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3 steps you need to follow to optimize your direct search strategy

Well designed and managed sourcing can help you place the most demanding position and will decrease the time to hire. It does not need to be demanding or expensive. You can simplify it, when you know how to plan it and use the right tools.                                                                    Here, I am sharing some of my experiences from my over 10 year long career as a sourcer and recruiter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First let’s define what we will discuss – sourcing can be seen as all the action you take to build your talent pool for a particular position.     One of the methods is the active sourcing, direct search – let’s focus on the one.

I divide the sourcing process into three stages.


       1. The first stage – preparation

Spend some time on the job spec to understand it best. At this stage you can establish which keywords/platforms/ internet spots to use for sourcing to find the right profiles. 

Book an online meeting with the Hiring Manager/ or someone from the Talent team  so you can understand their recruitment needs better and ask them detailed questions about the role.

Prepare the set of 5 – 8 questions, connected with the following parts:

  • the tech stack that is most important for the role,
  • the tech challenges that the position has,
  • team set up,
  • career opportunities at the company,
  • location,
  • competitors,

These information above helps narrow down the search and allows to set up the sourcing strategy which means:

  • where to source
  • what tools to use for searching
  • how much they will cost me
  • how I will approach the talent

A tool I would recommend at this stage is  Glossary Tech (or Wikipedia or Youtube)

 GlossaryTech is a free chrome plugin. Once installed can help you source the tech talent or help you learn IT-related terms whilst browsing. The extension explains the technology terms in a very simple, approachable way so you can understand it better. The plugin works for every single website, including Github, Wikipedia,  Stack Overflow or LinkedIn.


       2. The second stage – diving into the job specification

  • choose the keywords
  • prepare a list of companies from where you will source the talent
  • choose the tools and platforms for sourcing (such as: LinkedInGitHub, Stackoverflow,etc.)

Tools I would recommend at this stage are the Apollo AmazingHiringOctoHR  plugins, which help find candidates contact details.



       3. The third stage – communication

This is the last phase and time to prepare pipelines and messages that will be  sent to candidates. 

I am spending some time drafting emails to use a personalized outreach and send emails that are tailored for each candidate, which contributes to higher response rate.This results in them showing you an interest in your recruitment and eventually getting hired and allows you to build better connections with the contacted individuals.

Remember to send follow up emails

They are increasing the response rate significantly and candidates reply by asking some questions about the recruitment projects ( I am getting more replies than to the first email). 

A recommendation for this stage is to use a  recruitment data tracker. 

Very often I am getting messages from candidates that they are not looking for a new project at the moment and they advise me when they may consider a new role. I track all these dates in my calendar, so I can contact candidates at the right time 

Active Sourcing is a very important but also a difficult part of the recruitment process. It requires patience, persistence and research skills from the sourcer. 

Don’t forget to include those in your strategy as well 🙂


Do you have a sourcing strategy? How do you plan it, do you use any tools described above?

Maybe you have other tips ?

Share it 🙂 

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