touch’ method (a friendly, relaxed, or humourous way of doing something). This will most likely need five full days of work, spaced out over a two to three-week period. The other is the ‘deep dive’ strategy (a technique to rapidly immerse a group or team into a situation for problem-solving or idea creation). This will need 10-14 full days of work spread over a four to five-week period. 

One of the biggest challenges among in-house recruitment teams is that they are often forced down this ‘light touch’ approach on tasks that require a far more rigorous plan of attack.

For example, if you’re working on a hard-to-fill role, your research methods must leave no stone unturned. As well as locating the right person, you might also need to win them over and all that takes extra time. 

Unrealistic deadlines won’t secure you the best talent.  

Get in touch 

Our experienced talent acquisition professionals are skilled at finding the best candidate for a role. Working as part of your team, they will help minimise the time needed to meet your hiring brief and reduce your team’s workload – right from day one.