our blog gets recruiters thinking

It’s a well-known fact that recruiters have A LOT of tech tools to help them do their jobs better – option paralysis! The challenge is knowing what order you should be using them in. (Knowing how to use them effectively – that’s another blog for another day!).  

Sourcing is very high on the agenda of a recruiter and there are countless tools and processes to help you do this.  What is often ignored, though, is sourcing from the job itself!

Ask yourself these two questions…

1) What is your favoured method of sourcing candidates?

2) How long does it take to shortlist at least one ideal candidate? 

From my 13 years in recruitment I have found the most common method of sourcing candidates tends to be as follows:

  • First: Search CV boards
  • Second: Search LinkedIn
  • Third: Advertise the job
  • Fourth: Candidate search within my CRM (usually a CV search)
  • Fifth (and rarely): Search previously worked jobs within my CRM

This doesn’t sit well with me.

Sourcing in the Wrong Order

It’s not that what recruiters are doing is wrong - although there’s always room for improvement! It’s just in the wrong order.

If we consider that we generally aim to have at least 2 of our candidates attend a second client interview and backtrack from there (5 candidates on first interview? / send the client 6 or 7 CVs? – Shortlist 15 candidates? – work through a search result of 100+ candidates?). This equates to a lot of time spent by a recruiter! (Feel free to use this in a phone call or meeting with a client asking you to justify a 20% placement fee!)

The more tools we have to source candidates, the more time we are likely to spend finding the right match. Obviously this means we need to have a grip on how to use the available tools but also using them in the right order could improve the speed – beating your competitors to the “feenishing line” (I may have started something there!).

Many recruiters I work with do everything but search previous jobs to source candidates for their open job/s and if they do, it tends to be a painful process.

For me the most effective way of sourcing candidates for my open job would be as follows:

  • First: Search previously worked jobs within my CRM
  • Second: View my Candidate Hotlist within my CRM
  • Third: View my managed LinkedIn network of Tagged connections
  • Fourth: Search CV boards
  • Fifth: Advertise the job

Focussing on the Job Search

As you might expect there’s a catch – and one that has become a key factor in recruitment businesses asking me to help them: Understanding and implementing recruitment processes to maximise placements.

Recruitment businesses are making a little progress in qualifying candidates in their CRM and I’m hoping they understand the value of doing so (fast and effective matching, understanding their candidates’ experience, essential requirements, desirables and availability to name a few).

Sadly jobs are left behind. Not only are they rarely being qualified, but the placement cycle (Shortlist > Send CV > Interview > Feedback > Second Interview > Feedback > Placement or Rejection) is experiencing some unimpressive shortcuts (Shortlist > Place (in one day!)

Short Term Pain – Long Term Gain!

It’s a phrase thrown around a lot but when it comes to using any CRM it’s very true. If recruiters aren’t used to qualifying candidates, jobs and (dare I say) clients, then it is seen as activity that is “getting the way of filling their job” (quoted because I hear it a lot!). The qualifying process should already be a key part of a recruiter’s role. If it isn’t then there’s no time like the present! Doing this is where the long-term benefit comes in…


Permanent Recruiter Sarah Smith shortlists 15 candidates for her Finance Manager position – which she has fully qualified in the CRM.

4 weeks later, Sarah receives another Finance Manager Job requirement from another client. Sarah searches her CRM for “Finance Manager” roles added in the last month and ta-da! Sarah finds the candidates that were shortlisted / CV sent / interviewed / second interviewed for the same role! (Sarah stops dancing and proceeds to contact said candidates about the new job). Time saved running complex candidate searches? LOTS!

Imagine the possibilities if every recruiter in your business (just one or two out of a 10-recruiter business won’t make a difference) followed a best practice that ensures jobs are qualified and sped up their process. Imagine the possibilities… (Happy, retained clients and the all-important £££$$$€€€!)

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