Aptitude Research conducted a survey in July 2020, during the height of the pandemic, and found that the most critical capability gaps in Talent Acquisition involve sourcing and screening candidates (see Figure 1). Regardless of industry or hiring activity, companies struggle to identify and attract the right talent. Sourcing is often reactionary as companies are left scrambling to find and compete for talent in a short period of time. Over two years later, not much has changed.
Companies focused heavily on sourcing over the past year – by either building out internal expertise, outsourcing sourcing activities, or leveraging world-class technology. One in three enterprise companies have an internal sourcing team responsible for finding candidates and for 60% of those companies, communication skills are the most important competency.
Companies need support as remote recruitment, changing labor conditions, and competition for talent has made a challenging process even more complex. Yet, many sourcing strategies fail to deliver results.
Sourcing faces several obstacles
- Dissatisfaction with sourcing strategies
Seventy-five percent (75%) of companies are not happy with their sourcing strategy.
- Lack of ROI
Sixty-five percent (65%) of companies don’t measure the ROI of their sourcing investments.
- Too many sourcing tools
One in three companies use more than five sourcing tools.
The state of sourcing
This reality has created a state of sourcing that is reactive, filled with bias, and is often times, ineffective. As companies look at strategic sourcing for 2023, below are a few strategies they should consider:
Sourcing diverse candidates
Companies rely on the same job boards, job aggregators, and sourcing channels to find candidates without thinking more broadly about diversity. Additionally, many companies are not tracking the sources of hire to know where they are finding more diverse candidates. Companies must carefully track their sources of hire and invest in the solutions that have deep domain expertise in sourcing diverse talent.
Identifying passive candidates
Organizations often wait for candidates to find their career site or job postings without proactively engaging passive talent and building pipelines for the future. Effective sourcing strategies include active outreach to candidates and engagement in order to build talent pipelines.
Looking outside of the ATS/CRM
Search is the main point of frustration with many ATS and CRM systems. Search is limited to keywords and many candidates have incomplete or outdated profiles. Aptitude Research found that recruiters spend over 10 hours a week, on average, looking for candidates in their given ATS. Sourcing providers help companies look at both candidates in existing systems and proactively source external talent as well.
The best sourcing solutions offer both technology and services. Sourcing is an art and science that requires tools as well as expert sourcers who can help find and engage talent. When evaluating providers, it is important to look beyond product capabilities and evaluate the expertise and services as well.
Despite these challenges, one in two companies are increasing their investment in sourcing. They are rethinking their strategies and technology to focus on a more effective process.
Author: Madeline Laurano, Founder & Chief Analyst for Aptititude Research
Aptitude Research is a leading human capital management (HCM) research and advisory firm based in Boston. Our in-depth research and vendor assessments help HR leaders develop a deep understanding of the HCM technology landscape, including talent acquisition and engagement, to ultimately make better purchase decisions.
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