The active search for candidates for open positions has not been an insider tip for some time now. When it is no longer enough to simply wait passively, employers have to take action themselves. You often need several active sourcing methods to be successful. Because no two jobs are the same when it comes to recruiting. Even if the position of a sales manager in the Hamburg area can be filled quickly and purely passively, problems can arise when passively filling the same position in the Munich area. Which active sourcing methods are then available to recruiters? And which should be used in which situation?

We give you a brief overview of the most successful active sourcing methods.

Active sourcing method #1: Career website

One of the most common recruiting channels is to set up a career website where applicants are addressed and comprehensively informed. Potential applicants should be informed about the company through an attractively designed site and develop an interest in working for the company. A Career page is therefore primarily used for employer branding. Large employers often use a professionally designed careers page to attract the attention of applicants. However, smaller companies can also use a career site as an active recruitment method - as a candidate magnet.

Method #2: Talent pool

A talent pool is a database of candidates with whom the organisation has had contact in the past in relation to working for the company. It does not matter whether these are candidates who were approached using other active sourcing methods but who were not currently interested in a change. Or that they are candidates who have not received a commitment from the company for various reasons. Recruiters can draw on a talent pool when filling vacancies in order to access existing contacts and ideally do not have to place a job advert.

Method #3: Referrals / Recommendations

Another active procurement method is referral sourcing - filling a position through contacts of current employees. Recruiters check the social profiles of employees for contacts with the right qualifications. The interesting candidate can then be convinced to join the employer through the contact of the current employee. Referral searches also include employee/employee promotions by the employer. In this case, the company's current employees directly recommend acquaintances who fit the company based on their qualifications and cultural fit.

Method #4: Profile evaluation

Profile mining is classic web research in social media and career networks. If desired, this method can also be outsourced to an external recruitment agency. Recruiters use various search methods to find suitable candidates in networks such as Xing or LinkedIn. They then write to them via these networks and inform them of their interest in changing jobs. The main advantages of this active sourcing method are the expansion of the network, even if the candidate shows no interest, and a lasting contact. Perhaps the time or the specific area of responsibility did not fit and the candidate is interested in a change for the next position. Profile mining can therefore not only expand the network, but also further fill the talent pool with interesting candidates. At best, this method is very effective in making contact.

Method #5: Searching the CV database

Searching the CV database makes the work of recruiters even easier than profile mining. They search CV databases such as Experteer for suitable candidates and can focus the search in more detail compared to social media and career networks. While career networks often only mention the individual phases of the CV, candidates upload their entire CV to CV databases. Of course, these databases do not contain as many potential candidates as Xing or LinkedIn. For this reason, the CV database search is used more as an additional method of creating profiles for the mining industry, but still offers a number of advantages.

Method #6: Search engines - Boolean commands

Traditional search engines such as Google or Bing can also be used for active sourcing. It is often possible to report on the natural success of searches - such as the normal searches that are also used in private life. Recruiters can also limit their search using Boolean commands. Commands such as "AND" "OR" "NOT" "*" or "" are part of the standard repertoire of every recruiter who searches for suitable candidates via search engines. Boolean commands also support searches via social and professional networks.

Method #7: Career events

Events are a very personalised active sourcing method. Recruiters can make contact with potentially interesting and interested candidates at trade fairs, presentations and special career events. In this way, they can expand their personal network, widen their talent pool and, in the best case, even fill a position. In recent years, more and more career events have also been organised at universities. Here, prospective graduates can make their first relevant contacts with companies and at the same time gain an overview of the requirements of today's labour market. Recruiters have the opportunity here to recruit talent early on and build a lasting and personal relationship with them in order to attract them to the company after graduation.

Method #8: Telephone research

For some vacancies, there may be difficulties in finding candidates using web-based methods and the network that has been built up may not produce a suitable candidate. In this case, it can help to conduct an additional telephone search for suitable candidates. This task can also be outsourced to an external service provider who employs highly qualified personnel for telephone research. This method can also be used to identify "invisible" candidates. These are those who are not represented on social media and career networks. They are particularly valuable for active recruitment as they have not come into contact with recruiters very often. For this reason, they are usually more open to an initial conversation about a different position.

Conclusion on the most common active sourcing methods

With active sourcing, it is important to adapt the respective methods to the function to be fulfilled. For some roles, a sustainably established and maintained network is of great importance. For others, traditional web research in social networks is sufficient to fill the position. Recruiters need a feel for the right use of active sourcing methods to avoid wasting resources and fill the vacancy effectively and quickly. If these skills are not (yet) available within the company, individual processes can be outsourced to external service providers so that the full range of active sourcing methods can still be utilised.

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