Active sourcing and direct approaches - many companies already see this as the new silver bullet in recruiting. Others laugh it off as hype. It's always up to you to decide what comes of it. Active sourcing with a clear strategy, carefully selected methodology and individually tailored communication can help you quickly fill any position in the best possible way. Read now how this works. Address candidates 


Direct contact


Here's what you need to look out for in the direct approach

The top 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 tend to damage the recruiter's image or the entire employer branding. Good, effective active sourcing looks different:

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

  • In doing so, clearly show that you are interested in the candidate and why.
  • Stand out right away with a strong subject line in crowded inboxes.
  • Or better yet, contact candidates directly on social networks.
  • Be mindful of timing - people are more likely to be directly accessible online in the morning, early evening, and generally during bad weather.
  • In no uncertain terms, offer added value such as personal benefits or career advancement.
  • Never approach multiple candidates within a company for a vacancy.
  • Stay in touch, even if it doesn't spark right away. This is how you build up an already activated talent pool in the long term.
  • Short reminders show sustained interest if an initial response fails to materialize.

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

Young talents and sought-after specialists now want and need to be courted intensively. This begins with an individual, goal-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. As a result, your recruiting will be more complex, more protracted and must be more sales-oriented. But in the competition for the best minds, this effort definitely pays off.


Direct contact


Advantages and disadvantages of direct approach

Successful active sourcing absolutely requires clear structures and a strategy. This begins with the right selection of networks for your target group. There, every candidate search must then be based on a clear, detailed requirements profile. Once the desired candidate has been found, approach him or her professionally. This is the only way to benefit from the advantages of a direct approach. Otherwise, you will quickly become aware of the downsides of this recruitment strategy:


Advantages of the direct approach

  • is more cost-efficient than classic job advertisements
  • Also brings you in contact with passive candidates
  • Meets the tastes of specialists and professionals, who are less and less likely to apply for jobs on their own
  • 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 behind high cost-per-hire
  • needs specialized recruiters - sourcers - with experience in direct search and a certain sales talent
  • additionally 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 direct approach

Professional sourcers by no means do all the work themselves when it comes to direct search. Particularly in the search for candidates, they rely on sourcing software or sourcing services. Using intelligent algorithms, they quickly and efficiently search dozens of networks or databases for the desired job profile. And many sourcers have certainly already used sourcing templates or been inspired by templates like these:

Here you will find, for example, an email template specifically for the direct approach of software developers.

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


Be careful when using templates!

When using such templates, you always walk a fine line. Between the various text modules, there is usually too little space for a personal touch. Low response or success rates are the result. The initial time savings become a negative factor.


Active Sourcing Tools

Here, tools that you use to search yourself differ from professional, fee-based offers for active sourcing.


Address candidates


Google is the best choice for your own search. A well thought-out search query with the right keyword combination provides you with quick results. To find the perfect keyword combination, various keyword tools support you.

Another useful tool is the Multi-highlighter for Google Chrome. It shows you already at first glance multicolored, whether in the profiles of a candidate really all required search terms are found.

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

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


Admittedly: Such sourcing is very labor-intensive. Therefore, the choice often falls on paid sourcing tools that do all this work for you and present suitable candidates. The best-known examples:

But always keep in mind your employer branding or personal branding as a sourcer. Therefore, make sure that you present yourself well and are easy to find on the web before contacting a candidate directly. You can be sure that almost every candidate contacted will Google you first. Address candidates 


Which platforms are best suited for active sourcing and direct recruitment? Address candidates

Various social networks and hundreds of online platforms offer you many channels for direct contact. It is advisable to use not 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 professionals abroad? Then use the local platforms as well.
  • CV or resume databases - Absolventa, Careerbuilder, Experteer, Monster or Stepstone and more give you access to millions of resumes from talent and experts alike.
  • kununu - this is actually where employers are rated by their employees and applicants. But at the same time, this results in a huge candidate pool for you.
  • Facebook - the world's largest social network offers you a very good opportunity for direct contact with targeted Facebook ads.
  • Google - the first place to start 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. Then you get a good stage for employer branding and many opportunities for direct contact.
  • YouTube - you can also use this channel - audiovisual - in both directions.
  • Instagram - the network completely focused on photos and short videos is equally suitable for employer branding and active sourcing.
  • Stackoverflow - especially interesting for active sourcing for developers or programmers.
  • Slack - actually a collaboration tool, but in many communities it also offers interesting opportunities for direct engagement.
  • Special interest forums - there is no topic for which there is not a corresponding online forum. This is where the experts for this area gather - and thus possibly your candidates.


Offline platforms for active sourcing Address candidates 

Long before the Internet made its triumphant advance, recruiters or headhunters have been conducting active sourcing in the real world. This conventional form of direct approach still works today just as it did back then - for example at:

  • special job or recruiting fairs and general trade fairs
  • Uni events
  • Trade congresses
  • Network meetings or
  • Workshops

Although digital active sourcing strategies dominate today in terms of cost and efficiency, this traditional direct approach also remains promising. Therefore, don't forget this classic path to the ideal new employees. The right mix is the key to success. Address candidates 


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

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