What is Talent Sourcing? Definition, Process, Benefits 

Attracting talent has been the #1 concern of CEOs in 2022. 70% of the global workforce are passive candidates which means that when you post a job, you are only tapping into 30% of the workforce. These figures might tempt you to think of a strategy in which you could use this information to your advantage. 

The job market of today is a candidate-driven one. It is a constant struggle for many to search and hold onto the right talent. The talent shortage has made it all the more difficult. It is vital to have a good solid plan in place before going on the recruitment process. However, there is something prior to all this that guarantees successful recruitment. As we all know, knowledge of where to find the best relevant candidates is valuable for recruiters. This knowledge can be acquired by anyone through talent sourcing. Talent sourcing is one of the solutions for onboarding the best of talents in a way that is cost-effective and time-efficient.  

Around 80% of companies engage in talent sourcing and are proactive in searching for candidates to hire. If you wish to hire the best talent for your organization, you need to understand the importance and process of talent sourcing. Let’s dive deep into this in this blog!  

Definition of Talent Sourcing  

Talent sourcing is defined as the systematic method of identifying, engaging, and networking with talent pools with the aim to generate and secure candidates for current and future positions. Talent sourcing begins long before recruitment. The intent is to search and reach out to qualified individuals who are passive in the search for jobs. Talent sourcing is a key piece in the building of robust talent pipelines. Talent sourcing is also about arousing and attracting the interest of individuals towards the organization and the role for which they are searching for talent.  

The goal is to identify matching candidates for a target profile. Talent sourcing is a proactive search for qualified passive candidates. A sourcing specialist uses different methods, strategies, and techniques, including social media or a Google resume search by creating Boolean strings.  

Process of Talent Sourcing  

The process of talent sourcing has the following steps:  

Talent need analysis based on business growth needs 

The needs of your business in the present and future decide your talent sourcing process. This analysis would provide the talent sourcing specialist the information on the number of new hires required, the nature of new talent, the desired employee persona, etc. It is important to analyze the outline of the business growth and to figure out the gaps in the workforce that ought to be filled.  

Preparing the Job Description 

The job description can make or break the candidate’s approach to the company that is hiring for that role. A JD must be as informative as possible. These job descriptions also help the sourcer when looking out for candidates in the talent pool. With AI and automation in sourcing software like the Applicant Tracking System, these job specifications and requirements need to be as precise as possible to help the algorithms find the best matches.  

Studying and analyzing the market 

A sourcer must be aware of the changes and trends in the talent and job markets. He/she must have the resources and tools when reaching out to candidates. They should be able to understand what these potential hires are looking for in their careers and change their sourcing strategies of the recruitment process to suit candidate expectations.  

Tapping into the relevant and right talent pools 

One must understand where the right talent is and how to present themselves through different platforms and channels when talent sourcing. You must know how to engage with your ideal talent pool and provide them with the candidate experience that they want.  

Creating strategies to attract and engage the best talent 

While engaging and rapping into the right talent pools, how you do it is also of much importance. What strategies can you choose to present your company in the best way? How can you engage and motivate them to continue in the sourcing process without losing interest? These are a few of the many questions a sourcer must answer when preparing the strategies for talent sourcing.  

Collecting feedback to improve the process 

The feedback you can receive from your candidates can tell you a lot about how effective or not your talent sourcing is. Candidates feel that they are being heard and you can improve your sourcing process. Many sourcing platforms allow you to take candidate feedback and construct data based on it.  

Benefits of Talent Sourcing 

Improves the quality of hire 

In the active search for qualified and ideal candidates, you gain a better insight and understanding of what kind of candidate this particular position demands. This helps in the hiring of better-quality hires.  

Around 75% of qualified candidates are not actively looking for a change in jobs. These passive candidates are open to changes if provided with the right information, compensation, benefits, and perks. Hiring passive candidates has numerous benefits. Many of them wouldn’t require skill development since they’re currently employed and more likely aware of the industry developments. Since passive candidates are already employed in another company, their decision to change jobs could be out of their belief in the mission and visions of the new company. 

Increases diversity 

Studies show that employee referrals often contribute to the creation of a homogenous pipeline. Current employees tend to refer people who are similar to themselves. Thus women, people of color, transgenders, the differently-abled, etc, are less likely to be referred. This is the case for active candidates too. Engaging in talent sourcing helps companies in developing a diverse and inclusive workforce and pool of candidates. Sourcing specialists also have the time to convince diverse professionals to consider their company as a perfect job destination. With their networking skills and expertise, sourcers have the time, resources, and opportunities to attract culturally and professionally diverse individuals.  

Reduces the time and cost of hiring 

Hiring is a time-consuming and tedious process. Talent sourcing reduces time and costs because you already possess a pipeline of qualified talent ready to fill positions as they become available. Open positions are filled immediately as sourcers have already identified a large pool of talent. This shortens the recruiting cycle and reduces the workload of the recruiters as well.  If recruiters continue doing the sourcing work, there can be some delays in the whole process. A sourcing specialist can support recruiters by sourcing talent that can be hired for available positions.  

Improves the employer brand  

Talent sourcing helps in enhancing the employer brand or company brand. Having a good employer brand is crucial in the recruitment process. When your organization expresses interest in candidates and keeps them informed of openings and updates, and ensures a good candidate experience, the company becomes more familiar and trustworthy to these candidates. Candidates may begin to share their positive experiences with friends, colleagues, etc, which again strengthens the employer brand.   


The strategies and processes of talent sourcing will keep changing with newer generations and evolving technology. Sourcing has become a specialized field of its own. It is so much more than resume searches and candidate name generations.  

What talent sourcing tools or strategies do you use to engage with the best talent for our organization? Tell us all about it on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

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Hanan Ashraf
A strong believer in the power that words have over people, Hanan works on producing content that is creative but at the same time graspable for readers. A content writer and digital marketing intern, she loves to write about automation, HR, performance management, and employee wellbeing.