Active sourcing and Direct approach - Many companies already see this as the new silver bullet in personnel recruitment. Others laugh it off as hype. It is always up to you what comes of it. Active sourcing with a clear strategy, carefully selected methodology and customised communication can help you to quickly fill every position in the best possible way. Read now how this works. Approach candidates 

Direct approach

You need to pay attention to this when making a direct approach

The highest maxim of active sourcing is to address each candidate individually. Mass emails without any personal touch - no matter how well formulated - are no longer sufficient today. On the contrary: they are more likely to damage the recruiter's image or the entire employer branding. Good, effective active sourcing looks different:

It always starts with a personalised approach after precise analysis of profiles and digital body language.

  • Make it clear that you are interested in the candidate and why.
  • Stand out right away with a strong subject line in full mailboxes.
  • Or even better: contact candidates directly in the social networks.
  • Pay attention to the timing - people are more likely to be directly reachable online in the morning, in the early evening and generally in bad weather.
  • Offer added value such as personal benefits or career advancement without beating around the bush.
  • Never approach several candidates within a company for one vacancy.
  • Stay in touch, even if it doesn't work straight away. This will help you build up an already activated talent pool in the long term.
  • Short reminders show sustained interest if there is no initial response.

The network is the main communication channel for the Direct approach. However, active sourcing recruiting can also be planned from person to person - for example with campus recruiting or talent scouting. In principle, the following applies:

Young talents and sought-after specialists now want and need to be courted intensively. This begins with a personalised, target-oriented approach to candidates. The roles have been completely redistributed. It is no longer the applicant who has to convince you - you have to convince the applicant of the company and the position. This makes your recruiting more complex and time-consuming and requires a more sales-orientated approach. But in the competition for the best minds, this effort definitely pays off.

Direct approach

Advantages and disadvantages of direct approach

Successful active sourcing requires clear structures and a strategy. This starts with the right selection of networks for your own target group. Every candidate search there must then be based on a clear, detailed requirements profile. Once the desired candidate has been found, approach them professionally. This is the only way to benefit from the advantages of a direct approach. Otherwise, you will quickly realise the downsides of this recruitment strategy:

Advantages of the direct approach

  • is more cost-efficient than traditional job adverts
  • also brings you into contact with passive candidates
  • meets the tastes of specialists and skilled workers, who are less and less likely to apply independently
  • reaches your desired candidates directly and personally
  • offers you a variety of contact options via different channels
  • gives you a progressive, good impression with your candidates

Disadvantages of the direct approach

  • can - if used incorrectly - tie up expensive personnel resources unproductively
  • then leaves a high cost-per-hire
  • needs specialised recruiters - sourcers - with experience in direct approach and a certain sales talent
  • also requires an appealing employer branding
  • is often slow because users of business networks such as LinkedIn or Xing are often not active there for weeks

Templates for the direct approach

Professional sourcers don't do all the work themselves when approaching candidates directly. They rely on sourcing software or sourcing services, especially when searching for candidates. These use intelligent algorithms to quickly and efficiently search dozens of networks or databases for the desired requirements profile. And many sourcers have certainly already used sourcing templates or been inspired by templates like these:

Here for example, you will find an e-mail template specifically for direct contact with software developers.

And this english page provides 37 templates with different points of contact for a direct approach.

Be careful when using templates!

When using such templates, you are always walking a fine line. There is usually too little room for a personal touch between the various text modules. Low response or success rates are the result. The initial time saving becomes a negative factor.

Active Sourcing Tools

This is where tools that you use to search yourself differ from professional, fee-based active sourcing services.

Approach candidates

Google is the best choice for your own search. A well thought-out search query with the right keyword combination will provide you with results quickly. Various keyword tools help you to find the perfect keyword combination.

Another useful tool is the Multi-Highlighter for Google Chrome. It shows you at first glance in several colours whether a candidate's profile really contains all the required search terms.

However, the profile page found does not have to contain all the information about this person. Prophet for Google Chrome then also collects these for you - a telephone number, other online profiles and the like.

In order to maintain an overview, it is worth collating all this information in a separate database: tools used, sources or search terms through to candidate information. This database allows you to manage current sourcing more efficiently. At the same time, you can build your own multi-tool for future candidate searches.

Admittedly: Sourcing of this kind is very labour-intensive. That's why the choice often falls on paid sourcing tools that do all this work for you and present suitable candidates. The best-known examples:

However, always think about your employer branding or personal branding as a sourcer. Therefore, make sure you have an appealing self-presentation and are easy to find on the web before making a direct approach. Because you can be sure that almost every candidate you contact will google you first. Approach candidates 

Which platforms are best suited for active sourcing and direct approach? Approach candidates

Various social networks and hundreds of online platforms offer you many channels for direct contact. It is advisable not to use all of them, but a bundle of them. Which one you choose depends primarily on the online usage of your target group. Where are you most likely to find them?

Online platforms for active sourcing

  • LinkedIn and XING - the world's largest and Germany's best-known business network should never be missing from active sourcing. Are you looking for specialists abroad? Then also use the local platforms.
  • CV or resume databases - Absolventa, Careerbuilder, Experteer, Monster or Stepstone and others offer you access to millions of CVs from talents and experts alike.
  • kununu - this is where employers are actually rated by their employees and applicants. At the same time, this results in a huge pool of candidates for you.
  • Facebook - the world's largest social network offers you a very good opportunity for direct contact with targeted Facebook adverts.
  • Google - the first port of call for your own web search for suitable workers.
  • Twitter - here you first have to become active yourself: create a profile with posts and interact with others. This will give you a good platform for employer branding and many opportunities for direct contact.
  • YouTube - you can also use this channel - audiovisually - in both directions.
  • Instagram - the network focussed entirely on photos and short videos is also suitable for employer branding and active sourcing.
  • Stackoverflow - particularly interesting for active sourcing for developers or programmers.
  • Slack - actually a collaboration tool, but it also offers interesting opportunities for direct contact in many communities.
  • Special interest forums - there is no topic for which there is no corresponding online forum. That's where the experts in this field can be found - and possibly your candidates.

Offline platforms for active sourcing Approach candidates 

Long before the Internet began its triumphant advance, recruiters and headhunters were already practising active sourcing in the real world. This conventional form of direct approach still works today just as it did back then - for example at:

  • Specialised job or recruiting fairs and general trade fairs
  • University events
  • Specialist congresses
  • Network meetings or
  • Workshops

Although digital active sourcing strategies dominate today from a cost and efficiency perspective, this traditional direct approach also remains promising. So don't forget this traditional route to the ideal new employee. The right mix is the key to success. Approach candidates 

indivHR will be happy to help you with customised solutions to make your recruiting even more successful.

Get in touch with us!