3 minute read

5 Creative strategies to make sourcing candidates easier

For recruiters the biggest problem right now is most likely finding candidates right? You've got how many open roles? And zero (or it feels that way) candidates.

For the full low down on recruitment marketing read our comprehensive guide.


In a candidate led job market, issue number one is finding candidates. Obstacle two, is managing to speak to them.

Why would someone take a call from someone they never heard of? If they were actively looking for a job, great. But if they're not job searching, then why? What's in it for them?

Here's how to change that - think talent pipeline not ideal candidate.

This post highlights five creative ways to source candidates split into four key categories to make your life easier.

5 Creative ways to source candidates:

  1. Give them what they want (seo)
  2. Solve their problems (seo)
  3. Teach them something (thought leadership)
  4. Don’t make them work for it (personal branding)
  5. Make it worth their while (free stuff)
Definition: candidate sourcing
The search for appropriately qualified and/or skilled active or passive candidates who have not applied directly for the role and do not sit within your candidate database. 

1. Give them what they want (seo)

If you’ve done your homework and defined your candidate persona, you know what they are interested in and what they are going to be Googling.

Use it.

Find a link between what they want and the knowledge you have to offer and write about it.

And if your writing isn’t all that, fret not - record a quick video on it and transcribe. Give it a quick edit and voila you have two pieces of content to use across your website and social channels to lure in your target audience.

(Here's an example)

2. Solve their problems (seo)

This is a variation on the above but here you’re not so worried about their hobbies and what they do in their spare time. Here you are providing a solution.

First you need to know what problems they might (and are highly likely to) come across on a normal boring old Tuesday afternoon (it could also be Thursday). Something they aren’t going to turn and shout across the office to ask their mate Dave. Something they are going to Google.

problem solving

Then bingo – give them the answer. This does rely on you of course knowing the answer to the problem you intend to solve – otherwise back to the drawing board!

3. Teach them something (thought leadership)

I’ve got a secret to share with you.

You know more than you think you do. Stuff you don’t even realise you know because it’s so ingrained in your day to day. And other people, the candidates you’re looking for, they don’t know what you know. But they want to.

No I’m not talking about who kissed who after one (read eight) too many beers at the pub last Friday. 


I’m talking the good stuff. What’s happening in their industry. What their peers are being paid. The stuff that they might not even know they don’t know until you give it to them. 

And they’ll love you for it. Or you know at least respect that you’re not some stereotypical sleazy salesperson - you know what you’re talking about.

4. Don’t make them work for it (personal branding)

When you contact someone out of the blue, don’t make them trawl through Google to figure out who you are and if you’re worth their time.

Do it before you even drop them that email / InMail / DM by being visible in their sphere.

Anyone with a LinkedIn account can tell you, personal branding is all the rage right now and everyone has something to say about it. 

But essence, it’s about being visible. On social media platforms and beyond.

Assuming (I know, I know, I’ve heard what they say about assumptions) the recruitment agency you work for has already put in the work to build their brand. That makes your life easier. Because you’re not just Rick the Recruiter, your Rick from The Best Recruitment Agency Ever, they’re a quality act, if they hired you, you must be alright. But that’s not enough to make you stand out. To make anyone trust you. Or give you their valuable time.

super hero

But Rick from The Best Recruitment Agency Ever, who is know for sharing useful industry insights? Rick the expert? That’s the personal brand you want to be known for. People make time for that guy.

5. Make it worth their while (free stuff)

Don't just send target candidates job descriptions. Save those to bring to life on the phone.

Job seekers look at job postings and scroll through job boards. Hard to find candidates? Not so much.

You've got to get more creative with your sourcing strategies (well that's why you're reading this right?).

Give those quality candidates you're after free stuff. Sure if you've got the budget you could run a competition and give away an Apple watch (or whatever they're into) but I was thinking more along the lines of free webinars, free events, free downloadable guides, you could even build an industry focused candidate community (LinkedIn influencers love those right now too) so long as it provides value to members.

give away

Which one of the five are you going to try first?

That’s a trick question. You and I both know how excited you are to get started implementing each and every one of these ideas into your candidate sourcing strategy.

Need help getting started?

Book a free consultation with one of our experts

Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright

As BlueSky PR’s Head of Marketing, with almost 10 years’ prior experience in the recruitment industry, Jennifer writes articles and guest posts to inspire recruitment agencies to build their brands, improve their content, bring in more leads and generally make their lives easier.

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